Micheal Bradshaw coveted the idea of owning an apartment in the distinctive Edwardian mansion that sits proudly towards the top of St Stephens Ave in Parnell.
With its eye-catching turret and double brick walls, the 1904 building is one of too few character buildings from that era remaining in Auckland. Originally built as a home for one of Auckland's former mayors, the stately two-storey house was later converted into four large apartments - the bottom two with decent-sized gardens and the top two with views to the harbour, Rangitoto Island and Hobson Bay.
After getting his foot in the door by renting the street-facing, top apartment for three years, Micheal seized the chance to buy it in 2006 when the titles for all four apartments were put up for sale by his Ireland-based landlord.
"I've never had such a good feeling living anywhere else, so I always knew that I'd jump at the chance to buy this apartment," he says.
The apartment's generous proportions, elevated position, all-day sun, spectacular views and the charm of its original period details all appealed - not to mention its prime location close to the central city, Parnell Village, the waterfront and some of Auckland's best parks.
The property is also zoned for Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girls' Grammar, Parnell School and has off-street parking.
Micheal says having sea views on two sides of the apartment makes it a great place to live because there is always something interesting to look at. From the covered veranda, which runs along the street-facing, northwest side of the apartment, you can look out over Parnell's northern slopes to the inner Waitemata Harbour.
The modernised, galley-style kitchen - located where the veranda had wrapped around the apartment's northeast side - looks straight out to Rangitoto Island and over to Hobson Bay.
Cupboard doors match the tongue-and-groove ceiling from the original veranda in the kitchen, which catches the first of the sun and retains its warmth all day.
The spacious, beautifully proportioned living room - probably the ballroom of the original house - is the apartment's piece de resistance. Complete with original features including two ceiling roses, board and batten ceilings, tall French doors that open to the veranda and an elegant, tiled fireplace, the room is large enough to have three discrete spaces.
These include the dining area next to the kitchen, the main living area and a large window box that comfortably accommodates two large leather armchairs and a low table.
From the living room, you enter the main bedroom through a dressing room. Two doors into the bathroom/en suite allow it to be accessed from a small hallway off the lounge.
A stairway behind the chimney leads up to the turret - Micheal uses this as a home office but it's large enough to be a small second bedroom with extra space for a bunk bed.
The apartment's elegant grandeur is topped off by its shared entranceway: a spacious foyer and sweeping staircase with original hand-carved kauri balustrades that creates a great sense of welcome.
Micheal will miss the lock-up-and-leave security of his home and his excellent neighbours, but says he is ready to move to a property with a large piece of land.