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Success for the Schreuders on Our First Home

The Schreuders are the lucky winners of the first season of Our First Home. With the show now over, the search for a new nest for Karen and Jono begins.
Our First Home winners the Schreuders

Ten weeks of slog have all been worth it for Auckland family the Schreuders, who came out on top in the first series of Our First Home with a staggering $290,400 in winnings.

The $190,400 the family earned as profit on the sale of their West Auckland do-up, plus the $100,000 bonus prize money for adding the most value to the Titirangi property, has given young couple Jono and Karen Frankle a whopping head start for getting into their own first home. But it’s also left them wondering how on earth they’ll ever be able to repay Karen’s parents, Tom and Robyn Schreuder, who gave up more than two months of their lives to work on the home improvement show.

Robyn, Tom, Karen and Jono were overjoyed with their win, which saw them netting an impressive $290,400.

They needn’t worry, says Robyn who, with her big hair, big heart and endless supply of scones, became a hit with the viewers. She has an idea how the pair can repay them. “Just giving us some grandchildren would be nice,” she smiles, while the rest of the family erupt into laughter. “No pressure, Jono!”

Jokes aside, Jono says the financial foot up that the Schreuders have given the young couple will allow them to start a family earlier than they thought possible. “I think it’s important for us to get ourselves into a house first,” begins Jono,“but this will obviously give us a good boost to begin that next chapter.”

And, of course, the couple know they can rely on the support of Robyn (56) and Tom (61). “They’ll be amazing grandparents,” says Jono (29). “I mean, with Robyn’s caring nature and Tom, who’d probably build a house for the kids, they’ll be set!”

Karen and Jono are looking forward to searching for their first home together.

For now, the immediate task is to find that new first home. “We’ll be out house-hunting straight away!” asserts Tom, while Karen (27) adds that their phones have already been ringing off the hook from real estate agents ready to show them the latest listings.

The couple had spent months trudging around open homes, but were left empty-handed when properties went for well beyond their budget. At the time, Tom joked that he only agreed to go on the show so he could get his weekends back, rather than searching for houses with the pair. As for Tom, he and Robyn are looking to schedule a luxury African safari as part of their win. It’s particularly exciting for South Africa-born Jono, who is excited for his parents-in-law to see the country he grew up in.

The Schreuders’ winning house boasted an open-plan lounge, decorated with soft furnishings in soothing shades of grey.

“You guys are going to love it!” he beams at the pair. It’s going to be a very funny trip, I’m sure,” laughs Robyn, who already has visions of her safari wardrobe, which she’s looking forward to going out shopping for. Having said that, a simple trip to the shops for Robyn is no longer what it used to be, since the hilarious East Aucklander became the unexpected breakout star of the TV One show.

“It’s really hard for me to go anywhere right now,” she exclaims. “If I go to the mall, I’ll pop down for half an hour, and three hours later, I’m still there! I’ll be sitting there having a coffee and someone will pass by and go, ‘Gasp! Robyn?!’ They’ll sit down and we’ll have a chat. I’ve made a lot of new friends!”

So with her new-found fame, does she now have to put on her make-up and do her hair every time she goes down to the supermarket? “She always did anyway!” laughs Karen, as the family slips into hysterics. They’re a family who have a lot of admiration, respect and genuine fondness for each other, plus they’ve also had the support and love of the entire extended Schreuder and Frankle families for the duration of the show.

Tom and Robyn have three other children – Marie (35), Steven (33) and Richard (30) – who each had their fingers firmly crossed for the family.

Buyers loved the Schreuders’ modern deck, which makes the most of the gorgeous Titirangi sunset.

With the Schreuders currently spread out over the globe, Tom explains the complex logistics of helping them watch the final episode. “Our son Steven is here in New Zealand and he was on Skype with the show on live TV, sending it to our son Richard in Australia, who was then Skyping it through to our eldest daughter in India!”

Now, the family is raising a glass to toast their win – something Jono says they’ll be doing a lot of in the future. “We think we’d like to throw a party to thank as many people as we can. We’ve had so many amazing people, from sponsors to friends, family and random businesses, who’ve come on board and helped us. And, of course, when it comes to Robyn and Tom, there’s no way we could put into words how truly grateful we really are…”

“Oh, no Jono,” interrupts Robyn, swatting him away with her hands. “This is what family is all about. “Just remember to give us those grandchildren!” she says with a wink.

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