NATURE BY DESIGN – BESPOKE CASTOR BAY RETREAT
| Address: 50 Braemar Road, Castor Bay |
| Agents: Jordan Selwyn – 027 671 5882 and Brooke Barrass – 021 131 0566 |
| Viewing: Saturday/Sunday 12.30-1pm or by appointment |
By Amy Houlihan.
This unique Castor Bay retreat is a true celebration of sight and sound. Enveloped within vibrant native bush, with a rushing stream below and native birdsong filling the air, it’s difficult to believe the property is located at the heart of the North Shore.
An architects own home, 50 Braemar Road was crafted 40 years ago and is now presented to market for the first time. Inspired by the site, the owners designed it to be like a resort in the topics – made from natural materials sitting and amongst the tree canopy, with a relaxed, flowing floorplan and plenty of outdoor living. The grounds are spectacular and have been beautifully maintained over the years, existing within their own flourishing microclimate.
Pathways meander through native and tropical landscaping and the dense bush, with decks suspended above the creek running through the base of the site that’s filled with trout. Castor Bay beach, park and the local cafe are 700m away, an easy stroll from home, while Milford, Mairangi Bay and Takapuna are also easily accessible.
Positioned down a private right-of-way, there’s off-street parking available for two cars in front of the three-car garage building. A purpose-built boat park has also allowed the owners to drive their Sealegs directly down to the beach for launching.
The residence has been designed to maximise the beauty of the setting, with a profusion of glass throughout bringing the outside in at every turn. The floors are a mixture of handcrafted Morris and James tiles and Kauri, with warm timber also used on the ceilings throughout. Entry level on the ground floor is dedicated to accommodation – with three bedrooms serviced by two bathrooms. The master bedroom is special, with a large walk-in wardrobe and white tiled ensuite, plus a window seat embraced by a fish pond and water feature on the outside wall.
Upstairs, multiple living and dining zones surround the modern kitchen, positioned at the heart of the level. A voluminous, open plan room has towering pavilion-style ceilings and flows out to two decks on one side of the home, while the cosier lounge has a wood burning fireplace and opens out to a more intimate balcony on the other. The very top floor houses another lounge/study, with a deck that enjoys views of the Hauraki Gulf. This space could easily be reconfigured into the fourth bedroom if required.
This bespoke Castor Bay oasis will appeal to discerning purchasers with a passion for the unique and who relish the beauty of a native bush setting.
Energy returns and opportunities abound
By Robert Carter
“How’s the market?” … “Energised, Normalised and Sustainable!”. Reviewing May Auckland sales volumes for the past 12 years, 2018 ranked 5th highest, arguably putting the current market on the ‘energised side of normal’.
Auckland May sales volumes increased 5.4% compared to 2017. Auckland’s median price of $852,000 remains relatively stable – up 0.2% compared to April 2018, yet down 1.3% when compared to May 2017.
Nationally, a record median price of $562,000 was achieved in May! The new national record and increased sales volumes further indicating energy returning to the property market.
Focusing on the North Shore Market; there were 397 sales in May at a median price of $987,500 (up 3.0% from $958,800 in April, yet down 3.2% from to $1,020,000 in May 2017).
2017 saw only year-on-year decreases for national sales volumes, so it is encouraging to see the number of properties sold has increased year-on-year for 4 out of the 5 months of 2018.
The Auckland market continued to perform on a steady and stable basis through the Autumn trading months. As we enter the winter market listing volumes have declined slightly with buyer demand remaining relatively strong. The combination of these factors presenting good opportunities for those looking to sell during winter.
TAILORED FOR FAMILY – NORTHCOTE POINT LIFESTYLE
| Address: 38 Belle Vue Avenue, Northcote Point |
| Agents: Jordan Selwyn – 027 671 5882 and Brooke Barrass – 021 131 0566 |
| Viewing: Saturday/Sunday 2.30-3.00pm |
By Amy Houlihan.
Every aspect of this Northcote Point extension and renovation has been done with family living in mind. The floorplan of the original 1940s bungalow has been expanded to offer more accommodation upstairs, as well as creating two separate living areas and spacious, well-established grounds.
Belle Vue Avenue is one of the Point’s hidden treasures – located just off Queen Street but offering a quiet neighbourhood with little through traffic. Stafford Park is across the road, along with cafes, restaurants and boutiques of both Northcote and Birkenhead Points in easy proximity. Motorway onramps are also exceptionally close, offering a five-minute journey to both Takapuna and Ponsonby off-peak.
The smart, white weatherboard residence is ideally positioned on the site, leaving a large flat concrete driveway out front for bike and scooter riding, plus an expansive lawn and garden at the rear. An electric security gate and self-closing pedestrian gate enclose the property, with off-street parking available for five cars (including the double internal garage).
A brightly coloured leadlight in the front door is a nod to the home’s heritage and makes an appealing contrast to the modern interior aesthetic. Oiled Rimu floors are complemented with a soft grey and white palette, with three skylights illuminating the entry hall. Three double bedrooms are located along this passage, before it opens into the lounge. Sun floods in via the oversized sliding window and a woodburner makes it cosy in winter.
The open-plan kitchen and dining room has another casual living area and flows out to the north-facing deck and garden. A Carrara marble island is the centrepiece of the kitchen, which also boasts stainless steel benches and plumbing for a built in coffee machine. Outside, a Louvre Tec canopy protects the north-facing deck and a wooden boardwalk leads through topical plantings to a platform that’s been engineered and wired for a spa pool if desired. Flat lawns are framed with well-established landscaping and an outdoor pizza oven, raised vege garden and wooden kids playground make it a pleasure to live and entertain outside.
Designer bathrooms have been finished to an exemplary standard – the main bathroom on the ground floor has an exterior leadlight window in the shower, the same Carrara marble basin as the kitchen bench, wooden vanity and floor to ceiling tiles. Upstairs, the fifth bedroom would make an ideal nursery for those with very young children, due to its proximity to the master next door. This very large retreat has a walk-in wardrobe, private balcony and an expansive bathroom with the same stylish finishes as downstairs, plus a large freestanding bath.
For growing families that seek space, style and fantastic outdoor living on the point, there’s nothing to do but move in and enjoy 38 Belle Vue Avenue.
Home that grew and grew
| Address: 1 The Knoll, Greenhithe | Agent: Philippa Edgar |
Donald and Penny Webster made a huge decision to leave their park-like home —although they have moved only 600m down the cul de sac.
The couple built their original house, the one for sale, back in 1986 on land bought by Donald’s grandfather in 1947. After three decades, four children and several renovations and additions –including a second storey, a separate four-bedroom “barn”, a separate self-contained “loft” and a pool –the Websters decided they had “one more house in us,” hence the move down the road.
Now they are living in their Megan Edwards – designed new home and are selling the family home they love but which hardly resembles their original bungalow because they have carried out so much work to cater for their growing family.
Along with the second story, they pushed out the lounge as Penny wanted to capture more sun and also added a conservatory. Architect Megan Edwards designed their renovations as well but back in the 1980s when the original bungalow was built it was designed by well-known architect Ray Thorpe of Thorpe, Cutter, Pickmere & Douglas, who happened to be Donald’s uncle.
The house still has many of his touches, from bay windows to stained glass in the bathrooms. Around every corner there is a surprise, from the hidden cupboards in the kitchen to the master bedroom half way up the stairs with en suite, walk-in wardrobe and private deck, to the bridge at the top of the stairs that leads to more bedrooms, one of which also has a private deck.
The land itself also holds some surprises. Donald, a lawyer, explains that his grandfather TC (Trentham Charles) Webster, who was also a lawyer, bought 10 acres in 1947 then another 42 acres in the early 1960s.
When Donald bought the land off his grandfather’s estate it was derelict because it had been used as a construction site when the Upper Harbour Bridge was built in the 70s, and then people dumped all manner of items, from car bodies to animal carcasses.
Before that, however, the land had once been a park and also a Christian retreat. There was a tennis court, a croquet court and a little amphi theatre in an area once studded with kauri.
Donald always had anintention to subdivide and the couple went ahead with the plan in the 1990s, and they reinstated the tennis court as a shared amenity for each of the 16 lots of the subdivision they named The Knoll.
One section was left and that’s where they have built their new home but they were sad to leave their much-loved first home.
The floors are heart rimu sourced from the ta¯hu¯hu¯ railways and the main lounge features a wall of bi-fold doors and high sloped ceilings with clerestories (roof windows). They built a pagoda, added Paeroa blue stone columns to the blue stone patio paving and also put in an outdoor fire. The back yard is fully fenced and landscaped, there is also a pool, and there is even enclosed kennels with a run for their springer spaniels.
There is parking and workshop space galore, including in the barn, designed so there would be a man-cave extraordinaire for Donald but also accommodation to live in while they renovated. The “loft” is also separate accommodation and is really a studio apartment with a large garage underneath.
Penny says the family adores their new home but “there’s nothing that would give me more pleasure than to see a young family here, just like we started out, to have the great family life we had”.