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House Hunting in Ireland: Bayside Serenity in County Cork for $1.3 Million

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This three-bedroom ranch house, referred to as the Courtyard, sits on a 0.78-acre lot overlooking Bantry Bay, a protracted inlet on the southwest coast of Ireland. The roughly 3,500-square-foot house, built about 25 years ago, is one among a handful of homes off a narrow wooded lane near Glengarriff, a village of 250 residents in County Cork, about 215 miles southwest of Dublin.

Gates open to a gravel parking court in front of the home. The calm bay waters resulting in the Atlantic Ocean are visible across the yard, which rolls gently down a slate stepping path to a soil beach on Glengarriff Harbor. A detached two-car garage is across the parking court.

“It is gorgeous to walk right out on the water and get your kayak,” said Roseanne De Vere Hunt, the director of Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes Farms and Estates — an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate — which has the listing. “There is no such thing as a dock but a small boat you’ll be able to just pull in.”

The doorway hall has a vaulted ceiling with skylights, oak beams and a terra-cotta tile floor that runs through the hallways and kitchen. A powder room is in a single corner.

Down a hall is a sitting room with two large windows and a log-burning stove inside an exposed brick fireplace. Round the corner, the dining room has a beamed and vaulted ceiling and a boxed bay window overlooking a side yard. Near the dining table, a metal rail tops a brief wall, visually opening the dining room to the front room. (Access to the front room, nonetheless, is thru the dining room’s double doors to an internal hallway and up just a few steps.) The front room fireplace has a log-burning stove in a carved marble surround flanked by bookcases. A glass conservatory is on the far end of the room. Double glass doors open onto a terrace overlooking the garden and Bantry Bay.

Within the country kitchen, a pot rack hangs over a middle island with a bar sink and breakfast counter. A door opens to a paver patio for outdoor dining and a slate terrace with a water view. Steps lead as much as the conservatory terrace.

Across the hall is a small study. Up an open staircase, there’s an attic with a den, a big picture window overlooking the bay and a rest room.

The bedrooms, all en suite and carpeted, are on the major floor. The first suite, with a walk-in closet and beamed ceiling, opens through sliding doors to a covered front porch. The opposite two bedrooms have bay views; one also has sliding doors to the kitchen patio.

The home is a brief walk from Glengarriff’s pubs, restaurants and shops, and a hotel and native national school. Also nearby are the nine-hole Glengarriff Golf Club and the Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve. Garnish Island, with its walled gardens and an old military tower, is a fast boat ride away. Cork International Airport is about an hour and a half from the home, while the drive to Dublin takes about 4 hours.

The country market in Ireland was “pretty quiet” before the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. De Vere Hunt said, with staff living near their offices in Dublin, Limerick and other cities.

After the lockdown, “it was like rocket fuel added to the property market,” said Maeve McCarthy, the director at Charles McCarthy Estate Agents, an affiliate of Mayfair International Realty, in West Cork, a coastal municipality in County Cork. “That actually opened up the property market here.”

People originally from the world moved back from Dublin or Limerick to work remotely. “Wi-Fi, home offices, all of that worked for people,” Ms. De Vere Hunt said. “That’s the dream. You get the standard of life along with your children. Go fishing for lunch, go for a walk and ride your horse quite than sitting in two hours of traffic. ”

Kinsale, a historic port and yachting town of about 5,000 residents in County Cork, with colourful galleries and a Michelin-starred restaurant, is amongst essentially the most desirable (and most costly) places for buyers without local ties. Prices for waterfront property can reach 5 million euros, said Catherine McAuliffe, director of Cork residential at Savills Ireland. (The euro, which has fallen to its lowest level in years, is currently exchanging at roughly an equal rate with the U.S. dollar.)

Near Dublin, the seaside resorts of Dalkey and Howth are also coveted, said Guy Craigie, director of residential for Knight Frank Ireland. In County Kerry, near Cork, the agricultural area referred to as the Ring of Kerry is popular.

Compared with London or Latest York, buying in Ireland “is simple and economical,” Mr. Craigie said, noting that the typical price per square foot was $500 to $600, going as much as $1,000 a square foot on the high end, and $300 to $350 a square foot within the country market. Because of the lower density of individuals — the Dublin metro area, as an example, has about 1.5 million residents — “It’s a a lot better value,” he said.

Ireland does, nonetheless, have a “Covid-related supply issue,” Mr. Craigie said, with construction delays and a spike in 2021 sales leaving a scarcity of accessible homes. In response to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, the variety of homes sold fell from 5,706 in July 2021 to 4,182 in July 2022, a few 27 percent drop, while the typical home price rose from 286,928 euros to 341,914 euros throughout the same period, up about 19 percent.

Prices for country homes depend upon location, land and proximity to the coast. In response to the statistics office, the typical home price in County Cork in July was 311,216 euros, a rise of about 35 percent over the past two years. In West Cork, one might pay around $1.2 million for a period property and not using a water view, and $3.6 million for a refurbished Georgian waterfront residence in-built 1760, Ms. McCarthy said.

Agents said low property taxes, safety and a temperate microclimate were also drawing buyers to the world. During Europe’s heat wave this summer, the temperature in West Cork never exceeded 79 degrees Fahrenheit, Ms. McCarthy said.

“Here, it continues to be relatively protected,” Ms. De Vere Hunt said. “You possibly can get in your bicycle and cycle on the road. And you’ll be able to walk.”

Fueled partially by the strong dollar, Americans “have been coming in droves” for the past six to eight months, Ms. McCarthy said, particularly within the million-dollar-plus marketplace for “individuals who have an Irish background — and other people who don’t, but like the thought of living in Ireland.”

Ms. McCarthy noted an influx of “mainly Irish expats living in London, Singapore, Asia or Australia,” with many working in finance or fintech.

Mr. Craigie said that 12 and 15 percent of his annual sales were to international buyers, with an uptick from Britain since Brexit. His buyers also come from Germany, Italy and France, with a more moderen surge from Hong Kong and China.

Before buying a house in Ireland, one must obtain an Irish P.P.S. tax identification number, much like a Social Security number. The applying is submitted in person, Ms. McCarthy said.

A 5 percent deposit will likely be required to secure a property and take it off the market. Once due diligence is accomplished, one other 5 percent is due upon signing a contract drawn up by the vendor’s lawyer, Ms. McCarthy said.

Residential closing costs include a stamp duty of 1 percent of the acquisition price for residences as much as $1 million and up to at least one acre of land, and a pair of percent on more significant properties. Agricultural or commerce properties carry a 7.5 percent stamp duty, Ms. McCarthy said. Legal fees range from 1 to 1.5 percent.

Getting a mortgage is more complicated for foreigners than it’s for local buyers. “Most international buyers pay money,” Mr. Craigie said.

The Ireland Immigrant Investor Program, established in 2012, allows buyers from outside the European Economic Area with a private net price of a minimum of 2 million euros to secure residency status in exchange for investing within the Irish economy. (Russian residents were banned from applying as of March.)

English; euro (1 euro = $0.96)

Annual property taxes on the Courtyard house are about 1,200 euros.

Roseanne De Vere Hunt, Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes Farms and Estates, 011-353-87-412-2356.

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