Buying guide

Kingsland villa in First Avenue has enduring design for buyers

A home in Kingsland’s top street had a big renovation 10+ years ago and its architect says he wouldn’t change a thing.

Last updated: 1 September 2023

Ray White agent Robyn Ellson has marketed her fair share of stylish homes in Kingsland but 52 First Avenue is one she’s particularly excited about. 

The home in Kingsland’s best street came to the market on 17 August to some fanfare.

The home’s architectural extension, done by local architectural designer Richard Furze, and finished in 2011, feels like it was done yesterday, she says. “It’s timeless. In fact it’s even gotten better,” she says. 

The four bedroom home doesn’t have a huge floor space, at 156 sqm, but with the high ceilings in the kitchen living area there’s a pervasive feeling of space.

“What really impresses me is the way the extension makes you feel with its high windows. It just feels so perfectly executed,” says Robyn.  

The swimming pool, outdoor shower and outdoor kitchen were only done only a year ago, and accentuate the generous back yard. The owners have taken care to make the relatively new pool and lawn low maintenance, stresses the Ray White Mt Eden agent. The pool is salt water and has a robot cleaner and the back lawn is mowed by robot as well. 

When a renovation doesn’t date

Designer, Richard Furze of Furze Architecture & Design, has been back to the house to see how it has aged over the years, and says if he was planning a renovation at the property now, he’d be doing the same thing. 

When he came to the project the home had its kitchen, dining and a bathroom at the back with a lean-to. He chopped the lean-to off and created the new kitchen, dining, living area, and gave the space lofty 3.6 m ceilings with upper storey windows above sliding doors.

He likes what’s been done since by the owners, an outdoor room leading off the back of the house looks out to the pool and outdoor entertaining. The external covered space has clear panel roofing so doesn’t obscure any light into the house. There’s been lots of consideration about that, says Richard approvingly. 

As to the space he designed, they’ve kept it really well and not added junk over time, he say. “Good design stands the test of time, especially if you keep it nice and simple and you have the right spaces,” he says. 

The only thing that he might do slightly differently now is, try and find room for a scullery as part of the kitchen, an addition which has become popular in home renovations of higher end homes like this.

What kind of house hunters are interested in the Kingsland renovation?

The four bedroom villa on First Avenue has had its second weekend of open homes and Robyn says 60 groups have gone through already. The home goes to auction on 6 September.

Buyers keen to view the home include Kingslanders looking to upgrade, as well as house hunters from Mt Eden, Morningside, Western Springs and good numbers from Grey Lynn. The latter recognise the superior transport connections of Kingsland to Grey Lynn with the Kingsland train link into the CBD, says Robyn. 

The home would suit a family who would enjoy the poolside living, or, equally a couple wanting to use a bedroom or two to work from home and have guests to stay, says the agent. Robyn believes the inner Auckland villa could suit downsizers very well with the home all on one level, flowing right out to the pool and back garden.  “The access is perfect, it’s all flat and flows right through the home,” she says. 

Fully renovated properties like this are very hard to find in the Kingsland area, so when you see one in your price range it’s wise to take action, Robyn explains.

She is advising buyers not to pay any attention to the property’s CV, it's not a guide. And recent sales won’t help much either, says Robyn, who suggests interested buyers have a conversation with her. “There’s nothing comparable to this in Kingsland in the past year and a half.The renovated home market is incredibly tight,” she adds.