An ‘exercise station’ in the garden is just one of the bespoke features of this star home in Ballincollig, says Tommy Barker.
Ballincollig, Co Cork
Size: 267 sq m (2,850 sq ft)
ALL set up for trials for Ireland’s Fittest Family, 85 Fernwalk, Greenfields is a large family home within a jog of the hugely popular Saturday morning 5km Parkrun in Ballincollig’s Regional Park.
And, for the truly competitive, this house even comes with its own outdoors ‘exercise station’, for warm-ups, cooling down, or just pumping up the muscles of young and old.
That ‘exercise station’ is a tall frame, made up in galvanised steel for longevity, complete with monkey bars and supports for lunges, dips, curls, and whatever you’re having yourself.
It’s included in the sale of the house, as a fixture, fitting and ‘fit-out’: Should such healthy, outdoor activity not be right up your street, well, it can also be used as a garden pergola, and you can train plants up it instead of working up a personal trainer glow.
It’s one of the more novel features of this 16-year old, one-off home within the Greenfields development on the edge of Ballincollig, near the bypass.
(OK so we’ve overstated the proximity to the Regional Park and its weekend 5ks, which attract 300-400 runners competing for timed ‘personal bests’ most weekends. Get your skates on.)
No 85 is one of the quite small, bespoke numbers built on serviced Greenfields sites back in the day.
When first offered, site prices started at £35,000, and ran up to €70,000-plus.
The vast majority of Greenfields homes were built by O’Flynn Construction, offering a small number of house types — only a handful of the one-offs built on the serviced sites have come up for resale in the past several years, says agent Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald.
She’s now selling this brick-finished, detached, five-bedroom home, a tad shy of 2,900 sq ft and extended only four years ago, at a price guiding €690,000.
By coincidence, another Greenfields home also came fresh to market this weekend: the smaller Fern Lodge, Fernwalk, is c 2,150 sq ft, and is priced at €545,000 by Cohalan Downing, and features online today also.
Viewers may well check out both offers, and go a-bidding, despite the €145,000 price differential.
Given the attractions of both to families looking to trade up in the western suburbs, it will be interesting to see what the final price difference between this duo will be when both are sold.
Adding an extra frisson to the equation in the coming months will be the spring launch of up to 30 new builds on the former Nangles nurseries site on Model Farm Rd, halfway between Bishopstown and Ballincollig: They’re expected to be priced above €700,000 for the larger homes.
Back at the immediately available No 85, meanwhile, it’s a home which has had a whole new energy given to it thanks to the rear, full-width extension which is very much open plan, tying into the existing kitchen and living room for an airy and easy circulation space.
“It’s a great family and party house,” says Ms Healy, “it was designed around today’s family lifestyle specifications.”
She quips “that there are two further reception rooms — for when you want to escape family life”!
Now possibly more interesting to look at from the back, thanks to its two-storey side extension and single storey rear extension with full-height glazing, the build’s timber framed to the front, all faced with brown brick, and is traditional or block-built and extensively glazed behind, with Nordic pine double glazing, and the agents say the two marry seamlessly.
The vendors, heading into emptying nest times, are trading down within the locality and, after all their recent enhancements, No 85 feels very modern.
The rear add-on is about 35’ wide, with Velux/rooflights, and it has defined seating/eating sections.
The 24’ by 15’ kitchen/diner’s set back within the older structure, done by the well-regarded Linehan Designs, in an updated country look, with painted solid pine units, some feature brick, Belfast sink, black granite tops, breakfast bar, and a ‘traditional’ pine kitchen dresser, painted a funky orange as a visual lift.
Adding to the modern feel are some glass-block panels in walls in the hall, and bespoke stairs and oak doors, made by Southwood Joinery.
The side extension gave an en suite master bedroom upstairs, and all four first-floor bedrooms are doubles and one other is en suite.
At ground level there’s bedroom number five, close to a wetroom/bathroom and reached via the utility, and so is handy if a large or busy family wanted an au pair, or to accommodate an independent family member.
Elsewhere there’s a further guest WC, two other reception rooms — one to the front is c 21’ by 11’ with raised fireplace and kitchen/diner access; the other is a double aspect sitting room to the back with garden and exercise station views, and No 85’s on one of the larger Greenfields sites, off the Killumney Raod.