At the south end of Heta Rd, the tall kanuka trees are wearing a speckling of spring time blossom and clumps of daffodils dot the council reserve.
Montrose Place winds off Heta Road ... a few minutes from the city, but a quantum leap from the hustle and bustle of the CBD. Number 8a sits comfortably down a cul-de-sac in clay-coloured Monier Freycinet brick. The house has a homely look, and the bright appearance of a place that basks in sunshine all day long.
"That's one of the things we'll really miss about this house," Carolyn says. "It's just so quiet and peaceful here ... and we get the all day sun."
She and husband Paul moved into the house soon after it was finished in November 2006 and are reluctantly selling it to take up employment opportunities elsewhere in the country.
"We'd planned to live here for 15 years," she explains. "But you never know what's around the corner."
There are large scribed concrete parking areas at the front of the house, with ample space for boat or campervan - and just a short dash to the shelter of the front porch. A tiled lobby area opens up to a cosy lounge area with, for firewood fans, a Broady's Firepower log burner flanked by tidy inbuilt stacks of log storage.
Thick chocolate-brown carpet creates a colour theme for the house with walls mostly painted in a lighter shade of brown and the same light-brown patterned tiles that provide an impermeable floor for the lobby also covering the kitchen and bathroom floors.
"There's in-floor heating in the lobby, hallway, kitchen and bathroom, too," Carolyn says.
Walking through an internal sliding door takes one into the spacious kitchen and dining area.
Spacious is bit of an understatement for the kitchen which could accommodate the entire cast of a Master Chef series with room left over for the judges and their bellies. A four-plate bench-mounted ceramic induction hob provides most of the cooking heat in the kitchen with a wall oven beside the bench and an inbuilt stainless-steel fridge/freezer. Beyond that, the bench space just seems to spread in all directions with ranks of self-closing drawers filing from there to the floor.
An eight-place dining table has ample room around it for delivering food to table and retrieving dirty plates.
The slightly tinted windows provide an outlook to the trees and grassland of the council reserve. "There's a lovely wetland at the bottom of the reserve," Carolyn explains, "so it'll
never be built out.
"All the glass in the house is laminated - so it's almost totally soundproof," she continues, "so if the neighbours did have a rowdy party - or you want to crank up the stereo - all you do is close the windows."
Across from the dining area, a separate television nook segregates viewers from other people in the house and, outside, a large paved and covered barbecue area adjacent to the kitchen promises an ideal outdoor dining space with rural outlook for warm social summer evenings.
The house has large grey pavers between it and the small, flat lawn area and the grass is punctuated by a fledgling grove of fruit trees. A small herb garden creates a feature just beyond the kitchen."I can dash out and pick whatever I need while I'm cooking," Carolyn laughs. "But the new owners will get to pick the first crops of fruit from the trees."
The hallway leads into the house in the other direction and has a double guest room with the same rural outlook and generous wardrobe space. An office/single room is off the other side of the hall and, just a few paces from either room, or the other double guest room further down the hall, there's a spacious tiled bathroom with shower cabinet and spa bath.
The hot-water-cylinder cupboard is also accessed off the hallway and is equipped with a booster so that there's never any shortage of hot water in the household.
A separate toilet is off the hallway, handy to all three guest rooms.
With the warm-brown carpet still underfoot, the next area down the hall is the master bedroom. The first impression is one of generous space - in the bedroom with the large picture window framing a view through the treetops of the reserve. The large ensuite and his 'n' hers walk-in wardrobe. Morning sun would soak this room in daylight.
The hallway terminates at a spacious laundry area, bordered by a long bench with the washer and drier beneath and tall storage cupboards on the facing wall. The rotary clothes line is a few steps away through the back door.
A doorway to the right gives access to a huge double garage, tool shed and workshop area that would make any handyman's jaw drop. A plywood partition separates what would have been a garden shed and keeps all the horticultural tools in out of the weather. The bench space at the inside end of the garage has enough area to carry out most woodwork and engineering projects. The auto opening door allows homecomers to enter the house without getting wet when it's raining.
Coloursteel tiles cap the low ridge line to keep the elements outside.
The available area inside 8a Montrose Place belies its neatly proportioned external appearance, but the 272sqm space is cleverly divided so that it could be a cosy family home - or house any couple in comfort.
"It's going to be a very hard act to equal it," Carolyn says.
Where: 8a Montrose Place, Highlands Park, New Plymouth.
How big: Land 1234 sqm; home 272 sqm.
How much: Negotiating range $590,000 - $640,000.
- Taranaki Daily News