$1000 house

HANNAH FLEMING
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2013
The Zoo house
JONATHAN CAMERON/Fairfax NZ

ZOO MOVES: Affectionately dubbed "The Zoo", this building on the corner of New Plymouth’s Northgate and Mangorei roads was last night trucked to Waitara.

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The Carrington family wasn't in the market for new property but a chance phone call has added two new pads to their assets.

Tim Carrington, with his father Paul and brother Jack, bought New Plymouth's historic Burgess House from the New Plymouth District Council in August last year, and recently moved it to a section in Moulton St.

Yesterday, a derelict 1930s house, which the Carringtons paid just $1000 for, was transported from the corner of Mangorei and Northgate roads to a section in Browne St, Waitara.

The council bought the property, known as "The Zoo", in May last year for $215,000, and put the house up for sale and removal through a tender process.

The council will use the section for future roading developments.

Tim Carrington said he phoned council last year to find out what the house had gone for, and discovered it, along with Burgess House, had not sold.

He jokingly threw the $1000 figure in the barrel and council accepted.

"I thought, wow. We bought it about 24 hours later."

The family plan to restore the four-bedroom Waitara house to rental standard, which Mr Carrington expected to be a tough job.

"It needs a bit of work - clearly. But it's actually got some good bones. If you take away the spray paint and a few of the things inside it's actually not too bad at all.

"We'll get Moulton St sorted first, then get on to that one."

Restoring old houses was not a passion, he said, it just seemed to happen.

"It's not something I like, it's a lot of work. But, it's just something that makes sense if you can see past the oldness of the place and you've got a bit of time."

He said they had trouble finding a section big enough for the 12 metre by 13m house, but were happy with the Waitara location.

"We're pleased to get it off the site and away from the public view. I don't think too many people were pleased with it just sitting there so I'm happy it's gone."

Council property services manager Peter Handcock said the council had put the house up for sale with the idea it would save them money.

"We were quite fortunate to get a purchaser to remove it.

"And from our point of view, it was a lot better than us having to pay to have it removed or demolished ourselves."

The first step for the vacant site was to tidy up and landscape it, he said.

"We've got to confirm our long term roading needs for it next, but there's no immediate plans for it other than that.

"Once we've worked through that, if we're satisfied some of it could be sold off again, we'd certainly want to look at that as well."

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