House of the week

IT’S 12 years old, but inside it feels practically brand new, thanks to ongoing upgrades and investment in decor and design.

House of the week

And, after the first few weeks of viewings, No 14 The Hermitage is well-received, and under immediate offer — en route to its €495,000 asking price via Michael O’Donovan of Sherry FitzGerald who says there’s little of this calibre currently in the great Cork market. (His point is echoed by many other Cork agents this month. who acknowledge a dearth of good trading up stock, and a bit of summer clear-out of what had been for sale.)

There’s way more going on inside this 2,900 sq ft dormer home than you’d suspect from a cursory outside look in its cul de sac park. Sure, it’s neat, and immaculately turned out on its one-third of an acre site, but the only suggestion of something a bit more special within is the broad, highly varnished and arched timber front door — it sets an immediate tone of care — and it proves the selling maxim that first impressions start at or even before the front door.

Within, there’s a family home with some great and useful rooms, freshly presented, just the right side of ‘designer’ presented.

The Sallybrook dormer home (designed by PAH Architects) is one of 15 one-offs high above the Glanmire valley, with green views below and the Cork-Dublin road passing by just to the east beyond more dense greenery, with Cork city a short commute away. The site is a third of an acre, neat as a pin in front with low-maintenance materials, while behind there’s immaculate lawns, patio and tiered decking and landscaping for a pretty inclusive package. Cleverly, the house’s garden shed, bin store area and more are all shielded away behind screening which leave the back garden views unimpeded. It works.

All three of its first floor bedrooms are en suite, so a family looking to move here won’t have fights from offspring looking for a private bathroom, and its fourth, ground level bedroom again has a quality shower room en suite — and having a lower level bathroom makes the home highly adaptable for all age groups and generational living.

Ground floor layout is spot-on, very open with a flow to it, all rooms ranged off an extra sized hall (and ceiling heights have an extra bit in them too) windows are well placed to catch light from various aspects, and there’s a balance of open areas, and more private evening rooms for when teens or adults need private space.

There’s a smashing new kitchen by Glenline, richly finished in lots and lots of lacquered walnut that really is the house’s scene-setter, right on trend, with a zig-zag breakfast island, black granite topped and there are Neff appliances, and an extra-size utility continues the high-spec, plus has mounds of out-of-sight storage.

No 14’s freshest feel is indeed around the back kitchen/dining/seating space, with up-to-date porcelain tiling, and the fact the window glazing back here isn’t latticed like those in the front of and side of the house probably gives it a more contemporary feel. The main and more formal 26’ by 15’ drawing room has a triple south/west/east aspect, three bay windows, and a solid fuel stove. The heating system is high-end, with a heat recovery system.

THE VERDICT: The vendors have this home primed for a sale — others thinking of selling would do well to look it over to see how to give such a good impression.

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