A David among Goliaths

HARD to keep up with the Joneses at Casa Maria, good and surprising property and all that it is.

A three-bed semi-d on Cork’s main Douglas Road, it has not one, but three high-end multi-million euro homes right alongside it, just on the Douglas side.

One house, the more modest-sized and proportioned, is being built on what was an overgrown site behind the 1940s main road semi that is Casa Maria.

Its owner, who is close to completing the new, low-lying house behind, also put thoughtful work into Casa Maria while he lived there, extending it simply and effectively to the rear five or six years ago. And he also made other smart amendments to make for a house with a surprising 1,300 sq ft of smart-enough living space.

The ground floor has the best of it, thanks to the timber-framed and timber-sheeted 200 sq ft extension which inter-links with an efficient kitchen, pantry area, and living/dining room. It is all kept bright thanks to two domed roof flights, and three sets of French doors out to the decking and patioed back garden.

The end result is a house with lots of internal room, a compact and walled-in rear garden, and a modern feel mixed with older house character. The location is top-notch, but on a busy road, there’s off-street reserved parking for one car, a garage for storage, a bus stop is 50 yards away, and the city and Douglas village are each walkable options too.

All this for an asking price of €380,000, via Mark Kelly of Lisneys, who surely is pitching it on the low side given the general €420,000/€450,000 value of even more standard Douglas semis. The Lisney agent pitches it back a bit, however, because of the restricted back garden. For those that don’t want grass, and favour easy-keep hard surfaces and pot planting with a bit of style, it is perfect. Expect that rare market phenomenon, competitive bidding, among kindred souls.

The rear garden has a south/south-westerly aspect, and there’s rear access to the attached garage, with den/office potential.

Other neat touches include a set of 8’ wide-folding glazed doors between the entrance hall and front reception rooms, and the stair spindles and their unusual turn on the landing keep faith with its post-war, c 1946 ancestry.

Casa Maria has three bedrooms, two doubles and a single, and a well-finished bathroom, while the ground floor has a utility/pantry and guest WC. A great house for displaying art and books and hosting soirees, it is ready to move into.

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