Sea-lover's slice of paradise

By Louise Richardson

SIZE: Land 1120sq m (approx), house 377sq m (approx, including garage and deck).
PRICE INDICATION: Similar properties in the area have sold upwards of $2.19 million. Auction December 4 (unless sold prior).
INSPECT: Sat/Sun/Wed 1-1.45pm or by appointment.
SCHOOL ZONES: Churchill Park Primary, Glendowie Primary, Glendowie College. Convenient to Sacred Heart College.
CONTACT: Bob Gordon, ph 0274 759 025, Barfoot & Thompson St Heliers.
FEATURES: Substantial 1970s extensively retrofitted concrete block and rendered brick family home with access to small swimming beach and boat club. Estuary views. Office, rumpus room, separate TV nook, passenger lift, easy connect to in-ground pool with heated spa pool and barbecue cabana with changing facilities.
307 Riddell Road, Glendowie. Photo / Michelle Hyslop
307 Riddell Road, Glendowie. Photo / Michelle Hyslop

Well-known, long-time residents in Auckland's sunny Eastern suburbs, Jerry and Robin Rea, are rightfully proud of the wonderful home they built when their five children were young in the 1970s.

They're even more proud of it now, following a major redesign and refurbishment project in 2000 that saw the interior and exterior slip seamlessly into the new millennium. "We were lucky enough to be able to have exactly what we wanted," Jerry explains. "And we've really looked after it!"

Although those children have long since flown the nest, they still return regularly with their own offspring - of which there are 12 - and once again the pool area rings with splashing and happy chatter.

Granddad likes to take charge of the barbecue, set in its own cute cabana, and no one need wander into the house with sandy feet because there's also a changing room with his-and-hers cubicles, a toilet and an outdoor shower. When the weather's cooler, the couple and their friends often enjoy a spa under the stars.

A large upstairs open living area inside has glorious sea views and is an ideal spot for observing the constantly changing water traffic.

This area features a cosy "snug" at one end, where Jerry and Robin like to read or watch TV in winter, a huge and expansive modern kitchen with masses of cupboard capacity, an elegant dining space and copious room for more formal living.

"Robin's an amazing cook," Jerry says proudly. "I really knew what I was doing when I married her."

His wife smiles modestly, but agrees they've had some memorable dinner parties here, not to mention retired accountant Jerry's 70th birthday celebrations when 100 people gathered on the room and surrounding deck - with plenty of space to spare.

With five good-sized bedrooms, many with sea views, the house is primed for the arrival of a new family. Queues in the morning are unlikely to be a problem with three standard bathrooms, a separate toilet and an en suite in the master bedroom, which also features a huge walk-in wardrobe.

There's also a stand-alone laundry downstairs.

"It's not one of those compact-in-a-cupboard ones," Robin declares. "I like plenty of space to work in."

An outside door leads to a charming garden area where masses of hydrangeas are about to burst into bloom and three raised beds are practically groaning with healthy produce.

Despite its size, there isn't a single blade of grass on the section.

"It's good not having a lawn to mow," Jerry laughs, "but there are lots of hedges to trim. Luckily I find that job rather relaxing."

This stalwart of the local community, holder of a QSM for services to sport and charity, likes nothing better than to potter outside, often wandering down to the beach, reached via an easy access pathway.

"The Glendowie Boating Club is right there, and our boys belonged when they were young."

Jerry once swam across the harbour to Bucklands Beach. "I cleverly waited until the tide was right out," he reveals, grinning.

Like most people contemplating a major life change, Jerry and Robin have mixed feelings about downsizing to their new home nearby, which is significantly smaller.

"I have to be realistic and accept that one day I won't be able to look after this huge section. Robin always has the house looking absolutely spotless, and it's a lot of work for her, too."

Needless to say they both hope a new family will be as happy here as they have been.

"That's really important to us."

- NZ Herald

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