House of the week

There seems to be a backlog built up of first-time buyers keen on quirky, well-located city homes in Cork. And, no 2 St Philomena’s comes into that busy sector as the answer to someone’s buying prayers.

House of the week

It compares to a mint-order 700 sq ft two-bed which featured in these pages three weeks ago at Maiville, Turners Cross, and which has already had up to 30 viewings with agent Jeremy Murphy, in large part thanks to its €145,000 asking price.

Now a larger — and dearer — two-bed at the city’s southern suburbs at 2 St Philomena’s, Ballinlough Rd, is new to market. It’s also well able to do the ‘charm offensive’ to buyers in search of a walk-in home in a good location 10 minutes to City Hall, with interior character and a sun-trap west-facing side garden.

Near St Finbarr’s Hospital (and a new Tesco Express on the Douglas Rd) No 2’s an updated two-bed semi-detached home on the city end of the Ballinlough Rd, opposite Bernadette Way: Scoot down this short estate and you’re onto the Boreenmanna Rd, within 200m of the south city link road. The location alone will save hundreds of euros a year, or thousands over a few short years, in transport bills alone.

No 2 carries a €205,000 asking price with agents Ann O’Mahony and Paul O’Shea of Sherry FitzGerald, and is under offer already in week one, with a first bid in of a considerable €190,000.

It weighs in at a still modest 830 sq ft, despite a rear 150 sq ft sun room addition to the back of the kitchen. This add-on is the house’s trump card, with windows to the south (albeit very close to the tall, old limestone back boundary wall) and to the west, overlooking a neat side garden with patio, patch of lawn, steel shed and a pergola-like swinging garden seat.

Size-wise, it’s perfect for a single buyer or for a couple, and it has been home to young owners since 2001, says auctioneer Ann O’Mahony, who’s sold it twice to date. The current owners, now with two small children, are trading up within the area, she adds.

There are essentially three ground floor rooms left of the entry hall, each about 12’ square, with a front living room with old-style fireplace and neat window seat making best use of the box bay window, and behind is a well-fitted kitchen with a tiled floor leading to the back, bright, double aspect lounge. This is the room you can imagine spending most times, by day or evening at least, and perhaps retiring to the front room once dark settles in, and the fire is lighting.

Each of the two overhead bedrooms has space that is full of character, with a bit of extra height in the ceilings, and the back room has a neat little cast-iron fireplace. The rooms are described as good-sized doubles — and while you’ll get a double bed in, and move around it, that’s about the size of it, as one’s 10’ square, the other’s 11’ square.

No 2 St Philomena’s has had a deal of upgrading in the last couple of ownerships, and the bathroom’s bang up to date in terms of tiling, modern circular sink, etc, while a Velux over the stairs makes the core and stairwell bright.

The house, likely to date to the early 1900s, has had external insulation applied front back and sides, helping to give this semi-d a D2 BER rating; good but not spectacular. The presence of two open fireplaces probably dragged it down a grade or two.

Overall condition is good, needing maybe just a bit of touching up, and painting the timber kitchen units would also help brighten up this relatively dark spot, which gets its light from the archway to the sunny rear lounge.

LOCATION: Ballinlough Road

PRICE: €205,000

SIZE: sq m 77 (830 sq ft)

BEDROOMS: 2

BATHROOMS: 1

BER RATING: D2

VERDICT: A great location for city workers, and a nice mix of indoors space, and outdoors, too.

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