A century-old Ponsonby villa featuring a tumble-down shed, peeling paint and wallpaper so old it could be displayed in a museum is set to be auctioned.

Built in 1910, the three-bedroom home at 157 John St has been a treasured family residence for almost 55-years, but is now likely to be renovated or knocked down in favour of a new build.

Its value lies in its location just metres from Richmond Rd. Auckland Council valued the home at $1.55 million in 2017 - $1.45m for the land and just $100,000 for the house.

Renovators will have their work cut out with this kitchen and dining room. Photo / Supplied
Renovators will have their work cut out with this kitchen and dining room. Photo / Supplied

Selling agents Unlimited Potential call it a hidden gem.

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"Those with property in their veins and an eye for what could be will see the unlimited potential of this rugged offering," they said.

Classic wall paper. Photo / Supplied
Classic wall paper. Photo / Supplied

For part-owner Samuel Mackey Jun, however, the sale will be tinged with sadness.

He spent a childhood racing through the home's rooms and garden alongside five siblings and myriad cousins after his parents Pore and Samuel Mackey Snr bought the home half a century ago.

The couple had been renting around the corner when they saw it come up for sale and pounced.

The home sits on a 288sq m block. Photo / Supplied
The home sits on a 288sq m block. Photo / Supplied

"Dad always quite proudly told us how he borrowed the £1200 off his lawyer to buy the place and how they worked their butts off and paid it off in a year," Mackey said.

Irishman Samuel Snr immigrated to New Zealand in his 20s, scoring work as an aircraft engineer with Tasman Empire Airways Ltd, the airline that would later be renamed Air NZ.

He then did a stint in the Cook Islands as the airline's representative on the old "Coral Route", the passenger service operated by flying boats from Auckland to Fiji, the Cook Islands and Tahiti in the 1950s.

The shed where Samuel Mackey Jnr played Mary Poppins by jumping off with an umbrella. Photo / Supplied
The shed where Samuel Mackey Jnr played Mary Poppins by jumping off with an umbrella. Photo / Supplied

"That is where he met mum, she was his housekeeper," Mackey said.

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Moving back to New Zealand, the couple bought the John St home where their six-children and numerous nieces and nephews crammed into a series of bunk beds.

"But we never felt cramped as kids, partly because we were never home, we were always down at the park on Vermont St," Mackey said.

This century old Ponsonby villa owned by the Mackey family is set to go under the hammer. Photo / Supplied
This century old Ponsonby villa owned by the Mackey family is set to go under the hammer. Photo / Supplied

"Within half an hour of school, there'd be 300-odd kids down at the park playing bullrush."

When playing back at the house, Mackey remembers jumping off the old shed in gumboots and an umbrella after the movie Mary Poppins came out.

Inevitably, he'd be called inside the shed where the water was slowly heated in an old copper bath and his mother would scrub the kids clean, until an extension and more modern bathroom was added to the main house.

Six kids and a myriad of cousins crammed into the home's three bedrooms. Photo / Supplied
Six kids and a myriad of cousins crammed into the home's three bedrooms. Photo / Supplied

Despite working as a cook, Pore Mackey still loved cooking at home for family and friends and so the kitchen became the favourite meeting point.

"It was the warmest place, but it was also the place where you could smell fresh doughnuts or other island food being cooked," Mackey said.

Pore Mackey recently died and now the family have decided to sell up.

"My parents were all about family - everything they did was for their kids - and so selling now gives all children the opportunity to start their own legacy," he said.

"Hopefully someone else can turn [the John St house] into their new family home."

The villa is set to be auctioned on May 22 unless sold earlier.

Its OneRoof sale listing can be seen here.