A gem in Cork in need of TLC

Sunday’s Well, Cork City

  • Price: €220,000
  • Size: 102 sq m (1,100 sq ft)
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • BER: Pending

THERE are very many reasons to lose the run of yourself, when first considering the charms (some of them hidden) of Sun Lodge, a Sunday’s Well Cork city gem in the rough — just one of them is water frontage to the River Lee.

This period era semi-detached is within a walk of the city, in a venerable suburb, and close too are the UCC campus, Apple’s Cork HQ, and the Bon Secours and its €75m expansion.

It keeping with the warm tone of its name, Sun Lodge faces south/south east, overlooking the Mardyke, and has an expansive downhill run of gardens, right to a bank at the water’s edge: it’s just a few doors away from an access lane to the famous suspension Shakey Bridge, or Daly’s Bridge, shortly itself due a €550,000 conservation spend. And, while features like that, and old, exposed internal walls and some period detailing are likely to stir the emotions of any romantically inclined home-hunters, an even broader swathe will be lured in by the asking price: it’s ‘just’ €220,000.

Why? Well, you could spend almost that sum again on it, if you were to snap it up, without at least getting surveys done, QS figures trotted out, and had a very good idea of the complications of working on a house on a road bend, needing work done from top to toe, from the roof down.

Aaah, but it could all be beautiful, and therein lies the lure. But do your homework.

Sun Lodge is fresh to market with estate agent Michael O’Donovan of Savills, and is a three-storey, three-bedroomed home of c 1,100 sq ft, on an alluring 0.2 acre plot. By the Lee.

It’s a semi-d, and its other half was done up back in the 1990s, and a fair few of the neighbouring homes of similar mid 1800s vintage here along Sunday’s Well Road have been invested in over the past 20 years or so.

In fact, No 66 is probably one of just a very small handful now left with very little done to it over the past half a century,or perhaps even longer, a trait it shares with the ‘Red House’ or Lisheen, the large Victorian linked pair of lipstick-red houses with river frontage closest to Wellington Bridge: that once-iconic and photogenic ‘Red House’ pairing fell into advanced decay over the past 20 years, once eyed up for site development or a luxury multi-million euro pad.

More latterly, ‘Red House’ was a bank-encouraged sale, when it eventually found new owners via Irish & European for over €300,000 and that’s a fraction of what its UK-based buyer with Irish background is now likely to be spending on it, in its current restoration.

Given its relatively modest size, No 65 or Sun Lodge should be a finite enough investment, at least if tackled by someone with a relevant professional background or back-up.

Mr O’Donovan notes it still has many original features such as square headed window opes, with stone sills and sash windows, but counsels “it’s now in need of significant renovation and refurbishment.”

Despite having a round-headed door to the street on its mid level, it’s described as having its front door ‘proper’ down at the lower level, on its southern facade, so access is first off via a doorway in a side wall, down past the side of the house and around to where its three storey status is fully revealed.

At ground is a living room, hall and kitchen with pantry or utility; above is a mid-level sitting room, study, bedrooms and hall with street access under a fan-lit door frame, and the top has two further bedrooms, plus bathroom. There’s a three-storey window bay, for the ground floor dining room, the mid-level living room above it, and again in a top floor bedroom, with river views from the two upper levels.

VERDICT: Could turn to magic, having the right professionals on board will see No 65’s fortunes turn to rights.

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