When Anne Wilson first glimpsed the house she and husband Murray ended up buying in Waitākere, it took her breath away.
After walking through established trees on the 2.4ha site they got their first look at the large period home and Anne says her reaction was; "We have to live here".
"I wanted to buy it immediately, even before I went inside. It was just beautiful."
That was six years ago, and her passion for the home has not diminished.
"It's a wonderful place to live, a complete sanctuary. You don't find places like this very often."
Anne grew up in the Waitākere area, and when she and Murray were looking to relocate from their Pt Chevalier home to a rural property where she could have horses, she started searching in this part of West Auckland.
"A lot of people don't know about Waitākere – they just think of the ranges. But there is a lot more here than they realise. It's a well-kept secret."
Township Rd is home to a superette, RSA, childcare centre, fire station and a farm selling organic produce. Waitākere Primary School is just 600m away.
Tucked away at the end of the cul-de-sac, down a long driveway, is the Wilson home, which is reminiscent of a grand country estate.
The house started life in the city — Anne thinks it may have been in Remuera — but was moved in five pieces to what had been farm land. Previous owners did a superb job of restoring it and establishing beautiful gardens.
Anne and Murray didn't need to do much to the elegant home, other than putting their own stamp on the decor. This included painting a fireplace in one of the living rooms and a sunroom in a vibrant cerise colour, a favourite shade Anne had used in their previous home.
The house features classic styling, with special touches such as curved Art Deco-style walls in some areas. At 430sq m, it is very generous, with numerous living areas.
The couple's five adult children had left home by the time they bought the house, but when they visit with the grandchildren, there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out.
There are two living rooms on the ground floor, a sunroom where Anne loves to read, and a separate formal dining room that is so spacious there is room for two sofas, cabinets and a piano as well as the large dining table. If extra space is needed for entertaining, double doors to the adjacent sunroom can be opened to create even more room.
The country-style galley kitchen has granite benchtops, plenty of storage space and bifold windows out to a huge patio. A bedroom, powder room and laundry are also on this level.
There's not one but two staircases leading to five more bedrooms. The master bedroom has an adjoining room that Anne and Murray use as a sitting area but could also be an office or a nursery. Two bathrooms include a stylishly renovated one with an elegant bathtub.
Outside, the Wilsons tackled a couple of large projects, including putting in extra fencing to create nine paddocks. Murray also had a huge garage/workshop built that is roomy enough for nine cars.
A flat lawn in front of the house is perfect for games of cricket, and there's also a pond with foot bridge, surrounded by trees.
"It's so private and so quiet, you feel like you are miles away from anywhere," says Anne.
However, it's only a short drive to cafes and the train station at Swanson, the Westgate retail centre and Bethells Beach.
41 TOWNSHIP ROAD, WAITAKERE
• 6 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 9 parking spaces.
• Land 2.4ha, house 430sq m.
• Tender: Feb 21
• Schools: Waitakere Primary, Massey High School.
• Contact: Jennifer Birch, 021 151 3417, Barfoot & Thompson, and Kathy Walker, 021 739 145.