There are now options for people who want to live permanently on a cruise ship, in the form of floating buildings, with multi-million dollar condos. You can fill them with your own elements, like a home, while you travel around the world.
It could get tedious, spending your days bumping into the same faces or finding yourself stuck on a floating pandemic hotspot. The safest option might be to buy a house that feels a bit like being on an ocean liner, like No 2 Merview, in Cobh.
If you stand towards the back of the hall at No. 2 and direct your gaze to the long window that runs down the far wall above the stairs that lead down to the basement, all you can see is is the ocean moving beneath you. It’s like watching from above, from an ocean liner, the sea below.
As Merview is on a hill above the harbor there is nothing to obscure your view. Every window to the rear offers stunning views, which you would never guess if you only saw it from the side of the road, where it presents itself as an elegant semi-detached town house, without any hint of harbor perspective.
Nor would one guess from the roadside that this is a four storey property, as the basement is not visible and the fourth floor is the result of an attic conversion.
The conversion of the attic is just one of many renovations undertaken by the couple who own No 2 since its acquisition in 2007.
“It was pretty run down,” says the housewife, who lived on another property in Cobh, until her next door neighbor advised her to check out No 2.
“She had been to No 2 before and she knew there were beautiful views. She thought we would like it, and she was right,” said the woman of the house.
Even though No 2 was in a pretty raw state, its potential was evident and the couple fell in love with it. After buying it, they remodeled it, replacing the roof, installing new sea-side windows, and tearing down the tiny kitchen in the basement.
They’ve replaced it with a gorgeous open-plan living space, with kitchen/diner at one end, and a spacious living room at the harbor-facing end, from which two steps lead up to a fully glazed door that opens on the most charming south. facing a patio below, with a breathtaking view of everything that moves on the port.
Passing liners seem almost within reach, as shown in photos taken by the owners, who are delighted to see cruise ships returning to Cobh after a difficult few years for the tourist town. The couple have installed a new bathroom in the basement and beyond that, a second glass door leads out to the patio where storage benches line both sides and are painted in cool Mediterranean colours.
The land steps away beyond the patio so that the row of houses below on Harbor Road does not disturb the view, while exotic planting in a neighboring property adds to the overseas ambience.
Overseas is something that figured prominently in the lives of the couple living in Merview, who the man of the house said led “a very itinerant life”. After meeting in London, they then spent a few years in Mauritius, before settling in Australia where they bought a house and 60 acres outside Melbourne. As a housewarming gift, a friend gave them two pigs. They renovated the house (their first experience in this field) and over the next two decades raised three children and grew their pig herd from two to 500. “It would be called a hobby farm in Australia “, the man of the house laughs. Once their children were raised, they moved back to Cobh in 2001. They bought No. 2 in 2007 from Victoria Murphy, coincidentally mother of Johanna Murphy, the agent who is now selling it on their behalf as they feel the need to pass again. .
“We hate the idea of parting with this house and if our extended family lived in Ireland we would like to stay here,” says the housewife.
The next owner will love it too. Its Victorian heritage has been highly respected, as evidenced by its roadside façade (original fanlight, original street balustrades, black and white tiled driveway) and at the entrance level, where two reception rooms adjoining rooms, next to the high-ceilinged hallway, have fireplaces, cornices and parquet floors.
The bedrooms can be opened up as they are connected by double doors, so views can be enjoyed from both, but particularly from the large window seat overlooking the harbor in the living room.
The decoration in the basement – where a new Viessmann gas boiler has been installed – is more contemporary, while on the two upper floors the fireplaces have been retained in the bedrooms, three of which, all double, on the first floor, as as well as a bathroom, while the master bedroom, with skylights letting in lots of light, is in the converted attic, next to the third bathroom.
Johanna Murphy describes No 2 as ‘a superb, charismatic townhouse in true Nottinghill style’. She guides the property to €495,000 and expects interest from Cork City, the UK and the US – where she says there is currently strong interest in the properties of Cobh.
Merview is conveniently located a few minutes walk from downtown Cobh.
You would have a hard time choosing between the house or the views. Luckily, the buyer of this one won’t have to.