A well-extended suburban home

Tommy Barker visits a well-appointed house which has benefited from the care lavished on it by its first owners

Maryborough Hill, Cork - €445,000

  • Size: 170 sq m (1,820 sq ft)
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • BER: B3

IT’S only been a week, and already the inquiries to estate agents Cohalan Downing, with every second-hand home they list now to sell is starting to wear thin: “Is this being sold for a ‘Botanikal’, the Irish Examiner nosily wants to know.

The question is going to keep croping up for a while, it appears, as estate agents Jackie Cohalan and Suzanne Tyrrell are close to a sell-out of the Blackrock Road house scheme Botanika, in its first week.

The upmarket development by Cleve Hill (which featured extensively here last Saturday) had 31 homes, launched late last week and by mid-week, some 27 were reserved, with 15 detacheds sold, at up to €850,000 a pop, as well as four-bed semis at €595,000.

The semis were of most interest to traders-down, and the detacheds to traders-up, and buyers reserving with deposits in hand were a mix of cash purchasers, and those who’ll sell to move.

So Cohalan Dowing are likely to get a share of those resales, hence the immediate question we asked when visiting 12 Wyndgates: “are they buying in Botanika?’

No. They’re not. And, in any case, the jump from a sale in the mid €400ks to a purchase in the mid €800ks would be a big one for most people to bridge, so they’re looking elsewhere, and selling is the first step.

The owners of 12 Wyndgates, home to a growing family, did everything they could since buying it brand new in 2008, but still there’s a need and a draw to yet more living spac. Hence, the arrival of this detached 1,820 sq ft to Cork’s suburban house market, as its owners prepare to sell, and then to buy, with cash in hand.

They extended to the back, at ground floor level, and opened up a sequence of rooms or themed spaces around the kitchen in a very clever way. There’s a kitchen/dining section, study with bookshelves and desks for homework, a casual seating spot, and a family room overlooking the tiered back garden.

But, rather than blow it all out into one big, open-plan expanse, they kept a decent chunk of an original wall, so they got to keep a wall for kitchen units, and seating on the other side. You can stay in touch, by sound and chat, without everything being all the time on view as there’s semi-private nooks, and lots of seating options.

When doing the reworking, they painted the kitchen units a cool, dark gray — a more modern look and a good contrast with the white ceramic sink.

They added some extra, narrow windows to the exterior/side walls for light, and part of the flat roof, membrane-covered extension has a skylight for yet more light penetration, and it’s all very much a family-friendly flow as a result.

Separately, detached No 12 has a front room with fireplace for a more total blast of privacy, when required, plus a utility and guest WC rounding out the ground floor accommodation.

The owners also added an attic conversion, with a home office, lots of extra storage, plus some into the eaves, and there’s a larger, carpeted multi-purpose room, with the back-up of a shower room/WC also.

At mid-level, are four bedrooms, three of them doubles. The fourth — a single to begin with — is now a quite compact, as a wall had to be pushed back to get stair access up to the attic level. It’s fine for a nursery or young child, or as a dressing room, or study.

No 12 Wyndgates is out at the front of O’Brien and O’Flynn’s Maryborough Ridge development, beyond Douglas Golf Club and only a minute from the northbound slip road to the Slí Carrig Dhoun/ring road/N28 network, as currently configured at least, prior to M28 upgrades.

No 12 Wyndgates is on a corner site by an entrance to Maryborough Ridge, with the development’s long, feature mature beech tree-lined Manor Avenue immediately alongside. The house has off-street parking, on a brick-paved drive, and has side access left and right, with the right-hand side passage usefully roofed over for storage, clothes-drying etc, while the back garden has a patio, lawn and raised, play section for children.

Overall condition is excellent, with some attractive extra touches as well as all that added-on space; an attractive feature is the painted wood panelling in the porch, kept weather proof thanks to a sliding door, giving a warm and welcoming look from the get-go.

VERDICT: Already under offer with Cohalan Downing, and should sell well. The fact the last two new, A3-rated 1,720 sq ft four-bed detacheds are selling in Maryborough Ridge’s Hazel Hill at €500k apiece with Savills may peg its eventual selling price, even if a DNG Creedon sale of a bungalow on a good site in nearby Broadale for a stonking €700k-plus is a talking point locally.

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