NOVEMBER is the most honest month in which to sell a house. The sky is low, the trees are bare and flower beds are just greyed-off husks.
Not a good time to show — but the best of all times for buyers. November is the season of rising damp and freezing fog — perfect for fault finding.
So it’s a confident seller indeed who hurls their property upon the choppy seas of a moribund November market.
In the case of this waterside home at Fergus, Dripsey, they owners are unrepentantly selling — and are confident that the stunning location and quality of space on offer will bring the buyers.
Built into rock and raised high above the Lee on its southern bank, just beyond Dripsey village, Riverside is high, dry and in excellent structural and decorative condition.
It’s on the market with Terry Hayes of Remax for offers in the region of €475,000 and he says it’s very good value at that level, considering the quality and space on offer.
Minutes from the Model Village, the area has a surprisingly dense population with a number of discreet one-offs — but then, it is only half an hour to Cork city.
Close by Griffin’s Garden Centre, (Riverside is across the river and down a bit), the house is the last property on a cul de sac road which bounds this inlet of the river Lee.
When the levels drop, the deep mud flats provide ideal feeding ground for waders and other birds and when it’s up, there’s a mooring from which to go a rowing.
The owners have a strip of foreshore to the front of the house, (it’s on the other side of the access road) and they spend the summer boating — they can reach Farran Woods easily from here and motor as far as Inniscarra Dam, but usually venture to Agharinagh, where there’s a public water sport facility which is ideal for families.
And speaking of families, the reason this house is being sold is because the owners’ are downsizing to the city. The location gave their kids a good, healthy upbringing, (and they attended the local schools, nearby), but now the house is too big for just two.
Standing on a site of three-quarters of an acre and with 3,700 square feet of space in total, this house has everything for the outdoorsy, athletic family and it has enough luxury too, for the couch potatoes.
Riverside is approached via a snaking drive to a large forecourt, (which acts like a viewing platform over the water), and entrance is through a bright, double height hallway with full length glazing and a bespoke, teak staircase.
The main living space is to the right and comprises a large kitchen/dining room with a very high-end kitchen — no surprise as its owner Martin Campion’s business is fitted furniture.
The kitchen end of the room is fitted with a bank of units in an L shape and finished with a high breakfast bar/ island unit. The cabinets are solid wood with a vanilla finish and worktop is quality granite. All the expensive extras are there, including a huge Baumatic range cooker, extractor and a Franke sink with flexi-hose tap and bowl fittings.
Across from the kitchen is the dining area and it’s set behind a glass block partition from the hallway. Behind that again there’s access to the utility room/ pantry, which in turn leads out to an enclosed yard with high, rock wall boundary.
The informal living room is a step down from the kitchen/ dining area and is a good, rectangular space that manages to fit a large leather suite with plenty of room left over.
A bank of full length windows look out over the water and give onto a west-facing patio while the room’s focal point is a simple, sandstone fireplace with open fire.
Another door leads back to the main hallway and further along a corridor, to a second, family room.
This rectangular space has a built-in unit that includes a television and screen fire with double doors leading out to a secluded courtyard. This space, which connects to the converted garage, is filled with a hot tub (included in the sale) and the owners had been planning to cover the space in glass, at one stage.
The rest of the ground floor has an en suite bedroom, a guest bathroom and fully fitted office, while overhead, there’s a huge galleried landing.
In fact, this space had been earmarked for a bathroom, but with so many in the house, the decision was made to allow it to remain a generous circulation space. Again, new owners could close it off, but as it houses a spiral staircase to the converted attic, that could be problematic.
The rest of the first floor accommodation includes bedrooms two and three, which share a Jack and Jill en suite and then, there’s the master bedroom.
Taking up one side of the house, and with its own balcony visible from the front elevation, this is a fine room.
And it comes with the mother of all walk-in wardrobes, with robes on three sides and a seating area in the middle — the size of a commercial changing room, really and superbly fitted.
The bathroom, meanwhile is another large room, with generous corner bath, twin basins fitted along one wall and a separate shower stall — quite luxurious.
That’s not all — up the spiral staircase and there’s a whole floor of space, with a rough division into two spaces, both of which could be suitable as en suite bedrooms, gym, den or a combination of all the above.
Families with teenagers will love the converted garage: downstairs, there’s a music/ pool room with bathroom and overhead, a lofted recreation space, so teenagers can be seen but not heard, so to speak. This element of the house will also suit multi-generational families as the garage could easily become a self-contained unit.
Terry Hayes is giving a guide of €475,000 for the house, which offers good value in euro per square metre.
VERDICT: Definitely worth a look — and imagine what it will be like in summer.