Tuesday 19 June 2018

The downsizer: 'I absolutely love my home...but it's meant to be lived in by a family'

Budget: €600k

Tessa Lawlor with her daughter Annie and three-month-old grandson Sam
Tessa Lawlor with her daughter Annie and three-month-old grandson Sam

Being able to live closer to her two daughters and grandson in Dublin is what Tessa Lawlor is most looking forward to about moving home in 2018.

The 60-something former Aer Lingus cabin crew member from Co Limerick is currently living on her own in a sprawling 4,000sq ft detached house at Gallows Hill, Cratloe, Co Clare, having separated from her husband. Her two daughters have flown the nest: Annie is a doctor in Dublin and Hollie is the North America and Canada design manager for Charlotte Tilbury.

"It doesn't make sense to stay here anymore with all this space when what I really want is to downsize to something smaller in Dublin," says Tessa of the five-bed, five-bathroom home, known as Glebe House, which she has on the market for €600,000 with Sherry FitzGerald, Limerick.

"I absolutely love my home and have enjoyed living here since myself and former husband, Harry, built it 23 years ago - with the help of local builder Tim Danaher - but it's meant to be lived in by a family."

Spurred by a government tax break, Tessa and Harry originally relocated from Dublin to set up their own company, HL Commodity Foods, in Shannon and had bought the site at Cratloe in 1990 with a view to building.

The house is set well back from the road on 1.7 acres and includes a fenced-in parcel of land that could potentially be built on.

"Had my children lived locally, I would have built a bungalow on the land and downsized to it," says Tessa.

Accommodation at the property includes three reception rooms - the main living room has a balcony overlooking the garden - large entrance hallway and sizeable, modern family kitchen. Two bedrooms are on the ground floor, though one is currently used as an office. The master bedroom upstairs is ensuite with a walk-in wardrobe. "There's a basement and games room too, a laundry chute (to the basement) outside an upstairs bedroom and would-be wine cellar, which has been used for developing photos. It's an extremely versatile home and can easily be adapted to suit the needs of a growing family as they get older," says Tessa. She is hoping to use the proceeds from her mortgage-free home to buy an apartment in Dublin and has her eye on a two-bed in Rathgar.

"I won't consider buying until my own home is sold," says Tessa."I'll be sad to leave but am looking forward to my next big adventure. Having my grandson has completely changed my world and I don't want to miss out on a single minute of him growing up."

Irish Independent

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