Kevin Schwass admits he has spent quite a bit of time on either of two of his decks drinking a few wines - and also drinking in the amazing view across Lake Pupuke and to the sea beyond.
Actually, there are three decks to this property in the heart of Takapuna, literally a short walk to an array of amenities and shops.
Takapuna pool is just down the road, as is The PumpHouse, and the Bruce Mason Centre is only a few steps in the other direction. The location has been brilliant for Kevin, who has been active on the council and also owns several bars, because he can walk anywhere.
A third deck faces the roadside and is off a huge lounge that has a riverstone fireplace and beautiful kauri floors. At the other end of the floor is another large lounge that he and wife Helen call the lakeside lounge, which also has a fireplace.
From here you can see Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Little Barrier Island, and upstairs from a room they use as an office, you can see the Coromandel.
Kevin finds a photo of what the property looked like when he bought it in 1996. "It looked like something off The Block," he jokes.
It's as if a magic wand has been waved over the run-down 1950s house in the picture. He called in designer Alan Cowie from Christchurch, famous for designing The Loaded Hogs bars (but who also designs houses), and they set about extending it.
It was a small house back then, but has been utterly transformed into a stylish yet comfortable family home with high ceilings and an incredible sense of space. They added the lounges and decks to the front and back of the house and laid down kauri flooring. The main entrance is a double doorway - from a church in Devonport - and when you stand in the kitchen end of the house you can look all the way down Lake Rd.
The kitchen, which is wood with a tongue-and-groove ceiling and features a large island workbench, has a cottage feel with an indoor herb garden and all the mod cons. Further along, a bedroom is being used as a gym, plus there are another two bedrooms, one of which has a huge tiled bathroom, and downstairs again is a spa room with another bathroom and a wine cellar designed as a cave.
The lakeside lounge is where they entertain. The windows open wide on to the deck, which is semi-enclosed to protect against the wind. From here you can watch the ducks, swans and canoeists on Lake Pupuke.
Upstairs, Kevin reveals an interesting little room with air conditioning and a window looking down into the kitchen. He confesses this was included in the design for a former dog, a German shepherd named Eva Braun, who was a little unpredictable when guests arrived. He had this specially incorporated as a kind of indoor kennel so she could still feel part of the family.
Also upstairs is an ironing room, an office and the big master bedroom with its own deck, en suite and his and hers walk-in wardrobes and, of course, stunning lake and sea views. Down below is the landscaped garden.
Kevin says the house is so large for just him and Helen (and current friendly dog Freda) that they once resorted to using a PA system to find out where the other was.
They are selling up because Kevin is semi-retiring and the couple are moving to the Sunshine Coast in Australia.