Smart house will appeal to village people

EVEN in a seller's market, you still have to keep one up on the competition, especially if you're aiming at the middle to upper level.

The Parkes Brothers, developers of three townhouses in Tramway Terrace, Douglas are probably the first company to add smart technology to their scheme in the centre of the Cork village.

Just completed, these units are being marketed through Billy Casey of Casey Kingston and he's inviting offers in the region of €500,000 for these three-storey properties.

At the asking price you'd expect a lot and the finish is very high, especially when you consider that the house will answer the front door for you. In fact, you needn't get up off the chair to do anything, keep the remote in hand and you can turn down the lights, adjust the heating and turn on the oven, while changing channels.

And the facility is remote, so you can also connect to the house via your mobile phone to do all of the above.

The gadgety end of things will apply to a certain type of buyer, but what of the rest? Well, the house does have luxury touches: it has a sauna in the master suite, which takes up the whole top floor of the house and all four bathrooms have fire-hose pressure with multi-jet units and some tasty vanity fittings.

All of the joinery in solid cherry, down to the architraves and skirting and the ground floor has solid cherry. The really nice touch in the development is outside: what would be uninspiring yards have been transformed by going that bit extra.

Double doors from the living room lead on to a fully walled and private outdoor living space. Facing full south, there's solid teak decking covering the entire area with inset lighting in blues, red and white. Best of all, there's an outdoor kitchen with sink unit, granite worktop and storage below.

A red-brick firebreast with stainless steel canopy houses a wide, gas barbecue and the area is fully planted with climbers, which should mature beautifully. Inside, there's a small, sunny area at the back of the living room which would be perfect for a study area and then a large living space with subtle, sandstone fireplace.

The kitchen faces onto the road and is fully finished in cherry with integrated appliances: a utility room with appliances and gas boiler is off the yard with access to the living.

Incidentally, these houses will come fully fitted and furnished and the cost is inclusive in the overall guide price. In the bedrooms, this includes modern, German furniture and sleek, double beds.

Two of the three bedrooms are ensuite, with a main bathroom and a ground floor WC just off the main hallway.

Across the road, the Douglas Close development has a number of townhouses up for re-sale and most are reaching the same level in bids as the guide price here.

By comparison, you can move into these townhouses on Tramway Terrace and pay nothing more, everything is already laid on - down to the barbie.

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