Offers in the wind for Block winners Tess and Luke

 

A "very hungover" Tess Cattana and Luke Struber haven't decided yet how they will capitalise on their new-found success after being announced as winner of renovation reality television show The Block.

The shock announcement was made on the show's finale on Sunday night when it was revealed the Cairns couple's three-storey St Kilda terrace home drew a bid of $3.62 million, an eye-watering $630,000 over the reserve price.

The Block reality TV stars Tess Cattana and Luke Struber have turned their hand to their Manunda home, listing it with Belle Property. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
The Block reality TV stars Tess Cattana and Luke Struber have turned their hand to their Manunda home, listing it with Belle Property. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

The newlyweds were not the bookmakers' favourites but took home an extra $100,000 in winnings.

"We were in a lot of shock. The last auction that went through was Jessie and Mel and when we realised we had won we cried and went into shock," Mr Struber said.

The winners of The Block 2019 Tess Cattana and Luke Struber from Cairns. PIC: NINE
The winners of The Block 2019 Tess Cattana and Luke Struber from Cairns. PIC: NINE

"We always described ourselves as the underdogs of the season and when you're going in as the clear least favourite, well, you couldn't write a script like this.

"It just shows no one knows who is going to win. Because our home was bought by an owner-occupier, they weren't looking at crunching the numbers for an investment property, they fell in love with it and were emotionally invested.

Tess and Luke's townhouse on The Block. PIC: NINE
Tess and Luke's townhouse on The Block. PIC: NINE

"We later found out the buyers' daughters were walking through the house saying, 'this is going to be my room, this is going to be your room'."

After being unable to produce a finished room for the first two weeks and struggling with their budgets, the pair lashed out at The Block producers saying they were unfairly represented.

But Ms Cattana said while there were disappointing aspects they had "always been grateful to the show".

The Block Auction 2019. (Photo by Martin Philbey)
The Block Auction 2019. (Photo by Martin Philbey)

"We got onto the show thinking we're not getting any money at the end of the day and that your experience and time on The Block was your win, we had that in our heads," she said.

"Viewers weren't seeing how hard we'd worked, they weren't seeing the interesting renovations we did, but every house was like that. Everyone knew exactly how we felt and we did get support when we opened up."

The pair thanked their supporters and said the amount of positive messages far outweighed the trolls online.

Tess and Luke's courtyard. PIC: NINE
Tess and Luke's courtyard. PIC: NINE

Both rated their ground floor kitchen, living area and courtyard as the best part of the renovated home.

"I love our massive kitchen bench, we have the most comfortable lounge room out of all the houses. It actually feels like the biggest house, I think," said Mr Struber.

"Our whole ground level just flows."

Ms Cattana loved the spiral staircase in the courtyard, and the island bench in the kitchen. She said the show was "not for everyone", but encouraged anyone who thought they had the stamina to give it a go.

Tess and Luke said The Block was much harder than it looked on TV. PIC: NINE
Tess and Luke said The Block was much harder than it looked on TV. PIC: NINE

"It's very hard. It looks hard on TV but it's much harder. It's the hardest thing we've done in our lives," she said.

"If you're a strong person, you can do it."

Ms Cattana and Mr Struber will fly back to Cairns on Tuesday but wouldn't say what they would do next.

Tess and Luke's kitchen. PIC: NINE
Tess and Luke's kitchen. PIC: NINE

"We're going to plan a honeymoon first, then just sit down and breathe and get our head around what the hell has gone on," Mr Struber said.

"We will look at a few options and go from there. We are not sure if we want to move to Brisbane or if opportunities arise in Melbourne, we might move down there. We're open."

All five homes sold at auction after 14 gruelling weeks of renovation.

The Block Auction 2019 winners. (Photo by Martin Philbey)
The Block Auction 2019 winners. (Photo by Martin Philbey)

In a first for The Block the reserves were set at $2.99 million for each of the five three-storey terraces.

The home of experienced renovators Mitch Edwards and Mark McKie was auctioned first and the hammer came down on their house at $3.374 million, $384,000 over their reserve.

Perth parents El'ise and Matt Bothe sold their house for $3.45 million, $460,000 over their reserve while fan favourites, Andy and Deb Saunders made $430,000, with a buyer snapping up their property for $3.42 million.

Finally, real estate agent Jesse Raeburn and his partner Mel Manson earned themselves $388,000 when their house sold for $3.378 million.

The pair are still in shock. PIC: NINE
The pair are still in shock. PIC: NINE