The Murphy family paid a meagre £400 for the Auckland waterfront property 118 years ago.

Today, the dilapidated St Marys Rd property is now about to leave the family's hands with the house having a rateable valuation of $2.475 million.

It even has a celebrity in the neighbourhood in the form of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, although the family joke they're unsure if that's a selling point or not.

Harcourts agent Cynthia Klenner said she's been inundated with queries since putting the property, which has views over the West Haven Marina, on the market on Wednesday.

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The house sits on a freehold 865sq m site and is zoned for a single dwelling but has views out over the harbour and the Harbour Bridge.

Photos taken from inside are like a step back in time, with original furniture still in situ, most of which has since been taken away.

The house has spectacular views over West Haven Marina and towards the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Photo/Harcourts
The house has spectacular views over West Haven Marina and towards the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Photo/Harcourts

In one room, the heat burn mark from the cast iron stove stains the wall above as the discoloured and ripped wallpaper from years gone by masks the home's walls.

In another room, there's an aged piano with chair, table and recliner positioned to get prime views.

Descendant Peter Rossiter, 60, recalled watching the clip-ons being added to the bridge.

Rossiter lived in the house up until the end of 2016. He said it had held precious memories from over the years but it was finally time to let the property go.

The original old Singer sewing machine along with other antique furniture in one of the four bedrooms.
The original old Singer sewing machine along with other antique furniture in one of the four bedrooms.
More antique furniture however it has all since been sold to West Auckland secondhand store Just Plain Interesting.
More antique furniture however it has all since been sold to West Auckland secondhand store Just Plain Interesting.

"It was a bit difficult at first but it's got to go, I've got to move on and most of the memories are in my head anyway, but the house is only timber and iron ... now that it's empty it's not a home."

Some of these memories include watching his older brother, John, sit on the steamroller as road crews built what's now State Highway 1 and watching the clip-ons being added to the harbour bridge from his bedroom window.

The furniture, some of which was more than 100 years old, had since been sold to second hand store Just Plain Interesting in West Auckland.

"They've seen better days. They've had a bit of borer in them and are sort of holding themselves together."

He said his mother and her brothers were brought up during the Depression which left them clinging to whatever possession they had.

"They were brought up during the Depression and they used to hoard things and keep things ... I found rates bills going back to 1908."

He admits it will be the end of an era when the keys are finally handed over but he was keen to move on.

He hoped a new house would be built in the same vein as the family villa.

Klenner said as the area was categorised as "special character" a new house would have to be "built to heritage" under the Auckland Unitary Plan or in keeping with the historical nature of the area.

The land size - 865sq m - was one of the largest in the area to be sold, she said.

"Most people would say that the house is too far gone but it's about the land and location and what [the new owner] can do with it."

The St Marys Rd house hasn't been lived in for over a year. Photo/Harcourts
The St Marys Rd house hasn't been lived in for over a year. Photo/Harcourts
The owners admit the house is in a poor condition but are keen to move on. Photo/Harcourts
The owners admit the house is in a poor condition but are keen to move on. Photo/Harcourts

John Rossiter, 62, was looking forward to selling the property and wondered if Peters would be much of a selling point.

When asked what he wants to happen to the house he wasn't sure.

"I don't know what's going to happen to it but it just has to go. It's beyond me. Personally I would like to keep it myself but I can't afford to do it up, I would be working forever and just can't do it."

He was aware neighbours had expressed interest in buying the property.

"People have been interested in it for years and years."

Both he and his brother were born in the house, he said, however he moved out 47 years ago.

Growing up, their family never owned a car, instead they either walked or travelled by boat.

The water also used to lap the family property where they would spear flounder.

"Our family, we're a pretty tight-knit family and it was just handed down through all the family who lived there over the years and handed down on to the next and the next.

"My mother passed away 20 years ago but her brother was still in there, my uncle, until about 12 years ago, and my brother was living there."