The quality of a long stretch of the main Douglas Road in Cork’s suburbs might appear to be going down the swanee (or, at least down the drains,) due to potholes and undulations, but conversely at least, as the road lets itself down, a number of family homes along the same stretch are on the up and up, rising up to new heights.
It’s highly likely that the pothole issue got raised with more than a few general election candidates over the last few weeks run-up to tomorrow’s ‘Day of Reckoning’, even if it wasn’t quite the most pressing of issues on the broader, national radar, but the state of the road is notable given the way cars veer and slalom along and around the deeper recesses.
In contrast, the same street stretch, from Ballincurrig to the Cross Douglas Road, has seen some serious cash spends, in a variety of private homes, from upgraded big detacheds at the top of Ballincurrig and Rosebank, to a knock-down and rebuild of a bungalow called Sans Souci, acquired for its site value for €765,000, via Sherry FitzGerald, and now has a new build rising up behind the Sigma Homes-branded hoarding.
That sizeable, contemporary-styled new-build is between two other very high-end, very privately-screened, detached houses, another one of which was also a ‘knock and replace’ job, in the case of the former Knockrea Lodge, which made €405,000 back in 2015.
Of more pertinence now is the arrival for sale this month of this main Douglas Road three-bed semi called Villa Antoine, carrying a €365,000 AMV via agents Stuart O’Grady and Ann O’Mahony of Sherry FitzGerald.
Ms O’Mahony sold a curious near-neighbour, ParkView, which is second next door to Villa Antoine by the entrance to Baltimore Lawn two years back (in main pic), notable as it was a detached, but looked like a semi-d with its other half lopped off to create an access to the 1960s Baltimore Lawn.
Park View itself sold for last year for about €365,000 (the same price point of Villa Antoine), and was the focus of a just-completed major two-storey side and rear extension, with its new owners now happily ensconced and seemingly using a back garden side entrance in Baltimore Lawn as an access point: it certainly made life easier for its builders (also Sigma Homes) to access.
With open viewings having started now at Villa Antoine in the past week, it’s very likely that at least some of its prospective purchasers will go to the end of its long back garden and contrast and compare how several other neighbours along this stretch have chosen to extend these c 1940-s builds, when they come for resale.
Villa Antoine’s ‘other’ half itself already has a sizeable single storey add-on, while Park View’s add-on is probably the most extensive in the row to date, while a few other semis to the east also have extended behind.
As it stands, Villa Antoine has c 1,200 sq ft, and while its main layout is quite traditional, it does already have a converted attached side garage which can function as a compact, one-bedroomed flat or apartment.
This has its own independent front access to a compact living area, with a walk-through bedroom en route to a rear kitchen/diner, with a screened small courtyard garden.
That side section (single storey only,) is attached to the next door semi-d’s garage, whilst the rooms within are only about 6’ wide, so there’s a touch of the Channel Four TV world George Clarke’s ‘Amazing Spaces’ to be embraced in its next ownership.
It carries a €365,000 price guide, and unless the side section is integrated into the the main house, at single or even two storey level (subject to planning permission) there’s scope to earn income from this section on the side: it’s about 300 sq ft, and that’s in addition to the main house’s 1,270 sq ft.
That 300 sq ft is in addition to the main, c 1,200 sq ft in the house over its two levels.
The three-bed house has already had modernising work done, with a new kitchen and main first floor bathroom tackled, along with new floors, double glazing, new joinery and interconnecting front and back reception rooms.
Internally, it looks and feels fresher as a result than its front facade and ‘garden’ might suggest what to expect, and even smartening it up in terms of ‘kerb appeal’ wouldn’t overly tax anyone once it changes hands.
Also of note, on the ‘kerb’ front, it’s probably worth noting there is no footpath outside the four pairs of semis and the singular detached by Baltimore Lawn, which means caution’s advised when nosing a car out of the individual front drives.
Several houses in this stretch have pushed back pillars to widen their front entrances for safety’s sake, and a few too have put up convex mirrors as a further visual aide.
The attached garage conversion adds an extra dimension to this very well located home.
Douglas Road, Cork City
Size: 119 sq m (1,273 sq ft)
Best Feature: Location