Retro look could pay off for house sale in high-end estate

IF imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Cork’s Lindville houses have been flattered to the eyeballs.

Built from the late 1990s and finished out in the early 2000s, the scheme of more than 60 faux-Victorian homes on the site of a former private hospital in Cork’s Blackrock/Ballintemple suburb spawned a host of copies around Cork city, county and even further afield.

Original architect Roderick Hogan carefully detailed Lindville house design and proportion, getting it far more right than most of his imitators since, knowing that things like roof pitch, authentic materials, window shape and hefty, ornate timber fascias were the key to getting the ‘retro’ look right.

Now, even in the pale light of winter, Lindville shows that it is maturing and aging with grace. Lichens forming on the natural slate roofs look appropriate, ivies on walls show the houses aren’t the only things now well rooted, and expensive individual landscaping is softening the boundaries between the neighbouring homes. Many of these lofty, three-storey houses are quite tightly fitted in, however, a result of getting a sufficient density on a valuable suburban plot.

One can imagine that there’s a fair bit of keeping up with neighbourhood standards here, and scanning around the gardens there’s a high proportion of trampolines, decking and barbecues the sizes of tables. Electric access gates are also pretty common, although the well-used communal green and play areas show a contrasting degree of relaxation.

Re-sales in Lindville are fairly few and far between, the last detached in a small enclave section made about €1.3 million last year, and the market has continued its slide since the days when some of the very biggest and best ’A’ types might have made €2 million.

Coming into a tightened market right now is a big, ‘B’ type home, three-storeys high, fitting in some 2,650sq ft of space overall with five bedrooms and five bathrooms, very much in showhouse condition inside and out, with immacualte landscaping front and back – without a blade of grass to cut.

Asking price as No 45 Lindville goes fresh to market with agent Timothy Sullivan is €1.2 million So it is not cheap in most buyers’ books but it is going to be a seller – and the price paid will be, as the cliche goes, ‘a good test of the market’.

It shows really well and is going to be a bit of a view pleaser, so competitive bidding is likely. Despite perceptions, agents at the upper end of the Cork market say there are buyers in the €1m-plus league (admittedly pretty demanding ones), but precious little quality stock.

No 45’s owners have moved out in the last month or two, having built anew in Blackrock to the highest of standards and costs: most mortals will be more than happy to trade up to a place like No 45.

All furniture has been left behind here – the move out must have been done with suitcases, not a removal lorry – and there’s the stamp of an interior designer’s input (or an accomplished amateur) as it goes on show.

It has been expensively kitted out, with quality materials, tiling, floors, kitchen bathrooms etc, but without too much bling (well, bar the main en suite’s 15-jet whirlpool bath) and overall condition is excellent. Some will like it enough to want to make an offer on much of the happily at-home furniture, but the sale at present does at least include fine carpets and costly drapes and blinds.

A tumbled marble or stone floor runs through much of the ground floor, from the hardwood double front doors (with fanlight) through the hall, guest WC, utility/laundry, and on through the deep house, past the utility, to the large kitchen/dining room.

Beyond again, down a few steps, is a walnut-wood floored family room with gas fire in a sandstone fireplace.

There’s underfloor heating at ground floor level, and floors in the front inter-linked and well-sized reception rooms are warm cherry. The painted kitchen units, meanwhile, have a mix of teak and granite tops, and appliances are Neff.

A mahogany handrail continues the quality material theme up to the next floor, home to the bay-windowed master bedroom with its big jetted bath and separate power shower, there’s a dressing room/walk-in wardrobe as well, and a good guest bedroom to the back of the house, along with a smaller fifth bedroom, and main bathroom with cast iron slipper bath graced by gold taps.

The house’s top floor has two more good bedrooms, each with eaves storage, and there’s a shared bathroom with shower. Ceiling height in the top floor is good, higher in fact than at first floor level, and the tone throughout is light, bright and airy.

Colours, built-ins, tiling and finishes will all be easy to live with. All the perimeter is very well planted, maturing superbly, and at the back is a big, stepped deck and a lower, extensively tiled space.

No 45 is going to cause a stir – and its property-astute neighbours will be keenly watching what it eventually sells for.

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up