Rod Penny says Point Wells is the gem of the Matakana district. And he's had plenty of time to come to that conclusion. He bought his California ranch-style home set back from the banks of the Omaha River about 12 years ago.
Rod says coming from a split-level home with many stairs, the home's single-level design appealed - along with the large, north-facing rooms and high stud.
The house had been built in 1995.
"It was built to a high standard and it had good bones for upgrading."
And he liked the location, on 1.53ha of prime waterfront land.
"Point Wells is the gem of the Matakana district with deep peat soil; quiet, peaceful space; situated on the Omaha river less than 10 minutes to Matakana Village and 15 minutes to Sandspit Marina."
He says as well having restaurants, vineyards and coffee shops nearby, Port Wells is within an hour's drive of Auckland, and 15 minutes from Warkworth, with its banking and professional services and shops.
The home he shares with partner Lynne was designed by architect William Chick. The exterior is Firth Summit Stone concrete brick, and the Decramastic roof has recently been re-chipped and re-coloured. Handsome double cedar doors flanked by glass bricks mark the home's entrance.
The kitchen, dining room, pool room and three of the four bedrooms have outdoor access, and views to the Omaha River, through sliding glass doors.
The open plan flow allows the kitchen, pool room, dining room and lounge to be separated with cavity sliders.
The entire house was refurbished "without any consideration to cost" three years ago, with special attention to kitchen and bathrooms, says Rod.
The new kitchen, designed by Kerry Dobbyn of Parklane Kitchens, has Caesarstone bench tops, a cantilevered bench and polished two-pot enamel to vertical surfaces.
All major appliances are Fisher & Paykel. Storage in the kitchen is conveniently placed, and there is a view out to the water from work areas.
Nestled beside the kitchen is a cosy reading "snug" with a wood burner. There are also two vented gas fires - the main one is ducted to the master bedroom and hallway.
Kitchen and master en suite both have underfloor heating.
The bathroom renovations included floor to ceiling tiles, Caesarstone tops, American oak drawer fronts and Grohe tapware that is used throughout the house.
Leadlight windows in the main bathroom allow a gentle, filtered light. Other rooms with leadlights, some original and some created by a local artist to match, are the guest bathroom and the couple's impressively large wine cellar, which was built from the tongue and groove ceiling of the original kitchen.
"The wine cellar is our pride and joy which we will regret leaving; it is irreplaceable," says Rod.
This was also designed by Kerry Dobbyn, and it has a small granite bench and sink with a circular granite shelf at bench height, LED ceiling and concealed lighting.
Another drawcard of Rod and Lynne's home is the choice of living areas, inside and out, including the outdoor area with open fire, built-in barbecue with range hood, gas pizza oven, LouvreTech roof, roller blinds and exterior floor tiles.
Across the lawn to the river bank, there is a jetty for swimming and launching kayaks. Also on the property is a double garage/workshop.
The gardens feature larger palms that form a canopy for small and medium-sized subtropical bromeliads, cycads and clivias.
In one corner, alongside the pohutukawa, is a native garden - puriri, kowhai, kakabeak, puka - planted to attract tui, wood pigeons and fantails.
And there are citrus trees - lemons, lime, mandarin, tangelo, grapefruit, oranges - as well as apple, peach, plum, apricot, pear, feijoa, nectarine and tamarillo trees.
Rod and Lynne are selling but are not leaving the area. "We have found a place at Sandspit, elevated looking over Kawau Bay, surrounded by native bush including mature kauri trees."