SECOND CHANCES. Danica Paki and Samuel McConnell believe in them. One year after they missed out on the house they’d scaled mountains for, it came on the market again. This time, they were ready. They did not hesitate.

Most people run for fitness but Paki and McConnell would regularly tackle the 135-metre climb of Ōwairaka, after the long haul from their first renovated home (an ex-Statie in Waterview), as an exercise in discovering the area. “We became obsessed with this part of Mount Albert: the lovely views, the personalities, the mix of cultures,” says Paki.

The house they secured second time around is elevated well away from the street, with

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