Since they moved into the 1930s bungalow on the edge of Ngataringa Bay, Devonport, Nichola and Conrad Murray can't believe the changes in their neighbourhood. In fact, when they moved in, back in 2005, their lane didn't even exist.
"There was no Merwood Lane, we were just 42A, down a driveway off Kawerau Avenue," says Nichola. "There was a huge house on the corner, with a big garden and two oak trees that we used to play under when the kids were babies.
"We were one of a couple of 1930s bungalows. There was just a track around the bay, no cycle trail."
The couple were married here in 2007 and welcomed their two children into the house, Neave, now 10, and Will, 8.
They are pretty territorial about "their" bay and park, helping dad Conrad pull kayaks down to the water from the reserve next door and paddling to all the corners of the bay.
Before a cul-de-sac and more houses were added at the end of the lane, the kids would take nets down to the stream to fish for eels.
Conrad can bike or walk the couple of kilometres around the path to catch the ferry from Bayswater Marina, while Nichola owns the pharmacy in Devonport.
They are sad about leaving the house that holds all their family memories, but are moving only a few streets away.
The cottage was a far cry from today's version — it had no insulation, curtains, or garden, and there was a loo off the back porch. (These days it's a linen and storage cupboard).
But they were nevertheless drawn to the original features, including bay window seats in each of the front bedrooms, architraves and arches in the hallway, original coffered ceilings, and even a clawfoot bathtub.
The wood floors have polished up beautifully, the couple refreshing the scheme with white walls.
The kitchen, in a fashionable smokey blue, had recently been installed back then. But Nichola and Conrad have new stainless appliances.
There is a laundry tucked in a cupboard off the living area. The Murrays only updated the bathroom a couple of years ago, with a new loo and smart oak-look vanity.
The old tub was resurfaced in a fashionable navy glaze. Conrad reckons he has the best view from the shower, looking west across the wetlands and bay to the harbour bridge and sunsets.
Those views can be enjoyed from Will's bedroom and a smaller room, once a nursery, is now Conrad's office.
It and the open-plan kitchen and dining room have french doors to the deck. The couple landscaped the yard, adding privacy fencing to shield them from the walkers on the shared cycle path.
The deck wraps around to the living room, which also has french doors.
But it is the ever-changing views of the harbour and western lights that Nichola and Conrad have enjoyed most.
3/2 MERWOOD LANE, DEVONPORT
• 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1* parking spaces.
• House 150 sq m, Land one third share 1396sq m.
• Price: CV $1.175 million.
• Auction: Sept 27, 6.30 pm (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sun 1-2pm.
• Schools: Bayswater primary, Belmont Intermediate, Takapuna Grammar.
• Contact: Michael Swarbrick, Harcourts, 021 888 133, harcourts.co.nz/TK33237
*Plus 1 OSP