Split the difference with two €1.8m family homes

Two very different properties have come to market in Galway, both with the same price tag and both in sought-after areas of the city and surrounds – Taylor’s Hill and Bushypark.

In their design, however, they are chalk and cheese. One is full of Victorian charm and period features, the other offers all the glamour required of a 21st Century trophy home.

St Michael’s in Averard West, Taylor’s Hill, comes to market priced at €1.8m. A five-bed detached house, it was built in 1860s and was once part of a substantial farm. Now, the grounds, which include an adjoining stone coach house ripe for conversion, run to just over half an acre of mature trees, lawns and herbaceous borders that lend the property the air of a country home, even though it is a 15-minute stroll to the centre of town, and less than a mile from the local swimming spot at Salthill village.

While the gardens are a big draw, the house itself has many attractions for those who like their homes to come with period architectural trimmings. Restored by the owners over the past 25 years, the house has kept Victorian features such as sash windows and shutters, cornicing, the original fireplaces and the wooden floors. There’s a stained-glass front door leading into a wood-panelled hallway, and the two main reception rooms lead off to left and right.

Both the drawing room and family room have double-aspect sash windows that overlook the gardens, the former has a more formal marble fireplace, the latter, a solid fuel stove. The dining room is used as a bedroom and has a shower en suite with separate access to the garden. A new owner could convert the bedroom back to its original use or hive it off as a self-contained granny flat or space for an au pair.

The large kitchen/breakfast room boasts a double Aga with tiled splashback, country-style solid wood units, terracotta floor tiles and French doors that lead to the west-facing patio paved with Liscannor stone. Also on the ground floor is a WC for guests, a utility room with sink and side access to the garden, and a laundry room.

The rest of the bedrooms are upstairs, the master is palatial with built-in wardrobes and a large en suite with Jacuzzi bath, shower and double sinks. All the bedrooms are doubles, and there is a further en suite, as well as a family bathroom with cast-iron bath and shower.

Prospective purchasers with children of school age can choose from the Dominican College and Scoil Rois, both within 200 metres.

“It’s one of the finest houses in this locality,” says Colm O’Donnellan of selling agents O’Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers. “There are very few large detached houses on Taylor’s Hill on such a substantial site. There is potential for extending and, although St Michael’s is of historical interest, it is not listed.”

Pairc na gCapaill, at Bushypark on the outskirts of the city, is also set in a prime location just 5km or so from the city. It is one of a small cluster of large detached houses in a quiet cul de sac. Built on a hill about 10 years ago, the property commands fine views of Lough Corrib and comes with an acre of manicured grounds, a BER of C1 and the same asking price of €1.8m.

This is family living on a grand scale, from the double-sized front door to the showstopper of a staircase that divides into two separate sets of stairs up to the second floor. There is the snooker room with bar for home entertaining, as well as two reception rooms with feature fireplaces, and a large kitchen/dining room with Miele coffee machine, integrated appliances, a curved granite countertop and bespoke solid wood kitchen units. The space flows into a semi-circular sunroom that takes full advantage of the views and would make it a breeze to entertain a large gathering.

Upstairs, there is a home office for the smart worker which could be a teenager’s hideway. It is accessed by a spiral staircase from the west-facing sunroom.

There are five double bedrooms, all en suite, though one is shared between two bedrooms. The large master suite is of particular note, with doors opening onto a balcony and panoramic views, a fireplace and built-in wardrobes, while the en suite is marble-tiled from floor to ceiling with a free standing bath and double shower.

Another spiral staircase leads up to a large pitched roof attic that is carpeted. In all, the property extends to 526sqm.

It’s an easy run into the city centre – the main Galway/Moycullen road is 500m away.

“It would be very suitable for people working in the university or the hospital because it is less than five minutes from both,” says O’Donnellan.

Glenlo Abbey golf course is almost within putting distance, while the beguiling scenery of Connemara and the prospect of a sea dip in Ballyconneely is less than an hour’s drive.

“There has been good interest in both properties,” says O’Donnellan. Enquiries have come from both local and international house hunters who want to relocate back to Galway from abroad.

Agent for both properties: O’Donnellan & Joyce (091) 564 212 Viewing: Strictly by appointment

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