This super-spacious property may reveal its best features only to those who venture inside, but a functional factor in its foreground helped win over owner John at first sight.
When he and wife Teresa saw the property in 1996, their three children were heading into their teens and they were approaching being a five-car family. Teresa laughs, "so we walked on to the section and John fell in love straight away because it had two driveways so nobody could block him in".
Once they'd been inside and seen the spaciousness of the 500sq m home, its views and big backyard where they'd later add a pool, they knew this home could suit their family long-term.
The contemporary plaster and concrete block home originally harks from the 1960s but was revamped in the early 90s, with John and Teresa subsequently making their own improvements. They've redecorated, installing a new kitchen and renovating bathrooms, extended the north-facing deck into an outdoor entertaining sun-trap and added a true "swimmers' pool" in rear lushly landscaped gardens.
Parking has never been an issue, as the drive curves past an internal-access double and single garages, through a covered entranceway with off-street parking alongside and back out to the road. Visitors are welcomed into a sizeable entrance foyer. The main living areas are upstairs in order to capture a superb view round from North Head to Motutapu, over Dingle Dell Reserve to the ocean and Rangitoto Island. Teresa loves curling up with a book on a corner window-seat. "It feels very private, looking out over everything like this."
The open-plan library space off the lounge used to house a formal dining table but they found everyone always wanted to sit in the front dining area admiring the view. Alongside is a family-TV area, neighbouring a large lounge with gas heater complementing upstairs' gas central heating.
A telescope is set up near doors to the deck, through which they've seen orcas and checked beachfront weather. Living flows out to the deck's covered outdoor entertaining area, featuring side Louvretec louvres.
"In summer we have the front French doors open so much," says Teresa.
They put in a big new dual-oven kitchen about eight years ago, its granite benches roomy enough to accommodate all five family members making lunch simultaneously. There's also a study off the upper landing.
The master suite gets the prime views, opening to the front deck and a sleek marble-tiled en suite. The other two bedrooms on this level are big, too, serviced by a family bathroom and separate toilet, with a guest toilet nearby.
A permanent stairway up to the attic and a bank of hallway cupboards signal abundant storage.
Downstairs proved a magnet for their children's friends, with a big entertainment-games lounge near the pool and containing its own kitchenette. Their children reckoned the "best" bedroom was the big downstairs, because of its size and direct access outside. There's also a fifth bedroom used for guests, a pool-side gym room with its own shower, another bathroom and a separate laundry.
The couple are keen swimmers and the heated pool (with advanced automatic filtration system and electric roll-out cover) and spa Frontier Pools installed for them eight years ago really is a beauty. John explains "It's 20m by 3.5m - that's a big pool!" It's set in lush but low-maintenance tropical-style gardens and lawn landscaped by Natural Habitats.
The home's spaciousness makes it great for entertaining. Even with the children grown the couple thought they'd be here for many more years until the opportunity arose for them to build on the beachfront property where John grew up.