Several generations of neighbourliness have defined life in the four properties down this private driveway that looks out across Centennial Park.

Families have raised children who, in some cases, returned to the four homes that date back to the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Each house was built on land subdivided into 900sq m blocks by the first landowner, a surveyor.

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His daughter is Jane Cotty and her partner is Graham Gill. A few weeks ago a neighbour texted Jane to tell her to look up into bare branches of her towering Gleditsia tree.

There, sharing a branch, were a tūī and a kererū. "It's as if they were having a chit-chat," says Jane.

"The birdlife we get from the park here is just fabulous."

Jane and Graham's house is the third one down and one up from the park itself. They are only the third owners since it was built in 1976.

The daughter of the previous owner was married in the front garden and it was this garden and its sunny easterly aspect that sold Jane and Graham on the house in April 2006.

With north-facing living areas and a 1970s open-plan layout, it suited Jane and Graham and their young son, Hamish.

"It was the proportions of the rooms, the family-friendly layout and that real sense of connection with the garden that made it for us," says Jane.

"And the sun. I had to have sun and this north-facing house gets all the sun."

Over the past 12 years, they've progressively renovated the house and developed the garden, with Graham, the keen gardener, working with landscape designer Kirsten Sach.

Inside, they consigned the original 1970s kitchen to history.

Out went the corner hob, the mosaic-tiled bench, the amber glass and the pantry.

In came a seamless connection with family room and the adjacent formal lounge.

Off the family room, they extended the narrow, wrap-around deck with safer, closed-in steps down to the front garden.

The kitchen palette of timber, white and taupe tones confirmed their look for all subsequent refurbishments.

Downstairs, they cribbed space from the oversized double garage to create a rumpus/bedroom for their son, with an adjacent fully equipped laundry and separate bathroom.

More recent extensions to the master bedroom opened up opportunities to add a small private deck.

It was also the perfect time for Graham to chip protrusions off the original clinker-brick exterior so the original cladding and the new bricks on the extension could be married with a cement wash and a warm, grey paint colour.

For Jane, a communications manager, and Graham, a government sector manager, this home has been ideal for every level of entertaining.

"This home has been perfect. It has been a solid investment, easy to live in, and we love that we're in a neighbourhood of young families, too."

They are staying in such a neighbourhood — the same one, in fact.

They are moving to the house next door, built in 1965 by the couple now moving to
retirement living.

"If we hadn't been moving next door then we'd not be moving out of this home," says Jane.

80 ABERDEEN RD, CAMPBELLS BAY
• 3 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 900sq m, house 220sq m.
• Price: Interest invited above the July 2017 CV of $1,665,000.
• Auction: Sept 16.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 12-12.30pm.
• Schools: Campbell's Bay Primary, Murrays Bay Intermediate, Westlake Boys' and Girls' High Schools.
• Contact: Rachael Bridger, 0275 860 070; or Claire Curlewis, 021 024 56775. Harcourts, harcourts.co.nz/MJ38924