House of the week: No 6 Birchley, Model Farm Road, Cork

Almost a secret location, the Model Farm Road niche called Birchley only comes to the fore once in a blue moon, when a house arrives here for sale.

Model Farm Road, Cork

Price: €850,000

Size: 3,800sq ft (353sq m) on 1.25 acres

Bedrooms: 5/6

Bathrooms: 5

BER: Pending

Expect a bit of a flurry now, so, for No 6 Birchley, a big and well-built home, in anyone’s books, new to market for its trading-down owners via Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing, and it is set at the back of the development of only eight one-off builds. It’s both hugely accommodating, and highly accessible, and is likely to be hotly pursued.

It’s just the second house to come for resale in 1990s built Birchley, and the access just near the Irish Guide Dogs campus is discretely low-key. No 1 Birchley is the last resale here, going to market three years ago with Sherry FitzGerald asking €695,000. No 1 Birchley was 2,800sq ft, on a half acre and was dated internally and it showed up on the Price Register by early 2016, at an even €700,000.

Those with families, looking for room to colonise with a Model Farm Road address, form an orderly line, although the asking price of €850,000 quoted by CDA’s Mr Olden might at least restrict that line of upwardly mobile viewers to a more manageable number. It’s got ‘medic appeal’ stamped all over it, given it’s a short run in the Model Farm Road (or, the Carrigrohane ‘Straight’ road to the CUH/Bons/Mercy, and as it’s at the very western end of the Model Farm Road, near the Poulevone Road roundabout, it has immediate access to Ballincollig, to the Ballincollig bypass, and back to the south city ring road as readily.

No 6 is big, broad and deep house, a good match size-wise for its exceptional sized site, so large that a portion has almost been hidden away in the back left corner behind a line of mature planting.

If a new buyer wanted a sylvan setting for a cabin retreat in their own gardens, well, it’s all but here already, just bring on the Shomera or comparable stand-alone garden room structure. But, who needs much more living space than the 3,800 sq ft that’s already here? And, given it’s got this much going for its, it’s notable that almost every room is a good, decent size too.

No 6 was bought by a couple with growing family, who loved to entertain, and especially at Christmas/New Year’s, when they’d put up a marquee in the back terrace for mass catering and dancing. Until, until…

Until the gales that roared on Christmas Eve 1997, which at 80-90 mph ripped tiles, slate and roofs off homes, upended trees and caused 47,500 insurance claims nationwide.

That ‘97 storm was no Hurricane Irma, thankfully, but at 6 Birchley it saw the marquee take off like a kite. The family decided to add on the back a more permanent space for hosting gatherings of friends and family, and built on a 500 sq ft dining room/living room extension, under sloping , pine sheeted ceilings, and added a wide, contemporary Lotus wood-burning stove for good measure.

Apart altogether from the ‘great room’ add on, there’s plenty of space for day-to-day family living: the kitchen, with masses of pine units, Stanley oven plus electric oven back-ups, overlooks the dining/living room. Alongside is a family room/TV room, and off the kitchen is a utility. Still at ground floor level is a more formal sitting room to the front of the house with window bay, the hall is wide and deep, with guest WC here too, serving a ground floor bedrooms, and a study/home office.

Upstairs are five more bedrooms, with very bright landing, and there’s a large master bedroom with bay window, one other bedroom faces south at the far end, and in between are three more bedrooms, a shower room and a main family bathroom with bath and bidet.

Overall condition is excellent, and some joinery such as the ash double doors to the hall set the right tone: any changes made in new ownership will surely be discretionary, to decorative tastes, no more than that.

Brian Olden (who also has a quality Hilton MFR new-build, done to a builder’s finish, on the market this month at €740,000) says No 6 is a family home of real quality.

VERDICT

: No 6 Birchley is one fine property package. Lucky the family who can stretch to it.

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