A magical touch has been added to Locmor since it last came on the market a decade ago, writes Tommy Barker.
Size: 140 sq m (1,506 sq ft)
CORK city has some gem locations, and then it also has some gems heaped upon gems.
The Lough, just west of the city and which is a wildfowl sanctuary, is one well-recognised jewel as our very own Swan Lake, much loved by Corkonians, and appreciated even more so by our fine, feathered friends.
Then, amid the Lough’s fringing terraces and the several neighbouring estates, there’s a small few, nest-like niche locations for human habitations: among them is the quaintly-titled Fairy Lawn, concealing about two dozen modest-sized but choicely set homes.
With a sprinkle of fairy dust on them, Fairy Lawn houses rarely come for sale. The Price Register shows three resales in the past decade, at prices from €180,000 to €325,000, and the third sale there is that of Locmor, which came to market in September 2009, optimistically guiding €385,000 in a by-then well-down turned market.
It was a mid 1900s, two-storey do-er upper of 1,250 sq ft at that time, and the Price Register shows Locmor selling by the summer of 2010 for a recorded €275,000.
Its buyer was a young woman, smitten and ready to roll up her sleeves: she later met, and married, a landscape horticulturist, Sean Russell, and between their expertise and enthusiasms, much work has been done and taken root in the intervening decade. It’s now uprooting/moving on time, and Locmor is back for sale after a ten year hiatus, it’s in utterly different condition, with work all done, inside and outside: even the chimney’s been relined, an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ detail which often is overlooked in home make-overs until it’s too late.)
In shining order, and with askance views over neighbours’ gardens to the Lough from the side and rear, Locmor is about to start viewing with agents Malcolm Tyrrell and Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing Associates. They gauge the floor area at c 1,500 sq ft (it has planning permission for a two-storey extension) while it’s floated at €395,000....€10k over the ‘09 asking price, and €120 k over its last recorded selling price, pre-upgrades.
Back then, it had a dated facade, with painted render and bronze aluminium windows and porch: that’s now been reordered, windows have been replaced with sliding double glazed sashes, the sliding porch door is no more as the new front door and glazed side panels (painted a cheery orange) is much more draught-proof, and so the focus now is on the limestone-floored porch, a display space for matching tall slender potted plants.
The exterior’s painted a dark grey, sort of a default colour of choice for design-conscious home owners and architects and still with a popular currency, while inside the interior-design savvy look is softer, with muted greens and small-patterned floral wallpapers, mixed with some funkier metallic-type papers in the living room.
There’s a hall floored with large, porcelain tiles which continue to the rear, into the dining room and the single storey kitchen extension, and kitchen units are good quality, neutral in white, crowned with black granite worktops.
The room is double aspect, with double doors to a limestone paved stepped patio and neat, well-planted back garden. There’s an under-counter ceramic Belfast sink (with Lough views from here), good array of integrated appliances, plus a well-judged sizewise central island, also granite topped, with rounded corners.
Light gets to flow internally thanks to part-glazed hardwood doors, such as between the hall and the kitchen and between the 16’ by 12’ dining room (which has a wall-mounted integrated gas fire) and the front sitting room, which has glazed double doors, with a central vertical divide.
That front room has a dark hardwood-look laminate floor, with a white stepped fireplace surround with dark stone hearth, and there’s a nice bay window, with no less than five sash windows.
Also at ground is a guest WC, and good storage, and a stairs leading to a first floor with three bedrooms, and main very well finished and fully-tiled bathroom. The main bedroom has a wall of sliding robes, some mirrored, and the two other smaller, kiddie-friendly decorated bedrooms also come with good built-ins.
Every bit as good, meanwhile, as the interiors are the exterior spaces, not surprising given the owners’ talents, and the south-facing home has an attached side garage with painted hardwood double doors, off-street parking, neat lawn and trimmed borders with mature planting and potted varieties on the concrete drive.
Behind, there’s been judicious but restrained planting and maturity over the past decade or so, with limestone patio and lawn, and side garden path to a multi-use standalone garden room/office/workroom, with sheltered entrance, painted wood clad walls and with a power supply to boot.
Given the quality of what’s on offer and level of finish, for a walk-in order home within a walk to Cork city centre, to UCC and other major Cork hubs, Cohalan Downing say they expect very good interest in Locmor. It is, they stress, “a rare opportunity to get an extensively modernised, detached house in such a prime location.”
For those slow to engage with builders and trades given the current level of demand and budget-stretching pricing, the all-done up shape of this Lough hinterland home will be a bonus.VERDICT: Get your ducks all in a row, quackly now.