Having lived in Counsel Terrace for more than 41 years, you'd think Dianne Findlay would hold some sort of long-term record for residency, but that isn't the case.

"There's a 94-year-old man just down the road who has lived here for 50 years," she says.

Dianne has raised three sons and seen many changes since she and her former husband bought the villa all those years ago. Back then it was significantly smaller than it is today.


The addition of a substantial top storey, with three large bedrooms and a family bathroom in keeping with the style of the original footprint, was the work of Dianne's father, a builder.


Little by little, the villa became a functioning family home.

"And it wasn't just our family either," says Dianne. "There were days when I felt as if I was running a play-centre, with neighbourhood kids joining mine and riding bikes all over the place."

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about 1 Counsel Terrace is it has been meticulously maintained since it was built in the 1910s. Almost all the classic features, such as ceiling roses, lead-lights and stunning tiled fireplaces, are intact.

Dianne put the kitchen in 25 years ago and ensured it was in keeping with the rest of the house. What had previously been the kitchen is now a laundry.

There are two giant living rooms on the ground floor and a large bedroom, once the master but now reserved for guests.

The main bathroom is decorated in blue and features the original claw-foot iron bath. Diane has had it resurfaced several times.

Under the stairs is a little nook she uses as her office.

The upstairs bedrooms are served by a family bathroom. "This is the only room I haven't done much to, recently," says Diane.

It has one particularly eye-catching feature: an original 1970s avocado-coloured "shub" — a combined shower and bath. "With all those boys, it was vital," says Dianne.

Also upstairs is the attic, with its vast storage. Outside the house there are various patios and decks, including one that's covered.

There is potential to make more use of these areas. There's a lovely garden and an easily manageable lawn. There is also a toilet near the garage.

"It really is the end of an era," says Diane.

In preparation for selling, Diane has had the house repainted inside and out. There's new carpet throughout too.

She and partner Larry haven't decided what's next, but Diane says the new owners will quickly discover how convenient this location is.

"It's close to the motorway, the train station, Mt Albert village and lots of other amenities."

• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• 744sq m, house 290sq m
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 1-1.30pm.
• Auction: Tues 16 Oct, 7pm, on site.
• Schools: Gladstone School, Kowhai Intermediate, MAGS.
• Contact: Joe Steel 021 911 100, oneroof.co.nz/1196037