Stunning Hayfield is top of the crop

IS No 25 Hayfield the pick of the crop? There probably isn’t a bad house in this 2004 up-market Cork suburban development, but in the sliding scale of best sites and sizes, it certainly comes out near the top.

The owners of No 25 know their houses – as well they might, given this is about the tenth family home they’ve had.

Knowing the score, and knowing what works best in a house layout, meant the owners here adapted the original floor-plan when they bought here off the Model Farm Road on Day One. It isn’t hugely tweaked, but there’s a clear logic to it, and better-heeled viewers passing through now will appreciate the adaptations.

Even simple things like an extra large utility room and guest loo added off the kitchen are indicative. Large, high-ceilinged and airy, it also serves as a laundry room, with plenty of room to work around an ironing board while still doing the other domestic chores. It is hardly a deal clincher, but still ...

Maybe the kitchen will do the trick? A Siematic affair, and with pink granite tops and splashbacks it has the best of appliances in situ, such as Gaggenau, with an expensive stream oven in pride of place.

This detached, five-bedroomed family home par excellence packs in about 2,700 sq ft of space over its two levels, and none of that space feels in any way pinched. There’s not a bad room, and even the stairs return is big enough to accommodate a chaise longue.

Ceiling heights are uniformly high, and go higher again in the bright, family room which drops down a few steps from the kitchen/dining room spread of wide open spaces.

This room has a quality oak floor, fireplace with gas insert fire, and like most of the rest of the house, has elegant ceiling cornices and recessed lighting. Even the five double bedrooms have cornice work, and two have en sutie bathrooms: like the main family bathroom, the master suite has under floor heating, a Jacuzzi bath, and a powerful, separate Jacuzzi shower.

Estate agents Sheila O’Flynn and Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald guide No 25 at € 1.15 million as it comes to market, and know it is a bit of a box-ticker for a wide demographic who’d like to live in Hayfield. The betting is strong that its buyer will be a doctor, as medics favour this location off the Model Farm Road, half way between Bishopstown and Ballincolig.

And, medics are currently the market’s strongest buyers in the upper price echelons thanks to a “rash” of recent and imminent appointments. Example? The new Cork Medical Centre due to open in Mahon will have 75 doctors, and 100 ancillary medical-related staff among its 350 employees when it opens later this summer - admittedly on the other side of the city, however.

Sherry Fitz call No 25 “an executive home, at one of the best addresses in the western suburbs”. Builder was John Deane of Ruden Homes, and it is possibly his best product to date, some 34 houses built on 4.5 acres of ground set right by Nangles Nurseries, acquired in 2001 for £4.5 million. It was Cork’s first £1 million an acre field, happily growing corn until sold in 2001 and fully developed by 2004. Launch prices for the big five beds were about the €725,000 mark, and peak prices by 2006 had risen to over €1.3 million.

The last comparable resale late in 2009 was in the mid-€900,000s, with Irish & European, and that house needed further spending on purchase.

No 25 has all the hallmarks of a €1m-plus Cork house, even in straitened times, its condition is mint, aspect favourable, gardens immaculate and intelligently planted, location prime, neighbours apparently affluent, etc for those who need all these family home boxes ticked.

Fittings and finishes are fairly top-end, but without the bling and bragging of the Celtic Tiger era.

Hall floor is marble, and off to the right is a formal drawing room with Adam-style white marble fireplace: the room gains from a slight front protrusion, which allows for a side/semi-bay widow for double aspect.

Across the hall is a music room/den/study, and both these front rooms have glazed double doors for airy access.

The family/kitchen/dining takes up the full width of the back of the house, with a bit more tacked on for the extra-sized utility room to the right hand side.

About the only surprise back here is the fact there’s only direct access to the sunken back deck from the house’s centrepoint by the dining table: another access from the family room would add to the indoor/outdoor flow.

That back, two-tiered south-facing deck space is a real bonus of the property, separated from the lawns by low brick walls, while sawn railway sleepers vertically set help to define the corner borders, with planting softening the high boundary walls. Planting includes ornamental shrubs, perennials, specimen plants such as acers, lots of bamboo, silver birch and rhododendron, while large terracotta pots are about to add to the colour range and greenery.

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