Describing 55 Victoria Rd in New Plymouth as a one-dimensional property would be a mistake.
On the face of it, this is a low-maintenance townhouse ideally suited to an elderly couple in retirement. And that's just why Jack and Lucy bought it a little over 20 years ago.
The couple had previously progressed from a Tikorangi farm to a five-acre Bell Block lifestyle and the move to Victoria Rd was the next stage in their lives. Unfortunately, Jack enjoyed the setting here for just a few years, passing on in 1999, but Lucy has relished every one of her following retirement years here.
Lucy has now moved into a supportive rest home environment and that's put this property on the market for the first time since the couple bought it as a newly built home.
Things have changed since and there's much more to this home now than a residence for the recently retired, explains daughter Christine this week. More than one person has seen the property like that, but that's a misjudgement, she says.
Location has a lot to do with it. Set on the corner of Victoria Rd and Brooklands Rd, this home is just across the road from Pukekura Park and the Bowl of Brooklands - an oh-so-desirable location that will appeal today to a multifaceted market.
The then-new home and its easy-care grounds appealed to Jack and Lucy when they first saw it, says Christine. "Coming into town was a challenge," she admits, "certainly for Dad. But here they were elevated and looked out on the park ... it's such a good location."
It's a relaxed 10-minute walk into town to the supermarket or library, she points out, and just a few steps across the road to the park. "Mum enjoyed all the stuff that goes on over there in the park and the bowl. She could sit out here and listen to concerts at times ... she loved the fact that there was always something going on, yet it was still private."
That appeal transcends generations now, Christine notes - she even considered moving in here herself to enjoy the benefits of the location. It's possibly not a teenage family home, she thinks, but young professionals or an executive couple could certainly feel at home here.
"The neighbourhood is lovely, and the neighbours are good ... it has a nice feel to it all."
Mature trees are a feature - including an impressive spreading copper beech on the front corner of the property. "There's a walnut there, too, although it's dwarfed by the beech and drops a lot of its walnuts on the footpath."
Camellias add seasonal colour to the grounds, but thinning out some of the trees would open up the grounds for greater indoor-outdoor living options, Christine suggests. And with modest lawn areas and low-maintenance plantings, the grounds need minimal attention. "It's not an onerous section, although Dad had a flourishing vege garden when he was alive."
Two garden sheds in different parts of the property testify to that interest.
The wealth of trees in the neighbourhood means there's also a wealth of bird life,
Christine says. "Big fat pigeons sit on the power lines and Mum loved sitting outside
and watching them."
Many people will recognise the home from the accompanying photos on these pages
- the clean-looking design clad in warm-toned brick sitting above the ponga retaining
where Brooklands Rd drops away from the intersection with Victoria Rd.
The home itself has plenty of appeal to complement the location. "For a townhouse,
it's quite big. It's low maintenance, and nice and roomy inside. People who come in
say it's much bigger than they expected."
Generous windows in the living areas and bedrooms help with the sense of space.
"They all have vistas."
A visit to the home starts with the panelled timber front door and the formality of a
small foyer space. To the right are the three bedrooms - two double and one single,
the bathroom, and the internal double garage with integrated laundry. The hallway
here is pleasingly wide, with corners cut back for an easy flow through the house that
also increases the sense of space.
The single bedroom worked well for Lucy as a generous office, says Christine. "She
had her desk at the window and could watch the world go by."
The main bedroom boasts a double wardrobe and the flexibility of a bathroom with
doors into both bedroom and hallway - allowing visitor use when necessary and the
pleasure of an ensuite when owners have the house to themselves. A second separate
toilet adds further convenience to life here.
Open-plan living areas are set to the north end of the home and sun can pour in here
The kitchen that's shaped into one end of the living areas is a classic design in
panelled rimu with the sink bench located beneath the window that looks across to
Pukekura Park's greenery. There's plenty of storage in here, enhanced by a spacious
Sliding doors in the dining area open out to a paved patio area overlooking
Brooklands Rd. The patio steps down to the right to a small sheltered lawn area; at
left, the paving leads through a trellis archway to the front lawn and tree boundary.
Back inside, there's a part wall that provides the lounge area a measure of separation.
A bay window in here looks out into the front garden and has potential for a set of
French doors to add to indoor-outdoor living choices, Christine suggests.
Sun provides plenty of natural warmth, and on cooler days, there's a gas heater in
the lounge and a wall-mounted heat pump in the kitchen-dining area to warm up the
house. The latter has been all that has been needed to make life here comfortable since
it was installed, Christine says.
The property is being marketed by Harcourts consultants Jack Kurta and Adrian
Hogwood, who note the appealing combination of space and location.
"This is a bit of a rarity ... to get a townhouse of this size in this location ... with a
little bit of extra ground around it," Jack says.
Lifestyle is complemented by convenience, he says. "It's almost lock-up and leave
and you can walk to town or the park. This more than a good listing ... it's a great
WHERE: 55 Victoria Rd, New Plymouth.
HOW BIG: About 200sqm in home; grounds of about 540sqm on cross-leased
HOW MUCH: To be set at auction at 5.30pm on February 4, at Harcourt House -
unless sold prior.
WHAT YOU GET: Spacious three-bedroom city townhouse in a prime location
opposite Pukekura Park. Low-maintenance setting with an easy indoor-outdoor
MARKETED BY: Jack Kurta and Adrian Hogwood at Harcourts - 06 759 9160 or
Jack on 0274 433 358 or Adrian on 021 686 221.
ON THE WEB: taranaki.harcourts.co.nz - ref NP4987; open2view.com - ref 298704.
SEE IT: Open home on Sunday, January 26, from 2pm until 2.45pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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