All hands on deck

The green, green grass of home was something the owner of this elevated Kerry abode was delighted to see when she returned from Australia in 1997. She spent much of her 30 years Down Under trying to grow various fruit and veg, but the parched soil never produced much.

“It was so refreshing being back in Ireland and getting back to growing my own vegetables. I come from a family of 10 and we always grew our own food, so it was great to be able to live like that again,” says the owner.

“I’ve been so lucky with the land and soil around here because everything I plant seems to thrive. It must be to do with the micro-climate down here. We never get severe weather because we’re so close to the sea.”

Originally from Kenmare, the vendor knew as soon as she saw the site that it was the place for her. “There was nothing but rushes on the land when we bought it, but there was a lovely stream running down the side and that was what caught my attention,” she says, recalling her first viewing.

“It’s got two little waterfalls that run all year and they’re just beautiful.”

The house was built with family in mind, with enough bedrooms for her siblings when they visited. Those visits don’t happen as often any more, so the time has come to downsize.

The house sits on an acre but the grounds are so creatively landscaped that it looks bigger. There is lawn, raised beds with vegetables, hazelnut and chestnut trees and a polytunnel with salads, herbs and strawberries. A little red bridge over the stream was a recent addition because the water over the stepping stones could sometimes get too high to cross to the other side of the garden.

“Thanks to this great land there was a point when we were nearly self-sufficient. We were even selling our produce at a local market,” the vendor says, proudly.

Locals were so impressed with the fresh produce that they asked advice about how to do it themselves. It caught on and soon nobody needed to buy as they were all growing their own too!

The house is about eight kilometres from Kenmare and 15 from Sneem. For a local pint, though, the Blackwater Tavern is only a couple of kilometres away.

The owner’s favourite thing about the house is definitely the view. “We have three French doors that open out to the veranda. The view this morning was massive. It was a clear morning and it looked like there was a roll of cotton wool rising up from the bay. We wake up to a different picture every day. Even at night, the moon reflects on the bay and lights the whole place up.”

This 1,400sq ft three-bed detached home is in good condition so new owners wouldn’t have a big job on their hands. It’s sure to appeal to those looking for a holiday home in the area because of its location, and because it’s the kind of house that was built with guests in mind. All three bedrooms are en suite and the open-plan living space has entertainment written all over it.

The property was built on an elevated site to make the most of the views down over the bay. The veranda was constructed on stilts so you can walk straight out on to it from the living room.

The kitchen and living area have a timber-clad ceiling and a daring but immediately appealing black and white chequered floor. The kitchen is fully fitted with solid timber units. To the other side of the hallway is a utility room that is plumbed for a washing machine and dryer, and there’s also a guest wc.

Beyond this is a large bedroom with an en suite bathroom and double doors out to the veranda. Upstairs, the two other bedrooms are a mirror image of each other. Both are doubles and each has its own en suite bathroom.

The beautiful gardens will be a big draw for many. If you have time on your hands, you could be content planting and sowing for the rest of your days. If potential buyers were planning to use the house as a second home, it would be easy to bring the gardens back to a more manageable state. The vegetable garden could easily convert back to lawn or be planted with some hardy shrubs.

The house has a septic tank and private water supply, and an oil central heating system.

The majority of the neighbours are full-time residents, although the area is popular with holidaymakers too. Anyone who has come from overseas has put down roots and made Cappanacush East their home. The owner says the lovely thing about the place is that it’s a very diverse community, with people coming from all over the world to settle in this sought-after part of Ireland.

The property is situated off the N70 Ring of Kerry route. A drive to Dublin will take close to five hours. The closest airport is just over an hour away in Farranfore, and there’s a train station in Killarney nearly 40km away.

The property is on the market with a guide price of €285,000 through agents DNG Timothy O’Sullivan, (064) 6641566.

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