From 80s Bland to a Gorgeous Contemporary Renovation

Whenever I hear of a young couple that has worked their butts off to get into real estate from a young age, I find it easy to empathise. Mr Nerd and I have also worked hard and made sacrifices to get on the property ladder ourselves. Unfortunately, even when you think you’ve done ‘the right thing’ by saving up and investing in property, it doesn’t always pan out exactly as you’d hoped. And that’s just the situation this young couple have found themselves in, who feature in the second episode of I am recapping (you can check out my first one here).


We meet paramedics Kayla Brandt and Paul Roberts, a young couple who have been together five years. When Kayla was younger, she saved up for years to buy a 1980s house in 2011 in the NSW suburb of Silverdale, about an hour inland from Sydney CBD. On a 980sqm block, the three bedroom house cost $430,000. When Paul came along, he also helped out with the mortgage. The property turned out to be a good buy. Despite the fact that Kayla and Paul didn’t make any changes to it and it was largely still in its original 1980s state, the house’s value increased to $750,000. It seems like a great suburb to have bought in – in the past five years the Silverdale median price growth is a whopping 98.4%, according to figures from .

When Kayla and Paul’s work relocated them to the central coast of NSW – they moved to the area and loved it so much they bought a block of land and began building their dream home. Paul proposed and they began planning to get married in February 2018. To finance their build, they put Silverdale on the market and after seven long months got an offer – but at the very last moment the buyers pulled out. Then they received other offers too, and accepted them – but they too were also withdrawn! Such bad luck! Now property prices are dropping, too – and the market has become more competitive too, with new land estates cropping up in Silverdale that mean buyers can snap up a new house and land package for $700,000.

Now it’s been a year, Kayla and Paul have had no other offers since – and they’ve been struggling to pay two mortgages. With their finances stretched to the limit, they postponed their wedding. Andrew says they are looking forward to getting married and having kids. And “a normal mortgage,” chips in Kayla with a laugh. “Just like everyone else!” To make ends meet they have even had to move back home with parents. ENOUGH SAID.

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