This holiday property at Snells Beach has been like a second home for Vicki Chappell, Chas Cable and their children. "This has been a special place to bring our children," says Vicki.

"They have met other children here and spent hours out on the sand, having as much fun playing when the tide is out as when it was in."

Vicki and Chas bought the house in early 2003, when their two children were aged 18 months and two-and-a-half. "We were looking for a beach house and this was the first open home that we went to," says Chas.

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"But we thought we wouldn't buy the first place we looked at, so we went to the Coromandel and had a look around as well.

"But we keep coming back to Snells Beach. It had such a wonderful vibe about it at the open home."

Vicki says they liked the position of the house and that the lounge got all-day sun. "It was so clean and tidy, a low-maintenance house." They moved in at Easter and had their first swim that weekend.

"The water was incredibly warm, even in April," says Chas. "In the middle of summer it is as warm as a bath when the tide comes in."

Vicki and Chas pretty much spent every weekend at Snells, driving from their rented house in Auckland on Friday nights. "It was just such an easy commute and it was so relaxing," says Vicki.

The home has a block base with brick walls on a wooden frame and an iron roof. There is also a drive-through garage with room for two cars and a boat.

"All we have to do in terms of exterior maintenance, because the brick doesn't have to be painted, is to paint the roof and the metal sides of the garage," says Chas.

"It's a simple one-level 80s beach house but the layout works well."

The kitchen and the lounge have a nice flow and, along with the adjacent master bedroom, enjoy sea views.

The two children's bedrooms are on one side of the house. "That works well if you have young children because it is not so hot and they can be away from the noise," says Chas.

A bedroom for guests at the other end of the house gets afternoon sun and looks out to the garden. There are two bathrooms, one of which is combined with the laundry.

The house faces north-east and looks out at the channel between Kawau and Tawharanui peninsula and up to the entrance to Sandspit Harbour.

The garage has parking for two cars and another single garage can house a boat or toys.

The property is fenced with lawn and bush and trees on the boundary. "We can pretend we have our own private garden looking out to sea with no one close to us," says Chas.

They both agree that one of the area's attractions is that there is much to do — Tawharanui regional park, the Brick Bay sculpture trail, Sandpit and Scotts Landing.

Snells Beach is well served with shops. There's a chemist, a petrol station, a doctor, and there are more shops nearby at Matakana and Warkworth.

"And they are finally building a cafe directly on the beachfront, so that will be heaven," says Vicki.

Vicki and Chas aren't using the property as much now their children are in their late teens.

54 TAMATEA DR, SNELLS BEACH
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 3 parking spaces.
• Land 1039sq m.
• Auction: Nov 28.
• Inspect: By appointment or Sat Nov 24, 11-11.45am.
• Contact: Kellie Bisset, Bayleys, 0275 306 843.