You know that feeling you get when you’re flicking through endless real estate listings, then, all of a sudden a house just jumps off the screen and hits you between the eyes. Well, that’s exactly how the current owners of 32 Range Road first felt when they saw this property. They weren’t even remotely looking in the area, but the house grabbed their attention like nothing else they’d seen — and they just had to go and view it, says Anastasiya.
“It had such a presence and an immediate appeal; the way it sits above the city, the glass, the land,” she says. “The day we saw it, it was pouring down and you couldn’t see much of the view, and yet we still fell in love with it. It was obvious it was such a better buy than anything we were seeing closer in.”
“Initially, we thought the commute would be a problem, but we just worked around that by starting a little earlier, or finishing a little later. In fact, it really isn’t that far out. We previously lived in at St Mary’s Bay, and on some rainy days it would take about the same time to get into Queen Street as it does from here,” she says.
It’s easy to see why Anastasiya and her partner, Patrick, we so captivated by this property. Not only is this a stunning architecturally designed house, it has also been perfectly positioned on an idyllic 10-acre site, surrounded by native bush, with a stunning view back to the city. It’s not often you can use the word ‘unique’ when describing a home, but you can here.
Designed by cutting-edge, contemporary architects Young+Richards and built by the team from Precision Construction, the couple were the first owners when they bought the house four years ago. With four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a double garage, and a large open-plan living, all arranged around an easy flow, L-shaped floor plan, this home is jam-packed with the kind of thoughtful design that you only get from bespoke architecture.
For Anastasiya, the transparency of the living area, with its two glass sides — one looking out over the bush, the other over the private garden area — is her favourite design feature. But also, the freestanding bath in the master ensuite, with the views over the bush — “that’s my happy place,” she says. “For Paddy, it’s probably being down in the trees — that’s what he will miss the most. We also both love the kitchen and lounge. It’s such a great space to entertain.”
When asked what it’s like to live in, Anastasiya has one word — epic.
“We’ve never lived in a house that gives you such a great feeling of being above and beyond everything. We absolutely love it. Some mornings you wake up and the entire city is covered in cloud below you; others you’re bathed in sunshine. It’s very cool.”
“You get such a great feeling of peace sitting out here. Our friends love it, too. It’s a beautifully laid out house for entertaining, in summer or winter. We try to get them to arrive before sundown when the sun is pouring over the deck. Often, they stay over, but it’s only a $40 Uber home if they have to head back into the city.”
Despite sitting on 10 acres — just think about that for a second. That’s 40-times bigger than the Kiwi quarter-acre dream — there is virtually zero maintenance, apart from a small lawn. Anastasiya say that they like to keep the tracks around the property clear, but that’s it.
As if all this isn’t enough, there is also room for improvement, says Anastasiya. Having now lived in the house for almost four years, the couple sees a huge amount of potential for the future owners.
“An in-ground swimming pool could easily be dropped into where the lawn currently is, and we have discovered a small clearing down in the trees, overlooking a truly majestic kauri that would make a perfect spot for a studio,” she says. “You could easily drop a storey below, too, or build another deck below the house. We had the original builder out for a look, and he said it would be pretty easy. We don’t have kids, so no need for us to make it bigger, but you could,” she adds.
Waking up here at the weekend must be amazing — like being on holiday. But what is there to do around and about in Swanson?
“Honestly, we stay on the property as much as possible during the weekend. It’s such a nice place to be — it really feels like being on holiday. But it is very close to Bethels and Piha, so we go to the beach with the dog a lot. Or we go walking on the tracks in the [Waitakere] ranges. There are also two golf courses nearby, and you’re a short drive to Kumeu, which is a great little village with a few lovely vineyards.”
As for the new owners, Anastasiya thinks the house will appeal to a really diverse range of people, from empty nesters looking for a super-easy home with a beautiful outlook, or professional couples, like them, looking for a statement house. Ideally, however, she’d like to see a family buy it, where the kids can enjoy the forest and the tracks.
“With four bedrooms and ten acres to roam, it would make a perfect family home,” she says. “We set up the garage with lining and polished concrete, so it could provide an additional rumpus area, if needed. There’s also a flat lawn within eyeshot of mum and dad for young ones, and a fully fenced main garden. It is a wonderful spot. We also have a number of families on our street and they love living here.”
This is a home that nourishes the soul and frees the mind.
“I love that phrase,” smiles Anastasiya. “It really does feel like that. We’ve been extremely lucky to own it, and we’ll be very sorry to let it go.”