There aren’t too many ‘new’ homes in an area as steeped in Kinsale town’s long history as St John’s Hill, but No 5 bucks the trend: it was built only about a quarter of a century ago.
Some of its neighbours on this hill stretch, in the historic town’s core by the Municipal Hall and old bowling green are proper Georgian period builds, dating to the mid 1700s, and some by the foot of the hill are slate-hung, with exquisite window details.
Top of the hill here, just before the Mall is No 5 St John’s Hill, a detached three-bed, three-bath, three-storey house with a doff of the cap and some Georgian references, albeit with fairly standard ‘Georgian-effect’ uPVC windows across its five-bay facade, in its projecting gable bay window, and to the back too, where rooms overlook a private, deep sunken courtyard patio/garden with decked balcony off a half landing.
No 5 was constructed from scratch back in 1998 by local builder Ken O’Brien, and quite critically for many local home hunters, it includes a garage, integrated within its structure and accessible from the lower of the three internal levels, with gated off-street parking also to hand on the property’s other, uphill side.
5 St John’s Hill shows on the Price Register as having changed hands for previous owners in 2014 for a recorded €580,000: the register also shows the sale of the period home No 3 back in 2010, at market nadir, for €250,000.
Values have moved on considerably since then, naturally, and especially for Kinsale, where €1m+ property sales are almost commonplace.
Had No 5 St John’s Hill the kudos of ‘proper’ period home status and the patina of age in a location like this its value on sale launch in Summer 2020 might well be over the ‘Big Note,’ but selling agent Sean McCarthy of ERA Downey McCarthy pitches it below, at an even €900,000.
That’s for a 2,300 sq ft, easy-keep home, with three en suite bedrooms, views, off-street parking, private outdoor space and with the entire town’s facilities at its feet.
It’s in excellent order, with its main kitchen/dining and sitting room up at the top floor. At ground, past an arched entrance door a hall, guest WC and adjacent bedroom three, with access to the garage, which is plumbed up as a laundry/utility.
ERA’s Mr McCarthy says there’s possible scope to convert the garage to use as a fourth bedroom if new owners so wish, but, in truth, having the parking/storage option in such a busily trafficked (pedestrian footfall is high too, it’s along the Tourist Trail) part of town will be a far more valuable USP for many.
While it’s got everything for full-time usage, it’s possible that it will be bought as a second/holiday home/bolt-hole, possible retirement option, given its modern build, low maintenance demands and parking possibility. An overseas-based buyer could leave a car here, and taxi to and from Cork airport just a 25-minute fare ride away.
Sean McCarthy says the views from the top floor, out over the town and over the harbour, marina and moorings, are captivating, most of all from the ‘fantastic’ living level up on the second floor.
Good quality materials are used within, such as hardwood doors and floors and a well-crafted staircase, by Noel Barry, Waterfall, and the décor is described as muted, ready for new owners to highlight with artworks, or paintings or photographs of local scenes.
The top floor kitchen/diner has lots of glass toward the back, overlooking the courtyard and sit-out decked balcony midships. Many of the rooms have a double aspect and are bright, and the main c 20’ by 15’ living room is triple aspect with two gable windows. Below, one of the mid level’s three bedrooms has a projecting gable wall bay window.
VERDICT: No 5 hasn’t the aged and architectural finesse of its older neighbours, but is easier to keep.
Size: 215 sq m (2,332 sq ft) Bedrooms: 3