Thomas and Catherine Geuther intended their 1910-1920s Epsom villa to be their forever home but work beckoned and they are back living in London.
They bought the Epsom villa in 2011 during their last back in New Zealand stage.
"We spent quite a while looking for something," Thomas says.
"We were really keen on a villa on a nice big section and so it really was a case of falling in love with that one because it's quite pretty with the lead light windows, nice big garden, decorative plaster ceilings and the timber flooring."
Thomas also loves the wisteria at the front of the wraparound verandah.
When they were looking for a house back in 2011 the market was overheated, he says, and they missed out on a few places at auction so when they saw and fell for this one they moved quickly and put in a pre-auction offer.
Catherine says though the villa has a grand feel about with its period features and high ceilings, it is also peaceful. "The colours of the house are quite calming. In the summer the back room is just flooded with light — in winter it's flooded with light as well because it's on the sunny side of the house."
She loved the fact there was central heating, saying coming home to a house that is warm when you walk in the door is fabulous.
The period features give the house character and personality Catherine says you don't get with a modern house, but at the same time the practical layout appealed to her; the long hallway with bedrooms either side leading to the open plan kitchen/dining/lounge area at the back of the house.
"We've lived in a lot of houses before we bought that one and it was pretty much the only one that I went into where I walked through and the layout made sense to me — as you walked down it you thought this must be the bedroom and when you opened the door it was the bedroom"
The living/kitchen area opening to the big back yard is probably her favourite room, she says.
"We had our first baby in that house and when I was home on maternity leave I spent a lot of time in that room. It's a really practical room, easy to get in and out."
You can keep an eye on children from the kitchen, too, and the back yard is safe and secure.
She says while English houses, have period features, they tend to have smaller rooms and smaller gardens, plus are often overlooked. The Epsom house, however, has size and the space to grow into. There is an upstairs loft space which she says could easily be developed into a great master bedroom with room for an upscale en suite, roomy walk in wardrobe and an office.
Catherine and Thomas loved the location.
The cul de sac is neighbourly and quiet with cut through at the end to the shops, cafes and restaurants at Greenwoods Corner, and is also close to Cornwall Park.
Catherine, a civil servant, was often away in Wellington and loved the ease with which to get to the airport from nearby Manukau Rd.
While Catherine and Thomas say "never say never" about their next return New Zealand, for now they are settling in London and have decided to part with the house they fell in love with.
It's a family home and needs a family, they say.
Says Catherine: "We very much bought it as an ever after house.
"It's for other reasons we've left New Zealand, it's nothing to do with that house. If we were still in New Zealand we would definitely be living in that house."
6 BISHOP ST, EPSOM
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 855sq m, house 220sq m.
• Price: $2,790,000.
• Inspect: By appointment.
• Schools: Royal Oak Primary, Auckland Normal Intermediate, Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girl.
• Contact: Diana West, Barfoot & Thompson, 021 408 303 and Peter West, 021 939 222.