A labour of love should bring this period home up to scratch again

SO, just how brave are you?

The sight of a detached, 2,000 sq ft period house, with lots of architectural detailing, in a garden oasis just five minutes drive from a city like Cork is tempting.

Throw in a planned new commuter railway station a few hundred yards away, an asking price of just €350,000, and you’d expect the hot-property hordes to descend.

But, yes, there’s a catch, or a bucket of cold water to dampen the bidding ardour. This house at North Esk — between Glounthane and Glanmire — east of Cork city and by the Jack Lynch Tunnel/Dunkathel, needs an injection of work.

How much? Oh, somewhere between the ministrations of TLC and the machinations of a JCB, to get it sorted.

It has damp bits, wet rot and dry rot, and it has all the signs of subsidence, affecting rooms both upstairs and down.

But, then again, it hasn’t fallen down yet, and there’s plenty more life in it still. In fact, it is immediately habitable or even rentable, points out selling agent Darragh Taaffe of Keane Mahony Smith.

The vendor is keen so they are going for sale by public auction quoting an AMV and disclosed reserve of €350,000. It could be yours for that, if you’re are the bravest bidder on the day.

If there’s a few of you prepared to take the chance, then the vendor gets a bit extra cash.

Because of the building problems, it isn’t for the faint of heart or wallet, and a bank won’t be prepared to lend large amounts on it, so first time buyers without equity built up won’t get a look in, despite the attractions of the price tag — which is, after all, only a starting point for a fairly open-ended further spend.

North Esk is one of Cork’s off-beat and off the beaten track locations, with a handful of houses dating from the late 1700s and early 1800s, according to one resident, who associates it back in the mid-1800s with the Carnegie family from Scotland.

The name North Esk comes from a renowned salmon river in Scotland near Angus. And, the site’s old past is evident in things like castellated bits on the oldest stone dwellings here, as well as in the complicated site map, showing bits of ground and rights of way crisscrossing, to give this particular property about a quarter acre of grounds in all.

“This is a cracking property,” says KMS agent Darragh Taaffe, “and in the right hands, time and taste will turn it around into a real gem of a home.”

The large three-bedroom home has a side annex with kitchen, with large interconnected reception rooms, good fireplaces, old sash windows and original doors among other period details.

As for a survey, well, just accept that some turmoil can be envisaged.

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