New Zealand

Coromandel beachfront property auction starts at $1 - with a catch

Mon, Sep 18
The house - 8km north of Thames in Thornton Bay, on the peninsula's western coast - is now uninhabitable.

A Coromandel beachfront property with a $1 reserve will go under the hammer next month - but there is a catch.

As well as spectacular water views of Thornton Bay, the house comes complete with a red sticker due to a backyard landslide that knocked the house off its foundations during the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods.

The owner, 95-year-old Dennis Raines, was asleep at the time - but was taken to safety by a local handyman who came to check on him.

The house - 8km north of Thames on the peninsula's western coast - is now uninhabitable, and Dennis has decided it is time to move after 27 years.

His son Clive said the $1 reserve was not a typo.

"It's one sure way to attract some interest and determine what the market is prepared to pay for it," he told Checkpoint on Monday.

"He went through a long process of going through the insurance claim ... it was a difficult time because he was evacuated, and fortunately found some temporary accommodation up the road, but he's still got to pay rates on the property and he's found permanent accommodation in central Thames.

"At his age at 95, it's a huge ask to worry about demolishing the property and building something new. So, we just thought we'll put it on for $1 reserve and see what the market is prepared to pay for it."

Clive said they were not worried about potentially giving the property away.

"It's a beautiful bay, it's a beachfront property... It's, I think, around 807 square metres. You know, it potentially is going to be a bargain for someone, but it's attracted a lot of interest and you know, we'll go with what the market decides.

"Look, there's a lot of people looking for sections in that part of the Coromandel. They don't have the issue of the Kopu-Hikuai road. It's only an hour-and-a-half from Auckland."

That road, part of State Highway 25A, was closed earlier this year after suffering "significant damage" in the storm.

"And also, unlike a lot of subdivisions, there are no covenants so people can just leave it as it is, leave it as a blank section and landbank it, park their house bus on it," Clive added. "There's so many different, different options. And so, you know, it appeals to a wide group of people."

The house is still on the property, ready for demolition but being sold as-is, where-is.

"Fortunately [Dennis] was sleeping at the front of the house and Civil Defence and police were really good at evacuating him," Clive said. "The landslips only affected the rear of the house, but of course, the pressure of it did push it off the foundations - hence the red sticker."

He said his dad would liked to have stayed in his home of 27 years, but could not afford to rebuild.

"It's a shame that his was the only house in that bay that was affected by the slip. There was only one house next door that had some minor damage.

"But look, he's relatively happy where he is now. But I think that the stress and, and the inability to pay to rebuild, really didn't give him any options."

The auction was scheduled for 28 October at 1pm. Real estate agent Harcourts in its listing called it a "dream coastal retreat" in a "genuinely unparalleled" location.


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