World boxing champion Carl Frampton and his wife Christine are selling their palatial home in Banbridge to move closer to family in Belfast.
The undefeated local sports star, who recently took America by storm when he successfully defended his super-bantamweight title against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, says the house which the couple only moved into last year is proving too remote for Christine.
Speaking from Galway, where he was enjoying a well earned break with his wife and their two children, Carla (4) and Rossa (9 months), Frampton yesterday said they both loved the house and the area.
However, his training schedule, which sees him spend a lot of time away from home, has meant that Christine is finding the rural idyll just too much on her own and wants to be closer to family in Belfast.
The impressive five bedroom/four reception room pad on the outskirts of the Co Down town on the rural Scarva Road is on the market for just over £500,000.
In the short time they have lived there, the couple have put their own stamp on it and say they are sorry to be leaving.
Said Carl: “It is a beautiful house and even though we are not long there we have done a good bit of work to it and it is much better now than when we bought it.
“We are moving so that we can be closer to the city as with me being away all the time Christine is finding it a bit lonely and wants to be closer to family.”
Carl revealed that his daughter also had an influence in the decision to sell up.
As little Carla is due to begin school soon, the couple didn’t want to unsettle her by moving house once she had started her education.
Adds Carl: “We never intended to stay here for good and we didn’t want Carla starting school down here and then having to move her in a couple of years.”
Carl (28) who is from the loyalist Tiger’s Bay area of the city and Christine (26) from Poleglass met eight years ago in Kelly’s nightclub in Portrush and married in a humanist ceremony at the Old Inn in Crawfordsburn in October 2013.
The couple lived in a small home in Lisburn, which they now rent out, before relocating to Banbridge last year.
Shortly after moving into their new house, Christine told the Belfast Telegraph: “We’ve rented the wee starter-house we had to a really nice couple who had a baby recently, too.
“We’ve more room in this new house – it’s a bit too big for me, to be honest, with Carl being away most of the year, but he has a gym in it.
“It is lovely and private and there’s a garden and plenty of space for our dog Manny to run about, although he’s not allowed out until we get a wee pen or something.
“He has no road sense and we’re down a country road – he’d be straight out onto it.”
The house is on the market with Simon Brien Residential which is asking for offers around £525,000.
Built in 2002, it is a massive property with 4,500 sq ft of accommodation and sits on a superb site of around three acres, two of which are woodland.
The Framptons enjoy great privacy in what the estate agent describes as a “peaceful rural location”.
Luxury touches abound including a surround sound throughout and a central vacuum system.
There are five generous bedrooms, a spacious drawing room, sun room, living room, fitted kitchen open to a casual dining area, a utility room, family bathroom, en suite and two downstairs cloakrooms plus a large integral double garage with a games room/play room above.
There is a feeling of grandeur when you step into the vast hallway with its marble fireplace and black and white tiled chequered flooring.
The style, however, is young and trendy and, while the house has touches of opulence in its decor, there is also a cosy lounge where it is obvious the family like to kick back and relax.
The large kitchen has granite worktops and all modern appliances and is finished with a rich marble floor. The master bedroom features an en suite shower room and dressing room while the family bathroom has a luxurious Jacuzzi bath.
Electric gates open onto the property and a sweeping driveway cuts through immaculate gardens to the main house, where there is a great deck for entertaining, plenty of space for children to play and those lovely mature woods shielding the property from view.
While Carl insists the couple are in “no rush to get out”, they have started the hunt for their new house, looking at a number of properties in the plush Malone area of Belfast and Drumbo.
Adds the champ: “It is a lovely home and very relaxing down there but just not for us.”
Caption: Frampton’s house in Banbridge