Stuart Douce realized he couldn’t afford to live by the sea in Wellington.
So he searched further and found a beachfront bungalow in Tangimoana, in the Manawatū-Whanganui region about 2 hours from the capital.
The schoolteacher has also bought a small apartment in town, so he goes out on weekends to his beach house to enjoy rural life.
Sandwiched between the Rangitikei River and the ocean, the 1930s house is one of the oldest European buildings in the area, and only one of two like it in the township.
“This is one of two original houses in Tangimoana, built before the area was designated as a beach location by the borough council at the time,” Douce explains. “I guess it was a farm – me and my neighbor [who owns the second one] I just can’t get more history on them.
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The house was highly valued when Douce bought it, and he spent the next few years slowly renovating it and returning it to its original state as a comfortable family home.
There is an LPG gas hot water system, new ceiling insulation, rewiring, plumbing and a “romantic outdoor log fire bath”
It was difficult to work on the original layout, “because things have been added to it” over the years, but he configured the 90m² house into two double bedrooms and a single bedroom, with a bathroom. bathroom and an open kitchen/dining/living room which opens onto a covered terrace.
“I had to learn all the DIY. The school keeper [where Douce worked] explain to me how to plaster and paint. Then I would come up here at the weekend and try, then call him when I had problems.”
Sitting on 1012m² of land, the garden has been planted with mainly native trees, shrubs and plants. “The soil is really good because it’s near the Rangitikei River. I did a degree in horticulture, so I got rid of all the exotics and planted it with natives for privacy and to bird life. The bird life is just amazing,” says Doucé.
The township is small, and Douce describes it as having “not changed much since the 1960s,” but it is a close and welcoming community.
When you run out of anything, “you can just borrow it from a neighbor”.
“It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone and watches out for everyone. When you walk in, everyone waves hello and Annie, the store owner, she knows everyone,” Douce says.
“This would suit first time home buyers who work near Ohakea Air Force Base or the nearby spy base as it’s just down the road. Or even in Palmy [Palmerston North]because the cost of living is so much cheaper here.
“It’s just beautiful to be able to walk down to the beach or down to the river so you can go fishing or bait fishing.”
Douce is now selling, as he is building a new house nearby.
The house is being built off-site and is due for delivery in September. So he has to cash in the bungalow now in order to pay for it – hence the price.
“I thought I had plenty of time because there were going to be Gib shortages. It’s a Home Eazyline – it’s transportable, so they build it in a yard, then they just deliver it on a truck – but they just haven’t had any delays.”
The house is for private sale.
Private sales can shave a few dollars off the cost of the home buying process, but you’ll need to be diligent in your property research – you don’t have as many protections as when dealing with a real estate agent approved.
It is essential to obtain a construction and MFR report for the property as well as a council report, and have your solicitor go through these with you, as with any home. Your bank or lender may also want a private appraisal, to make sure the seller has priced the home appropriately.
Homes.co.nz estimates the house is worth around $305,000 to $365,000. The average estimate for Tangimoana is $385,000.
Douce is open to offers less than $500,000 for the property.