Brad and Lara win The Block

THE Block’s Hunter contestants, Brad Cranfield and Lara Welham, claimed a blockbusting victory last night as the renovation series reached its climax.

The East Maitland couple earned themselves more than $600,000 in the series’ two-hour finale, snaring a $1.62million price tag for the South Melbourne pad they renovated together.

While their property was first under the hammer, they also got the last laugh.

Before the auction, real estate agents had estimated the terraces would fetch between $1 million and $1.1million.

But the pair comfortably exceeded their $1.114million reserve, as well as their own expectations, to pocket $506,000 in clear profit.

‘‘It was going up by [similar] increments to my yearly wage,’’ Ms Welham said following the auction.

‘‘I don’t know if I think this is real or not.’’

They also received another $100,000 for making the most above their reserve, as well as a car after they were voted the program’s Good Sports by the audience.

Mr Cranfield said the price had been well beyond their dreams.

‘‘To tell you the truth, after winning the car we would’ve gone home happy even if we hadn’t sold,’’ he said.

‘‘Naturally we wanted the house to sell for a good price but we wouldn’t let ourselves get carried away dreaming about this kind of profit.’’

The couple had already renovated two houses before The Block, but planned to put their winnings towards moving a weatherboard house bought at Merewether to a property near Maitland.

Ms Welham said the nerves from the show got the best of her in the dying stages.

‘‘Before the auction I was so nervous I thought I was going to vomit, and as soon as it was over I was overwhelmed I did just that,’’ she said.

‘‘Fortunately it wasn’t all over Scott Cam, but it was close.”

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