House of the week

It’s been years since a Ballincurrig, Douglas family home came up for this sort of money — a sub €300,000 asking price is pinned to the four-bed semi-d called Cremore, in this quietest of cul de sac estates.

Correction: Ballincurrig is actually (in proper Douglas/Cork parlance at least) a ’park,’ rather than an estate: it’s the sort of setting where houses have names, rather than numbers.

But, to be egalitarian, Cremore also has its number displayed, it’s No 24 in the park - but it’s the asking price of €295,000 via agents Casey and Kingston that most people will want to number crunch.

That level, within reach of double income first time buyers, contrasts sharply with a similar sized Ballincurrig four-bed across the road, with a price ‘reduced’ and then frozen at €490,000, and on the market for quite a while, also via Casey and Kingston.

Take it as read: No 24 aka Cremore isn’t going to be around too long if its vendors are genuine enough about the quoted AMV. It really does seem like a snip for the location and the local cachet, even though many of the houses aren’t a whole lot different from those in some of the neighbouring Douglas ‘thru-roads,’ and the gardens aren’t overly generous either.

Cremore, sort of slab-faced with four large windows unbroken by a even so much as bay window, is at the southern end of the cul de sac block, and is in fairly original and untouched condition, at least in terms of extension. Although it had a kitchen put in some years ago, as well as pvc double glazing, it needs upgrading and/or extending, and right now has only the one, main bathroom.

But, it has a trump card up its sleeve — a west-facing back garden.

That aspect is pitch-perfect for any extension plans, whilst there’s also a detached garage which give further scope and potential.

Back in the boom several Ballincurrig houses of this mid-1900s vintage made big €500/600k-plus money, but few had this favourable aspect. One sale in 2006 touched around €750k, while in 2009 another made in the low €400,000, and has been hugely extended.

And, that’s why estate agent Andrew Donoghue of Casey and Kingston estate agents (who earlier this month got around €500,000 for the period do-er upper Wood House on seven acres on the Rochestown Road) is feeling positive about Cremore’s prospects.

It’s a walk to Douglas village, or a walk to Cork city centre, with schools, public park, swimming pool and shops all nearby, and so could make a great base to put down family roots in.

Rooms include two side-by-side front reception rooms, kitchen with oak units, and four bedrooms, two of them doubles, plus family bathroom. Gas heating is installed, and there’s a good garage and boiler house in the mature back garden, while the front garden has privacy thanks to a high surrounding wall, with off-street parking.

VERDICT: Most who bought here in the past few years spent heavily on upgrades and extensions and they paid a whole heap more than perfectly-sited Cremore to begin with.

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