Buying Blind expert Marshal Keen reveals builders' 'number one enemy'

Australian renovation reality show Buying Blind starts on our screens tomorrow night, and one of the renovation experts has revealed some tips for that fraught process of buying your first home. 

The premise of the new show is slightly terrifying: couples hand over their entire life savings to a group of strangers who use it to buy and renovate a house fitting their brief. The team of Aussie experts are Block judge Shaynna Blaze; buyer's agent, Rich Harvey; and builder and architect, Marshal Keen.

So far, so scary - and Keen admits it was daunting for them as well. 

"For families that were struggling to find a home [and so] they gave us all their money, it was a lot of pressure," says the Bondi-based builder and architect. 

"In theory you think, 'yeah ok' and then reality hits you and it's pretty daunting." 

Keen says the show is "a rollercoaster of emotion," much like buying or building your own first home. However he gave some tips to make it a smoother ride for Kiwi house hunters. 

 "The housing market is so tough but as much as yes, you have to jump on properties, don't fall into the trap of having to buy the first one you see," he advised. 

"You need to make sure that you're buying a good one, and that the build has been done right. Be conscious of what you're buying and where you're buying." 

"That entry level first home market is so competitive, it's really easy to get suckered in on that emotion."

He advises that you make sure its structurally sound - and that means dry. 

"Water is the number one enemy for any builder," Keen says. 

"If I'm looking over a house the first thing I'll do is look into the cupboards in kitchen and bathroom for water leaks.

"If you can get under the house, have a look up to see if you get see wet patches on the timber. Or if its an upstairs bathroom, check the ceiling and see if there's any damage to the plaster on the ceiling. 

"If there's anything like that you probably have a leak and it could end up being really expensive." 

We might just get Keen to come do it for us. And can he build us a kitchen like this while he's at it please? 

Don't miss Buying Blind, airing Wednesday nights at 7:30pm on Three.





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