Brendan and Emma Gray didn't expect to buy this section when curiosity took them on a slight detour on the way home from staying at Omaha.

"We had been on holiday at Omaha and we were on the way home when we saw a sign about the subdivision on this road," recalls Emma. "We were not planning to buy land. But we decided to have a look and next thing we were putting in an offer, which was accepted."

They bought the land around two years ago and started building the single-level weekender and holiday home about six months after that.

They liked the Matakana area with its market, wineries and restaurants. And it is close to Auckland and the beaches at Omaha, Tawharanui and Goat Island.


"We live in Titirangi so it takes one hour and 15 minutes for us to drive here," says Emma. "We can pick the kids up from school, jump in the car and be at Matakana in that time. That means we do come here a lot of weekends and holidays because it isn't a long drive."

For the build, they chose a Trenz homes design and tracked down a local builder for the project through word of mouth.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home's Linea weatherboard exterior is painted light grey with cedar detailing a deeper charcoal, and the roof is long run steel.

The main aim was to keep it as a modern, family-friendly, low-maintenance home, and that includes the interior, exterior and the landscaping.

Inside the home, flooring is practical and easy-to-clean polished concrete in the busier living and kitchen areas. The bedrooms are carpeted.

The living area opens through sliding stackers to the pine decking, part of which is covered and has the barbecue on it. The children's playground beside the deck has been a winner with their son and daughter aged 9 and 5.

"We wanted a nice easy-care family home, and not too much clutter. There's some lawn, and the playground," says Emma.

"They love the big flat drive and it is a great subdivision for the kids to play on their bikes and skateboards."

When the family comes here, they can easily walk into the Matakana village and its popular weekend market within four minutes.

"And if we run out of anything we can pop into the Four Square," she says.

Omaha beach is about five minutes away by car - and if they want to go further afield, Tawharanui and Goat Island are well under 20 minutes' drive. "And we have the sculpture trail."

Using the internal entrance from the single garage (with laundry) leads into the wide hallway with the bedrooms and bathrooms, and then through into the kitchen and dining and lounge with access to the deck.

For the kitchen, Brendan and Emma used Auckland joinery company MMI shopfitters, and Emma designed the breakfast bar with its wooden slat detailing beneath the Hi Macs benchtop with its waterfall edge.

Appliances are Haier fridge and dishwasher, Parmco oven and electric hobs.

There is a heat pump in the lounge and the windows are double glazed, so the home is easy to keep warm in the cooler months.

Emma says theirs is the most private home in the subdivision. "No one is looking into your house because the closest home has only the bathroom window and garage facing us."

They also have ample space for parking on the driveway "for at least six vehicles", says Emma. And landscaping includes cabbage trees and flaxes at the front of the section, some pebbled garden areas plus an outdoor shower.

Their views are over the subdivision and out to the paddocks and executive homes on nearby hills.

Emma thinks their stylish family home will have a wide appeal to property buyers, thanks to its modern lines and also its proximity to Auckland, making it an easy escape during holidays and weekends.

"It is an easy lock-and-leave property, as we have security cameras."

The couple are selling because they are building another home in the same subdivision. "So we have another project on the go."

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