Anne-Marie and Leo Leader spent a couple of years making sure their forever home was as perfect as possible. They built above spec on everything and made sure every room had a view.
And what a view — they can see both the ocean and snow-capped mountains. Says Anne-Marie: "The vision was the vision, actually, because we just loved what we saw and we maximised it from the pool room as well."
By pool room she means the swimming pool room — an indoor pool with windows opening to the outdoors.
It's an insulated magnesium pool, in which you can stay in the water all day and never get wrinkly, says Anne-Marie.
Access to their dream house on the idyllic Hill Country Estate development is through Black Barn vineyard to an elevated spot overlooking terraced vineyards and olive groves.
"We are fortunately elevated enough to see these amazing views, on one side to the ocean and the other to the ranges and Te Mata Peak, an icon around here," says Anne-Marie.
The chose the section with the best views for themselves and bought others around it in order to have a say on the standard of the builds and that they blended in with the environment.
In all, the estate has 48 houses — yet there's a feeling of total privacy, they say.
Residents have access to a nine-hole golf course and there's a pavilion and tennis court. The pavilion has a barbecue and cooking facilities.
Black Barn vineyard also has an open air cinema and an amphitheatre for concerts, to which estate residents get complimentary tickets.
Anne-Marie and Leo moved here for the lifestyle and landscape — on a clear day you can see Mt Ruapehu, says Leo.
"During the winter the snow on the ranges and on Ruapehu is just gorgeous. We also live among vineyards and we have a growers' market."
The house itself is timber with a rock coat plaster finish. Everything is top of the range.
The builder told them he would build to the building code, but Leo and Anne-Marie said they wanted better than code standard.
They chose the very best of everything, from insulation to the magnesium pool. Plus there is argon-filled double glazing, heat pumps for underfloor heating, and solar power for hot water.
There is a sweeping driveway entrance with a roundabout. Inside, the house immediately opens up. "You come in and your eye is drawn immediately beyond and through the house," says Anne-Marie.
There are polished concrete floors, hidden doors, acoustic ceilings and sound-proofing between rooms, and every bedroom has an en suite. The master bedroom has a dressing room, huge en suite, and private access to the pool room. The pool itself has jets to swim against.
Anne-Marie and Leo love different angles and curves, so the house features many interesting aesthetics.
They had an architectural draftsman draw up the plans, but the couple knew exactly what they wanted.
"Oh yes, every room, every curve, every angle", says Anne-Marie. "We worked like crazy on it but it was exciting as well as doing it.
"We backtracked in our design many, many times to get it right."
They travel often and also designed the house to lock and leave. It is on the fringe of Havelock North village, last year voted New Zealand's best suburb.
They would still be living in their dream home but for health issues, which have seen them move to the village.
266 BLACK BARN RD, HAVELOCK NORTH
• 4 bedrooms, 4 bathroom, 5 parking spaces.
• House 719sq m, land 4421sq m.
• Tender: Closes Feb 12, 3pm.
• Inspect: Today 11.30am-12.30pm.
• Schools: Te Mata Primary, Havelock North Intermediate, Havelock North High, Woodford House and Iona college.
• Contact: Zak Marsden, Ray White, 027 492 5279.