TRADING UP

We scan a selection of trading up homes around the country.

BLACKROCK, CORK €580,000

Sq m: 185 (1,950 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

BER rating: Pending

Broadband: Yes

An outdoor swimming pool, a Blackrock Road address within a walk of Cork city centre, and a price drop of over 50% from a previous 2006 market offering are part of the package at Rydal.

The detached, mid-1900s extended four-bed family home with 2,000 sq ft of space, is guided at €580,000 (down from a peak hope of €1.2m) by its new selling agent Tim Sullivan, who says it has been well kept in recent years.

The setting and the attractions of the walled site and gardens will draw early 2012 interest — although it might

be too early in the year for the lure of an outdoor swimming pool (small, in the side garden) to exert any attraction.

Rydal is indicative of the build period, solid, four-square, and then with additions in subsequent decades to the rear, so new owners might also want to add a bit more upstairs, for dressing rooms, en suites or other upgrades.

As it stands, it has a 25’ by 17’ kitchen/living room, with the kitchen space on a raised tiled-floor section and with French doors to the gardens, and then there are three more reception rooms, all more modestly sized, a sitting room, a TV room and a lounge, two of them with fireplaces, as a back up to the gas central heating.

VERDICT: Better to buy now than in 2006!

DONERAILE, CORK €147,000

Sq m: 106 (1,135 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

BER rating: Pending

Broadband: Yes

There’s quite a nest to feather at this Skehanagh, Doneraile bungalow on 11 acres — the lot up for sale includes a large, commercial-sized old chicken house with chicken-feed silo, useful outbuildings, and the remains of an old cottage.

The €147,000 property offer with agents Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan Daly is prime for someone who wants space, and has energy to invest as well as a few more quid, as the four-bed bungalow residence also needs a bit of upgrading and modernising: at present, its large picture windows are single glazed, in teak, and the heating is a mix of oil with a large, attractive stove in the living room, plus a Stanley range in the kitchen.

New EU regulations on egg productions might have rendered the hen house obsolete, or at least in need of upgrades, and the eleven acres of land will suit anyone wanting to do a bit of organic or hobby farming - some of the land is classified as disadvantaged.

Location is about five miles from Doneraile in north Cork.

VERDICT: Location is rural, but there’s lots of interesting possibilities with land for the right sort of buyer prepared to shell out.

AIRPORT HILL, CORK €255,000

Sq m: 100 (1,110 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

BER rating: Pending

Broadband: Yes

Spotless inside and out, and well-finished, with a long back garden — that’s only a few of the positives with 16, North Avenue in Matthew Hill, Lehenaghamore.

The 2004-built bungalow is home to a house-proud couple, says estate agent Stephen Clarke of Real Estate Alliance O’Donoghue Clarke. With its crisp modern look and finishes, it is as suited to young buyers as to traders down.

Most of the flooring is solid oak, the kitchen has Shaker-style units and black ‘Metro’ or subway-style splashback tiles above the worktops, and the bathroom is fully tiled as well.

None of the three bedrooms though is very large, but there’s storage in the floored attic and the main living room is a good 17’ by 11’ with a bay window and an antique cast-iron fireplace.

Outside, there’s off-street parking, and the long back garden is walled-in, with the side walls painted white for an airy feel, while a retained mature tree at the back boundary adds a nice rooted touch.

Location of this smart Ruden Homes-built bungalow is up above Wilton and Togher on Cork’s Airport Hill, with easy access to the Kinsale road and the South City Ring Road.

VERDICT: Immaculate.

Ballincollig, Cork €240,000

Sq m: 96 (1,043 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

BER rating: Pending

Broadband: Yes

Looking at No 20 Manor Hill from Google Earth, you get to see the full expanse of its site — quite impressive for a town centre property.

And there are magnificent views over the Lee valley from this low-maintenance, three-bed bungalow, currently on the market with Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald.

On a corner site, the grounds have a mix of gravel, lawn and hard standing with some tall tree planting and a fine boundary wall. Because of this, No 20 Manor Hill comes with lots of privacy. Young buyers with children might want to return the grounds to grass, but the walls will make the house very safe for toddlers and smallies.

Set at the end of a row, the property is just off the main approach road to Ballincollig, (it’s next door to the Daffodil Fields) and is close to the Poulavone roundabout, with access to the South Ring.

Internally, the house fulfils its external promise and is well maintained, clean as a whistle and ready to go for prospective buyers.

It comes with a lounge, large kitchen/diner, three bedrooms and a main bathroom, with space enough to extend.

VERDICT: A good house in a good location: Handy for Cork City commuters and with a great town centre for shopping.

DOUGLAS, CORK €150,000

Sq m: 130 (1,400 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

BER rating: Pending

Broadband: Yes

What is a €150k property doing in a trading-up slot? Simple really, once you buy, you still will have to spend to get this house, No 2 Beechwood Place up to scratch.

This is an interesting terrace of eight houses, and a few came to prominence back when developers Fleming Construction and Kennys were looking at the Nemo Rangers GAA fields. Some changed hands or were optioned for big bobs for demolition and access to Nemo lands where Flemings got permission for c.100 houses.

One, at the terrace’s far end, changed hands for almost €1 million. Bord Pleanála refused demolition of Nos 6 & 7, and No 8 (subsequently expensively renovated and enlarged to 1,500sq ft) was briefly put up for sale for €450,000, but ended up being rented out.

Marshs Auctioneers have the renovated, good order No 3 Beechwood on the market, now seeking offers around €270,000. The newest listing is No 2, guided at €150,000 by Sean McCarthy of ERA Downey McCarthy.

It needs upgrading, and possibly drains/underpinning work, and has 1,400 sq ft of space with rear sun room.

VERDICT: Post development upheavals, this terrace has a tale to tell — and possibly a NAMA Beechwood offering to come, yet.

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