Something old or something new? It's an age old dilemma for anyone moving from city to country. Do I buy a modern home with the convenience it entails, or succumb to the temptation of a period cottage or farmhouse with all its romantic charms? But why not have both?
If you're considering a move to scenic West Cork for peace, fine dining and wonderful views, a 3,100 sq ft family home has come to market along with another house on site - a two storey stone cottage dating from 18th Century located right at the end of the garden.
Mount Farran's main residence was built in the 1990s on an elevated site that overlooks the River Bandon. Behind it, in contrast to the modern build at the front, is a rustic farm house that predates the Famine. A pathway through the garden connects the two, with the latter nestled in the same corner it's been in for centuries.
The vendors have restored the stone facade and landscaped the grounds around it. With wide flagstone steps up to the front door and mature trees and shrubs providing privacy, the old farmhouse offers big potential.
It has been brought back to life to a point and is currently used as a workshop and for storage. During the restoration work, it was discovered that the floors spanned two different centuries. The ground level dates to the late 1700s and the first floor was added in the late 19th century, when fortunes for its then occupants presumably improved.
The house is dry and fully wired, and if new owners were willing to go the extra renovation mile, it's got Airbnb written all over it. If, however, the headache that comes with running a rental is too much, visiting family and friends would be sure to appreciate the separate guest accommodation on offer, keeping them close at hand but not under your feet. The only problem being that you might never get rid of them.
The guide price of €995,000 at Mount Farran isn't cheap, but the buyer will be getting two homes for the price of one in a sought-after part of the country where planning is so tight that the opportunity to build one house close to Kinsale town is very rare indeed. The main property is a dormer-style four-bed. It was built with family in mind as a property that would grow and adapt as the children went from babies to teens and beyond. The interiors are classical rather than modern and while in good condition, may need a bit of updating.
The entrance hall is like a grand hotel foyer - large, polished and welcoming, with a fine staircase leading up to the gallery landing. To the left of the hall is the formal sitting room and on the other side of the house is the kitchen with breakfast room and utility, the dining room, living room and study.
The owners designed the house so that everyone could be together in the larger rooms or retreat to the smaller rooms when they needed private space and time away. The master bedroom of the four has an ensuite bathroom and there is also a large family bathroom.
The grounds around the house are level, which is a luxury in Kinsale, where most sites are on slopes and hills. The gardens are lanscaped with mature planting and a lawn that is sure to appeal to families with young children. There is a detached double garage and a driveway with space for several cars.
Kinsale is where the Wild Atlantic Way kicks off. It's close enough to Cork City to commute, yet far enough to feel like you've escaped the rat race. Usually in the summer months the town comes alive tourists and holiday homers.
West Cork has its own warmer micro-climate thanks to the Gulf Stream which means that summer always lasts a little longer in Kinsale.
International and celebrity buyers have long flocked to West Cork. The Duchess of York famously went to ground here when her marriage broke up. She rediscovered showjumping in West Cork but was finally prevented from buying a house in Kinsale for security reasons. Celebrity chef Keith Floyd lived here for over a decade and the town has been a holiday retreat for, among others, Michael Jackson, Julia Roberts and George Michael. Travelling chef Rick Stein is a regular visitor. Last year, long time resident Tori Amos sold Ballywilliam House in Kinsale, for €1.2m.
Kinsale is Ireland's gourmet capital and hosts the popular Kinsale Gourmet Festival each year in October. Well known restaurants include Bastion, The Blue Haven, Max's, Bruno's, The Bulman, Man Friday's and more.
But once again Kinsale's popularity means that it's a pricey location for property. The average cost of a home here was €421,000 at the start of this year. Mount Farron and its secret farmhouse hideway is for sale through Engel and Voelkers.