You know it's a good neighbourhood when people sell their homes only to move just a few doors away. Debbie and Mark Taylor have been doing that in Mt Albert for many years, swapping back fences here and there.
"We love Mt Albert and this street — it's quiet but so close to everything," says Mark. "We wouldn't have wanted to go too far away."
It's a short stroll to Mt Albert village, with its shops, eateries, farmers' market, and foodtruck fiesta. It's also near the motorway and train station.
But the house is too big for them now, and they are spending more time at their beach house. "We've been very happy here, it is a great house, but it is time to downsize," says Mark.
The couple's children were teenagers when they bought 13 years ago. With five bedrooms and two living areas, the house was ideal for the kids and their friends.
"The place was always full of teenagers," says Debbie. "You'd get up in the morning never knowing who you'd find there."
Formerly a one-storey home, the house had been lifted by previous owners and an extra floor added underneath.
Renowned architect Richard Priest had worked on the renovation plans and did a great job of ensuring that the new addition was in keeping with the rest of the house.
For example, the window fittings are similar to those upstairs, and some with leadlight glass matching those in the original house.
The lower level has three double bedrooms and two bathrooms, along with a living area that opens out to a patio and the garden.
Upstairs are two further bedrooms, one in use as a nursery when Mark and Debbie's grandson stays, the other the master bedroom, with generous walk-through wardrobe and a bathroom with huge walk-in shower and monsoon showerhead.
Also on the upper level are the main living room, dining room and kitchen. The kitchen's piece de resistance is a multi-hued granite benchtop.
There are two decks — one off the living room that gets the afternoon sun, the other accessed from the dining room that overlooks the back garden.
Green-fingered Debbie has transformed outdoors into an oasis of colour, working around the original jacaranda tree, plum tree, and volcanic stone walls.
With plenty of off-street parking, as well as a single garage, the property caters well to a family, and downstairs could be a good work space.
"It's a very flexible house," says Debbie. "We'll really miss it."
4 ALLENDALE RD, MT ALBERT
• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 1 parking spaces.
• House 225sq m, land 637sq m.
• Price: CV $1,850,000.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2.30-3pm.
• Auction: Sat Oct 20 on site at 3pm.
• Schools: Gladstone School, Kowhai Intermediate, Mt Albert Grammar.
• Contact: Eden Thomson, 021 790 552, or Josh Lowe, 0211 888 991, Ray White, oneroof.co.nz/1193882