Some may be in need of tender loving care, but properties at this Valentine’s Day auction could provide the perfect match, writes Tommy Barker
An auction coming up in a month’s time, with a mix of nine properties yet with a total value just in the region of just €1m, looks like it may turn into the equivalent to speed dating, pairing buyer and bidders with properties in locations which, in some cases, are certain to stir the heart and quicken the pulses.
The auction date and venue are appropriate too, given the coastal flavour of the settings — all nine un-attached prizes are to be auctioned at the Celtic Ross Hotel, by the scenic causeway in Rosscarbery, a popular West Cork wedding venue, and all the action will be taking place on February 14 — Valentine’s Day.
Auctioneers John Hodnett and Andy Donoghue of Hodnett Forde swear that any and all inducements of gifts of flowers and chocolates will be firmly rebuffed — they’ll only be wooed by filthy lucre, by the highest cash bids.
The Clonakilty agency Hodnett Forde has been charged with the disposal of nine properties for the Health Service Executive, eight of which have served their time as community-based health centres and/or dispensaries, while the last lot is a plot of 1.5 acres owned by the HSE on the Bandon town bypass/N71 ... be still that beating heart.
There’s a strong coastal flavour to the mix where a number of the buildings are already sited, and most are compact, G-BER-rated, and dated ... dated at least in a manner of speaking.
Locations include a split-level 850 sq ft building in poor repair by the pier in the heart of chic Baltimore, and it carries a pre-auction price guide of €130,000 to €140,000.
In overall setting and engagement terms, it is the gem on the ring.
Also close to the water’s edge, and deeper into West Cork, is the former 700 sq ft health centre at Adrigole, on a 0.3 acre site between Glengarriff and Castletownbere, by the foot of Hungry Hill, with commanding views over the harbour.
It’s “brimming with development potential, subject to planning permission, but is being sold ‘as-is’,” notes HF’s Mr Donohue, adding that all lots are on a similar ‘as-is’ basis ... unlike some first dates, where what you see isn’t always what you get.
Guide price at Adrigole is €70,000-€80,000, while for about half that guide and also out on the same Beara Peninsula is a 0.3 acre site, within a walk of the colourful village and the beach. Close to existing houses, it’s guided ‘as-is’ at €30,000-€40,000.
Meanwhile, closer to Carrigaline in south Cork are two former health centres: one, at Ballyfeard between Carrigaline and Kinsale and near the coast at Nohoval, has 650 sq ft on a 0.22 acre site, but needs lots of remedial work and is guided at €90,000.
Another, at Shanbally by Ringaskiddy and the N28 is a 500 sq ft former health centre, in good overall health itself, on a 0.1 acre plot next to a grotto and power lines serving the harbour hinterland and its strong pharma employment base. Guide for the Shanbally lot is €120,000.
Deep inland, by Kilmurry village and near to Lissarda and Macroom (10km) is a 500 sq ft former HSE health centre, guided at €60,000-€70,000. It’s on a site of 0.15 of an acre, right next door to the 2016-opened War of Independence museum.
Also just west of Cork City is the former 555 sq ft health centre at Goggins Hill, Ballinhassig. Close to many other dwellings, it’s price is guided at €120,000.
One of the cheapest lots and getting most admiring glances so far is a 520 sq ft building, in poor order, on a 0.15 acre site at a road junction at Church Cross, west of Skibbereen.
Hodnett Forde’s Mr Donoghue says that it is getting suitor calls from far and wide, as well as from overseas, which he puts down as much to its modest €30,000-€40,000 price guide as to its setting in a hinterland which is home to the likes of movie heartthrob Jeremy Irons.
Finishing on a heart-throb link, the most valuable of the Hodnett Forde novena of nine lots is the 1.5 acres of the Bandon bypass road.
It faces over the N71 to where the HSE has recently completed the new 25-bed Bandon Community Hospital. It’s next to a small retail park by Spring Lane and is zoned for ‘business use’.
The guide price for this high-profile, ready-for-business 1.5 acres is €140,000-€150,000
VERDICT: Wooed, not rude, on St Valentine’s Day.