Built in 1896, this coachman's villa has given one young family a special perspective on life, along with a serving of pioneering history.
For Andy Hay and his wife, Clare Barker, their four years here with their children, Mary Sophia, 11, and Joseph, 9, has been enhanced by a historical connection spanning almost 120 years and the qualities in this home's sunny, private location that they might otherwise have taken for granted.
Clare calls this place "sky real estate" because of the soaring view above their backyard that takes in the Sky Tower amid the low-slung trees on the distant urban horizon. Upstairs, another favourite view is from "the captain's tower" that is Joseph's bedroom where they all go when the Sky Tower is alight with fireworks.
Downstairs, the kitchen window rates a mention. For Clare, it has made life easy supervising the children, especially when they were very young. For Andy, a keen cook on his days off, the totally private, peaceful outlook beyond their sheltered courtyard is a bonus.
Built in the heyday of the Victorian villa, this home and its neighbouring cottage/villa contemporaries are the modern flavour of this quiet side street that is close to Parnell, Newmarket and Remuera.
"It's an interesting mix, this street," says Andy of the renovations under way. "It's the best-kept secret in Remuera."
This particular Residential 1 heritage-zoned property remained in the same family for many years, eventually passing to a harness racing trainer and a lawyer. Then along came the cox of the 1982/83 World Champion New Zealand rowing eight, Andy Hay, who is now a TVNZ sports editor.
Andy was at Lake Karapiro coaching his Westlake Boys' High School rowing team the day Clare, a marketing manager, saw the house advertised for sale in HeraldHomes. She inspected it that same day. When Andy arrived back and paid a visit, they settled the deal almost straight away.
For both, this home's configuration in its original footprint offered the right mix of spaces with two lounges, two bathrooms, three bedrooms upstairs and a guest bedroom/study downstairs near the living areas, with easy passage to the backyard.
Significantly, there were solid historical connections to be appreciated.
"I've figured it out," says Andy. "I have sketched it how I think it was."
He is passionate about the home's original elements, from the pit-sawn weatherboards to the embossed hinges on some of the doors as well as the lifestyle motivations behind the various upgrades over the years.
The upper veranda that had been closed in to become the upstairs bathroom and the downstairs part of the veranda that was incorporated into the formal sitting room could easily be returned to original form, he says.
In 2006, the previous owner secured full council consent for major extensions that included copper domes and pergolas, but Andy and Clare, who acquired those plans with the house, set them to one side.
Instead, they worked on a more modest vision and, in December last year, secured council pre-approval for plans to extend the back of the house and undertake internal renovations including moving the upstairs bathroom to the study with the same views to Mt Hobson as their master bedroom.
But, just as they were about to start the next stage of the process, they changed tack and made another spur-of-the moment purchase, buying a house across town closer to their children's grandparents.
It has taken all of them time to loosen the emotional ties to this place.
"This place has had a real X-factor about it," says Andy. "We're leaving behind really wonderful neighbours, too, and in lots of ways we're really sad to be going."