The Herald looks at how Kiwis have transformed rambling old properties into modern gems in our series From Dump to Desirable.
When the shabby green villa at the end of Prime Rd Grey Lynn went on the market six years ago there were few prepared to touch it.
The house was derelict with a rusty roof, original scrim walls and the traditional villa balcony entrance enclosed with ply to create extra indoor space.
Despite the years of wear the old villa - built around 1914 - stood proudly on the sunny 518sqm site.
At the time it had a CV of $600,000 and was snapped up for $885,000.
A year and full transformation later property records show it sold for $1.7m. It has a current CV of $2.625m.
Andre Bodde from Barfoot and Thompson saw the three-bedroom villa before and after its rebuild and said it underwent a "complete transformation".
The traditional balcony, concrete steps and simple villa lines were restored and reinstated and plywood additions removed.
"The house was gutted and completely rebuilt," Bodde said.
"It was pretty derelict so the guy who bought it gave it a new roof, new walls and new framing.
"It never had a downstairs so he went underneath and put in an extra two rooms, cinema room, laundry and he put a pool out the back."
Bodde said it was important to retain the charm of a property when renovating.
"It's a real credit to people when they do houses up and they are in keeping," he said.
"People who take on these houses put in a lot of time and effort and a lot of money - and they are taking a risk."
He said part of the charm of Grey Lynn and Ponsonby was the high number of do-ups dotted among the fully restored.
"It's always nice to see a house restored but there is also a lot of charm in houses with overgrown gardens and character."