Tommy Barker


A pre-Christmas wrap anyone?

‘Tirol’ is sure to be an odd-ons favourite in the run up to the festive season, reports Tommy Barker

A pre-Christmas wrap anyone?

‘Tirol’ is sure to be an odd-ons favourite in the run up to the festive season, reports Tommy Barker

Maryborough Hill, Douglas, Cork - €575,000

  • Size: 165 sq m (1,784 sq ft)
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • BER: C1

AFTER 16 happy years in situ, it looks like 2018 will be the last Christmas celebrated here at 9, Tirol Close, by its attentive owners.

Not only is this detached house in The Paddocks development in ship-shape order for a sale, in true walk-in order and pristine to boot, but its owners are so ready to tidy away the last of their already tidy possessions: they’ve a new, and larger, house bought to trade up to. It’s been a long time coming.

It’s just built, after a protracted construction process that saw hopes of a move in time for last Christmas fail to come through.

Now, they’re due to get the key by early December, but they’ve decided to remain at No 9 for one more big Christmas celebration, and to make their move in January after all the pressure eases off, rather than be under pressure from any last minute snags.

It’s the sort of practical wisdom that comes from experience, and as they’ve previously done building work here at No 9, they know it’s better to play it safe.

In any case, it’s not like having a Christmas Day family dinner here, after Santa’s successful negotiation with the living room’s solid fuel stove, will be any great hardship: it’s a home made for relaxed entertaining.

The couple, with children aged 10 years and six, bought No 9 some 16 years ago, and are its second owners, with the pleasantly designed Paddocks homes now about 30 years of age, and spanning a mix of large detacheds, some well over 2,000 sq ft, others more ‘medium’ sized and a few terraced homes also, all on the side of Maryborough Hill.

The Paddocks was developed by the Horgan family, who owned the nearby Douglas House, and they had a background in the livestock industry as well as an well-known interest in race horses: the ‘pedigree’ scheme’s Tirol Close and Tirol Avenue got their names from John Horgan’s thoroughbred Tirol, winner of the Newmarket and Curragh 2000 Guineas in the late 1980s.

Designed by Hogan Architects, The Paddocks created quite a stir in its own day, with several showhouses opened, and throngs of visitors traipsing through in some thrall, donning the (now familiar) shoe protectors to guard against stains on the deep pile white carpets.

As spotless today as any showhouse, the 1,785 sq ft No 9 “is a credit to its owners”, says estate agent Jeremy Murphy, as he puts this home, which has moved gently with the times, up for sale, sporting a €575,000 asking price.

The Price Register shows previous sales at Tirol Avenue ranging from €465,000 to €525,000, and the 1,558 sq ft No 13 Tirol Close was offered for sale by Lisney recently at €525,000, and is understood to have sold for over €550,000.

No 9 got was extended 10 years ago, at ground level to the west-facing rear where there’s now a perfectly positioned and aspected, bright family rooms. It was done by its current owners, who also had considered a first floor extension at the time, but with a first baby arriving, decided to keep things as simple as possible at that busy time.

No 9 was originally built as a four-bed detached home, but its first owners opted instead to reduce that down to three bedrooms so that they could have a decent, walk-in robe/dressing room in this en suite and bay windowed master bedroom. (The fourth bedroom in this house style was very small in any case, and over the years a good number of Tirol Close and Tirol Avenue homes have extended, or gone up into their steeply pitched attic/roof levels.

Possibly as much as two thirds of No 9’s 1,785 sq footage is at ground level, and Jeremy Murphy says it fits into the ‘deceptively spacious’ category, with a smashing floor plan.

It has a Junkers oak floor central hall, with 18’ by 11’ main, formal front living room with stove set in a marble chimneypiece, with coving on the high ceilings.

Across the hall is a study/playroom, and this has an optional use as a four bedroom/guest bedroom if new owners so wish, suggests Mr Murphy, given the expanse of space left at the back section.

Off the hall is a guest WC, and closet, and up two steps is the main event, the extended kitchen, with side dining room, and a double sided inset gas fire serves both the dining end, and the larger c 20’ by 10’ family living room.

This back/garden room has a pitched ceiling with Veluxes, and a bow end facing west, with double doors to a sun trap patio and private back garden with water feature, while the day-to-day heart of the house is, unsurprisingly, the porcelain-tiled kitchen.

It was done 10 years ago by Celtic Kitchens, in a mix of hand-painted white units with contrasting black granite tops, and the slender island is topped with a mix of granite and walnut, acting as a sort of breakfast bar. Appliances include Miele oven, steam oven, warming drawer, coffee machine and microwave, and the country- style surround on the side wall has an extract over the wide five-ring induction hob, plus other brands, Neff and Fisher & Paykel.

At the time of the upgrade a decade ago, insulation levels were upped with walls pumped, a central vacuum system was fitted, heating and plumbing was upgraded and windows replaced, and maintenance has continued at pace, so that No 9’s is ready to move into, just as the owners are ready to move on from.

VERDICT: Pre-Christmas wrap.

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