A stunning housing scheme with sophistication and quality family homes on Model Farm Road, has it all, reports.
There are certain home comforts that get a gal excited: rain head showers, touch control mirror demisters, walk-in wardrobes and ovens that incorporate microwaves.
Along with the superficial stuff, there’s the practical appreciation of well-designed open-plan living spaces, patios accessible through stylish, solid, patio doors, the joy of underfloor heating and an A-rated energy efficient home.
Last, but by no means least, there’s the attraction of a good location. If these are the kind of criteria governing your search for a family home, then head towards the western edge of Cork city where buyers are currently snapping up what’s left of Rosefield, a scheme of 19 houses, of which just six remain on the market.
“We’ve sold all six semi-Ds and seven of the 13 detached homes,”says Kevin Barry, of Barry Auctioneers. Not bad going for a scheme where prices start at €475,000 and climb up to €785,000.
The sale prices reflect the size of the eight different house types on the former Nangle Nurseries, three-acre site. All the homes have four bedrooms, and range in area from 1550sq ft to 2379sq ft. All but two have walk-in wardrobes.
The scheme is not pitched at first-time buyers.
“We see it as the final family home and that’s reflected in the price point,” Kevin says, although he has had one first-time buyer.
Builders Ecofix pride themselves for energy-efficient, quality builds designed for family living, and this estate on the outer reaches of Model Farm Road matches up to those standards.
I travelled from the city to visit and it took approximately 15 mins via the N40. I took the N22 or ‘Straight Road’ home to test drive the time via an alternate route, which took me in past the scenic Lee Fields and onto Gaol Cross and University College Cork in no time. The houses are in what’s been dubbed a “property hotspot”, with high demand among top end buyers seeking homes along this western artery. It’s proximity and excellent transport links to UCC, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), the Bon Secours Hospital, Cork University Hospital, the Mardyke Sports Arena, the ever-improving Ballincollig Regional Park and a wide variety of retail and schools in Ballincollig, Bishopstown, Wilton and Cork city, heighten its desirability.
And while the homes are a short drive to the city centre, there’s a touch of country to the environs, with the beautiful Anglican Church of St Peter towards the end of the little road that runs outside the estate, which has an extension by the famous 19th century British architect and designer William Burges, whose first commission was for St Fin Barre’s Catheral in Cork in the 1860s.
Back in the 21st century, Ecofix sales and marketing manager, Aideen Leahy, says she really pushed the boat out to ensure high-spec finishes at Rosefield, and this is reflected in the quality of bathroom fittings and tiling, door handles, light switches and sockets, wardrobes and kitchen fittings. It’s easy to imagine settling in pretty quickly based on the show house, where interior design is by Ventura Design, a Dublin company that opened its first Cork studio in Kinsale late last year.
I headed straight for the kitchen as it’s the backdrop to most of our living. It’s an open plan approach, a contemporary fitted kitchen/dining room/ living room, beautifully laid out with a quartz worktop and island unit with breakfast bar being the attention-grabbing centrepiece.
The kitchens are by Kube, and while the layout is predetermined, buyers will be able to choose from 12 finishes for their kitchen unit doors — from high gloss, to matt to timber. Buyers can also choose their counter top from seven different stones, and Kube’s head designer will be available to meet each buyer in their Cork showroom to discuss their options “Once you sign, you will get a welcome pack from ourselves with options on the Kube kitchen,” Aideen says.
Buyers will also have a choice of six different tile combinations from TileStyle in their bathrooms, from the porcelanosa ceramic range, as well as the luxury of being able to add colour to the different rooms around the house.
“Most developers use neutral paint colours to decorate but we are giving a choice — home buyers can pick from five different colours in the Colourtrend range at no extra charge,” Aideen says.
“We feel the price point is at the top end, so we need to add value and the personal touch.”
In fact these houses are so well-finished that there’s very little left for the buyer to do, save for the flooring.
Kitchen appliances are also included in the sale price and the brand is Neff, including a main oven and a Neff compact oven with microwave, a nice little space saver. The integrated fridge freezer is also Neff, as is the dishwasher. Additional kitchen features include an induction hob, pull-out larders and wide-capacity drawers to accommodate pots and pans, all handleless opening, a hidden extractor hood and an under-the-sink unit to accommodate recycling bins.
Washing machine and dishwasher are not included. These will slot into the adjoining utility room which also houses the Hitachi Air to Water Heat Pump, the source of underfloor heating downstairs, while traditional radiators heat the upstairs, as well as heated towel rails in the bathrooms. This ultra modern heating system, which does away with the need for gas or oil forever, and obviates the need for a tank in the hot press, is one of the reasons these homes have such a high BER energy rating of A3. There are also high levels of insulation built into the walls, roof and floors, as well as double-glazed Alu Clad windows, supplied by Munster Joinery and an Ultra tech timber and steel front door. Heating bills should be relatively modest going forward.
There are two sets of patio doors in the living area — one on the dining side and larger, sliding doors, at the living room end. These open out onto a 6mx5m patio. While the show house has a landscaped exterior, the rest of the homes in the build come with seeded lawns. There is more scope for some planting out front, where there is also room for parking two cars.
A substantial green area will form the centrepiece of the horseshoeish-shaped estate, ideal for families with kids. While mum and dad enjoy the Sunday papers out on the patio, the little darlings can run riot with their new neighbours on the green.
Back indoors, the first room that greets you on arrival is the study or TV room. Ventura Design went with a stylish bespoke built-in unit in this room and a similar unit in the open plan living area, so there are plenty of ideas to bring to your own home, should you choose to buy. In fact Ventura is very generously offering a €500 gift voucher to each home buyer to use as they see fit. This could be to buy a piece of furniture or fabric or to avail of an interior design consultation from Ventura Design, who work with a number of high profile clients, like Pippa O’Connor. The Ventura Collection includes sofas, tables and chairs and a range of upholstered goods and curtains. Consultations are by appointment only.
Just beyond the study, on the opposite side of the hall, is what has traditionally been known as “the good room”. The centrepiece here is a made-to-measure Balmoral fireplace in Turkish limestone, with black granite inset and hearth. It incorporates a wood-burning stove, in line with the regulations governing all new builds, where an open fire is unfortunately, no longer permissible.
The downstairs also houses a wheelchair accessible WC, making it that bit roomier than what most of us are used to. Upstairs, the bedrooms are of fairly generous proportions. The good news is there is no box room. All can comfortably accommodate a double bed. Two, including the master bedroom, have stylish ensuites. All of the bathrooms have high quality Duravit sanitary ware and wall-mounted toilets, so no sign of unsightly pipes. Rain-head showers feature throughout, as do mirrors that demist by touch control, a handy little feature for households where shaving and make-up (in no particular order) are part of the morning’s usually rushed routine.
One of my favourite features, which needs no explaining, is the walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom. As the song goes, Every Home Should Have One.
The two bedrooms to the rear of the house have ‘cashmere’ built-in wardrobes, with handleless doors and soft close hinges. The guest bedroom to the front of the house is the only bedroom without a built-in.
So what else? Each home comes with a 10 year CRL structural guarantee, each is wired for an intruder alarm and features mains-powered smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
The exterior finish is red-brick, which sits nicely with older properties across the lane, and drives are cobble-locked.
Just bring the Nespresso machine and it’s all over bar the flooring.
Model Farm Road, Cork city
Price range: 475k-785k
Size range: 1550 sq ft - 2379 sq ft (144 sq m - 221 sq m)
Bathrooms: 1 WC, I main, 2 en suites