A framed letter from the White House hints at an American connection between the US President and the inhabitants of 3 Prospect Villas and sure enough one of the current owners is the child of an Irish emigrant.
That emigrant travelled to the US in 1969, and like many before him, met and fell in love with a US citizen. His family was born and raised in the US and while home was always Ireland, he became a US citizen. Hence the letter from the White House, albeit Ronald Reagan and not the current incumbent.
Once the children were reared, the family relocated to Dublin, one of whom subsequently purchased a home in Cobh in the early 2000s in a work-related move.
That home, an elegant and expertly restored period property, is now on the market for €500,000 as once again, a new job necessitates a move closer to work.
Selling agent Johanna Murphy of Johanna Murphy & Sons Auctioneers believes there’s a good chance No 3 will be snapped up by someone with overseas connections, as Cobh properties have in recent years attracted a good deal of interest from the overseas market.
“People see that the quality of life here is quite good and that the properties they are getting represent very good value for money,” she says.
No 3 is in rude health, having undergone a comprehensive overhaul including re-wiring and the installation of a new gas heating system (zoned) with a Combi boiler.
The house, which dates back to the 1860s and is one of many splendid homes built for the Royal Navy and Army in Cobh during this period, retains many original features while at the same time being quite up-to-date.
“This is a house that was sympathetically restored but with a contemporary finish,” Ms Murphy says.
The current owners bought it in 2009, after falling in love with the space the three-storey property offered..
“Having moved from a city apartment, the room sizes and ceiling heights were amazing and this coupled with the harbour views sold the house to us, ” the current owners say.
They added a kitchen extension with a step down into the original kitchen which now acts as a dining area. To the rear of the kitchen is a decent utility room with a door that leads to a courtyard, surrounded by herb beds.
The owners made the most of the sun, moving from the courtyard in the morning to the front of the south-westerly facing house later in the day.
“We have most enjoyed the summer months sitting enjoying the garden on the front terrace with a good barbecue and a glass of wine soaking in the view,” the owners say.
They believe it could appeal to either a couple or a family, as the property has five bedrooms, one of which doubles as a home office under the eaves.
It’s been a great backdrop for entertaining they say, with two fine “front” rooms — a living room and drawing room where recessed doors open up the space, enhanced further by French doors that open onto the terrace.
The three-storey house is littered with original features, such as a coloured glass window on the stair return, ceiling rose, sash windows with functioning shutters, original fireplaces.
No 3, in a row of four semi-detached villas,has its own pedestrian access to the main road that runs below it via a laneway shared with the row. This takes you nicely to the nearby train station, where commuter trains run regularly to Cork city.
At the rear of the house are a carport and garage, with steps leading down to the house.
VERDICT: A very good Prospect for anyone considering living in Cobh.