Double up in duo of homes in rural hillside idyll

Catherine Shanahan eyes up two unique houses in a magical corner of West Cork, just a little more than an hour away from the airport

Double up in duo of homes in rural hillside idyll

Catherine Shanahan eyes up two unique houses in a magical corner of West Cork, just a little more than an hour away from the airport

  • Price: €495,000
  • Hillview House: 3 Bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Size: 167 sq m/1800 sq ft
  • Gorse Cottage: 2 Bedrooms, 1 bathroom
  • Size: 83 sq m/900 sq ft
  • BER: D1

“TWO for the price of one” are stock-in-trade offers of supermarkets, but not the kind of sales pitch typical of the housing market.

Then again, the property market in West Cork has a habit of bucking the trend.

And so it is that just such an offer exists in Ballydehob, where two beautiful farmhouse- style homes come to market as a single lot, at a price that genuinely looks like a bargain buy.

The history of the houses is tightly bound: both were built by the man who is now selling-up.

The first, Hillview House, built c1993, looks down from its grassy knoll onto Gorse Cottage, a more recent project that began around 2009 and continued for a number of years.

The plan of the man who built them, a Londoner, was to downsize from one to the other, but with the building bug in him, he’s hoping to have another go.

“I’ve built 15 houses over the year, usually for other people and during that time, working with another guy, we developed our own style.

“I suppose what we have tried to do is fuse the traditional Irish farmhouse with modern building techniques and open plan living,” he says.

While he looked after the bricks and mortar end of things after buying the plot from a local farmer, his wife, a Tipperary woman, took charge of interior design.

Gorse Cottage is a sort of mini-me version of Hillview House and the owner says the intention was that the two houses would compliment each other.

The end result is two modern detached homes, brimming with character, in excellent condition and with panoramic views. Aerial shots of the properties reinforce the fabulous location, with the 800ft Mount Kidd visible in the background.

Both have sunrooms with vaulted ceilings and French doors to the garden, with farmhouse style kitchens.

The decision to “bundle” the properties as a single lot means they are largely aimed at a niche market.

Selling agent Pat Maguire of Pat Maguire Properties says the houses are “ideal” for anyone who wants to have family living nearby or is interested in the option of generating additional income, perhaps through AirBnB.

“West Cork is in huge demand for holiday rentals and people appreciate something a little different,” he says.

Long term rental is also an option - the current owner says this has worked well for them, and is a good money spinner.

Hillview House was a family home for more than 25 years. The couple who are now selling up reared two boys there.

“They had the time of their lives. It’s a brilliant place to grow up,” the owner says.

The fact that it is on the school bus route, serving the national school and the community college, was a major plus..

The owner describes it as “an amazing location, centred between Skibbereen and Bantry, and just an hour and 10 minutes from Cork Airport”.

Whoever purchases the property/properties will buy into a terrific community, Mr Maguire says.

“There’s a brilliant community spirit in Ballydehob,” Mr Maguire says, “there are festivals every few weeks and of course we have our Michelin Star restaurant, The Chestnut.

“It’s a very popular place for people from outside the area, the pace of life is very laid back and there is lots to do, plenty of opportunity to get involved.

“And of course we’ve been back in the headlines recently following the election of Holly Cairns.” Social Democrat Holly Cairns is the only female TD in Cork city and county following the recent General Election.

“She surprised everybody,” Mr Maguire says.

He thinks it highly likely that the buyers of Hillview House/Gorse Cottage will be “people from outside the area, from Dublin or the UK, looking for a quiet life.” The properties are just four miles from the village of Ballydehob and a 15 minute drive to Skibbereen or Bantry.

VERDICT: Two for the money in beautiful Ballydehob

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