Alice and Caleb win The Block NZ 2013
Auckland husband and wife team Alice and Caleb Pearson have been crowned the series winners of The Block NZ, pocketing a total of $261,000 in prize money after the live auction held in Auckland.
The couple's house sold for $1,126,000, which was revealed to be $181,000 over the reserve price. Under the rules of the competition, the winners keep the profit over the reserve and take home an additional $80,000 cash prize.
Alice, a youth worker, and Caleb, a project manager, were one of four teams chosen from over 2000 entries to compete on the popular home renovation show.
They were the most experienced DIY-ers of all the four competitors, having already completed three renovations on tight budgets.
Working on a muddy North Shore construction site, the teams turned tired, old houses into top-quality family homes over 10 weeks.
Alice and Caleb, both 26-years-old, said they were "buzzing" after the result was announced.
"We truly believed the houses were on an equal level [...] We're gutted for the other guys... It's bittersweet."
They said they didn't have any immediate plans to spend the money, but said it will "probably go on the mortgage".
"We'll be able to live out some things we haven't been able to do in a while," said Alice.
Alice and Caleb's section was the largest on The Block. The home boasts features like solar heating panels, a spa pool and large BBQ - all of which are included in the sale. They were also praised by the judges throughout the competition for their bold use of colour.
Earlier in the night, popular farming brothers Pete, 26, and Andy Walker, 23, were announced as the People's Choice winners, winning a new Mazda6 car.
Nicknamed 'Pandy' by fans, the boys maintained their position as clear crowd favourites throughout the season and had been tipped to win the prize.
Pete and Andy were also given the power to decide the all-important order of the four live auctions, after it was revealed they had won the final challenge of the season.
They chose to put themselves under the hammer first, with Loz and Tom second, while Alice and Caleb and Alisa and Koan were placed third and fourth.
This year the reserve prices, which took into consideration factors like construction costs, were only revealed to the public after each auction.
First up, Pete and Andy made $27,000 over their reserve when their house sold for $952,000.
They seemed disappointed with the result but remained hopeful, saying "anything can happen at auctions".
Nelson couple Loz and Tom Heaphy made $25,000 over their reserve when their house sold for $947,000.
Loz was visibly upset, saying she believed their home deserved much more.
Alice and Caleb were the first to hit $1 million, setting a high standard for the final auction.
Auckland couple Alisa and Koan's house sold for $1,014,000, giving them a total of $66,000 profit – not enough to knock off Alice and Caleb from the winning spot.
Alisa and Koan's villa with restored heritage features had been widely tipped to win by Auckland real estate agents, who said the home was the most marketable.
Last year siblings Ben and Libby Crawford won The Block NZ, selling their house for $961,000 - which was $157,000 over the reserve price.
THE BLOCK NZ 2013 SALES
- Caleb and Alice: $945,000 reserve, sold for $1,126,000. A total of $181,000 profit.
- Alisa and Koan: $948,000 reserve, sold for $1,014,000. A total of $66,000 profit.
- Pete and Andy: $925,000 reserve, sold for $952,500. A total of $27,500 profit.
- Loz and Tom: $922,000 reserve, sold for $947,000 A total of $25,000 profit.