Winola may be most expensive home this year

Mansion's rateable value $3.5 million

ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014

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A Khandallah mansion thought to have been built for the family of Wellington business baron James Smith is on the market for only the second time in its 103-year history.

The five-bedroom 1911 property in Jubilee Rd, named Winola, could prove Wellington's most expensive sale this year if it is bought at or above its rateable value of $3.5 million.

Its value has increased by $2m since its current owners bought it for $1.4m in February 2003. The RV was $1.2m then.

They extensively renovated the home, prompting real estate agent Tommy Heptinstall to describe it as the best house he had seen in his 30-year career. "It's basically a brand new house. It's the most stunning renovation you could ever imagine. It's just magnificent. It's just quality everywhere. It's just sumptuous."

With views over Wellington, Winola's 2512-square-metre grounds enclose a formal lawn, tennis court, heated pool, pool house with spa, and three-car garage with a studio office above.

Inside the 483sqm house is a formal living room with adjoining library, formal dining room, games room, kitchen with scullery, and cloak and powder room. Hidden doors conceal the study, pantry and powder room.

The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom. There are four more double bedrooms and two further bathrooms.

Winola was in disrepair when its current owners bought it, and demolition was contemplated, according to architect Novak and Middleton's website. Instead the house was renovated, with a kitchen and living room extension added as well as the pool and tennis court. The historically faithful renovation won a 2009 NZ Institute of Architects award.

A lift connecting the ground and first floors was an original feature, Mr Heptinstall said.

Winola's RV was split into a land value of $1.63m and an improvements value of $1.88m.

The house was listed on Tuesday, and Mr Heptinstall predicted the property would sell for substantially more than its RV.

The present owners raised three children at Winola, and were downsizing now the children had left home, the wife said. They would remain in Wellington.

It would be hard to leave such a magnificent home. "It's a privilege to be here. I've loved it, it just brings me so much joy and happiness."

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- The Dominion Post

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