Like many Aucklanders, Kay Robertson and Jim Talboys had a gutsful of commuting and decided to move away.

As Kay says: "We had a business in Auckland and a holiday house in Wanaka so one day we thought, 'Why are we stressing in Auckland when we can live in Wanaka and run the business from there?'"

That worked for a while until they needed to move back closer to Auckland for the business.

"We had been up to the Bay of Islands for summer boating, and so, for about three years, if the weather was bad we would rent a car and go looking at real estate because we both love real estate," says Kay.


She says they hadn't really seriously considered moving until they saw this riverfront home in Rarere Tce.

"We both love water so when we got to the top of the right of way and saw the view, I thought 'I could live here'," says Kay. "When I walked in it felt like home straight away; I walked through the home and could see our furniture in it."

So, they bought the home 4 years ago from the man who had developed the subdivision and built this home but wanted to fund a build behind the couple's new home.

Kay says: "We loved the position of the home: north-facing with a river frontage and a reserve beside it. It's so peaceful and private, and the birdlife is amazing."

She says in the time they have owned the 11-year-old, two-storey masonry home they have made some cosmetic changes, such as putting in top-quality carpet and new curtains.

Outside, they added a hydrotherapy spa pool, extended the car parking area, and put in a shed down beside the saltwater swimming pool. They also planted to make the landscaping more easy-care.

A double-height living space forms the central axis of the home with decks either side of it upstairs.

All three upstairs bedrooms open to these decks, which enjoy water views. The master bedroom occupies its own wing and has an en suite, walk-in wardrobe and private deck.

A large landing overlooking the dining room makes the upstairs light and open.

Downstairs there is another bedroom, which Jim uses as an office and that overlooks the river and opens out to the lawn.

Kay says: "The happiest part of Jim's day is doing his invoices in the office and when he's finished he pops out the door and jumps in the spa pool and thinks he's got it made."

On the side of the house towards the road there is a large concrete pad suitable for a boat or motorhome outside the double garage, which also has a workbench.

On the ground floor there are multiple living areas, with the dining area occupying the central double-height space, with a kitchen and family room off to one side and lounges off the other.

These living areas open out to a north-facing patio that runs along the front of the house. From here, you cross the sloping lawn to the swimming pool.

Further on is the riverfront, where you can launch kayaks and paddleboards.

Kay says they are moving to be close to family, and looking at somewhere south of Auckland this time, such as Taupo or Tauranga.

The irony is that after all these years, Jim still commutes to work in Auckland - only these days he does it by light aircraft - from Kerikeri airport to North Shore Aerodrome.

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