Chris Baty's pantry is the local supermarket, the one at the Milford Mall over the road.

"And, as my husband (Dennis) would say, it's his wine cellar as well."

Chris says she doesn't keep a lot of food in the house because she can just pop across to the mall.

Of course, the mall is not the only thing that attracted the couple to their two-storey house eight years ago. A short walk down the road takes you to Milford Beach and a short walk up the road takes you to the cafes, restaurants and shops.

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Though the house does have a busy mall over the road, inside it is super-quiet because all the windows facing the street are double-glazed.

Through the grand entrance is the lounge with a gas fire, and through the lounge is the open plan kitchen and dining area. The lounge and dining room both have trifold doors leading out to the enclosed and tiled patio.

There is a water feature outside and easy care landscaping.

"This is a really well-designed small space," says Chris. "It's been planned for privacy. It becomes another room for us in the summer."

The garage has doors which open on both sides to enable a small boat or a jetski to easily be parked, and there is also a well set-up garden shed with shelves and storage.

The house, built in 2001, has high studs throughout and Chris loves the "majestic" cathedral-like entranceway with the curved staircase leading up to the second level where there are four bedrooms and a family bathroom off a landing.

Chris, who was in publishing but is now a health advocate, uses one of the bedrooms as her office.

She describes the master bedroom as fabulous because it is so big. There is a gas fire and room for comfy chairs on either side, plus there is a walk-in wardrobe and a large tiled en suite.

There is also a balcony (shared with one of the other bedrooms) which looks across Milford rooftops towards the sea.

In summer the door to the balcony never gets closed, says Chris.

"It's completely sheltered and secure."

Dennis first fell for the house, she says.

The couple lived in nearby Castor Bay in a much bigger house. Their children had left and this house was on the flat, plus offered Chris the ability to have a dedicated office.

Dennis, now retired, used to run regularly and ran past every day when the house was being built.

"He used to come home and go on and on about this house." He told Chris that if they had the chance to own it they would and when it came on the market they did buy it.

Chris says one of their favourite things is at weekends when they keep the coffee coming and sit either end of the dining table with the paper spread out before them.

She says being an open and airy house was important to her.

"I find I need lots of natural sunlight and this house provides it in buckets really."

The home was built by a builder who poured a lot of thought into it — "the way they've designed it for privacy, the way they've designed it to make the best of the sun and create this lovely warm home."

She and Dennis are great believers in maintaining a house properly so each year undertook maintenance, such as painting externally and cleaning and re-oiling the roof.

Chris also loves the convenience of living in this spot.

"The bus stops are outside. I have a lot of meetings at North Shore Hospital, I never take my car."

Sometimes she and Dennis bus or walk to Takapuna and go to the Sunday markets and have brunch.

Chris will miss her pantry across the road but says the death of two friends last year caused the couple to take stock and plan ahead; so they have decided to sell up, buy a single-level home and do some travelling.

13A MILFORD RD, MILFORD
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House: 238 sq m, land 491sq m, inc common area (2 units only).
• Auction: April 18.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 1-1.45pm, and by appointment.
• Schools: Milford Primary, Takapuna Normal Intermediate, Westlake Girls & Boys, Takapuna Grammar.
• Contact: Joan Barton, Bayleys, 021 273 9930.