As first home buyers looking to get into the market, Mark Purkiss and wife Rachel purchased a property at Russell Vale in 2011 with a particular goal in mind.
"We bought the house with the intention that we were only going to keep it for a couple of years, do a small renovation and flip it," Mr Purkiss, a builder, said.
"Then the market started to really increase when we went to flip it, we realised we didn't want to go into more debt than we had to get somewhere else, and we loved the area, so we did a major renovation.
"We loved the area, so it was a no-brainer when we saw at the time how much other houses were going for.
"At the time it was too much for us to push up any more, whereas it was easier for me to build."
According to Pricefinder, the couple bought the home in 2011 for $455,000.
Once they had council approvals, the "major renovation" took about seven months to complete, and according to Mr Purkiss was a fairly smooth process.
"You wouldn't know it was the same house," he said.
Set on 696sqm, the now four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is located at 5 Neville Avenue, Russell Vale.
It was a two-bedroom house originally, and the family retained the front rooms.
"Basically, we cut off the back wall of the house and pushed it all backwards out the block, and utilised it as much as we could with it being a narrow block," Mr Purkiss said.
"The lounge room turned to an entry way at the time, and the dining/kitchen just became a walkway through to the extension.
"We kept the two front bedrooms, changed the bathroom out there and combined a three-way bathroom where it was a separate toilet, linen press and bathroom, and we've opened that up into one big bathroom."
They also gutted the yard and re-did it, turning it into a "tropical jungle", including six-metre high birds of paradise down the back.
The home's features also include an in-ground pool, high-end finishes throughout, a fire-pit and entertaining area, and child-friendly backyard with kids' cubby, chicken coop and veggie patch.
The property sold for $1.7 million prior to auction earlier this month.
Mr Purkiss said they were renting in the Illawarra while they pondered their next move.
"The market was going well, so we thought it was a good opportunity to sell," he said.
Mr Purkiss said the family was a little sad to part ways with the property.
"I'll miss it, although I'm not really that sentimental," he laughed.
Co-selling agent, Molenaar + McNeice's Troy McNeice said the property was bought by a Sydney buyer with family ties to the Illawarra.
"It did attract a lot of interest - we had almost 80 groups through in two weeks, and 14 contracts issued on it," he told the Mercury.