Twenty years ago, Peter and Diane Letica found a rather dowdy but spectacularly positioned house offering solid bones from which to create this peaceful and elegant waterfront home.

Peter says: "We were living in Whenuapai with our three children but we also liked Greenhithe and had always wanted to be by the water. Then we found this property with wonderful views of the water at the mouth of the Lucas Creek looking north towards Albany."

The house was a sturdy 1970s brick and block affair that architect John D'Anvers transformed by rendering the exterior and opening it up for the views.

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John says: "It might have that Mediterranean look, which makes some people nervous, but they should know the old house that's under here was solid as a rock.

"There was a lot that could be improved, though. There used to be a workshop downstairs with two tiny windows facing the water, so that's one of the areas that's been drastically changed and opened up."

The property also has a 13m-long pool and Greenhithe wharf, pontoon and boat ramps, are less than 100m from its driveway.

Peter says: "The other thing about Greenhithe is, I worked in Takapuna for about 20 years before retiring, and it took only around 15 minutes to drive there.

"No matter how stressful my day was I'd get home, sit on the deck looking at this gobsmacking view and soon be relaxed."

One day Peter took to the water in his kayak and found himself in the company of a pod of dolphins.

The two-storey house is set in landscaped grounds where the couple, both keen gardeners, have favoured subtropicals like queen palms because of the frost-free micro-climate.

There is off-street parking and a double garage with internal access. Beside the walkway to the front door is a water feature with fountains.

The main kitchen-dining and living are upstairs, on polished matai floors and opening to decks overlooking the water. Diane has whipped up many delights in the granite-benched kitchen.

Two upstairs bedrooms, including the master with en suite, open to another deck. The en suite and this level's family bathroom feature Balinese marble tiles.

This floor is completed by a study and a separate toilet.

Shuttered doors allow the big lounge with wood-burning fire to be shut off or opened up for big gatherings. While the home has been brilliant for entertaining, including hosting a wedding, the couple also enjoy the Greenhithe village atmosphere.

Growing up, the Letica children made the most of the ground floor's second living area, which is tiled.

There's a bathroom and separate laundry accompanying three bedrooms on this level, two opening to decks and the pool and one with its own seating area.

The couple understand they're only the second family to have owned here. But with their children now in their 30s, they're downsizing.

95 RAME RD GREENHITHE
• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2* parking spaces.
• Land 1200sq m, house 350sq m.
• Price: $2 million-plus.
• Inspect: Sat 2-2.30pm, Sun 12.30-1pm.
• Auction: On site 1pm tomorrow Aug 5 (unless sold prior).
• Schools: Greenhithe School, Albany Junior High, Albany Senior High.
• Contact: Philippa Edgar, Harcourts, 0274 715 297; Hans Ding, 021 198 6815, harcourts.co.nz/GH4687
*Plus OSP