What is possibly the Waikato's largest mansion boasting breathtaking river views, five bedrooms, five bathrooms, an indoor heated swimming pool and a private boat ramp, is for sale and is likely to fetch one of the region's biggest sale prices too.
The 1309sq metre newly renovated house at 103 Te Awa Rd in Tamahere is being listed for sale this week and is the one of the largest houses to be put on the market in the Waikato in the past five years. The property has a Government valuation of $3.1m.
The gated property, built in 1995, boasts five bedrooms and bathrooms, two kitchens, four living areas plus a theatre room, library and bar, office, gym, sauna, heated indoor swimming pool, two dining rooms and spans over three levels, and sits on a 8425sq m section. There is also a private boat ramp leading to the Waikato River and huge grounds, lending itself to further development.
Developers Nigel Smith and Jason Barnes of Saint Properties purchased the property through a mortgagee sale in May last 2016 and have spent the last year doing it up.
"When we bought it the place was really run down. So the people had owned it but not really done anything with it ... We bought it to bring it back to its former glory."
Barnes said they had done the property up with international buyers in mind.
The developers had spent about $1m on modernising the property and the makeover included installing bifold doors in the living area, gutting the master bedroom and ensuite and installing twin showers and a large bath overlooking the river, heating the pool and replacing the round columns on the outside of the house with bricks.
The original small fireplaces had been replaced with large stone gas fireplaces and there was new carpet and flooring throughout.
He said they had also lightened it up. "It was really dark and horrible ... There were some really bizarre things."
Harcourts marketing agent Aaron Davey said along with the sheer size of the property, the most spectacular thing about it was its breathtaking riverside location.
"It's not often that properties of that calibre actually come on the market in the Waikato."
The property is bigger than previous record holders 11 Riverlinks Lane in Flagstaff which was 942sq m and sold for $2.95m in December 2014, and 353 Pencarrow Rd in Tamahere which was 856sq m and sold for $3.6m. Both properties made headlines for being the most expensive houses to be sold in the Waikato at the time of sale.
The property, once referred to as the Te Awa Hilton, was built by an Asian couple in 1995 and was the biggest house in New Zealand at the time. They sold it to Victor Rutherford who had planned to turn it into a lodge, but later abandoned those plans. Rocky Cribb, a former New Zealand snooker player, purchased it in May 2000 and the property was sold by mortgagee sale last year.
The auction is being held on July 27.