When Ross Blair got a call from a real estate agent to have a look at a cliff-top property, it wasn't the aging cottage and thick bamboo visible from the top of its driveway which delighted him.
"I could see looking out over the top of the bamboo that when it was gone there would be an absolutely magnificent sea view where we'd build a new house to make the most of," says Ross.
He and wife Jill pretty much bought on the spot in 2014, subject to a satisfactory geo-technical report. He used to own a civil works/streetscaping business before retirement.
The couple had been keen yachties and the views let them stay connected to the sea now yachting is impractical because of Jill's multiple sclerosis.
After the Blairs sold their previous Mahurangi West home they were determined to find a north-facing property with views.
Says Ross: "The views are the hero of this site; we have views from both levels down Red Beach, around Orewa, Hatfields Beach, and around the islands of the gulf out to Little Barrier.
"Also, because we were building new we could align the house to the view and ensure neither neighbour really looks on to our deck.
"It's very private and, what's more, this property is just shy of quarter of an acre, which gives me plenty of space to park the little fizz boat I sometimes take out from Stanmore Bay."
Once the cottage and bamboo went, registered Master Builders Golder Residential built the architecturally designed cedar-clad home with double glazing in November 2015.
The Blairs had lots of input on their preferences and what'd suit Jill's needs. And while the home has disabled access, including being wheelchair friendly with a lift, it's likely to have broad appeal given its waterfront views and upmarket features.
Its driveway down from the road accesses off-street parking, bolstering the double garage with internal access. They specifically chose a blue roof to match the sea's colour on a fine day.
A staircase or the lift provides access to upstairs and its generous open plan living-dining-kitchen. This area flows out to a deck with awnings, also opening off the neighbouring master suite.
Ross says: "The sea has always got so many moods. It's just awesome when there's a big storm with two- or three-metre waves crashing down."
Often they're admiring a sun-blessed medley of sea, birdlife, Red Beach Surf Club activity, kite-surfers, hang-gliders and various sea craft. From the lounge Jill can identify the little dot that is Ross out fishing in his boat, before ringing his mobile to ask: "Should I get the chicken out or are we having fish for tea?"
A sample of this home's copious features and extras are angled ceilings, the lounge's wood-burner and the seaside-themed splash-back in the twin-oven entertainer's kitchen with scullery.
This level also contains the master bedroom with walk-in-wardrobe and en suite, an office which could be a nursery and a powder room.
Downstairs, two bedrooms have walk-in wardrobes and open to decks alongside lawn, proffering an alfresco seating/viewing platform near planting. A second living area, family bathroom and ample storage complete the layout.
They're about five minutes' drive from the Silverdale centre or Stanmore Bay's shops, and eight minutes from central Orewa.
The couple are downsizing but plan to stay in the area.
41 DUNCANSBY RD, STANMORE BAY
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2* parking spaces.
• House: 280sq m, land 956sq m.
• Price: $1,850,000.
• Inspect: Sun, noon to 1pm.
• Schools: Red Beach, Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa College.
• Contact: Jenni Finlayson, Bayleys, 021 506 920 and Gabrielle Finlayson, 021 567 573.
*Plus 3 OSP