House of the week

No 67 Fernwood has the signs of a happy, child-centred family home — and now its owners are upping sticks and trading up, taking on a far older house to do up, with even bigger gardens, in another Cork suburb. They have a bit of work ahead of them in their new project, but what they leave behind at No 67 is a walk-in job for its next occupants.

This four-bed home is one of eight similarly sized large detached homes, tucked away at the end of the Bradley Brothers Fernwood. The early 2000s scheme is in Doughcloyne, between Wilton and Togher, and a couple of minutes spin to the ring road down Sarsfield Rd, with the shopping centre and Cork University Hospital just beyond the almost completed congestion-relieving flyover.

Fernwood was built on land below Lehenaghmore, around an old, charming farmhouse/cottage cluster with 300-year-old buildings called Feirm Bawn, which was kept back from the land development sale to Bradley’s in a bid to retain its integrity.

Described as having been in the romantic ‘English style,’ it went for sale in the mid-2000s but was destroyed by fire — leaving the rest of Fernwood to modernity. The land had been part of the old Ronayne Estate, later passing into Sarsfield hands — ceding the locational name Sarsfield Rd just to the north.

Agents Clare O’Sullivan and Ian Lyons of Savills say there has been a swift market reaction to this 2003-built domestic example, in some measure because there are not a lot of modern detached homes in the hinterland. Then, when viewers do come, they’re fairly smitten by the quality, style, and private setting at the end of Fernwood. Warning to parents of small children: Don’t bring them to viewings. Once they see the up-on-stilts playhouse and slide, and the playroom, there’ll be no getting out of the bidding fray.

The house is fresh and eager, has two of its four bedrooms en suite, the main bathroom has a jacuzzi bath, and the kitchen has solid beech units. The floor plan is simple, bedrooms upstairs at each of the four corners, all with built-ins. Downstairs, there are good-sized and upfront reception rooms on either side of the central hallway, each with bay windows showcasing how child-centred the place is. The larger room, at 18’ by 13’, is labelled the family room, complete with musical instruments, while the other is the play room; no fancy ’drawing room’ titles here.

There’s a kitchen/dining room behind, with semi-solid oak floors (it’s walnut mostly in the front section), and there are solid beech kitchen units, integrated appliances, and an oak fireplace by the dining end, with extensive book shelving either side. There’s also a utility and guest WC.

No 67’s walls have been pumped with insulation so there’s a respectable C1 energy BER rating, and heating is via gas, with double glazing.

The back garden is securely wall-fenced off, with retained old trees beyond the boundary, and it has a patio, lawn, and play area. There’s good, off-street parking in front, as well as a walled-in front garden.

VERDICT: Expect competitive bidding — getting your hands on it without dirty play or wild bids mightn’t be child’s play.


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