SIZE: Land 693sq m, house 260sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: Similar properties in the area have sold in the $2 million range. Auction onsite 12pm, December 18.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 12-12.45pm.
SCHOOL ZONES: Kohimarama School, St Ignatius Catholic School, Selwyn College.
CONTACT: Bryce Holmes, Unlimited Potential, ph 021 908 293 or 529 1403.
FEATURES: Spacious, fully renovated five- bedroom home with private north-facing front section, two living spaces and walkway access to nearby Kohimarama Beach.

Four big bedrooms, three state-of-the-art bathrooms, two light-filled living spaces and a massive master bedroom with a sea-facing deck are among the surprises this Kohimarama home holds behind its street-front facade.

"But what you're really buying is a lifestyle," says owner Mark Houghton, who fell in love with the quirky 1930s house, which has been a grocery store, butchery and surf shop in its time.

Mark and his late first wife, Vicki, bought the house in 1996 when their four children - Roland, Antony, Michael and Nicola - were aged between four and 12.

The Houghtons had been living in a three-bedroom apartment in St Heliers, which they were outgrowing.


Mark, a keen surfer, wanted to move near the beach. Kohimarama, he says, is the most secluded beach on this part of Auckland's waterfront and is mainly used by locals because it does not have clusters of shops like Mission Bay and St Heliers.

"But it does have the excellent Kohi Cafe and you can easily walk to the movies at Mission Bay."

Eltham Rd is just one street back from Tamaki Dr and the property has rare walkway access to Tamaki Dr, so getting to the beach takes about two minutes.

"You can decide to go for a quick swim just before dinner and be down at the beach in the water in no time."

After living with his family in Eltham Rd for eight years, Mark now lives close to Takapuna Beach on the North Shore and has rented out this property since 2004.

The footprint of the house is largely the same as when he bought it, but over the years he has made several improvements, including reconfiguring internal spaces to create four large bedrooms and an office out of the original six bedrooms, and renovating the bathrooms.

Vicki also designed a timeless, extremely workable kitchen space which adjoins a relaxed dining room and family living room opening on to a large north-facing front deck and level, private front garden.

On this downstairs level of the two-storey weatherboard house, a formal dining room and bedroom were converted into an extra living space which has its own French doors opening to the eastern side of the property.

"The first tenants took the property for three months and ended up staying for three years," says Mark, who has done extensive refurbishments over the past year to make the house even more livable.

Large glass-panelled sliding doors have been installed on the north-facing ground level for easier access from the living room to the front deck. Rebuilt using South American garapa hardwood, it steps out to the newly landscaped front garden.

A 4m-deep, north-facing balcony that opens off the enormous upstairs master bedroom and oversized upstairs has also been completely replaced.

This deck, looking directly out to Rangitoto Island, is large enough to accommodate a full suite of outdoor furniture, with room to spare. The indulgent master suite also includes a room-sized walk-in wardrobe.

Cute shop-front style window boxes on the street have been renewed and sit on either side of a new striking cedar and glass-panelled front door.