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Let's live in... Sandringham

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 06:00 08/07/2014
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John Selkirk

AWESOME EATERIES: Le Petit Bocal in Sandringham is like a French bistro meets a Kiwi cafe.

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ART DECO DUNNY: The Sandringham public toilet block has been added to Auckland Council's heritage schedule.

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A compact and colourful mix of halaal butchers, late-night grocers blasting popular Bollywood singles and some of Auckland's cheapest and most cheerful ethnic eateries - Sandringham is the place to go if you're craving a spicy subcontinent-style experience.

The suburb is also walking distance to Balmoral's Chinatown, where Chinese restaurants constantly vie for the title of the city's best dumplings.

Why should I move there?

The bustle of the Indian, Sri Lankan, Afghan and Cambodian shops give way to leafy wide streets lined with cute villas and fruit trees - Sandringham is picturesque Auckland family life at its best. It's a favourite for families with young kids. The suburb is about six kilometres from the city centre and close to gentrified villages such as Kingsland and Mt Eden, but has managed to maintain its individuality and kept the mainstream ale houses and takeaway joints at bay.

Why it's not for everyone

In the spirit of Auckland's housing market, living in Sandringham is expensive, with many houses listed pushing at least $1 million. Also, if you're not quite ready for the quiet family life, you might want to reconsider your move here - it's definitely not a party suburb.

What's the transport like?

Good by Auckland standards - buses run regularly to the city centre on both Sandringham Rd and closeby Dominion Rd.

Schools

Nearby you will find Mt Albert Grammar School, Balmoral School and Edendale Primary among others.

Amenities

Sandringham is walking distance to popular St Luke's Mall with its supermarkets, gym and movie theatres as well as handy to Kingsland with its hipster bars and on-point restaurants.

The local groceries and spice markets are also ample enough to while away some hours in. Once a month there is a delicious and ever-changing farmers' market just round the corner from the main shops.

Where to eat out

If you like Indian food, then take your time making your way through the many options available here. Satya and Paradise are favourites and always packed, but there are many other smaller joints that can compete with those big guns on flavour and beat them on price (if not quite matching them in terms of atmosphere).

Where to buy

If your budget can stretch, try to buy a house in the few blocks directly east of the shops, that's where the leafiest streets and most beautifully painted weatherboard villas are. Of course that is where the priciest houses are too.

Market values

Sandringham was 'up and coming' a few years ago so it has well and truly hit the big time now. Last year a state house here (granted it had a large section) sold for more than $1 million.

As in most Auckland city suburbs, the sky is the limit at the popular auctions. Definitely not a suburb for your modest first home buyer. As for renting, a tiny one bedroom apartment was listed on Trade Me at $300 a week.

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Best buy 

Well, it's not exactly a 'best buy' at $1,345,000, but it is the home in Sandringham for sale at the moment that we'd like to buy the most.

608 square metres of land, four bedrooms (only one bathroom though) and stunning interiors - this may just be our dream pad. 

What the locals say

Leon Kingsley-Smith: ''It's multicultural, it's central and we like the people''

Zach Beard: ''I love the choice of food and the proximity to the city''

Oliver Edwards: ''It's very cosmopolitan, it's got a good cafe scene and it's all within walking distance.''

- Stuff

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