SIZE: Land 930sq m, house 170sq m (approx).
PRICE INDICATION: $2.5 million-plus.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 1pm-2pm, Wed March 22, 5.30pm-6pm (prior to auction).
SCHOOL ZONES: Northcote Primary and College.
CONTACT: Jordan Selwyn, Harcourts, 027 671 5882; Heather Selwyn 027 496 9895, Brooke Barrass, 021 131 0566, Harcourts.
AUCTION: April 2, at 3pm on site.

When Margaret Collings came to view this villa 26 years ago, she didn't know much about Northcote Point, having just moved from Mahurangi to Takapuna.

Almost three decades later and now retired, having sold her real estate offices - Birkenhead, Beach Haven and Northcote - six and half a years ago, she knows where every street and almost every house is in this suburb.

But in those early years she says she didn't need to have an in-depth knowledge of the Shore to realise the merits and potential of this property, described as "an old house in a good spot".

Take the view for starters. From the house you look over the water at the harbour bridge and to Te Atatu Peninsula. Walk down the property to the shoreline, to which Margaret has riparian rights, and those views expand to Westhaven and the Chelsea Sugar mill.


Margaret and her husband Graham have made substantial improvements - insulating, renovating and an extension - in their time here. Throughout that work they have stayed true to the villa's lines, working closely with architect Neil Simmons.

For instance, the kitchen and lounge extension has ceilings similar to the veranda, which had occupied some of this space. Ceilings stay faithful to the original board and batten style, and the skirtings are deep.

"Some of the ceilings are original and some are replicated," says Margaret.

"When we did the last major renovations 13 years ago, it was as near to a new home as an old house could be."

The long-run iron roof has been replaced. Usage of rooms has changed. And where the house used to end at the rear veranda, that space has been pushed out for the new lounge and kitchen.

Yet, Margaret points out, the back of the home replicates the original shape of the building and windows.

And she did insist that the kitchen (with walk-in pantry, Bosch and Smeg appliances) would be a room with the view, sliding back the bi-fold windows by the granite bench and sink to show how marvellous that outlook is.

"That was important."

The kitchen splashback also has an image of pohutukawa trunks to acknowledge the mature trees on the property, the benches are granite with negative detailing so they appear to float. Water and central flooring are gas heated.

Margaret says: "It is a nice, peaceful atmosphere."

Throughout the home, kauri floorboards add natural tones of warmth. The twin chimney fireplace, now only decorative, straddles the dining and master bedroom's en suite after this part of the house was reconfigured.

Margaret has continued to live here after Graham's death 18 months ago.

But his creativity is still very much a part of this home with his ceramic and bronze sculpture, and in his standalone studio - also with magnificent views and the solidarity of the large pohutukawa nestled beside it.

A boatshed by the shore is where Graham would take his daily swim throughout summer. And he and Margaret would bring a glass of wine down here of an evening to sit and watch the sunset.

Graham also built the brick wall and laid the bricks in the front courtyard, flanked on one side by a double garage and the driveway on the other.

Their villa has the veranda at the front, the timber and leadlight front door opening to the hallway with bedrooms on each side.

Margaret uses one as an office. The master bedroom has walk-in wardrobe and en suite, and then there is the hallway, dining, kitchen, and the window-filled lounge that opens out both sides through french doors. One set of doors leads to a terrace on the sea side with a table.

The original staircase leads half a flight down to a toilet and storage cupboards. The next half flight arrives at two more bedrooms, a bathroom and laundry, and access to the flat lawn and then the stairs down to the water.

With the professionally landscaped planting primarily in natives - pohutukawa, kowhai and rimu - there is plenty of birdlife, especially the wood pigeons that like to feed on the nikau berries.

When she's not relaxing at home, Margaret likes to take the short walk along Queen St to the Bridgeway Cinema and cafes. "I go most weeks to the Bridgeway and I can also catch the ferry across to town."

Margaret is selling as she wants to visit family in the South Island and Western Australia, and to travel. "I want a lock and leave. But I will be sorry to leave Northcote Point."
She thinks this home will appeal to a family.

"Probably not with very young children. It would be super for children of the age where they can go kayaking and paddle boarding and that sort of thing. And there are good schools close by, a walking school bus outside. I feel pretty safe here."