Lynn Michel is hoping for a pleasant early birthday surprise when this new home she'd originally envisaged hanging on to as an investment is auctioned online with a $1 reserve.
And the upturn in Tauranga real estate over the past couple of years means she just may get a pleasing result.
In 2007 Bethlehem resident Lynn, a retired teacher, bought four adjacent sections subdivided from former orchard land here and sat on them for a while.
These days the area is sought-after, being a five-minute walk from Bethlehem School, and handy to popular shops and the supermarket.
However, when she tried to sell the four sections about four years ago, the market was flat.
Lynn says: "I had no takers, believe it or not, and I thought 'I might as well build'."
She had Master Builders Kuriger Builders construct four homes with differing designs, initially intending to retain and tenant all four as upmarket rentals.
But the heat of the Tauranga property market has convinced her to sell this property.
It'll be auctioned with a $1 reserve utilising a new online auction website established by her son and daughter-in-law. Paul and Angie Zingel have set up www.propfi.auction as a business. Lynn's property will be the website's first, to be auctioned online on October 24.
Lynn says: "My birthday is on October 28, so I'm really hoping for a good result."
She chose her builders after researching a number of companies, deciding Conrad Kuriger could achieve the quality she sought.
Lynn says: "I wanted to create the sort of houses that I would be happy to live in.
"Conrad has a good eye for design.
"I worked very closely with him and he was great. In our whole time we never had an argument or any cross words."
She describes this two-storey weatherboard home with aluminium tile roof completed early this year as classical with a timeless quality.
It won a silver for the Bay of Plenty/Central Plateau in this year's Registered Master Builder Awards.
The property has professionally laid lawn with a fully fenced rear yard and off-street parking in front of its internal-access double garage.
Inside, its entrance transitions to an open plan kitchen-dining-lounge area which has a subtly classical ambience thanks to chandeliers and wallpaper. The kitchen includes antique-look kitchen handles, bar seating and textured bench tops.
Lynn says lots of people have liked the impact of textured black wallpaper accenting the living area, which has a heat-pump.
She is particularly fond of the indoor-outdoor flow out to a covered patio topped with a Bowranga snug which protects from sun.
"It's really ideal for having friends or family around. I have a set-up a bit like it at my own home."
Downstairs' layout also includes one bedroom, a computer nook, bathroom and separate laundry. The pebble-look vinyl which graces the kitchen floor also features in bathrooms.
Upstairs' master suite is particularly spacious, dwarfing Lynn's bedroom in her own home.
This suite includes an en suite and a fully outfitted walk-in wardrobe.
Completing upstairs are the third and fourth sizeable bedrooms plus a main bathroom incorporating a separate shower and bath.
Lynn had input into the design of the garden which features a water feature, ponga and stones laid to depict a flowing river.
There's a reasonably sized level piece of lawn around the side of the home for kids to play on or even to have a trampoline. The grounds include a garden shed.