First-time buyers: Auckland sea-side cottage for under $900K

Finding an affordable property is hard – but there are still some gems out there. Each week, Homed is featuring a first-time-buyer friendly home on the market that might (just about) come in within budget.

Toni Vane’s mum and dad were in their 50s when they left South Auckland for the little cottage by the sea in Stanmore Bay.

Dad Brian was a man of the sea, who loved to get out on his boat and fish – the fact there was a boat ramp just down the road was a bonus. Mum Margaret bought a little business, Peninsula Fashions, and became a cornerstone of the peninsula’s few shopping options.The couple’s family was grown, but this dynamic duo wasn’t slowing down, just shifting gear. This little home suited their needs.

“There were always gatherings and people around,” says Vane. “Dad was the life and soul of the party, so they were always entertaining.”

The little cottage, with its large kitchen, and dining area, which opened into the backyard, was perfect for dinner parties.

The little cottage on Swann Beach Road.

Barfoot and Thompson

The little cottage on Swann Beach Road.

But where the home really excels is in its proximity to the beach. The home is a short walk to two little coves at Swann Beach, great for swimming, fishing or boating. The Swann Beach Reserve is also nearby for walking the dog, or picnics.

The golden sands of Big Manly Beach are a short drive or 20-minute walk away, while Stanmore Bay Beach is just fifteen minutes away by foot. Fifteen minutes away by car, at the other end of the peninsula, is Shakespeare Regional Park, with its stunning views of Rangitoto Island over Shakespeare Beach.

The home is so close to the sea Brian used to have the shortwave radio tuned to the rescue channels, so he could jump in his boat and help if there was a search and rescue needed.

Inside, the living room has a double height ceiling, and exposed beams.

Barfoot and Thompson/Supplied

Inside, the living room has a double height ceiling, and exposed beams.

For families, Whangaparaoa College is nearby, while Wentworth primary school and college are further along the peninsula.

For commuters, the Auckland CBD is a 41-minute drive away, over the bridge, or a more leisurely 1.5 hour commute by ferry from the nearby Gulf Harbour Marina.

The cottage sits at the rear of the section, with a courtyard-style garden behind.

The two-storey, Lockwood-style home, has exposed beams and a steep, Little-House-on-the-Prairie-style gabled roof. The second floor bedroom is a mezzanine space, with its own sitting room area.

The kitchen is an open plan galley style kitchen that opens into the backyard.

Barfoot and Thompson/Supplied

The kitchen is an open plan galley style kitchen that opens into the backyard.

Outside there is a lot of space to develop if you have the time and energy. The front of the section is given to a return driveway to make room for a large water tank.

The property isn’t on the town water supply: Instead it has a tank that sits at the centre of the driveway – the new owner could have the tank removed and get on the town supply, to regain this area as garden, or for building a sleep-out or garage.

“People around there are really friendly,” says Vane. “When Mum was on her own after Dad died, the neighbours looked out for her, to the point that the people over the back left a gap in the fence so that they could keep an eye on her. The fence will be closed up now, but that was nice.”

The sloped roof of the master bedroom has a romantic feel.

Barfoot and Thompson/supplied

The sloped roof of the master bedroom has a romantic feel.

Now that Margaret and Brian have gone, the family has decided to sell the property.

Vane thinks the home would suit a young couple just starting out, who are keen on the beachside life, or a sole parent.

The RV for the property is $900,000, however Vane is seeking offers in the low to mid $800,000s. According to homes.co.nz the average for the area is $980,000, making this place a bit of a bargain.

Swann Beach is just minutes away from the house.

Barfoot and Thompson/Supplied

Swann Beach is just minutes away from the house.

The listing is with Megan Cox and Franci Raven for Barfoot and Thompson.

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