Omaha home built for beach-gazing

By Sandra Goodwin

36 Rita Way, Omaha.
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SIZE: Land (approx) 561sq m, house (approx) 319sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: Rating valuation $2.6 million (July 2011). Auction September 1 on site at 3pm (unless sold prior).
INSPECT: Sun 2-3pm. Open from 2pm on auction day.
SCHOOL ZONES: Matakana Primary, Mahurangi College.
CONTACT: Rob Hall or Teresa Hackett, Harcourts Warkworth, ph 09 425 7889 or 021 897 545 (Rob), 027 603 0565 (Teresa)
FEATURES: Large, contemporary holiday home in a private beachfront setting, steps from the water. With unobstructed sea views along the full length of Omaha Beach and out to the Coromandel and Great Barrier Island. Ideal for entertaining extended family and friends, it includes three living areas and a sheltered courtyard containing an in-ground swimming pool and spa.
36 Rita Way, Omaha. Photo / Ted Baghurst
36 Rita Way, Omaha. Photo / Ted Baghurst

When you own one of the most private waterfront beach houses on the Omaha Peninsula you make the most of it.

Phil McDermott lives here with his wife Lyn and poodle-cross Millie, usually works from here and gazes at the property on his screen saver when he's further afield. Phil works internationally as a consultant but he and Lyn studied geography in earlier days. They recognised the uniqueness of the section they spotted in 2000 while on a drive around Omaha.

Phil says: "It was absolute beachfront and that Ti Point view is unique. There are always boats coming and going, and in summer you get a red band of pohutukawa around Ti Point." Lyn adds, "And this view can never be built out."

They built a stylish contemporary home here in 2005, one minute's walk across the foreshore to the water's edge. It soaks up unobstructed views along the full length of Omaha Beach and out to the Coromandel and Great Barrier Island. Phil is a surfer and can just wander out the front of their property to check where the best surf is.

They've been pleased how quiet it is towards the northern tip of the Omaha peninsula, attributing it to this locale being more under-the-radar than more recently developed parts of the area. Their street's mix of permanent residences and holidaying families makes for a secure environment and friendly social life.

Their contemporary Linea weatherboard and plaster-with-cavity home with big eaves is smart but understated from the street, heightening the "wow factor" when visitors step inside and see the close-up sea views. "Everywhere you go in the house you've got a different view. It's always changing. We see great sunrises and sunsets, mist around Ti Point, storms and absolutely fabulous, perfect days. There's a pod of dolphins that tend to work this bay. And a couple of times a year the orca come through here fishing the bay," says Phil.

By choosing white to anchor the decor their daughter, designer Rachel McDermott, made the extraordinary views the focus, as well as highlighting art including Lyn's own paintings.

But don't let the sleek decor and millionaires' views cloud the fact this is a residence designed with family in mind. The McDermotts have five adult children and 3-year-old Sierra is one of six grandchildren who have gained confidence splashing around in the shallow area of the property's in-ground heated pool.

The night-lit pool and spa are sheltered within a big courtyard alongside a gallery-style entry corridor eyeing the beach. The main living area on this lower level opens right up to embrace the fore of the property and the front is unfenced to take advantage of the location looking out towards the sea. Phil says, "this is a good entertaining and party house because of the ability to flow outdoors".

Bi-fold windows frame the beach outlook from the polished kitchen with barstool seating and a dining area behind. Fish is often on the menu. "We both love fishing. The local snapper really is wonderful and it's a beautiful area for boating," says Lyn.

There's a beach-gazing bedroom on this floor as well as a family bathroom and entry to the internal-access double garage (complemented by off-street boat parking).

A sprawling second living area celebrates upstairs' elevated views, looking out across the dunes where one of their daughters got married. "This big room really is an indulgence," Phil says. "It's spectacular because of the amazing view." His office shares this view thanks to its shuttered front.

The master bedroom with twin-basin en suite and walk-in wardrobe also fronts the upper level, opening to the upstairs deck. Visitors are catered for upstairs with their own living area with kitchenette, bathroom and two bedrooms.

Most of the McDermotts' children and grandchildren now live in Australia, so now they're selling to tackle a couple of other projects and travel.

- NZ Herald

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