Those fond of stereotypes, expecting a retired UK civil servant into model trains to be clipped and stilted, need only listen to Allan Richards talk about an adored beachside Snells Beach home to abandon those preconceived ideas.

Allan, 76, and his wife, Madge, have no roads to cross to get to the beach, splendid sea views and only two houses between them and the water.

Allan says: "This location is absolutely wonderful, only about 50 metres from the beach.

An agent brought us here in 2012 on a bright sunny day and the sea was the sort of blue I'd seen in the Mediterranean but never in Britain.

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"To me it absolutely is Kiwi living as it should be."

"Madge and I can sit down for our breakfast and watch the sun coming up over the headland towards Tawharanui.

"We can't get over how easy it is for us to go to the beach; we put on our costumes at home and minutes later we're going for a swim before heading home to shower. It's almost like living in a resort."

The couple, who'd spent much of their life living around the Welsh-English border, gained New Zealand residency in 2012, delighted with this country after following their two adult sons here.

Snells Beach, equidistant between Matakana and Warkworth, seemed a handy location for the senior Richards, with one son in Browns Bay. They're near beachside walkways and within 15 minutes walk of Snells Beach Village.

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They secured a new house that the previous owners had to sell after only two months. It's single-level and made of brick, completed in 2012 as one of the earlier residences in Kawau Waters' quiet, upmarket subdivision.

"People in this enclave are so friendly," says Allan, describing guavas they gift from their hedge being gifted back as guava jam. They count their neighbours as friends.

Madge designed their low-maintenance garden with Allan being the man on the shovel.

Their property invites a boat or motor-home given it has an internal-access double garage, a rear single carport and "a driveway up the side of the house you could probably keep four buses up".

Allan describes the interior with 2.5m stud as bright, airy and welcoming. They added an electric awning to the sun-drenched patio off the front living-dining-kitchen area with walk-in pantry.

Allan says: "From our living-dining room we can see the sea and the peninsula from Sandspit out."

Their particularly wide hallway is near their entrance hall, family bathroom and separate toilet, and feeds four bedrooms, including the master with en suite, plus a separate laundry.

The double-glazed home has two heat pumps, an HRV water filtration system and loft ladder storage in the garage.

Madge enjoys painting in the bedroom they use as a study or being in the garden. Allan's in his happy place tinkering with model railways in the garage.

They adore this property, which provided them such an easy, low-maintenance launching pad into their beloved Kiwi lifestyle in 2012, the year of their 50th wedding anniversary.

However, family comes first and with one son now in Christchurch and the other moving to Nelson, they're moving south for another chapter in their Kiwi adventure.

20 SCHOONER AVE, SNELLS BEACH
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2* parking spaces.
• Land 711sq m, house 242sq m.
• Sale price: CV $1.2m.
• Inspect: Sun 1.15-2pm.
• Auction: 10am, Thurs July 12, 41 Queen St, Warkworth (unless sold prior).
• Schools: Snells Beach Primary School, Mahurangi College.
• Contact: Anthony Shaw, Bayleys, 021 234 9797, bayleys.co.nz/1201146
*Plus single carport.