Paul Rosenberg says privacy is the main appeal of his Matakana bush property. The privacy, not being looked at by neighbours, and not having to maintain the bush.
"The valuer said what I have here is becoming more valuable and more sought-after. That is the privilege of it."
Paul bought the property as a weekender around March 2016. "My friend, interior designer Sharon Cross, lives next door. She had done my place in Ponsonby.
"I fawned over her beautiful place. I was captivated by the area. She said if you like this, go next door and buy that place because it's for sale.
"I contacted the agent and bought it. It takes me 50 minutes door to door from my home in Ponsonby to here."
Because the house had not been issued consent or code of compliance when it was built in 1994, Paul set about getting a certificate of acceptance.
"The whole process was treated like a building consent from the start," he says. "I had to go through the geotech and structural surveys for every aspect of the house in a detailed fashion.
"Certificate of acceptance on a full house is hard to achieve. I had to organise the people who do the specialist reports on this style of building.
"There was really no code for this sort of build with poured earth, as most building codes were more focused on box-standard weatherboards. It is an interesting building method."
The original architect was Andrew Dallow. "It was built under the instructions of specialists in this field, to the appropriate style and standards. The material is a mix of clay and cement that gives it its unique colour."
Part of the exterior wall is cedar shingles, the roof is Decramastic tiles. Ceilings are macrocarpa, flooring is slate tiles and the windows have wooden framing.
Arched doorways add character to this home that is truly one of a kind. There are three fireplaces plus a heat pump.
"Everything about the house is bespoke, handmade," says Paul. "It was a house that was done extremely well. It now has a full bill of health."
While he was organising the code of compliance — specialists' reports, changing the balcony and internal handrails, and some windows, and fixing a retaining wall — Paul added the alfresco dining area that has been a great place for entertaining with its large table, fire pit and hot tub.
On the home's ground floor are a bedroom and bathroom plus the kitchen with conventional oven as well as a Stanley oven, dining and lounge. These open to the alfresco area Paul has developed.
Upstairs are three oversized bedrooms, a bathroom and a theatre area with retractable electric screen.
Of the 16ha, 1.5 to 2ha is manicured in lawns and orchards. The rest is covenanted bush.
"The bush is amazing," says Paul. "There are puriri and rata. When you are sitting on the balcony and the sun is coming through in shafts in the valley, it highlights individual trees.
"On the land there is a waterfall that is about 100ft high and you could easily create a track to that. There was one but a couple of trees had fallen over."
There are also two barns on the property, one with a car pit, the other with an upstairs studio.
"They were built for a guy for his classic car collection. And I have been told his wife was into loom weaving as there is a lot of natural light.
"I have a friend, Andrew Steel, who is an artist and he has used it as a studio. Friends have suggested that barn could also be a yoga studio."
Paul says this property has been cathartic to his busy Auckland life. "You can come up here and have a real break," he says.
"Mostly I stay on the property but I also have a boat that I launch in Omaha and that is only 10 minutes away. I go to Little Barrier or further afield.
"This is one of those properties that come along once in your lifetime and it is a privilege to own. But my life has taken a different direction.
"I am selling because I have bought an apartment on the Gold Coast. My fiancee's family is on the Gold Coast or Brisbane and that is where we are at in life."
596 MATAKANA VALLEY RD, MATAKANA, RODNEY
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House: 279sq m, land 16.49ha, barn one 197sq m, barn two 143sq m.
• Price: $2,995,000.
• Inspect: Please call.
• Schools: Matakana Primary School, Mahurangi college.
• Contact: Dahnie Burton, Bayleys, 021 628 327.