Childhood sweethearts John and Jackie Bus lost touch when John's family moved from Auckland to the United States. They each went on to marry and have families.

"Our parents had come out on the Dutch immigrant boats together in 1953, and we were originally neighbours in Henderson," says Jackie. "John was my older brother's friend."

Years later after John's family had returned to New Zealand, John and Jackie met again.
Both their marriages had broken up, they started seeing each other and eventually married.

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"So we wanted to build a house together."

Because two of Jackie's children were going to Avondale College, they looked for a section in a nearby area.

"To find a section that was sunny and had views was really difficult," says Jackie. "And then this became available. It had been 2ha and had horses grazing on it. It was split it into four sections.

"That was lovely grassland as a lot of sections had protected bush on them. In those days, 13 to 14 years ago, the council was so strict. If you built a house you could cut the bush only strictly in the shape of that house. But we are both sun lovers and we wanted the view as well.

"I was in Titirangi for 20 years, so I knew and loved this area and my husband came from Stanmore Bay.

"We bought the section in 2003 and we built it in 2005. We had three teenagers living with us then."

John, a steel reinforcer who now partners his son in their business, Northern Contractors, wanted to build a house that would work well for their blended family.

For the architectural plans, they used Dan Phillips.

"We had a little debate with Dan," says Jackie. "He wanted the house to be fully facing the beautiful views over Armour Bay and the bush. But we wanted to grab the sun," says Jackie.

"So, we compromised. We have the house in line with the side of the section, so we get the sun and the views. We get the view of the water to our right."

Their modern masonry three-level home with plaster finish has garaging on two levels.

The lowest level has the space for John's ute and boat, as well as a billiards/media room, large bedroom, bathroom and firewood store room.

The ground or middle level has another two-car garage and a clever arrangement that allows a trailer to back in and unload firewood to the wood room below. Also, Jacqui requested that the laundry have a pull-out ironing board and storage.

Also on this level are the living areas — lounge, kitchen, family room — and three bedrooms.

For heating there's an open fire in the lounge and a wood burner in the family room plus a gas heater.

On the top level are the master bedroom with en suite, wardrobe and an office, which has a wardrobe so could easily be use as a nursery.

The master bedroom's private deck has glass balustrades as does the middle level's large tiled deck, which is accessed through stacking doors and bifolds from the living areas and leads down to the concrete swimming pool.

But now these empty nesters are selling to build a smaller home.

"We have bought a section at Herald Island. We will be using Dan again for the design, we trust him, he did such a good job here," says Jackie.

"Parau is only eight minutes into Titirangi village which has lovely cafes and restaurants. And it's only 30 minutes to get to the CBD off-peak."

700A HUIA RD, PARAU
• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 3* parking spaces.
• Land 4876sq m, house 488sq m.
• Auction: Dec 5.
• Inspect: Today 3-3.45pm.
• Nearest schools: Laingholm, Woodland Park and Titirangi primaries.
• Contact: Lynn Lacy-Hauck, Ray White, 021 190 0611, nz.raywhite.com/waitakere-city/parau/2000984/
*Plus 4 OSP