Brian Hollis says there is a romantic story about his late mum Phyllis and the house in which she lived, in one of Warkworth's most pleasant streets.

Phyllis had moved into care before she died at 93, but she loved the house she'd built with her second husband Stan.

Stan died not long after the new Signature Homes house was finished, but Phyllis stayed on for 15 years, tending her garden and enjoying visits from her children and grandchildren.

Phyllis and Stan met at the Point Wells bowling club when she was a widow and he a widower. "They both loved bowls. Mum was a very keen bowler and won a lot of tournaments," says Brian.


They just clicked, he says. "The ladies there will tell you they had eyes for each other from the first time they met.

"They decided to get married. They had two houses, one at Matheson Bay and one at Matakana, and they sold them and built their little love nest in Warkworth."

Brian remembers driving around Warkworth for a couple of months helping to find a suitable section.

"They must have looked at 20 or 30 sections. Stan decided on one in a cul-de-sac. He said it would be best long-term, because it was reasonably flat, accessible and sheltered."

It was not far from the shops and access to the state highway.

The street had twice won street of the year under the old Rodney District Council.
Phyllis and Stan wanted low-maintenance. They chose a brick and tile design off the Signature Homes plans and were delighted with the flow from the open plan kitchen, dining and lounge to the patio area and outdoors.

"The glory is the indoor/outdoor is very private," Brian says. "It's not overlooked by anything."

The master bedroom has an en suite and french doors, which open to the patio.

Phyllis particularly wanted a big walk-in wardrobe, though Brian was amused because he says she didn't have mountains of clothes.

"It was quite empty. I guess she thought it was luxury to have a walk-in wardrobe — you could get a party in it."

Brian says the single-level home is a solid, warm house and that the land is mostly flat with a gentle contour.

The garage is extra roomy because Stan, who was a builder, wanted space for a workshop.

The couple added a "huge" archgola to give them shade in the heat of the summer, and Stan had retaining walls built for the garden, which made it easier for Phyllis to tend to her plants.

Phyllis was fanatical about gardening, Brian says, and the garden was often a riot of colour.

She had roses, hibiscus, begonias, freesias, all the spring bulbs — "you name it, she had it".

While the house was built for Phyllis and Stan, Brian says a family would also enjoy living there.

The bedrooms are doubles, there are citrus trees and plenty of lawn where the grandchildren used to play cricket. "It's ideal for a couple and a couple of kids. The big thing is it's very close to the schools. It's only minutes to walk both to the primary school and Mahurangi College."

Warkworth is a friendly town with more people choosing to commute to work in Auckland, and with the upgrade of State Highway 1 from Johnstone Hill to Warkworth, the journey will take less time.

The town has everything you need with doctors, banks, shops, cafes and supermarkets but without the hustle and bustle of the big city, Brian says.

It is also close to wineries and the market at Matakana, plus on the doorstep are a pick of wonderful beaches at Ōmaha, Leigh and the Tāwharanui Peninsula.

Brian says he is a little sad to be selling his mum's house but adds, "It's not a house, it's a home" and it was time for somebody else to enjoy it.

• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 601sq m, house 160sq m.
• Price: CV $740,000.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun noon.
• Auction: Aug 4, 12.30pm, on site.
• Schools: Mahurangi College, Warkworth Primary.
• Contact: Kaye McElwain, Ray White, 027 215 2016, Stewart McElwain, 0272 555 186,