House of the week

This summer sees a selection of coastal buys and builds of the country’s boom period up for sale, at a fraction of peak values.

Examples include Howard Holdings’ developer Greg and Anne Coughlan’s Ardbrack Kinsale home arriving on the market via Cohalan Downing at c€3.75m, having cost €6-7m to build and site-acquire, and ‘Secret Millionaire’ Nadim Sadek’s extraordinary Inishturkbeg Island complex in Clew Bay, developed at a cost of €9m, now in receivership and valued at €2.85m by Sherry FitzGerald and Knight Frank.

Into that trophy-home fray, but at a far more affordable price level (these things all being relative, of course) is the west Waterford beachside home, Pebble Beach.

We last featured it here back in 2007, when it had a €3m-plus asking price, and it sold shortly after for well over €4m after competitive bidding. It included a number of drop-in viewings by helicopter as it has its own landing pad on its five acres by Curragh Beach.

Built in the late 1990s by a US businessman George Couri who took over a section of Youghal Carpets as Couristan Carpets, Pebble Beach is an extraordinary, single-storey house within a spit of the sea, with a Malibu-beach feel but just a mile east of popular Ardmore.

It has Ram Head to the west, Mine Head and spectacular sunrises to the east, the all-weathers Atlantic on its doorstep, while cities Cork and Waterford are 45 minutes away.

Now, back for sale after some costly upgrades by its 2007 Dublin-based purchasers, it is currently under offer with local agent Brian Gleeson at around €975,000. It is likely to sell for whatever it makes over a c€1m figure in further bidding: after a period rented to an ambassador from the Middle East, it’s there to be sold, sheer value for what’s on offer, and the rarity of the setting.

Low-slung and discrete on the scenic Waterford shoreline, Pebble Beach was designed by Waterford architect Nicholas Fewer, and replaced an earlier beach shack hit by storms. Now protected by boulders of rock mounded screens, it’s as close to the ocean as anyone could want, with southerly sea views across its c 80’ facade and colonnaded terraces. Look out the windows, and you could be on a cruise-liner, albeit one anchored on 70 piles set in the ground.

Two of its four en-suite bedrooms (think five-star hotel standards) face the sea, as does the expanse of high-end kitchen, dining area, main living room — and the enclosed swimming pool and leisure complex.

Swimming in the heated pool gives an impression of being in the Atlantic with the seals and gulls in full view beyond, only with pool-side creature comforts that include a hot-tub, sauna, and steam room.

Pebble Beach looks immaculate inside and out, and is equipped for full-time, all-season occupation. It has high-end finishes that include internal stone walls and painted RSJ features, media room and wiring for sound inside and out plus CCTV, oak and hardwood floors, the best of carpets, a couple of sumptuous bathrooms, a kitchen with costly Viking-brand stove and fridges, and a large garage for cars and boats.

Selling agent Brian Gleeson — who’s been doing TV commentary from Galway races all week wearing his other professional hat — says it’s beyond superlatives and speaks for itself, on a Green Award beach, and the new motorway puts it at a two hour 15 minutes commute from Dublin “so it’s a weekend house as well as a holiday home for buyers from the capital, while the Michelin-starred Cliff House Hotel is bringing a new wave of buyers to Ardmore.”

VERDICT: Every tide turns, buying now at an economic low-ebb could reap handsome returns in a few short years time for such a world-class retreat.


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