House of the week: St Luke’s Cross, Cork €340,000

Size: Sq m 210 (2,250 sq ft)

House of the week: St Luke’s Cross, Cork €340,000

THERE’S been any amount of work done over the past few years to 2 Strowan Villas, Gardiner’s Hill, Cork. But, now it comes for sale as a largely completed, but as yet unfinished project for the next owners to bring to final glories.

Set by the bottom of Gardiner’s Hill, and thus a two minute walk to shops and bars at St Luke’s Cross, this robust three-storey Victorian semi-d is more done out at its lower levels than at the top, and stretches to about 2,250 sq ft with three bathrooms provided for inside, plus one more quaintly outside in an oldfashioned (!) lean to — complete with cast iron bath.

It was taken by the scruff of the neck by its current owners after they bought it in a very raw state back in 2010, at a reported price of €200,000 according to the Property Price Register. The strongest private home sale in the St Luke’s hinterland in the past three or four years appears to be the €285,000 paid for a lovingly tended period home at Knocklaun last year, which had featured in these pages. Since No 2’s purchase in 2010, money and labour has clearly been poured into it over much of the interim, probably so much so that the enthusiasm seems to have waned, and the project ran out of steam.

Now, it comes for sale needing just a final push and finish, guiding at €340,000 by Matt Fallon of Property Partners. He reckons a further €20,000 or so could see it shining and completed, and he’s probably not far off the mark. A buyer prepared to roll up sleeves and get stuck in themselves could do it for less, and someone bringing in a crew and designer team could spend way more — it depends on what the goal and standards of expectation now will be.

All the very big spend and grunt is done, so left to do are two bathrooms (the master bed’s en suite is up and running), some but not too much flooring, and stair finishing, ceiling mouldings replacement, light fittings, decoration and other ‘pretty’ stuff. Budget? How long is a piece of string, and rooms are of a size that they’d quite like some quite large feature pieces, too.

Currently linking the house’s generous three levels is the rock solid, wide staircase, with sturdy ballusters and a chunky banister profile in hardwood: once cleaned down. repainted and polished, it will be a singular unifying presence threading through the house.

It has been re-roofed, with ornate ridge tiles reinstated, drylined, heating is a Dimplex Smartrad fan-convector heating, it’s been replumbed with solar-heated water and a huge storage tank installed, but two of its bathrooms need sanitary ware, tiling etc. Its B3 rating is particularly impressive for a Victorian home.

In addition, No 2 Strowan Villas has been replastered inside and out, with new double-blazed sash-style windows throughout — in pvc, but looking a suitable compromise. It has a new front door and quite cheapish internal ones, and a lot of the floors are also redone, whilst the hall’s original tiling has rightly been retained, but now needs buffing up.

No 2 faces east in front for morning sun, and has a west facing garden/yard with huge landscaping scope and mini courtyards, but the other (unrestored) half of this strong pair of semis would still get the better southern light.

The garden right now? A disaster, full of builder’s rubble and waste, but a weekend’s hard labour and a skip would break the back of it. But, mind your own back on the approach steps from Gardinder’s Hill — those steps also need tidying up for safety’s sake, and while you’re at it, put a nice address plaque up on the pillars — the current one is only faintly painted on. Take pride, ’cos it’s a house that deserves it.

VERDICT: Buyers now are coming in at the easy, final furlong stage of a quality renovation to date.

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