Hettyfield, Douglas Price: €650,000
Size: 129sq m/1,388sq ft
House sales, like fashions, are cyclical, and so it is that family homes built in the '50s and '60s are increasingly returning to market as older generations depart for more heavenly dwellings.
"For Sale" signs are popping up with growing regularity around suburbs of Cork city such as Ballinlough and Douglas, where Bradley Brother Builders were extremely busy in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, building dozens of family homes.
One such sign bearing the name of estate agents Timothy Sullivan is visible outside Jenel, in Hettyfield, where homes fall into the category of "desirable real estate".
Two 2018 sales captured in the Property Price Register show prices as high as €1.4m in the case of a home called Ashton, while Colville sold for €800,000. Jenel comes to market with a more modest price tag of €650,000, reflecting its more modest size.
It's an executor sale, and selling agent Jarlath Boyd says it’s likely the house has been in the ownership of a single family since it was built in or around the '50s, as the previous owner lived in it into his 90s.
His passing is part of the changing age profile of similar leafy suburbs, with young families increasingly grabbing the chance of convenient living in homes with a nice-sized footprint, decent gardens, ample parking and proximity to all the essentials.
“Even though Jenel needs a bit of modernisation, it’s a fairly fresh house for all of that,” Mr Boyd says.
“And it has the potential for expansion. It’s the kind of house really where people would be happy to put down roots.”
Hettyfield is that kind of area anyway: mature, residential, uncluttered. As a detached home, there’s plenty breathing space between Jenel and it’s nearest neighbour. On a fine corner site, the road that runs alongside it is just a small access lane for a couple of houses. The road to the front is quiet, used mainly by the residents.
The house itself is screened at the back by mature planting, creating great privacy.
Inside, there’s plenty scope for open-plan living, or whatever you’re into..
The current layout sees the downstairs divided into a fine-sized kitchen-cum-dining area, measuring 19'10''x 13', separated from a living room by folding glazed doors.
There’s also a sitting room, which like the living room, has a big bay window.
There are two bathrooms: a guest WC downstairs and a shower room upstairs, where landing space is generous. There are four bedrooms, three with built-in wardrobes.
Outside is a 10'5" x 17' 1" garage with remote controlled electric roller door; a boiler house with oil burner and a PVC oil tank.
There’s been “good genuine interest early on”, says Mr Boyd, even though the market in general is “a little big sluggish”.
“The property is only on the market for the past fortnight, but the entry price is right and the phone is ringing. The viewers are there.” So who are the viewers? Families mainly, but not exclusively, Jarlath says. Trader up-ers, more so than downsizers. “People looking for convenience, schools around the corner, people who don’t want to be stuck in traffic all day,” adds Mr Boyd.
Some of the interest is local: people who are caught for space, who need that extra bedroom, or a garden that’s bigger than a postage stamp.
“Hettyfield is a big plot and people who have viewed it are staying in touch. I would say we are on the verge of offers,” Mr Boyd says.
Verdict: Ideally suited to family living.