Trading Up

INNISCARRA, CORK €250,000

Sq m: 110 (1,184 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1

Broadband: Yes

It’s worth thinking big, or at least a little bit grander, when going to view this detached three-bed bungalow — the setting makes upgrades well worth it.

Set at lower Coolyduff, between Inniscarra and the Anglers’ Rest along the banks of the River Lee a few miles upriver from Cork City, this neat home has a €250,000 AMV with auctioneer Diarmuid Dooley of Dooley and Howard. Key selling points? South-facing back garden with views down over a field or two to the river, yet high enough to stay nice and dry.

He says Leeview is on a site of about one-third of an acre, with a detached garage, and for those with a mind to extend out the back, well that’s the way to go as that’s where the light and views all are, looking down towards the Powdermill weir and over to the greenery of the Ballincollig Regional Park: Great big garden room, anyone?

As it stands, it has just shy of 1,200 sq ft, with good sized double-aspect living room with fireplace, kitchen with modern units and a cast-iron fireplace, pantry, three bedrooms (one with fireplace) and there’s a wet-room shower. It has been extended previously, but you’ll be tempted to go again.

VERDICT: Cork’s version of Dublin’s Strawberry Beds.

FRANKFIELD, CORK €250,000

Sq m: 130 (1,400 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

BER rating: C3

Broadband: Yes

Dating to the early 1990s, the Cork city four-bed semi-d No 7 Bellvue Road, Frankfield, is of its time — it has things like an en suite master bedroom and ground floor guest loo, but the overall decor and specification needs to be brought up-to-date for new owners.

However, decor’s the kind of stuff that allows you make you own individual mark, and while you’re at it here. you’ll also want to update the kitchen as it’s basic enough and then, sure there’s the attached garage crying out for conversion with its walls already plastered. And, while you’re putting in a widow in front, you might want to get the company to put a patio door in the back room to make best use of that family space. In fact, even with the few updates beckoning, No 7’s an easy project for a DIY-er with reasonable skill levels.

It’s already got a good bit of space, about 1,400 sq ft including the attached garage, says Michael Downey of ERA Downey McCarthy, who guides it at €250,000, and that’s not bad for a four-bed — the extra bedrooms space comes from one being over the garage. No 7’s got off-street parking, and a walled-in back garden ready for planting up.

VERDICT: Anything extra you have to spend will be to your own taste.

FOUNTAINSTOWN, CORK €175,000

Sq m: 93 (1,000 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1

Broadband: Yes

There’s a huge advantage to having a property like Kilmartin as a second or holiday home — if the weather stays shockingly bad, Cork families could be back in the bosom of the city within a half an hour, lock, stock, buckets and spades. The corollary is that when the sun shines, you can get down to Fountainstown and the beach in the same time frame, so it’s an utterly practical buy for those who love the sea.

And, given Fountainstown’s relative proximity to Cork city, there’s every chance this property will be bought as a full-time home: all options are covered.

Kilmartin is by Fountainstown beach car-park, a minute’s flip-flop walk from the strand, and the family who’ve owned it for decades had generations of enjoyment here, says auctioneer Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing.

He guides the spotless three-bed home at €175,000 and says it’s on one-third of an acre which allows for extension and upgrades if a family wanted to make it a full-time home. It might also be bought as a retirement home, he adds.

The front 15’ by 12’; living room has beach views, and a fireplace, the kitchen/dining room is 21’ by 11’, and there are three bedrooms, and a shower room plus porch.

VERDICT: All-season seaside option.

CASTLEISLAND, KERRY €360,000

The selling agents say you have to go inside this Kerry bungalow to appreciate the perfectionism of the owners but, truth be told, you could nearly guess at it from the outside also — it’s immaculate. Inside and outside.

On two acres with mountain views, and set off the N21 a short haul from Tralee at Loughnacappagh, Ballymacelligott, the 2,800 sq ft property has a €360,000 guide with agents Sherry FitzGerald Stephenson Crean, who say it has “unmitigated luxury throughout.”

With a rich, classical decor, formal wainscoting, and dark solid timber floors in the large main living areas, hall and sun room, there’s an opulent feel to the smart single-storey home, with two of the four bedrooms en suite, and the master one has a dressing room.

The kitchen opens to a gable end and decent-sized sunroom, with high ceilings, and bathroom quality is high, and all are fully tiled, while one is laid out with a wet-room type shower.

The grounds are mostly in lawns, with sturdy formal entrance pillars and electric gates, with a concrete path along the gravel drive to a parking and turing area, with steel shed, and there’s an integrated garage. The house’s bulk is concealed by set-backs and stepped facades.

VERDICT: Comfortable country living, close to Tralee town.

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