Living the dream at €1.25m Sea la Vie, Fountainstown's finest

No expense spared at this luxurious coastal home
Living the dream at €1.25m Sea la Vie, Fountainstown's finest

Sea la Vie, Fountainstown

Fountainstown, South Cork 

€1.25m

Size

252 sq m (2,700 sq ft)

Bedrooms

4

Bathrooms

5

BER

B1

THERE are several ways to work with the punningly-titled Sea la Vie, from C’est la Vie to See the View, and variations in between.

But, to be honest, it speaks for itself. Just a decade old, Sea la Vie is a top-notch, well-designed and very well-built large family home, B1 rated for guaranteed year-round comfort, with a lofted, detached garage.

 It has a further insulated and near-self-contained garden room on high. 

And, it’s all on a commanding height, above Fountainstown beach, a half an hour’s commute from Cork City.

But, it’s really all about the views. “I said to someone we have three views: the beach, Ringabella and the ocean, but they said ‘no, you don’t, you have 130 different views, every point you look at has something different to focus in on,” says owner Pat O’Sullivan.

“I love the sea, and always wanted to live beside it, even though I don’t own a boat, I don’t fish and I don’t even swim. But, it’s not wasted on me,” he assures me, of his home with myriad vantage points, all seawards.

Expansive sandstone patio
Expansive sandstone patio

The businessman, third generation in a Cork City-based family retail firm that’s now gone into fourth generation, and his wife bought an old small dwelling/site, near the brow of the hill above Fountainstown’s Coast Road in the market peak of c 2006, pretty much as their family was reared.

Having paid ‘big money’ for the elevated crow’s nest, quarter acre, they got another quarter-acre alongside to add to it later, for a far more reasonable sum, and after a while they started designing and dreaming.

Impressive entrance
Impressive entrance

With initial input from architect Edel Regan, and delivery via builder David O’Callaghan who made constructive contributions as the build progressed, the final result is this 252sq m energy- efficient house. It’s set out to maximise the multi-faceted views, complete with integrated solar panels, set up for rainwater harvesting, and heated underfloor, with oil central heating, wood-burning stove, lots of solar gain, and high insulation levels, all resulting in the excellent B1 BER.

It comes to market in time for this summer with a lofty price guide, quoting a €1.25m AMV, via selling agent Michael O’Donovan of Savills, who can expect a well-heeled bucket-and-spade brigade, DryRobe tribes and lifestyle relocators to block-book his viewing diary all June.

What hardship?

Most recently Mr O’Donovan got c€1.8m for a contemporary detached house called Med Jez below the Coast Road, Fountainstown, on the market last year, and so may expect underbidders to come for a second bite at buying into the south Cork seaside setting where property prices have been scorching since the pandemic.

Med Jez sold for €1.8m last year
Med Jez sold for €1.8m last year

Apart from being a lot cheaper Sea la Vie has its own advantages: Med Jez’s view was pretty much one-dimensional, just sea really, as it was almost on a cliff with unobstructed ocean views. Here, as has been noted, it’s more multi-faceted, over sea, shipping, Ringabella, up the estuary and watersports centre Funkytown, over good farmland and, of course, down to Fountainstown beach, a five-minute trip on foot in sandals, or wetsuit bootees.

Sea la Vie views
Sea la Vie views

Sea la Vie co-occupants Berna O’Sullivan and Pat will be taking the ‘Secrets of the Beach’ back to the city with them, as they are trading down. During their much-enjoyed tenure, they’ve made it a fully-utilised home visited by children and grandchildren but it’s also pretty much in ‘as-new’ condition.

Mr O’Donovan says that houses of this very recent vintage, along this section of Cork’s coastline, rarely come to the open market “in such fine fettle”, and describes it as “an exceptionally well-placed coastal property which showcases uninterrupted beach and Atlantic Ocean views from its private, elevated site of half an acre.” It’s a four-bed block-built house, dormer but with more to it than the standard of this type, with a main, double-height entrance hall with oak stairs, overhead gallery landing and trio of overhead Veluxes, all with an understated marine-type aesthetic.

There’s a double aspect open- plan kitchen/living and dining room with stove and Glenline units, topped with light quartz as is the island, several seating and viewing nooks, and stove, while triple-glazed sliding doors open to a very large sunny patio.

Open plan kitchen dining
Open plan kitchen dining

Suntrap patio
Suntrap patio

All internal joinery is oak, and across the hall is the livin groom with large picture windows, and double sliding pocket doors at the back open to a den/office/playroom.

There’s also a large utility, pantry, guest bathroom, and overhead three of the four bedrooms are en suite, most have sea views: there’s an enclosed balcony/sit-in bay window on the main bedroom’s side gable.

After the couple had made themselves fully at home here (CCTV, central vac, Hive heating, all the mod cons), they added a Steeltech garden room to the landscaped site in the very recent past, part-screened by a mature ash tree which has endured all weathers. It’s used as a music room, and has power, water and heating, and could make the most enviable of home office suites.

Garden room/music room
Garden room/music room

The setting is at the top of a wending cul de sac with just a handful of neighbours, there’s farm fields behind, lots of parking for cars and, surely, space for a boat in its next ownership.

VERDICT: La vie est belle at Sea la Vie.

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