Meet the home owners who renovated a Californian bungalow in Eaglemont during COVID-19

The stylish home offers no hint of the challenges involved in its upgrade.

The stylish home offers no hint of the challenges involved in its upgrade.Credits: Miles Real Estate

“Agents said, ‘we can’t take you through because of the lockdowns,’ so in the end we ended up renting a house we’d looked at in January in East Ivanhoe, one we’d initially rejected,” Robyn said .

It was difficult picking benchtops online.

It was difficult picking benchtops online.Credits: Miles Real Estate

Their rental was only two kilometers from the Eaglemont home, so the Adams spent their allocated hour of exercise within five kilometers of home walking past to check out the renovation progress.

The renovation was completed in late 2021 and cost $800,000, almost half of what the couple had paid for the home – which records show last traded for $1.7 million.

It was meant to be their forever home but the pair, in their 70s, has since had a change of plans, deciding to downsize to nearby Ivanhoe after Ron suffered a stroke last year.

“I’ve effectively lived my whole life in Ivanhoe and Eaglemont,” Robyn said. “I want to stay here because I know a lot of people in the area and there’s always a kid or parent who calls out ‘hello,’ so I’m glad not to be moving out of the area, and so is Ron.”

The home is listed for sale with hopes of $2.6 million to $2.7 million.

Their selling agent, Brad Pearce of Miles Real Estate Ivanhoe, said the beautifully renovated home has already garnered a lot of attention.

It was to be the owners' forever home.

It was to be the owners’ forever home.Credits: Miles Real Estate

“[The suburb] is very tightly held, and homeowners usually stay here for the long term,” Pearce said.

The Adams have not been put off by the challenges faced during COVID and are now planning their next project in their new, smaller home.

The Californian bungalow is now for sale.

The Californian bungalow is now for sale.

“We’re downsizing and moving into a house that needs some minor renovations, things like cabinetry and carpet and painting,” Robyn said.


Households like the Adams are expected to fuel demand for renovation work this year, according to the peak body for residential buildings, the Housing Industry Association.

Spending on refurbishments peaked at $45 billion nationally last year, a broad measure that includes flood and storm damage repairs, HIA chief economist Tim Reardon said.

Although new home builds are expected to dip significantly in 2024, with 45,000 fewer commencements expected than at the peak of new home building in 2021, renovation demand was likely to see milder declines, Reardon said.

“Renovations are expected to remain strong,” Reardon said. “People are still spending more time at home now, compared to pre-pandemic times, so they want to improve the quality of their home.”

Still high property prices, despite the downturn, meant it was much more expensive to move, or to build a new home, than to renovate – even with increased building materials and trades costs, Reardon said.