Raveen Jaduram knows how to spoil his wife Roshni. On her birthday three years ago, he took her out to dinner celebrate along with their daughter Kavita, coveting a little secret until just the right moment.
Just after they'd ordered their food, Raveen excused himself briefly, returning minutes later with the news: "The house is ours!"
The only other person privy to it was sales agent Michael Boulgaris who had taken instructions from Raveen earlier in the day.
"I told him 'It is my wife's birthday today and I'm going to make an offer. She wants this house and I'm going to buy it for her. When you have the documents, ring me and I'll sign them'."
When the call came through, he slipped outside and Raveen and Michael signed the paperwork on the bonnet of Michael's car.
For Roshni, that moment was exquisite and her family's return to the bays where they'd lived years earlier, was a dream come true. For Raveen, it was an end to missing out on homes at auction and also watching conditional offers on other homes tip over because builder's reports had shown them to be leaky.
It didn't matter that this couple ended up with a big home despite intending to downsize from their Remuera bungalow. All that mattered was the permanence of these solid masonry exterior and interior walls when Raveen checked them out.
This Fijian-born, Auckland-trained civil engineer, who is the head of Watercare knew in an instant that there weren't going to be any domestic water issues here.
At that time, in January 2015, Roshni and Raveen had two of their three adult daughters still living at home and it was clear that these well-proportioned elegant spaces with a separate guest wing all leading out to rear private subtropical poolside gardens were going to be just perfect.
Before they even moved in, Raveen knew exactly how they would live in the house. "One of the things I do when I buy a house is that I mentally place all the furniture in the house so I know how I'm going to live."
Architecturally, this home has filled them with pride and positivity and returned them privacy and comfort upstairs and down.
Beneath terracotta Spanish roof tiles, this home exudes glamour against a timeless backdrop that includes soft brown aluminium joinery, linen drapes, blinds and shutters and rich timber, tiled and carpeted floors.
Traditional skirting boards complement the deep, modern profile of the family room fireplace, at the opposite end of its counterpart in the formal lounge.
"This house is warm physically and warm emotionally," says Raveen.
He points out the double height of formal rooms with their upper perimeter windows and smooth walls and how that contrasts with the rounded edges and texture of the softly plastered walls in the family room and casual dining area by the open kitchen.
All eyes here are out to the clipped hedges, the paved/grassed outdoor area and the sub-tropical hibiscus trees and palms around the pool. "In summer I'll even tie up a hammock and pretend I'm in Fiji. It's a good feeling," says Raveen.
The last of the Jaduram daughters has left home now and Raveen and Roshni are about to downsize to a home near here.
37 DUDLEY RD, MISSION BAY
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 857sq m, house 388sq m.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 12-12.30pm or phone to arrange viewing.
• Auction: Aug 1.
• Schools: Kohimarama School & Selwyn College.
• Contact: David Thompson and Paul Neshausen, Barfoot & Thompson, 021 0516 278 (David), 021 345 887 (Paul), barfoot.co.nz/759990