Chmiel says he was chosen for the role as presenter after the producers contacted LJ Hooker asking for a German speaking Sydney real estate expert. Having immigrated with his family ten years ago from Bavaria, Chmiel was a natural choice and say his own personal experience with finding and fitting out a home provided ample fodder for the camera.
“I’ve been through the process of finding a place, getting used to the customs of a new country. [For example] in Europe, you have to install all the lamps and kitchen fixings when you rent a house. In Australia most of htose things are installed already. We were caught out ten years ago when we brought all our lamps out and all the fittings were different – and you’re not really supposed to fit them yourself.”
Chmiel says many of the questions asked by people immigrating from Europe surround supplying a down payment for a house, noting that in places like Germany, borrowers are often expected to produce a minimum of a third in equity before lenders will consider you.
“In Australia, it’s probably more like 20% on average.”
Dream Homes in Dream Cities will be aired in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and parts of North Africa, but Chmiel says LJ Hooker will be supplying a link on their website.
“It is in German and there won’t be subtitles,” he laughs, “so it might be of limited use - but for amusement purposes it will be very good.”