Size: 2,560 sq ft
A forward-looking and enterprising person could, quite profitably, set up a small business for himself, or herself, supplying and fitting rearview mirrors to cars strewn along tight-knit suburbs like Cork City’s Sunday’s Well.
Sticky-out, rear-view mirrors are a sort of an endangered species anywhere in city streets and suburbs where traffic travels through steadily, where roads and streets are narrow, and where parking and pulling-in spots are at a premium.
That’s certainly the case in Sunday’s Well, where less than half of the elegant homes along the main through road have off-street parking options, and that includes a share of some of the very best properties, in the up-to-and-over €1m price category.
To avoid having mirrors being snapped off by passing vehicles, simply having reserved, secure or even just sheltered parking along this long, narrow road stretch between the city centre and Apple HQ at Hollyhill as well as other points west and north, can be a deal breaker for some Cork house-hunters.
It matters especially so for those who might be as car proud as they are house proud.
Equally, for others who value proximity to the city centre and a walkable commute lifestyle, it matters far less, if at all.
Options include the ‘take your chances’, and tuck the car close to the kerb and fold back the mirrors; the suck-it up approach, and the occasional bill to replace a side/wing mirror, or even a body panel or a bit of panel beating.
There’s also the don’t-care- about-the-car approach, who buys or drives an older car, dents, duct tape repairs and the ilk, or, simply, those who get a bike, get on with it, and give up on the car.
None of these points to ponder should overly trouble those keen to move to the conveniences of Sunday’s Well, if they can stretch to the €650,000 plus price guide of sizeable Sidwell.
Set pretty much slap-bang in the middle of Cork’s Sunday’s Well suburb is Sidwell, a Victorian end-terrace of substantial size, on a south-facing site that carries even more heft, it’s on over one third of an acre, facing due south.
And, as well as having gardens front, side and to the back, it also has off-street car parking, for up to four cars as currently laid out in its private approach avenue.
It’s a considerable plus in an area which is home to some of Cork’s finest, loftily-set 19th century family homes, whether terraced, detacheds or whoppers of tall semi-ds.
Sidwell is set by the junction with Convent Avenue (at far right of B&W main image), and just in front of and beneath the entrance to the sprawling Good Shepherd Convent site, put on the Derelict Sites Register by City Hall a few years back, after a decade of abandonment and fires, and where Bord Pleanála has granted approval for 182 apartments and 20 houses for a site with, by now, a very long and chequered planning history and ownership changes.
Whatever is built behind of scale will have little or no impact on the next owners of Sidwell, or 3, Holmville, bar a consequent rise in traffic: this property is all pretty much about looking to the front, to the south for sun and city with distant suburban Cork views.
It’s even possible that its next owner might look to get planning permission on a portion of Sidwell’s pretty extensive grounds, as there’s just so much garden to the back and the property’s site widens quite a bit also as it stretches away and up from the end-terrace house, set close to and back from the former Annie’s bar and restaurant at the corner with Convent Avenue.
It’s one of three elegant, complementary three-storey typically Victorian houses at Holmville, with the end two more or less mirror images of one another, with their high front gables crowned by ornate timber barges or fascia boards, while the middle house in the Holmville trio has twin lower feature front-gabled windows in the roof.
A private home for a number of years, its owner is now downsizing, and estate agent Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing guides the c2,560 sq ft three-storey house at €650,000, saying “it’s an outstanding, aesthetically pleasing period family home full of charm, distinction and character,” and says it combines comfort with many retained period property features.
Entered from the side/ west gable to a hall with black and red Victorian tiles, it’s got a sunny front sitting room, wood-floored, with deep bay window and original marble fireplace, with ceiling rose, and alongside is a carpeted TV room, also with a fireplace, and also at ground is a kitchen with part marble topped units, pantry and a utility with yard/ garden access.
Sidwell’s first floor has three bedrooms, including master with sliding robes, main bathroom plus shower rooms, and the top level has two attic-style additional bedrooms.
Overall condition is good, but is likely to get a modernising decor upgrade in new hands, if not something even grander, and the BER is pending.
VERDICT: Sit well, and park well, at well-sited, Sunday’s Well Sidwell.