Buying a home that a builder has recently completed for themselves is generally a good way of making sure a property is constructed to the highest standards - and that's what Andreas Sturmbauer and Susanne Huber did when they arrived here in 2010.

Originally from Austria, the couple lived in Hobart, Tasmania, before arriving in Auckland.

"As soon as we first saw New Zealand we knew it was going to be our next big adventure-land," says Andreas, a photographer who specialises in panoramic images.

"And Auckland is a truly stunning city; so different from Vienna, yet so lovely.


"For various reasons the builder had to quit this property and we were really thrilled to make it ours."

Down the end of a quiet driveway, on a quiet street, not far from the beach and protected by security gates, Andreas and Susanne's new home had all the features that figured on their list of requirements.

"I'm in the hospitality industry," says Susanne, who was a contestant in MasterChef New Zealand in 2013 and is now a food photographer.

"So naturally I was looking for a big, well-equipped kitchen and I certainly found exactly that in this house.

"I find that I can easily cook and entertain at the same time because it's so well integrated with the rest of the living spaces."

The rear of the house also includes a formal dining area and a comfortable lounge wing that's cool in summer and warm in winter, when a smart duel internal/external gas fire adds comfort.

"We're fully insulated and the doors and windows to the deck are double-glazed," says Andreas, who loves cranking up the barbecue on the private patio during warmer months.

Strictly speaking, their house has four bedrooms - two of which are currently being used by Andreas and Susanne as their respective offices - it also has a large studio at the back of the internal access double garage that has its own kitchenette facilities, and easy access to the ground-floor bathroom.

The master suite on the top floor, which has views across the local rooftops to the harbour beyond, is relaxed and laidback.

"I'm able to make a quick judgment as to whether I should be going down and getting my kayak out, or not."

Together with their lovable whippet-cross, the pair are planning another move - to the Sunshine Coast, where they hope to settle within easy proximity of food-lovers' paradise Noosa.

"We'll really miss lots of good things that have come with this property," says Susanne.

The trip to the CBD around the waterfront from Glendowie takes about 25 minutes - depending on the time of day - but the pair have always found that the bus, which leaves from nearby Riddell Rd, is a much more stress-free experience.

"We've made such good friends here in Auckland," they say, "We'll be coming back often."

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