Coatesville property a touch of whimsy

By Bronwyn Sell

SIZE: Land 2ha, house 660sq m (not including minor dwelling).
PRICE INDICATION: CV $2.1 million. Auction August 16.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 1-1.45pm.
SCHOOL ZONES: Dairy Flat School, Orewa College.
CONTACT: Willi Bardohl, Bayleys, ph 487 0610 or 021 192 2925.
FEATURES: A grand and spacious European-inspired Hebel-clad home on a 2ha lifestyle property at Dairy Flat, a 15-minute drive from Albany. There's also a two-bedroom second dwelling and a large barn on the site, plus a tennis court and pool.
447 Horseshoe Bush Road, Coatesville. Photo / Ted Baghurst
447 Horseshoe Bush Road, Coatesville. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Kia Khoo and his wife Eve bought their stately property at Coatesville on a bit of a whim.

And it is a whimsical sort of a place - a modern echo of a European castle, complete with turret, with a nod to the neoclassical.

Kia, a young Malaysian immigrant, says he liked the idea of having a quiet retreat in the country, surrounded by greenery, after spending all of his life in cities. "The real forest, not the concrete forest."

He also liked the size of it - five bedrooms, a study and masses of living space, opening out to a 2ha property with a tennis court and pool. You don't get that in the city.

He bought it after one viewing only three months ago, not long after marrying Taiwan-born Eve - and before she'd even seen it. It was certainly a property they could grow into.

Downstairs, beyond the double-height neoclassical entryway, is a large living area with gas fire, which opens out through two sets of bifold doors to a broad colonnade-style terrace.

Through the living area is the high-spec kitchen and formal dining room, which open out on to the terrace to the east, and a courtyard to the south. Beyond the courtyard, a flat lawn rolls out for miles, and a near-new heated swimming pool is tucked into a private corner.

Picking up the afternoon sun on the western side of the lower floor is a circular-walled formal lounge. The previous residents - who built the house 16 years ago and have since modernised it - had used this as a games room.

Upstairs are four huge bedrooms, all opening out on to large balconies. The master has his-and-hers walk-in wardrobes (the "hers" has French doors leading to the master balcony) and an Italian marble en suite bathroom, and adjoins the turret (which was previously used as a library). Up a spiral staircase is a serene circular study at the top of the turret, with 360-degree rural views from the encircling high windows.

There is also a three-car garage and workshop, a tennis court and American-style barn on the property, and a separate two-bedroom house at the front of the site with a double garage. Kia bought the property with the future in mind. However, he and Eve have since realised that for now they're still resolutely city people so they've decided to sell, without even moving in.

For now they're going to stay put in their Northcote home, which is only a couple of minutes to the CBD and central to their business interests on the North Shore.

In hindsight, says Kia, the property was too big for two people, and more suitable for a family with children. He still hopes to live in the country one day.

"That's all right," he says. "That's life."

- NZ Herald

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