A century-old Freemans Bay villa that has been a treasured family home for decades but is now in need of serious renovating is set to go under the hammer.

Built in 1900, the three-bedroom home at 13 Anglesea St will likely be one for buyers willing to take on a renovation project or knock the place down and build on the land, the selling agent says.

With its overgrown garden, peeling paint and rickety bathroom, the villa might not be the prettiest on the block.

Three generations of the Puia family have lived in the Freemans Bay home, since Puia Jim Puia and Koi Mata Ariki Puia bought it in 1954. Photo / Supplied
Three generations of the Puia family have lived in the Freemans Bay home, since Puia Jim Puia and Koi Mata Ariki Puia bought it in 1954. Photo / Supplied

Yet its location - just 150m from Ponsonby Rd - was enough for Auckland Council to value it at $1.775 million.

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The home is rich in memories for owner Nicholas Puia, who admitted shedding a tear while packing up his family's belongings recently.

His grandparents moved from the Cook Islands to New Zealand in the 1940s and bought the villa in 1954. Three generations of family members lived there.

Among its most precious features is the frangipani tree out front with "its beautiful white and yellow perfumed flowers" evoking memories of the Pacific, Puia said.

"This was a small piece of the islands so mama and dada didn't feel so far from their roots," he said.

Buyers willing to complete a major renovation or knock the old place down and build their dream home are likely to be most interested in the home, the selling agent says. Photo / Supplied
Buyers willing to complete a major renovation or knock the old place down and build their dream home are likely to be most interested in the home, the selling agent says. Photo / Supplied

Apart from the maintenance work Puia's grandad did on the house in the 1960s-70s, "nothing has really changed inside-and-out" since then, he said.

The 91sq m villa has three-bedrooms, a living room and kitchen on the groundfloor as well as a rumpus room and bathroom in the downstairs basement.

Puia was raised by his grandparents in the home and remembers his grandad hanging out in a small "working room" next to the rumpus area where "he would fix things" and spend lots of time reading.

Nicholas Puia's grandma managed to keep her family of six kids generously fed despite working in a small kitchen. Photo / Supplied
Nicholas Puia's grandma managed to keep her family of six kids generously fed despite working in a small kitchen. Photo / Supplied

The nearby wash house had a stone wash basin and copper tank where the family's clothes were laboriously handwashed.

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He also remembers his grandma "generously" feeding all six of her children along with an assortment of grandkids and visiting relatives, despite the kitchen being small and the gas stove needing a shilling every time it was used to start the flow of gas.

The couple were also avid gardeners and planted a vegetable garden and fruit trees in the backyard of the 466sq m block.

This home is likely to be one for those willing to take on a major renovation or to build from scratch. Photo / Supplied
This home is likely to be one for those willing to take on a major renovation or to build from scratch. Photo / Supplied

Puia's grandpa passed away in 1984 with his grandma dying in 1996. Together with an aunt, Puia then bought the villa off the rest of the family members.

When his aunt passed away last year, Puia thought it was finally time to sell up and give another family the chance to bring new life to the home.

The home's key selling point has always been its location, he said.

The bedrooms were home to the Puia family for more than 60 years. Photo / Supplied
The bedrooms were home to the Puia family for more than 60 years. Photo / Supplied

His grandparents recognised that years ago, when they chose to buy in Freemans Bay rather than Kingsland so they would be close to the Pacific Island Presbyterian Church on Karangahape Rd and so his grandad could cycle to his job at the docks, Puia said.

The home will be auctioned on March 16 unless sold earlier.