Thornton Bay

PHOTO: The house – 8km north of Thames in Thornton Bay, on the peninsula’s western coast – is now uninhabitable. HARCOURTS / SUPPLIED

Next month, a beachfront property in Coromandel, with a jaw-dropping $1 reserve price, is set to be auctioned off, but there’s a significant twist to the story.

This property, offering breathtaking waterfront vistas of Thornton Bay, includes a rather unusual feature: a red sticker, courtesy of a backyard landslide that dislodged the house from its foundations during the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods. Remarkably, the 95-year-old owner, Dennis Raines, was inside the house when this calamity occurred, but he was rescued by a local handyman who came to check on his wellbeing.

Situated 8 kilometers north of Thames on the western coast of the peninsula, the house is now unsuitable for habitation, compelling Dennis to contemplate a move after residing here for 27 years. His son, Clive, emphasized that the $1 reserve price is not a typo, but a strategic move to gauge market interest and determine its actual value.

As well as spectacular water views of Thornton Bay north of Thames, the house comes complete with a red sticker due to a backyard landslide.
As well as spectacular water views of Thornton Bay north of Thames, the house comes complete with a red sticker due to a backyard landslide.

“It’s a straightforward approach to generate interest and ascertain the market’s willingness to acquire it,” Clive stated during an interview on Checkpoint. “After an extensive insurance claims process, which was particularly challenging due to his evacuation, Dennis found temporary lodging nearby. However, he is still responsible for property taxes. Fortunately, he has secured permanent accommodation in central Thames. Given his age of 95, the prospect of demolishing the property and constructing something new is a significant undertaking. Thus, we decided to set the reserve price at $1 and observe what the market is willing to offer.”

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Clive emphasized that they are not concerned about potentially giving away the property. “This is a stunning bay, a beachfront property with an estimated area of around 807 square meters. It could potentially be a fantastic deal for someone. The property has already garnered substantial interest, and we will accept whatever price the market dictates. Moreover, there’s a notable demand for land in that part of Coromandel, especially since it does not have the challenges of the damaged Kopu-Hikuai road, and it’s just a convenient hour-and-a-half drive from Auckland.”

Unlike many other subdivisions, this property comes without restrictive covenants, offering purchasers a wide range of possibilities. “Buyers can choose to leave it as is, essentially as a blank canvas for future development or simply landbank it. They can even park their house bus on the property if they wish. The appeal of this property extends to a broad spectrum of potential buyers,” Clive added.

Although the house is still standing on the property and is ready for demolition, it is being sold in its current condition, “as-is, where-is.”

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Reflecting on the situation, Clive mentioned that his father would have preferred to continue living in the home he cherished for 27 years but was unable to finance its reconstruction. “It’s regrettable that his house was the sole one in the bay affected by the landslide. There was only one neighboring house that sustained minor damage.”