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For South African expats Cherise Barnard and Haydn Bradfield, the lifestyle they lead in their peaceful Panmure neighbourhood is a world away from life in their home country.
“It’s quite different,” says Cherise, who moved from Johannesburg to New Zealand four years ago. “We lived in a guarded suburb where we couldn’t just go out for a run or a cycle. We were surrounded by homes with electric fences and high walls.”
Now, the couple say they feel blessed to live in relative freedom, in an affordable and stylish Fletcher Living apartment, overlooking open green spaces and stunning views of the Tamaki River.
Cherise was well acquainted with Fletcher Living properties through her work as a new home consultant for the brand, and was so impressed by the homes she was selling, she and Haydn decided to buy their own Fletcher Living home, a brand-new apartment in the Panmure Opentide development.
“Fletcher Living is such a trusted brand in terms of the quality of their homes,” says Cherise. “Like any buyer we had choices, but I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else. We had 100 percent confidence that our home would be delivered to a high standard of workmanship and that the aftercare service would be amazing.”
“It’s really reassuring to know that you’ve got a team on the ground that are available to take care of any aftercare requirements,” she adds.
The couple’s two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is one of 15 apartments of varying configurations in their building. The Opentide development is typical of Fletcher Living’s approach to building communities, in that it’s close to parklands, good schools, shops and public transport, including the train and ferry.
Buying off the plan a year ago allowed Cherise and Haydn to make their purchase from a comfortable financial position. It also gave them time to design the interior layout prior to moving in. Haydn, an engineer for a robotics company, set to work designing a moveable breakfast bar for the kitchen, and a clever retractable desk for the spare bedroom, so they can pack away the fold-out bed and transform the room into a work-from-home office space between guests.
The couple’s apartment is on the ground floor, so it’s perfect for their Jack Russell Bossie to run around in the garden. The apartment is also close to Dunkirk Reserve, where Bossie loves socialize with their neighbour’s dog.
The apartment layout includes an open-plan kitchen and living area, with the main bedroom and ensuite, another bathroom and that ingenious second bedroom/office, all on the same level.
“The layout is really well thought-out,” says Cherise. “The living areas are comfortably separated from the bedrooms and the garden is just the right size for us as a couple.”
Cherise met Haydn, who is originally from Durban, in New Zealand, after she followed her parents and brother here.
“The apartments Fletcher Living offered were affordable for us as first home buyers.”
Cherise says she appreciates the sense of security and friendship that apartment living provides.
“All the neighbours are quite close – we’ve each got each other’s numbers. I’ve always felt safe here.”
It’s an easy commute to work too, with Cherise just 3km from her office, while Haydn takes a 12-minute train to work from the station nearby. Most mornings they’ll go for a run on the reserve with the puppy. On their days off, they take their bikes for a ride or have family and friends over for a barbecue.
Ultimately, it’s the simple things Cherise loves about living here.
“Having people over, sitting on the patio, enjoying the beautiful views of the water.”
The apartment is north facing, meaning they get all-day sun and lovely sunrises, a good excuse to have breakfast on the patio, or potter in the vege garden.
“Being right on the water makes it really peaceful and lovely,” says Cherise. “With a body corp to manage the property and being so close to all the amenities you need, it ensures you have so much more free time to enjoy living.”
For Cherise and Haydn, this really is living.
To find out if a Fletcher Living apartment is right for you, visit: www.fletcherliving.co.nz/apartments