THIS well-delivered and regularly updated family home at 5, The Heights, Broadale, Maryborough Hill, Cork is a comfortable shoo-in for home hunters at the upper-mid section of Cork’s suburban property market: there’s hardly a place on the autumn selling market in as ‘walk-in’ condition.
The pristine order, inside and outside, and overall look, belies the fact this one-off house built on a serviced site was built back in the early 1990s, and thus is coming up on its 30th birthday. It comes for sale with children born here now aged well into their 20s, job done, and the parents are moving back to family roots, by the sea, in West Cork.
Selling agent is Malcolm Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing, who quotes a guide price of €685,000 for the 2,150 sq ft four-bed home, one whose neighbours either side at Nos 4 and 6 have also sold in the past few years, for just over, and under that €675k sum, indicative of the life-cycle of the park, and the demand for a good trade-up home in the Maryborough Hill/outer Douglas area.
“There’s practically nothing of this quality, in such great condition coming to the market, I’m confident it will go very well,” he says, expecting demand from the immediate locality, from a wider Cork radius and from those relocating to Cork from Dublin and from overseas, and who’ll have options to ‘work from home’, given a very useful and accommodating floor plan.
No 5 was built as one-off within the Broadale development at the top of Maryborough Hill in the early 1990s, one of 36 serviced sites offered back in the day, and each site is now home to bespoke variations on dormer home designs, many of them (like No 5) since added to further, over the years.
The Heights is a section with the sizeable Broadale scheme done by then-major league Irish builders McInerneys, and they rolled up the hill to here just as they wrapped up another major southern district scheme at Thornbury, in Rochestown.
Both Thornbury and Broadale seemed ‘out of town’ when first built in the 1980s and 1990s. The growth of Cork city (and, indeed, now with a boundary extension also) has made both broadly suburban, and recent upgrades to Maryborough Hill have transformed the ‘mental map’ of the location of Broadale and its newer development neighbours (much current building is going on at Maryborough Ridge with Glenveagh Homes), with better roads, pavements, cycle paths, and much-improved regular bus service.
“It was ‘out in the country’ when we arrived first, there was hardly a path up the hill to walk along,” recall the owners of No 5 The Heights, remarking on the positive changes and services delivery in the interim, in their niche residential setting, facing a sloping green, with a backdrop of mature trees left from old farm fields and pretty stream setting within Broadale.
Since first constructed as a knowing self-build by its owner who’s in the construction and development business around 1992, the house evolved and grew with its occupants, with the addition in 2004 of a triple-double aspect rear sun-room/living room, drawing the ground level’s floor plan out to an L-shape.
Designed by Eddie Keating, this additional room has high vaulted and timber-sheeted ceilings with four Veluxes on high, and lots of glazing, including two large sections either side of a gable end chimneypiece, with gas stove insert.
It’s an eye-catching end to the room, and super-bright, with pale tiled floor. It links back into the original house section then, where there’s a dining room with hardwood floor, next to the kitchen which, once more has a pale tiled floor, painted units, kitchen island/breakfast bar in solid timber, there is a five-ring gas cooker and units have black granite tops.
From the dining room also, glazed double doors lead to a front drawing-room, with hardwood floors matching those in the drawing room. Here, there’s an open fire, with cast iron insert, and a coved ceiling, while a bay window adds the airy feel.
There are good flow and circulation options, with three rooms linking one to another on the left, with about 40’ in-depth overall.
Elsewhere at ground level is a home office just on the right of the feature hall by an old, stripped antique pine press, a guest bathroom with shower, and a guest bedroom/bed four next to it. Here too at this far end also is a family room/den/TV room, with corniced ceiling and a window overlooking the very private, landscaped front garden.
In fact, there’s so much maturity and screening in the planting, it could take an extension to the front, sun-room like, (it gets great evening light) and, could thus also provide access to another home-office suite set-up.
There’s a quality, carpeted hardwood stairs then to a landing with stained timber floor, with window seat, and off it are three bedrooms, all doubles, and both have clever built-in storage options into the eaves, done in one room by Mallow-based Tim Barrett, and by Keatings in the other, with deep blue gloss doors for a modern feel: the storage within the latter is surprisingly capacious.
One of the beneficiaries of the 2004 extension surge was the creation of a large en-suite shower room off the main bedrooms, reached via a walk-through dressing rooms/robe, with hanging and shelved space either side, enhanced by mirrors which seem to double the feel of space.
As in the other two bedrooms, the main (5mX4m) bedroom’s floor is timber, varnished, and there’s access into the eaves for storage either side of a central, upholstered window seat, overlooking the front garden.
As it stands, No 5’s both a walk-in option and further adaptable for next occupants (ie that possible front-add, subject to planning.) Cleverly too, there’s been an external side wing added to the left-hand gable, for a bright, insulated storage room/workspace. It’s a walk-through option, accessible to both front and back gardens, and provides massive storage for accumulated family gear, sports equipment, suitcases, dry foods, pets and a whole heap more.
Then, it’s matched by a roofed-over wing on the house’s far side, neat as a pin, used for bikes, bins storage, BBQ storage, clothes drying, the lot.
There's a Belfast sink set up on a brick plinth outside the sunroom/kitchen for potting up plants, and a feature now (for birds as well as humans) is the maturity of a garden corner pergola, with fragrant climbers, done by East Cork-based landscaper Ken McGrath.
Other landscaping was done, early on, by Sheehan Brothers and now the densely planted perimeter and grounds at No 5 include ash, birch, cherry blossom, cotoneaster, hornbeam and maples, sycamores, as well as evergreen shrubs and climbers.
There is considerable privacy and only glimpses of any neighbours in the rest of The Heights, where the rest of the 36 detached homes quite similarly have been retreating from view in recent years thanks to what almost seems like collective planting and mutually complementary landscaping.
The brick and render façade and bay-windowed No 5 has off-street parking for several cars, a very good sized sheltered front garden, usually graced by outdoor benches for sun taking, and looks over a large, trim green to a tall, shelter belt of deciduous trees, just about to come into autumn colour glories any day now.
The Heights section starts within the wider Broadale neighbourhood, with local shop by the entrance off the Maryborough Hill road outside, where there are bus stops for the 216 and 220 busses, serving both Carrigaline and the city centre.
It’s just a few yards over the one-mile distance to the Fingerpost in Douglas, past the golf club, and also within a walk is the ‘new’ National School at Garryduff.
By car, there’s easy access to the south city ring road network, and to the harbour area and its strong and growing employment base at Ringaskiddy.
The current dearth of stock of good trade-up homes is expected to drive demand to No 5 from quite the wide cross-section to Cohalan Downing’s 5 The Heights at its €685,000 AMV.
The Price Register records five other sales here, from just under €400k for No 32 way back to 2014 to €680,000 for No 17 in 2016. No 4 made a reported €575,000 just over a year ago, needing updating, while No 6 got €700,000 the previous year.
VERDICT: No 5’s fresh as a daisy, ready for the picking.
Maryborough Hill, Cork
Size: 201 sq m (2,150 sq ft)