Philippa Geere-Watson and Graeme Butterfield looked far and wide across Auckland for a house before deciding instead that a townhouse would allow them to live in central Auckland without going over budget.

"We were going further and further out to find something in our price range," says Philippa. "Then we started looking at townhouses and apartments, and came to look at this block.

"It had everything we wanted. It had the garage, it was safe, warm and the location was perfect."

They bought the end unit in the Grafton Ridge complex five years ago.

You come into the townhouse through the internal garage or the external doorway. Stairs from the external entry lead up to the main level that Philippa and Graeme have painted white.

It has open plan living, kitchen with Smeg appliances and stone benchtop, bathroom with shower and toilet, and decks on both sides.

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"I like having a bathroom on the same level as the living space as it means you are not having to go up and down the stairs," says Philippa.

The back deck steps down to the courtyard. On the other side the smaller balcony looks over the complex.

Another set of stairs leads to the top storey's three double bedrooms and en suite with bath, shower and toilet.

There are about 20 townhouses at Grafton Ridge, says Philippa, but being on the end of the complex, they don't have a lot of noise. "And the body corp is really good," she says.

If there are problems with noisy tenants or parking issues, they deal with it quickly.

"The fees are reasonable, too. It's about half the price of the place across the road."

There's a heated outdoor pool at the complex, and Philippa and Graeme's is the closest townhouse to it.

"You would think that could mean noise issues, but the people using it are mainly children of the families living here or people sunbathing.

"There's a safe feeling here, too, as we are behind a security gate. "The functionality and usability and being bigger than you expect, that's what I like about our townhouse."

The couple are selling because they now have a young child.

"If it was just me and Graeme, we would stay here, but we need somewhere with a bigger backyard. He needs space to run around."

She says being parents, they don't tend to go out a lot but when they do get the chance it's to a nearby gym in the daytime or at night they might have a meal out in Newmarket, Williamson Ave, or Ponsonby Rd.

"We can walk to K Rd or to Newmarket. And the theatre is close by. But my favourite thing to do when I'm at home is to sit in the lounge.

"It's so sunny, and I can look over the fence at the garden at the old church. It's a huge old brick building with a nice garden. It's a relaxing place."

6J CARLTON GORE RD, AUCKLAND CITY
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• 145sq m.
• Price: $1,199,000.
• Inspect: Sat April 13, 1-1:30pm.
• Body Corp: $2250 a year.
• Contact: Krister Samuel, Ray White, 021 470 194.