Until the mid-1800s much of Remuera was farmland, well removed from the CBD, and the first shops in this tree-lined suburb were built in 1890, at the corner of Victoria Ave and Remuera Rd. Around the turn of the century an electric tram system was established and it ran down Victoria Ave until the 1950s.
By then many houses had been built in Remuera, often on very large sites, which were later subdivided.
Grace Huang's brick-and-weatherboard home was built in 1940, on a 502sq m section with harbour views.
She and her husband Richard had been looking for a family home in easy reach of good schools for their two sons, Christian and Aaron Lee. Victoria Ave, which is zoned double grammar, and a short distance from Kings Prep School seemed a good fit.
"We discovered that a previous owner loved the house so much that having sold it and gone overseas he came back and was able to buy it again," she says.
"It suited us well because the section was big enough for the boys to play but not so big that it needed lots of gardening and lawn mowing."
The house is set over three storeys with a combined laundry and bathroom, plus one bedroom in the basement. Outside is a leafy, private courtyard which Grace says is useful when family and friends stay.
On the middle — and main — floor, beyond the front door, there's a formal dining room, which leads to the lounge with built-in bookshelves and a gas fireplace.
The family room is large and the casual dining area is adjacent to the well-equipped galley kitchen. There's also a small study.
The next level has two double bedrooms plus a smart bathroom. The master suite is especially appealing, with beautiful views, a vast wardrobe, and its own bathroom.
The decor throughout is pleasant and understated with lots of white, which enhances the spacious elegance of the property.
As well as the ground floor patio, there's a large, sunny terrace. The garden is pleasant, green and easy-care.
Says Grace: "Being so close to Remuera village has been great. You can walk almost everywhere and we're well situated for both public and private schools. Our neighbours have been lovely and we always waved and greeted each other."
She adds that getting into the city for work is easy and the beach isn't far away.
The family is now living in Zurich, Switzerland, where Grace has a contract in the heavy machinery industry and the boys are attending the international school there.
She says it's a big change after Auckland.
"We're sorry to be selling the house because we've all been so happy living in it, but we're still Kiwis at heart so maybe one day we'll come back and buy it again ourselves."
39 VICTORIA AVE, REMUERA
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Home: 228sq m, land: half share of 1004sq m.
• Auction: Wed 10 April.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2-2.30pm, or by appointment.
• Schools: Remuera School, Remuera Intermediate, AGS, EGGS.
• Contact: Libby Greenwood, Bayleys, 021 937 470.