House of the week: Enniskeane, West Cork Price: €525,000

Size: 345 (3,700 sq ft)
Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 2
BER rating: D1
Best asset: Tranquility

With a neighbouring period home recently sold to UK buyers for a reported circa €1m, there may be positive straws in the wind for Mount Lodge — priced around half the sum of that most recent substantial sale.

Just confirmed is the changing of hands of Enniskeane’s Kilcolman Rectory, a handsome gem of nearly 7,000 sq ft, on five acres, in top condition. It dates to the 1850s, was built for the nearby St Mary’s Church, and has had several improving owners in the past two decades. Kilcolman had served as a country house guesthouse, has three guest cottages, and sold via agent Michael H Daniels who reports a good pick-up in the country home niche.

And, that successful sale may well be an omen for the sale of the more modest Mount Lodge, than a half-kilometre also from Enniskeane village, and 40kms from Cork City and airport.

Mount Lodge isn’t exactly what you could call ‘new to market,’ but it has adapted to changing markets — by adjusting its asking price several times over.

The period home, in very good overall condition on three acres near Enniskeane in West Cork (between Bandon and Dunmanway) has been on and off the market, with a variety of agents, since 2009 and asking prices have come down from an initial €1.35m, next to a sub-€1m sum, and then on down again in fits and starts.

Now it is most recently guided at €525,000 by TJ Cronin of Irish and European, who is open to offers.

Around this price, there’s more likelihood of movement. Despite the strong recovery and activity from overseas buyers right now for country stock, Mr Cronin feels at this level, it may well be sold to a native or domestic buyer who’ll want a lifestyle package, in a period home that doesn’t need any extra significant spending.

Dating to the mid 1800s, it’s quite regency villa in style, with a split external staircase up to its front door and living quarters, has five bedrooms and has in recent years been used as a centre for healing and natural therapies by its owner Elizabeth Hitchcock who’s been here since the 1990s.

Perhaps because of that sort of use, it has some slightly unusual extras such as a gym with hot tub and sauna, as well as a Japanese-themed garden (with quintessential red bridge over pond), all very conducive to relaxation and meditation.

Work done to the house has been in keeping with its age and spirit, and there’s nothing brash or glaringly new (except, perhaps, the bright blue, four-person hot tub) and adding to it usefulness is a Victorian-style sun room to the left at ground level.

Built, essentially, over a lower ground floor, the elevated entry point does help to set an elevated tone, with two reception rooms off the 32’ long central hallway, with internal decorative arches.

These formal rooms have high ceilings, wood floors, original fireplaces and there’s also a library, with access off to a larger (but lower ceilinged office) some 27’ by 20’.

Also at this upper level are two bedrooms, one with fireplace, and a bathroom with roll-top bath and bidet.

Carpeted stairs lead down off the long hall to three more bedrooms, another bathroom, a family room and a good kitchen, with oak units and oak flooring. The Victorian-style conservatory, with all-glass roof and timber floor, is to the side of the kitchen.

If the kitchen output (four oven/five burner range) piles on the pounds, the adjacent gym/leisure room with sauna, shower, and four-person hot tub might help banish them once more: Yin and Yang, complementary therapies indeed.

VERDICT: Price drops should pique interest, viewings and bids.


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