A place to float your boat

YOU won’t get too many houses right down at the waterfront in Kinsale Harbour, it is sort of the elite setting of an elite town, and that’s why this Lower Cove home is guided at €1.75 million.

Built several decades ago by a local man, who emigrated to the US and returned then to live here, it has vaguely American touches inside — open plan or linked living areas, now very much in vogue here — along with local architectural references, such as a slate-hung exterior.

But, that’s nearly enough about the house: after all, it is the site here that is king, in one of the country’s finest and fortified natural harbours, one utilised by generations of fishermen, sailors and bathers, and a backdrop for some of Munster’s dearest real estate.

Travel out from Kinsale town past Summercove, past Charles Fort and past Middle Cove, home to a boat-yard, and you come to Lower Cove. Not too many people call here, so it is private much of the year, but locals know about it, a few boat owners moor small craft here in summer, and there’s a handful of neighbouring homes too so that it isn’t too isolated. A great mix, in a nutshell.

Three miles from Kinsale town, this 1,900 sq ft home is new to the market for the family of the original owners, for sale with John Deady and Peter Cave of Savills Hamilton Osborne King, and they know they have got a rare offering thanks to its stony beach frontage.

Savills were joint agents 18 months ago with local agents, Sheehys, in the sale of Pallace Wharf in Scilly, in the heart of the harbour, which fetched €4 million and which was bought by a couple from Dublin.

Lower Cove will get inquiries from near and far, but it is a strong likelihood this offering will be bought by a local who knows every inch of the harbour, and who knows the value of such a site.

Its direct access to the beach is a key point of course, but there’s also a boathouse and a woodshed which gives scope possibly for some other tasty add-ons.

One thing is sure, whoever buys here won’t be afraid to spend further and drag the architects in to funk up the design inside and out and create a really special ‘lifestyle’ setting.

As it stands, it has four bedrooms, two at each level, and most of its day time space is open plan around a first floor kitchen and living room, with a copper canopied open fireplace, and the room opens to a large balcony.

It is on an acre, too, so there’s plenty of space to work with and enjoy, subject to planning permission.

Kinsale property is back in the ascendent after its dip in the early 2000s. Case in point is the €3.2 million bid on Prospect House, on three acres by the Spaniard bar in Scilly, with Dominic Daly,

That same agent got about €1.5 million in late 2004 for a house on stilts just over the headland from Lower Cove, facing Oysterhaven Bay.

Since that sale, the new Rathmore Carlton hotel has opened up, while plans for a mega PGA golf course and tourism/ holiday home investment, at the end of the headland, are awaiting a High Court case, scheduled for June.

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