By Donna McIntyre
Carol and John Hope have enjoyed their time living in Matakana's Laly Haddon Place.
The recently retired couple bought this home last year, deciding to move out of Auckland as they had been coming to Matakana for weekends and loved the village atmosphere.
They say the contemporary weatherboard home, built in 2000, had been the farm manager's home when this area was farmland.
"This place had a lot of things going for it," says Carol. "The Matakana village is just a five-minute walk away, there is a lovely country outlook and the property has been beautifully landscaped."
The home had also been renovated by the previous owner, so it was simply a matter of Carol and John moving in and enjoying life at their new address.
They also appreciated the home being on one level, with just a step off the deck down to the garden. Their master bedroom, the living room and kitchen all open out to the deck.
And the property's elevation means they enjoy views over their rural surroundings, including a reserve with Mt Tamahunga in the distance. At night, when the village's fairy lights go on, they can see these twinkling from their home, says Carol.
With the inside of the home looking immaculate, the couple have enhanced the landscaping by planting mature trees including magnolia and cherries, and they have put in three raised garden beds.
As well as the double garage, they have a couple of sheds along the driveway they use to store the ride-on mower and their gardening tools.
The double garage is at the front of the home as you come up the driveway, and then there are the master bedroom with en suite and dressing room, three more bedrooms, and a family bathroom between the garage and the open plan living area encompassing kitchen, lounge and dining.
Carol says the spacious kitchen with its island bench is a great space to work in and makes entertaining a breeze, with easy access to storage including a pullout pantry.
When they want to go into Matakana, they rarely take the car as the stores, cafes and theatre are an easy walk.
"We have beautiful shops, cafes and restaurants, the market; Matakana really has everything you need," says Carol. "You can walk to the school, and it has a really good name."
When the couple came to live in Matakana, they had plans to expand this property, wanting to add a workshop for John and an artist's studio for Carol.
The plans were drawn up ... and then they chanced upon another home that already had room for these facilities.
They imagine the home they are selling will suit people of all ages; it could easily be a family home as well as working for another retired couple, especially with the home being one level with a flat section.
"What makes it special are the size of the land and the location," says Carol.
"And whoever looked at this house in terms of its heating needs, got it right. It has a heat pump in the living room and two heat panels in the halls. There are no cold corners or cold rooms. We have been impressed by how well the heating works."