Finding an affordable property is hard – but there are still some gems out there. Each week, Homed is featuring a first-time-buyer friendly home on the market that might (just about) come in within budget.
Most architecture lovers have to wait till their second or third home before they can step up to owning a mid-century gem, but this little two-bedroom unit in Onehunga might be your fast track to modernism.
Set back from Onehunga Mall, the single-storey unit, in a block of 11, was built some time in the ’60s, and still has loads of classic mid-century modern features such as floor-to-ceiling windows, cedar doors and pebble-dash panels.
But its standout feature is one more commonly seen in larger, stand-alone mid-century homes, a central “Zen courtyard”.
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“It’s a little modernist Zen room,” says listing agent Georgina Temm, of Barfoot and Thompson. “I’d love to have real river stones in there, some pebbles, some plants and make it a really peaceful space.
“It’s such a cool little spot. You see it from the lounge, the kitchen, the master bedroom. If you wanted to pop a little cushion on the floor, you sit and have a decent read in there, and really zone out.”
The courtyard connects the master bedroom to the rest of the flat, and the semi translucent roof lets light into the middle of the house.
Temm, a fan of the period, has sold a few mid-century homes in her time and has a soft spot for this little flat.
“It’s quite a distinct style of architecture… you’ve got batten cedar, you’ve got concrete blocks, and you’ve got these beautiful wooden doors and beautiful features, like expansive use of glass and framing.
“Also, in the ’60s they had very functional layouts, they thought about how you live in a home. So instead of trying to shove as much as you can into as small a space as possible, it’s got this really lovely flow.”
The home has a central hallway and the double bedrooms are on opposite sides of the unit, which means a first-time buyer could rent out the second bedroom, to help cover the mortgage, and still have plenty of privacy.
While the property is in good condition, and has a new roof, it could do with freshen up to really make those period features sing.
It has belonged to the same owner for the past 30 years. She bought the home for her sons, but it is no longer needed.
The area around the flat is chock-a-block with cafes, and restaurants. It’s also a 6-minute walk from Onehunga pool and Jellicoe Park. Cornwall Park and Maungakeikei One Tree Hill are just 15 minutes away, while Mt Smart Stadium is 15 minutes by bus. Sylvia Park is about 20 minutes away by public transport.
“It’s good for people that work. The location is great, it’s right near everything.”
The area is well connected to the rest of Auckland by bus and train, with a station within walking distance.
The 85sqm property doesn’t have a private outdoor area, but ot does have a carport. The flat is a cross lease and shares a driveway with the other flats in the complex. There is no body corp, so each unit owner is responsible for insurance and rates.
The property is priced at $699,000, $61,000 below RV, and well below the city’s $1.47 million average. It is also well below the cap for the First Home Grant in Auckland.