TWO episodes into its debut season, one aspect of Nine's much-hyped new home show Buying Blind has some viewers seeing red.
The reality show sees prospective homebuyers who've been priced out of the market handing over their life savings to a panel of experts and trusting them to do what they've been unable to: Buy them their dream home.
In last night's episode, young parents Lis and Ali had a budget of under $600,000 to find a three-bedroom home close to their childrens' school in Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges.
It was a tall order given Melbourne's median house price is $900,000, but Buyer's Agent Rich Harvey found the pair a home for just $565,000, coming in $20,000 under budget.
However, the modest home needed extensive renovations.
"Two internal walls will be removed to create a bigger living area, and sliding doors will be added, opening onto a brand-new curved deck," the voice over announced during last night's episode, detailing just some of the improvements needed.
Also on the list: A new galley-style kitchen with a spacious pantry and a revamped bathroom with new bath tub and separate shower.
The show's presenter described the work builder Marshal Keen had ahead of him as a "full demolition job."
It was not made clear in the episode whether renovations were to come from the homebuyers' budget, or whether Nine would foot the bill.
While the family loved their new - extensively renovated - home once it was revealed, viewers were less impressed, slamming Nine for the "completely unrealistic" budget and calling for transparency about how much the reno's had cost:
What an absolute mis-representation of cost- so they bought it for 585k and then what, the show footed a 50k renno? Pfft yeah #BuyingBlind alright, just the usual reno a 'battler' show under a different guise.— Marcus Dunn (@marcus_mmd) June 12, 2018
“Hi we have a really tight budget we just want a house”— Meg Rayner 🐯 (@megrayner) June 12, 2018
“Sure here’s a house within your budget...... and $100,000 of free renovations you could never afford making this whole premise completely unrealistic!” #BuyingBlind pic.twitter.com/P5QCHAiTN6
I mean.... this is ridiculous and so far beyond their budget. I’m done. #BuyingBlind.— Meg Rayner 🐯 (@megrayner) June 12, 2018
"Show us a budget breakdown and then maybe I'll watch again," one viewer tweeted.
We approached the Nine Network asking for information about how much the renovations to the property had cost, and whether those costs fell outside the couple's budget.
They provided us with this statement, attributed to an Endemol Shine spokesperson:
"Along with each couple's renovation budget and their own personal belongings, Buying Blind's experts used their considerable industry contacts to deliver extra value to the buyers in order to make each house a home to be enjoyed for many years to come."
Buying Blind airs 7:30pm Tuesdays on Nine.