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Relaxation and a vibrant community: Marsden Cove hits all the right notes

Relaxation and a vibrant community: Marsden Cove hits all the right notes

A desire for an active retirement within quiet surroundings prompted Linda and Neville Berkahn to build their dream home in Marsden Cove.

Having loved the North Shore as a place to bring up their two children, Linda and Neville both came to the realisation that it was time to move on. The couple partnered with national top 10 builder Generation Homes and successfully relocated from Albany, Auckland with the minimum of fuss. They had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve and worked closely with Generation Homes Northland throughout the design process to get the desired look and feel. The result is a beautiful 223sqm customised home in Stace Hopper Drive which overlooks the water and is 36 kilometres south of Whangarei.

 

Quote from Linda Berkahn
We had a great rapport, not only with management, but with their sub-contractors as well. Generation Homes are meticulous in their work ethic and professional from start to finish.

Linda Berkahn

GH

You lived on the North Shore for nearly 50 years. What promoted the decision to head up into Northland?

LINDA

Last year we accompanied some friends to a subdivision at Kowi Lakes, One Tree Point, which is near Marsden Cove to have a look. We loved the area.

GH How did the partnership with Generation Homes start off?
NEVILLE

With that visit to the north we thought: ‘it’s beautiful, it’s paradise’. We started building here a few months after our friends so we never compared the building process directly with them but Generation Homes proved the perfect choice.

We lost out on one land opportunity at Marsden Cove then Generation Homes found another plot owned by the subdivision developer Leigh Hopper. Leigh actually flew up from Pauanui to sign it off to us. That was the start of a great rapport with everyone at the Generation Homes Northland team.

GH

Describe your experience in moving out of your old property and into your new Marsden Cove home?

LINDA It was all stress-free and easy. We’d sold our house in Albany and moved into a rental in Ruakaka for six weeks. We were told the build would be 14 weeks and it was. To prepare Neville actually drew all our furniture to scale and put it all on the plan so we could actually work out where we wanted all our power-points and other details such as the sizes and placement of windows. As we were downsizing, this also enabled us to accurately determine our furniture needs.
GH Were you looking for privacy or a lifestyle choice in choosing Marsden Cove?
LINDA

We were definitely looking for a lifestyle change. We love the quiet and there are beautiful homes here. It’s a flat area offering great places to walk and cycle especially as we’re both retired now. Hence the big move up here.

NEVILLE

We have great views. We look out on the canals surrounding Hopper Developments and can see north to Mount Manaia, which is a prominent feature in the area of Whangarei Heads.

GH

Was it easy to make friends?

LINDA

It sometimes feels like we’ve made more friends in the year we’ve been here than what we did in nearly 50 years on the Shore. When we’re out walking we often stop and chat to other Marsden Cove locals.

GH Tell us about the design phase and working with Generation Homes?
LINDA

We took one of their set plans then redesigned it with very good advice from our sales consultant Tony Watkins. We extended the house out sideways and lengthways to increase the living spaces. We also picked a four bedroom plan but turned it into three, using the extra space to create a separate laundry with one wall of floor-to-ceiling cupboards for storage.

NEVILLE

At the entrance we come into the foyer which leads into a large family area, dining room and galley kitchen with an island bench. On the left of the foyer is a separate lounge where we can take in the views. It’s a quiet room for reading and relaxing in.

 

GH

Are there any particular design features that you have incorporated?

LINDA Probably the lime green tiles for the splash back in the kitchen! We’ve also have double-door pantries at each end of the kitchen plus a scullery which we use a part of as a mini office. We certainly have ample cupboard and drawer space.
GH Tell us about other colour schemes you chose through the house?
LINDA

We chose neutral colours inside, complemented by LED lighting throughout. We have off-white for the walls which emphasises the spaciousness, with a slightly darker shade on the doors. This gave us the freedom to use different accent colours. Outside we chose black bricks offset by white aluminium window frames and white downpipes which give it a very striking and smart appearance. The roof is also black.

GH Tell us about indoor/outdoor flow within the section?
LINDA

Along the north facing side we have our entertainment area which is easily accessed by four sets of ranch sliders from the lounge, family, dining and kitchen area.  We’ve extended the length and width of the concrete area for outdoor entertainment and barbeques. We regularly have our meals outside and tend to relax there in the evening.

NEVILLE

The section size is 697 square metres and the house is 223sqm so there’s ample space for gardens, lawns and fruit trees. From the front we can see the water and we partly overlook a reserve.

GH What choices have you made with the garden?
LINDA

Generation Homes helped us design the raised vegetable garden along the back retaining wall by making it a very suitable height and width. We opted to do all our own landscaping. Probably not a day or two goes without someone walking past and making comments on it.

GH Do your children approve of the build?
NEVILLE

Our two children live in Auckland, but they absolutely love it up here. They still live on the Shore so it’s only one and a half hours drive up here for them.

GH

What do you love most about living in your area?

LINDA

It offers all the amenities you would want with doctors, a dentist and small supermarket. We prefer to go into Whangarei once a fortnight to do our grocery shopping.
We have the Marsden Cove Marina and cafe just opposite us. There are plenty of boaties that go out on their own so my husband gets to go out fishing with them. We have already joined the local yacht club, the fishing club and the garden club. There’s also a variety of other clubs we have yet to investigate.

GH Would you use Generation Homes to build again? 
LINDA

We’d definitely recommend Generation Homes to all our friends or anyone else who is looking to build a new home. We had a great rapport, not only with management, but with their sub-contractors as well. Generation Homes are meticulous in their work ethic and professional from start to finish.