House of the week: Take the plunge with this West Cork home

It's not only the streets, the back roads and the boreens of Schull which will be teeming with sporting activity this day next week – so too will be the churning waters of the harbour.

Set to host a very competitive mini-triathlon Saturday June 8 is West Cork’s Schull Triathlon Club, with hundreds of visiting participants taking part in a 200 metre swim, a 20km cycle and a five km run... for extra good measure.

Now, it might be a bit late to take the training plunge for next Saturday’s event, but as good a place as any to practice for the next 2020 event must be Pier Cottage, just a short 5 km trot, or a hardier swim, out the Colla Road from Schull village.

It comes with land, and water frontage and it bounds the picturesque, and relatively sheltered Colla Pier, with views over Roaringwater Bay, islands and ocean.

The next owner of Pier Cottage can pretty much dive straight into the sea from their property, and rise back out of it straight into a warm shower. But, first, they must take the stretch to buy — and it’s priced at a not-inconsequential €675,000.

It’s not just a West Cork thing, it’s a Schull thing and to narrow it down further, it’s a Colla Road thing. Then, add in the allure of water frontage/access, and it steps up another notch or two in the desirabilty stakes.

Will it make its price ask? Well, chi-chi and all as the Colla Road address is, the Price Register records 54 sales on this coastal route since 2010, and the second highest price in all of that period was Fastnet House in West Colla last summer, for €400,000.

And, so what was the highest in year, and years? Well, that would be Cuan Bán, the former family home of the late businessman and West Cork native Bernie Cahill. Cuan Bán went for sale this time last year, a 3,800 sq ft luxury home on 2.8 acres with its own private pier. It had carried a €1.5m price guide, but after two very wealthy Cork bidders went head-to-head on it, via local Schull agent James Lyons O’Keeffe, it topped out at c €2.2m.

The successful buyer was a city businessman: the underbidder? He consoled himself buying a 7,500 sq ft period home on 16 riverside acres in Bandon via Savills for €1.6m, and topped that up by also buying West Skeam Island in Roaringwater Bay, which had been several years on the market seeking €1.5m with Skibbereen agents Charles P McCarthy.

So, estate agent Seán Carmody, now a director with McCarthy’s offices, is hoping some similarly well-heeled viewers (flippers not allowed) will surface for Pier Cottage.

It has been several decades, and two generations, in the current owners’ family and now they’ve made the move back full-time to the UK, hence its arrival on the market over these coming summer months.

It’s basically dormer farmhouse in style, a bit old fashioned, with exposed roof timbers, has about 1,300 sq ft with two bedrooms, one at ground, one up above with peaky dormer window, and it gets G BER and needs updating.

The house backs quite directly to the Colla Road just by the turn down to the pier (where a ferry service runs to and from Long Island), and is on about half an acre, with shoreline frontage, and the compromise for the views is relatively low levels of privacy outside.

Meanwhile, there’s a further 1.7 acres on the other side of the pier, with even more frontage, it’s more private in one way, and more exposed in another, to the elements, and getting planning for development on it might only be allowed on exceptional design grounds.

Meanwhile, in another West Cork holiday hot-spot, Crookhaven, the sale of a modern 3,200 sq ft family home on a half acre with water frontage and pier has gone over its April 2019 launch price of €625,000 with Hodnett Forde and is still rising in bids, currently at c €650,000.

VERDICT: If at first you don’t succeed, tri, tri and tri again.

Schull, West Cork: €675,000

Size: 121 sq m (1,300 Sq ft)

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 2

BER: G

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