A far from pedestrian property

ESTATE agents’ brochures invariably highlight the positives — but is a healthy 90-minute walk really going to sell a house? Or, is it telling us something about the way in which people may commute from their energy-saving homes in the future?

The distance from Church Hill, in Passage West, overlooking Cork harbour, back to Cork city centre, is given as 10kms, or just under six miles, by auctioneer Dan Howard, of Dooley and Howard, who himself lists the relevant attributes and setting of the big, newly-built one-off, number six, Árd Chuan.

But, then, a Daft website listing for number six estimates that it is a 90-minute walk to Cork city. Huh?

Now, OK, there is a great river/harbour/estuary-side walk back towards the city, along the old railway line that served Monkstown and Carrigaline — and it cuts off away from traffic to link up with the Marina — so walking can be a car-fumes-free, aerobically-sound choice.

But, even in the worst of peak traffic times, a car-borne commuter will beat that 90-minute hike, hands down.

You might do it on a bike in 25 minutes, with a tail wind, and there’s also a regular bus option. Ye gods, there’s even a cross river ferry nearby, over the water to Great Island, and you could link up with a Cobh-Cork commuter train back to the city.

But a 90-minute walk? And another 90 minutes back? Yep, free, healthy, mind-liberating....but a daft way surely to offer property, except perhaps in an oil-crisis.

Number six, Árd Chuain, is a house where energy consumption should, in any case, be lower than the norm, at least for a house of this size.

New to the market, here, in this scheme of big one-offs, on serviced sites, and seeking €875,000, is number six, a big, 3,400 sq ft just-built home, with a range of energy-efficient features, up for sale with Dooley and Howard.

It has five beds and five bathrooms (four are en-suites) and two main reception rooms, plus kitchen/dining and utility.

Apart from visually attractive features like walnut doors, it has double-glazed windows, under-floor heating downstairs, thermostats aplenty, solar panels, and good insulation levels.

The site, just seeded for a real, green touch, has parking, two patios and automatic gate and stone entrance walls and pillars.

Also for sale in Árd Chuan is number three, listed with Sherry FitzGerald since autumn 2008, and recently down in price from €850,000 to €795,000.

It, too, is large, with 3,500 sq ft of space and has a host of high-tech and energy-efficient features (tip: to save energy, try building smaller houses?) and needs some final finishing choices, such as kitchen units, flooring and sanitary ware.

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