Feature article

Top 10 winter home recommendations from Trade Me Property

Home buyers want to sit around the fire this chilly winter

Last updated: 1 July 2024

Humans have been crowding round fires for hundreds of thousands of years. In olden times it was for light, warmth, to cook and for community. These days we’ve got other things to cook on but there’s an intrinsic comfort in sitting around a fire, the smell, that crackling sound of a wood burning fire, is something that gives us all comfort after a day out in the elements.

And while the most popular time to sell a home is commonly in the spring or summer, there are plenty of buyers like you who like to see what a house is like in the winter and prefer to buy then. We’ve done the hard work for you all and put together a list of 10 sensational homes which celebrate the comfort of a fire in winter ( gas or wood) and they might just tempt you out of your living rooms this winter for a closer look. 

Make yourself a hot chocolate or a mulled wine and sit back:

10. Contemporary streamside grandeur, 21 Royds Street, Fendalton, Christchurch City, Canterbury.

One of the most special features of this stunning architecturally-designed home is that, not only does it have a dual-sided gas fire in the north-facing open plan kitchen, dining, living area, but there’s also a gas fire in the luxurious upstairs master suite. Sheer decadence doesn’t come much better than that. The thoughtfully laid out outdoor entertaining space alongside the swimming pool and spa pools also has its own gas fire so you’re never far away from a good source of warmth. This extensive 520 sqm Fendalton home, priced by negotiation ,has an array of heating options guided by an intelligent electronic system. Bayleys Christchurch agents, Chris Jones and Sarah Eastmond, (027  234 2607) are the ones to contact for more information.

9. Fleetwood House, 17 Pah Hill Road, Mangawhai, Kaipara, Northland

You can smell the wood in this four bedroom, two bathroom house just looking at the photos of this brand new home. Boasting natural oiled Macrocarpa timber and exposed trusses, the wood burning fireplace is something you almost expect to see along with a very nice custom-made firewood wave box. The views are through floor-to-ceiling windows, and the internal doors are tall, with an extra wide and high hallway as designed by architect Fraser Horton. Just ten minutes to Mangawhai Heads, this home is being sold privately, check out the listing on Trade Me Property for contact details.

8. Centre Court on Fancourt, I Fancourt Street, Karori, Wellington.

This elegant city-end Karori double-storeyed villa, offers five bedrooms and four living areas and has a selection of cosy rooms for the lucky family that comes to live here. This luxury  property has a wood burning fireplace in the dining room and another in the beautifully appointed sitting room, so you’re spoilt for choice. And if that doesn’t keep you warm, you can also run around the home’s lawn tennis court which is apparently bathed in sunshine and has its own pavilion with patio. Buyer enquiry for 1 Fancourt Street is over $3.5 million and the agent for this gracious home, with fantastic indoor outdoor flow, is Lowe & Co’s Marcia Paterson.(021 606120)

7. Kaimata Retreat, 297 Cape Saunders Road, Dunedin, Otago

Dunedin is known for its chilly climes but we don’t think you’d feel a thing in this delightful Otago Peninsula home, just 10 or 15 minutes from the village of Portobello. This property of two homes on 15,600 sqm of land, is handcrafted with natural materials, largely milled on site. The vast stone open fireplace is the focal point in the open plan living dining and kitchen space. You can chat with the chef and just stare into the flames as you decompress from whatever the day has thrown at you. There’s also underfloor diesel-run heating. At a price range of around $2 million for both homes, talk to NZ Sotheby’s International agent Kylie Stewart for more information (021 288 7187).

6. Modern island escape, 166a Ostend Road, Ostend, Waiheke Island, Auckland

Thanks to the friendly climate on Auckland’s favourite island, you can sit outside on the timber deck at this property, warmed by the home’s wood fireplace and still be cosy. You can use double glazed sliding doors to close off half the verandah to protect you from the elements. The modern home is double glazed throughout and has a heat pump and a key thing to know, if you're interested in this beautifully designed cedar holiday property is you have to share it with others for a certain period of time during the year because it’s status is as a visitor unit. Bayleys Waiheke and Great Barrier agent Florencia Pillado will tell you more (021 0476 202).  

5. Exclusive Waterfront View- Prime Location, 65 Timotei Road, Havelock North, Hastings

If we had Christmas in winter time, this would be the house you’d want to spend it in. But who doesn’t love beaches in winter? And this property looks out over the gorgeous walking and swimming beach of Waimārama. This is a spacious 590 sqm home and guest house, the principal house boasting a main atrium of 200 sqm. The hub within this space is the 74 sq m open plan living room and library with a double sided fireplace. Swiss owner Marianne Faes, says the home, which is a sustainable solar and passive house smart design, has German double glazing, hydronic underfloor heating and a double sided pizza oven in the kitchen. Get in touch with owner Marianne Faes, (022 0864876) for more information.

4. 38 Hamilton Road, Herne Bay, Auckland City, Auckland.

This grand Herne Bay home may be imposing to some but it has a number of cosy places where residents can curl up for an hour or two. We’re betting that for all its rooms – there are five bedrooms, three living rooms, a theatre and pool house – one of the favourite spaces for the new owner will be the library with stylish gas fire and copious book shelves. There’s even one of those cool ladders to help you reach those high up titles on the top shelf for a decadent afternoon of reading. This home has four fireplaces in total, including one for outside. Two of the inside fires are gas fires and the formal sitting room has a wooden fireplace. The agents for this property are Wall’s Andrew and Ollie Wall (021 520 508).

3. Breathtaking 11,774 sq m Waterfront Paradise, 16-34 Te Toroa Drive, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua Bay of Plenty

You really could shut yourself away from the rest of the world at this luxury waterfront Lake Tarawera estate which has not one, but two homes. The larger upper house is set back in a park-like setting surrounded by trees, while the lower positioned guest house overlooks the lake and sandy beach. The guest house has a big outdoor fireplace to sit at while watching the sunset, and the upper house has a wood-burning fireplace in the open plan dining living room, the home also benefiting from electric underfloor heating. Mt Ruapehu is just a couple of hours’ drive away so you can have it all. Your contact for a closer look is Ray White Rotorua’s Anita Martelli (027 552 6482).    

2. Bespoke Designer Masterpiece 60 Churchouse Road, Greenhithe, North Shore City, Auckland

At this beautiful contemporary 316 sqm Greenhithe home, built in 2021 and designed by Venture Architectural, you have the choice of an outdoor fire and an indoor fire for whatever the weather this winter brings you. Both are wood burning, and you can sit outside all year round under the covered loggia with the Infratech heater positioned behind you. Inside, there’s underfloor heating in the concrete floors and the home’s exterior cladding of aluminium standing seam, together with vertical cedar, will keep you snug. Harcourts Cooper agent, Aaron Aisher estimates $4 million will buy this home (021 159 8856).

1. 275 Littles Road, Dalefield, Queenstown-Lake, Otago.

We’re a bit partial to this home, asking price $8.9 million, which came on the market in December 2023 but is likely to secure its buyer over the winter when people are in town for the ski season. Newly completed, it has views to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables,  the Crown Range, Ben Lomond and others. For active types who will be out on the slopes during the day, there’s a drying room or a mud room where you can cast off your wet clothes and boots. Then you’ll no doubt collapse in front of the double sided gas fire which keeps the dining room and living room warm. There are also commercial heat pumps and the windows are double glazed low E MAX performance glass. Find out more from Terry Spice at Luxury Real Estate, (021 755 889).

Lastly, if you’re buying a home with a wood burning fireplace, just make sure you do your homework on what kind of wood you can burn. The Ministry for the Environment recommends checking out this link on authorised wood burners to make sure you’re being a responsible Kiwi. Your wood burner manual will tell you the best wood type you can use and the MfE notes not to burn any treated or painted timber. Once you buy, you should also get in touch with your regional council to see what rules they have for any wood burning at your property.  


Gill South
Gill South