Monday 20 February 2017

Trade-up homes with a high-end flourish in Malahide

Greenleaf Homes launches Whitegables in upmarket Malahide this weekend

Published 13/11/2016 | 02:30

The main living room area is generously sized and a perfect space for relaxing – unusually, it is separated from the open-plan kitchen and living/dining room
The main living room area is generously sized and a perfect space for relaxing – unusually, it is separated from the open-plan kitchen and living/dining room

As a father of five children between the ages of seven and 14, and a resident of Malahide village, Mark Elliott of Greenleaf Homes has road-tested both the requirements of a spacious family home and the environs of the new homes development, Whitegables, which he launches this weekend in the north Dublin village.

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This is a small development of 17 homes, each measuring approximately 175sqm and with four double bedrooms, with prices starting from €660,000. There are detached and semi-detached units on offer.

One of the double bedrooms
One of the double bedrooms

"It's a trade-up house, a house that you could stay in for the rest of your life," says Elliott. "Certainly it's a house that you could raise children in. I've five kids myself, so I know what it's like for space. We've spent an awful lot of time looking at the layouts, moving walls around, trying to make the best use we could of the space that we have inside the house."

Mark and his family live nearby, so he can validly sing the praises of the village that is considered one of north Dublin's most prestigious addresses.

An en suite bathroom
An en suite bathroom

"Malahide is a lovely place to live," he says. "The schools are all close by, the amenities for the children - my children do choir, GAA, rugby - all are nearby. Then, for the adults, the village has restaurants and bars."

Located within walking distance of the village, these homes are emphatically trade-up properties. "Malahide is regarded as one of the best villages in Dublin," says David Browne, head of New Homes at Savills. "A lot of people would refer to Malahide and Dalkey in the one breath. They would be the prime locations."

Browne points out that generally people trading-up already live in the area, committed to schools, childcare situations and after-school activities. So buyers in this case are expected to be primarily those living nearby.

"You would expect a lot of people in older houses, who are looking at the possibility of extending or refurbishing, looking at the cost to do that, which could be €100,000-€150,000, versus buying a brand new A-rated house. Even if you spend all that money, it's still not new," says Browne.

Newness, large open-plan living areas and low running costs can contribute to lending new homes an edge over second-hand.

These houses include a separate living room on the ground floor to the front, and a large open-plan kitchen, dining and living room to the rear. Double doors lead to a landscaped garden. The first floor includes three double bedrooms, one of which is also en-suite, and a main bathroom. The master bedroom suite is located on the top floor, and includes a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite. All homes are A-rated and include two off-street parking spaces.

Another bedroom
Another bedroom

"What we have noticed is that younger people and first-time buyers are very happy to have the living room with double doors into the open-plan living room/kitchen," says Browne. "As they get older, like myself, you suddenly learn that you actually want a space to lock yourself away from the kids. So trade-up buyers go for the separate living room. And then you have your living room that you sit in at night and that's your space and the big open-plan area that everyone lives in, that's your daily space where you play with the kids."

Attention to detail at this end of the market is important to buyers, he says, noting that these homes have high-spec bathroom fit-outs.

the large open-plan kitchen and living area
the large open-plan kitchen and living area

"Particularly at this level, buyers have worked very hard to get where they are. They want a bit of comfort. So a lot of attention would be spent on the fittings in the master en-suite and wardrobe," says Browne.

In this case, the master bedroom is a moveable feast, Elliott points out, as there is a second double bedroom with en-suite on the first floor. Many parents want to be on the same level as young children, or later wish to move teenagers to the second floor, whilst still retaining an en-suite themselves. This layout offers all those choices.

The handsome exterior and space for two cars
The handsome exterior and space for two cars

Price: Four-bed detached and semi-detached from €660,000

Viewing: Today, 1-3pm

Agent: Savills (01) 618 1300

Commuter-belt launch drawing local interest

Bar Leixlip, there isn't really a commuter belt area that can claim to come close to Maynooth in terms of attractiveness and amenities. So much so that Carton Wood, a new development that launched yesterday, saw the majority of pre-launch interest coming from locals, rather than Dubliners contemplating a move.

"Interest so far is predominantly from local people," says selling agent Gavan Ryan of Savills. "Maynooth is obviously a strong town and people who are from the area want to stay close to it," he continues, explaining that people who 'can' afford to live in Dublin still choose to be in Maynooth 'because they love the area'.

A combination of brick, render and zinc on the exterior give the Carton Wood homes a traditional feel
A combination of brick, render and zinc on the exterior give the Carton Wood homes a traditional feel

"The initial logging of interest through our own office and Savills' would mostly be, if you put a compass at Tesco, within a radius of three or four kilometres, and bring that compass around in a circle, that's predominantly where our demographic seems to be coming from," adds the developer behind this launch, Anthony Neville.

The development, which offers a mixture of starter and trade-up properties, brings eight house types to the market, including three-, four- and five-bed homes, from 97.3sqm to 186sqm. Predominantly, the scheme is made up of three-bedroom semi-detached units from 117.4sqm, from €345,000, and four-bedroom semi-detached units, from 134sqm, from €395,000, with some three-bedroom mid-terraces, from 97.3sqm, from €295,000, and some detached four-bed from 135sqm, from €460,000, and five-beds, from 186sqm, from €505,000.

In all, 24 houses will be offered in this first phase. Designed by McCrossan O'Rourke Manning Architects, the front elevations are a mixture of brick, render and zinc detailing, lending the properties quite a traditional effect. Gardens are spacious, with some of the corner houses enjoying particularly large plots. The downstairs rooms have nine-foot ceilings, lending a roomy quality. A park area will run adjacent to the site, which will eventually include recreational areas, including walking tracks and playing fields. This is adjacent to the picturesque Carton Avenue. The site itself is roughly 950m from the main street, so Maynooth's numerous amenities and travel links are easily accessible.

Anecdotally, Savills' New Homes department reports that they have found that some first-time buyers are viewing the Government's Help-to-Buy scheme as a bonus that will give them the ability to fit our their new home to a higher than anticipated standard, as well as fully furnish the house.

In this case, these homes come with a generous specification. All the downstairs floor tiling through the hall, kitchen, utility and ground-floor bathroom is included, as is the carpet in the sitting room, stairs, landing and all bedrooms. For an additional fee, buyers can opt to future-proof the attic, giving the potential to add on an extra bedroom.

"There is a substantial amount of flexibility within our specification," says Neville, explaining that early purchasers can, in the case of the kitchen, wardrobes and fireplace, choose to either up-spec on the existing offering, staying with the chosen supplier, or take the allowance and go with a different supplier altogether. "I will preface that that does need to be there prior to roofs going on houses. We can't accommodate that sort of versatility on houses that have been plastered," he points out.

Price: Three-, four- and five-beds from €295,000 to €505,000

Viewing: Today, 12-2pm

Agent: Savills (01) 618 1754

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