Last month, a survey revealed housebuyers now care more about the surroundings of their home and having a sense of community than having good Wi-Fi connections or high-tech kitchen gadgets.
When searching for a new dream home, what they really desire is a sense of community and a home with a good view.
The Old Stables in Kincurdie, Rosemarkie, ticks both those boxes, perfectly.
Kincurdie is a community within a community, a small self-contained hamlet on the outskirts of Rosemarkie on the Black Isle. Located off a private road close to the village’s famous Fairy Glen, it enjoys a particularly quiet and peaceful setting.
The house also enjoys a lovely outlook over established gardens and views of the Moray Firth and its coastline, while a nearby path leads directly to the beach.
For the past 19 years, The Old Stables has been home to Rory Mair, his wife Gay Falconer, their three sons and daughter.
“The building is thought to date back to the 1860s and was originally the stable block for nearby Kincurdie manor house,” said Rory, 59.
The previous owners converted, renovated and extended the house which is now a lovely, bright and airy family home with accommodation spread over two floors.
None of the original charm has been lost and it has many period features such as crow step gables and a slate roof, but it also benefits from modern additions such as replacement windows, oil-fired central heating, a stylish kitchen and bathroom.
“There are still elements of the old stables to be found, such as the floor of the stables, and what looks like a bell tower on top of the house is actually a way of letting air into what was originally a hay loft, while one wall in the conservatory still has an original horse trough.
“What’s also special about living here is that we are part of a small community of just 14 households on the estate, so while we have our garden, we also have access to all parts of the estate.
“There’s a large communal area just outside our house which belongs to all who live on the estate, while there’s woods nearby and easy access to the beach which all makes it a great place to bring up a family.
“Our daughter, who is 17, was born here, and for her and her three older brothers, this was a great place to grow up. The layout of the house means you can have a lot of people in it yet it never feels crowded as it has quite separate sections.”
Entry to the house, which is on the market at offers over £430,000, is via the large sun room which overlooks the colourful garden grounds and leads into the hallway.
There is a cloakroom, study and TV room. A family room, which could also be used as a fifth bedroom, has a hardwood floor, fireplace and inset open fire.
The spacious dining kitchen has a good selection of wall and base units and a variety of integrated appliances including a Neff hob, oven, microwave and hood. From here, doors lead to the sun room making it a great space for entertaining.
“My favourite rooms are the conservatory and kitchen because they are so bright and get the sun most of the day. It’s a great family space and tends to be where we all sit and chat together,” said Rory.
The large sitting room is a lovely room to relax and unwind and has a panelled ceiling, four large windows, ceiling coving and a wood-burning stove. The utility room is accessed from a courtyard area and has plenty storage and space for white goods.
A carpeted staircase leads to the upper level where there are two large storage cupboards at the top of the stairs and a further walk-in storage/linen cupboard.
The master bedroom is a nice bright room with a lovely outlook over the gardens and partial views of the Moray Firth and its coastline. The room also has an en suite shower room with walk-in shower, WC, wash hand basin, wood panelling and heated towel rail.
There are three further bedrooms upstairs, as well as a family bathroom with bath, shower, WC and wash hand basin.
The Old Stables is set in well established, mature garden grounds with a small stream, courtyard area, store and plenty of parking for several vehicles.
“The garden is mostly lawn with established trees and shrubs rather than flowers, so it’s easy to look after,” said Rory, who recently took early retirement on the grounds of ill health.
“We have sea views, particularly from upstairs, and can see along the valley to the nearby farm. At times, it feels like you’re in France as the house is connected to the countryside, beach and village,” said Rory.
The house is within easy reach of all local amenities including the beach itself, golf course, shops including a supermarket, butcher, bakery, pharmacy, post office, bank, garage, leisure centre, library and various hotels, pubs and restaurants.
There’s a sailing club at nearby Fortrose harbour while Chanonry Point between Rosemarkie and Fortrose is the place to go dolphin spotting.
“The Old Stables is a great family house, and very shortly it will just be the two of us living here as our daughter is hoping to head off to university, so the time is right to downsize, but we’d love to see a family living here and enjoying the house as much as we have for the past 19 years.”
Contact Strutt and Parker on 01463 719171.