In one of those strange twists of fate, David Beard had drawn a picture of this Scenic Drive home before laying eyes on it. It was all down to him having read the self-help book The Secret, which suggests people draw pictures of the houses they want to live in.

"I drew a picture of a house with the carport out front, a waterfall and a bridge to the front door," he says. "So when we found it we just fell in love with it."

David and husband Nick had been looking for eight months, doing eight open homes on weekends.

"We had a spreadsheet with all the open home times on it," says David. "We actually didn't like the photographs of the house and we didn't think we would like it but we had to do our eight homes."

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So two years ago they bought their "dream home" in the Waitakere Ranges bush but the arrival of three children from two surrogate mothers changed their plans. "What we need now is a big, flat section for the kids to run around on," says David. "This was our dream home but it just doesn't suit the age the kids are at."

In their time here they have "maintained the house and brought it back to the standard it deserves".

Nick cleaned up the clogged water feature, which now has water flowing and falling through stone-walled ponds at the front of the house.

Crossing over the water feature, the wooden bridge arrives at the large front door, which, like other parts of the property, has an Oriental flavour with slatted wood over the glass and a shoji screen-style window above.

The person who built the house almost 20 years ago was a black belt in the Japanese martial art of kendo. He wanted a tatami room for dining, a deck large enough for swordplay and an oriental garden for meditation.

Set over three main levels, the cedar-clad home also has some split levels, and its elevation and picture windows mean most rooms have views out over the bush or back to the city and harbour.

On the lower floor, the kitchen is by the front door with steps up to the dining room, which is cantilevered over the bush with glazed walls facing east and north. At the rear of the house, cocooned in bush, is a tatami room — with a table that can be lowered into the floor — backed by a bedroom through shoji screen doors.

Also on this level is an office that opens out to a west-facing deck and garden.

On the northern side of the house, the large lounge with gas fire opens out to an expansive deck with views back to the city.

The views get better as you go up through the next two bedroom levels, with the master suite on the top floor having its own balcony.

Both harbours can be seen from the rooftop deck.

"We call that The Aloha Deck and there's a two-drink limit up there," says David.

Walking out the front door across the bridge built around a mature rewarewa brings you to a spiral staircase that takes you down to the oriental garden.

"We had our wedding here with a pianist set up on the bridge, a bar by the carport and a little outdoor chapel with seating in the garden," says David. "Grandma gave me away, everyone wore white and it was spectacular."

Looking after their toddlers has meant little time for much else but David and Nick have cleared the undergrowth from the bush, which has delightful walkways through mature rimu, kahikatea and nikau trees.

David says their next move could take them anywhere "from Brisbane to Bluff".

"It's been a pleasure and a privilege to own this property and we know we will never replace it. We just hope the next people will love it as much as we did when we first walked up the driveway."

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