Val Hanley walked up this driveway, took one look at the private, standalone house and said to herself, "This is me".
To be fair, her estate agent had to work hard to get her out beyond the too large/ too expensive offerings in Mt Eden where she was renting. She was a stubborn client — until the day he phoned about this property.
Suddenly everything changed for Val when she ventured into Waterview, the suburb "near Pt Chevalier" she'd only vaguely heard of.
"I thought I'd be living in a brick and tile duplex till I saw this," she said "I took one look and loved it.
"I said I'd live here for two years and then I'll go back to Mt Eden. Here I am almost 30 years later — that says something, doesn't it?"
She walked through the front door and embraced everything, from tall corner windows, the views out to the garden, and the pale pink carpet in between.
Her first priority was to furnish the stand-alone house; the builder/developer had been camping in it while he finished it for sale.
In time, Val replaced the carpet with a modern, neutral edition and painted the wallpapered walls to suit.
She updated the large bathroom and its adjacent toilet. Out went the same pink carpet that had found its way into the bathroom and up the side of the bath.
In came an order of crisp white floor tiles and mirrored listello wall tiles.
In the upgraded kitchen, she took her cue for a black, stone-look laminate bench from the black aluminium joinery that is a key design feature throughout.
The placement of the corner banks of windows (including the deck door) consolidates wall space for art, furniture and privacy.
It is the way these windows upstairs and down play with the natural light that thrills Val most. She follows the sun wherever it falls right through the house and beyond.
Now retired from her job as the Radio Bureau administration manager, Val loves propping herself up in her upstairs bedroom with her morning coffee.
"I'm sitting up in bed and listening to the traffic report and all the snarl-ups in the city.
I'm here reading, the sun is pouring in and I just love it. It's one of the most special hours of my day."
She'll often relax on the deck beneath the pergola and take in the private, leafy view.
Lunch on a fine day is generally a step down from the deck to her paved courtyard.
Then there's her half-hour afternoon nap in the end upstairs bedroom with its fully-
loaded bookshelves and wardrobe fitted out with office-style shelving.
"That room gets the afternoon sun and that's where I recharge my batteries," she says.
Neighbours on both sides of this shared driveway are something of a mini-community, supporting each other and looking after pets if someone is away.
"We aren't in and out of each other, but we look out for each other," says Val.
Her 30-year anniversary here comes up in July and, to the dismay of her neighbours, she is leaving to downsize, possibly into an apartment.
10B HADFIELD AVE, WATERVIEW
• 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1* parking spaces.
• Land crossleased1/4 share of 1012sq m, house 115sq m.
• Auction: Feb 3.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 1.15-1.45pm.
• Schools: Waterview Primary School, Avondale intermediate and Avondale College.
• Contact: Susan Woods-Markwick, Ray White, 021 520 290 , or Liam Kyle, 021 024 41572.