Family space at the links

MIKE SHAW
Last updated 10:38 22/02/2014

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"When you buy property here, you become part of a community rather than just moving in."

That comment nine years ago showed the confidence of the developers when earthmovers werestill shaping The Links lifestyle properties. The owners of this feature property today attest to its truth.

"We are going to be really sorry to go. We chose The Links because of the space, access to the beach, and the large site for our home. But we also found a community that has a really good feel to it."

People care about and are aware of each other, they say. The home owners' society at The Links is well-supported, and there are plenty of activities that link families here. "Mid-year, there is a wine tasting, there is a kids' party, and a Christmas party."

A potato competition taps into an enthusiasm for gardening, with the emphasis on having fun.

"We have it every year You enter the competiton in October and try to grow potatoes. On the final day, the competitors go around each other's houses to pull up the potatoes, have a drink and a bite, before having a cook-off. A couple of judges decide the biggest yield, the best tasting, and the best spread. The day always ends with the annual Christmas party, open to all residents,
potato growers or not.

"During the Rugby World Cup, there were organised parties we could go to, to watch the game together."

The communal tennis courts and the easy access to the golf club next door, add to the attraction of living here.

In 2009, when our owners moved into their new home at 17 Links Drive, it was among the early residences at The Links and took shape on one of the larger premier sections available - a generous 1081sqm.

"These sections in this part of The Links are larger, so there is space between the houses. The houses around here are larger too, so the space on the sections allows them to 'breathe'."

That space also allowed the installation of a large in-ground, heated salt-water swimming pool and the adjacent creation of an Astroturf "sports field". You can appreciate both of these features as you step up through the landscaped frontage of the property to the striking residence that rises above the road.

GJ Gardner Homes were commissioned to build the home - one of their two-storey designs that was refined to suit this family's needs. It grew to a capacious 460sqm in the process.

It's already an impressive home as you reach the front door - and becomes even more so as you discover the various spaces inside.

The timber front door opens into a dark-tiled foyer space that allows access to the house, as well as through into the front studio/apartment.

Flexibility was high on the list of needs, and can be seen in the layout of these front rooms.

"We planned them as a photographic studio, but with a bathroom, kitchen and its own separate entrance and deck it could also be a self-contained apartment."

That's an appealing feature for any number of prospective buyers for this home. And extra garaging for this home will also prompt a special interest from some of them. Below the house, the basement area was expanded from a conventional double garage into an enormous eight-car-capable space that new owners can utilise for any number of purposes.

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"It could be a large garage and workshop ... or a garage/workshop with a rumpus room behind."

To the right of the initial foyer is an interface area for the home's levels and living spaces, this time with light-oak-look flooring underfoot. This easy-care covering flows throughout the living rooms on this level, and the close grain of the finish adds a pleasing textural complement to the soothingly light interior decor.

Stairs in this area lead up to the main carpeted bedroom level. A hallway leads through to the laundry and nearby stairs that take you down into the basement garage spaces, and a door opens through into the living areas that wrap around the rear of the home.

Flexibility is to the fore again in the living areas, with French doors that can separate the main lounge from the open-plan kitchen-dining-family room. "It's nice to be able to close off these rooms when we want to."

Morning sun brightens these rooms for a pleasing early start to the day. Sun pours in again in the afternoon and early evening. That provides plenty of warmth for most of the year, and in the cooler months, a multi-fuel burner adds heat for comfort and flames for atmosphere. Underfloor heating on both living levels offers even more options for comfort.

The white kitchen is a family focus with its corner design and walk-in pantry feature. It looks out on to a sheltered ponga-retained side courtyard area that runs along to a kitchen garden and small orchard.

You don't get to just look outside, of course, the easy flow of spaces in the living areas is accented by the French doors that open wide to carry people between rooms and the generous outside decking, with its protective shade sail.
Out here, you can look across the neighbouring turf farm to the fairways and greens of the New Plymouth Golf Club's Ngamotu links - an influence on the naming of this development.

It's a peaceful outlook that comes even more into its own on a sunny evening.

"It's amazing ... it's so quiet and warm ... we can sit out there with a wine and it feels like being in a luxury resort ... I love it."

You also look down to the beckoning blue waters of the salt-water pool and the barbecue area alongside. They are both well-used features of this home in the warm summer months, and, with the pool's heating system, even beyond. The pool is 2.2m at the deep end and about a metre at the shallow end.

"We never intended to have a pool in the first place, but while we built we rented a house in town which had a pool and we really loved it. Now we can't imagine being without it. Although the pool is heated, in the summer the sun does all the work and the silky water can get up to 27 degrees easily. It is amazing. Its 12m length means it is also very suitable for lap-swimming."

With the courtyard on the other side of the house, the decking above, and the pool and Astroturf play area, the family can always find a sheltered outside space wherever a breeze may blow from.

Back inside, the stairs carry you up to the bedroom level, where you find the master suite and four more large bedrooms. One room is presently used as a games room, and another as a library or upstairs living room. Here's that flexibility again.

The master bedroom is more than generous, with extra space for a sofa to sit up here and relax with the views. "We can leave the hustle and bustle of the family downstairs. Overlooking the golf course, we love the flowering pohutukawas in December."

The ensuite of the master bedroom is one of four bathrooms in this home - another bedroom upstairs has an ensuite, there's also a family bathroom upstairs, and the studio/apartment has its ensuite as well. A separate toilet downstairs makes five in this home - that's real family convenience!

McDonald Real Estate consultants Donna Black and Anjie Cook are marketing the property and say it has strong street appeal in its premier Links setting.

"It is a rare opportunity on today's market," Donna says. "A swimming pool, sports field, the outlook, great living space ... and an eight-car garage. The whole package is quite unique and sits among the original Links properties that set the standard here."

QUICK LOOK

WHERE: 17 Links Drive, The Links, New Plymouth.

HOW BIG: 1081sqm in land; 460sqm in home.

HOW MUCH: Expressions of interest invited.

WHAT YOU GET: Large family-executive home in the premier Links lifestyle setting between

Waiwhakaiho and Bell Block. Heated salt-water swimming pool and Astroturf sports field are

extra features in the landscaped surroundings; while the home offers spacious family living with

the bonus of a self-contained apartment and huge eight-car garaging.

MARKETED BY: Anjie Cook and Donna Black at McDonald Real Estate - 06 757 3083 or

Anjie on 027 555 4736, Donna on 027 549 6123.

ONLINE: open2view.com - ref 306773; eieio.co.nz - ref NP00238.

SEE IT: Twilight viewing on Thursday Feb 27, 6pm till 6.30pm; Sunday open home on March 2,

1pm till 1.30pm.

- Taranaki Daily News

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