state houses


PHOTO: THE PROFESSIONALS I grew up in a State House much like this one, the Matai floors were always warm, even in the winter.

Like the Mark II Zephyr, L&P and a good pair of jandals, the New Zealand state house is a Kiwi design classic.

Often easy to spot, the archetypal state house is a three-bedroom, timber frame, weatherboard clad bungalow, with a tight pitched roof, on a quarter acre section. But according to Housing New Zealand, there were actually more than 400 plans drawn up in 1935. No two houses were meant to be exactly the same.

One thing all those early homes do have in common is “good bones”. They were built to last out of decent materials, solid and dependable. They pop up in the listings from time to time, often having been extensively remodelled or even given a whole new architectural life.  A 30s or 40s built former state house that’s been sensitively modernised is likely to be a seriously good buy.