House of the Week: College Road, Cork €425,000

Sq m 158 (1,700 sq ft)

House of the Week: College Road, Cork €425,000

IT’S been fewer than three years since Westlands, a fine older style home near Cork’s UCC last changed hands. But now with its owners gone abroad, it’s back for sale in a city property market that has a lot more wind in its sails than when they opted to buy.

It’s likely there’ll be a financial reward for their having bought at what was close to the bottom of the market, as seen from this current vantage point.

Estate agent Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing guides the 1,700 sq ft home on the doorstep of both UCC and the Bon Secours hospital at what appears to be a modest €425,000, and it’s likely to steadily gather pace as September approaches and families make future domestic plans with holidays coming to an end.

On mature gardens on low-profile St Francis Avenue (it’s the quieter neighbour to St Clare’s Avenue), Westlands shows up on the price register as having sold for €360,000 in April 2012. We featured it here in June 2011, when it has a €450,000 asking price, and it clearly fell short of that at €360,000. Might it make that old €450,000 price level now that confidence is back in the market? It’s certainly one to watch.

The location, simply, is ace; the road is quiet and leafy, between College Road and Magazine Road, and the price is within the grasp of many medics and UCC/CIT academics also, with a range of good secondary schools and sports amenities in the general area.

It has scope for up to five bedrooms, there’s four upstairs plus a 6’ square

study, and downstairs are three reception rooms, so one of these could become a fifth bedroom if needs be, it’s suggested.

Not a whole lot of extra money has been invested on Westlands in the past couple of years by its current owners (it had a rear extension already grafted on some time ago) but it’s all well-tended, with polished old floorboards, a lovely copper canopy in the dining room which opens to the kitchen, doors and knobs are original, and the hall — once past the tall, fan-lit front door — has original tiling along its length.

A rear reception room has glazed panels either side of the sliding patio door to an east facing walled-in back garden, and in front the garden is higher than the road, for a bit of added privacy.

Westlands had even more screening from the road when last on the market in 2011, with full and leafy trees right by the front wall, screening it but darkening it too.

Now that the tree has been removed, the house’s pleasant part-brick and dash facade can be admired all the more, along with its double height bay window, in the 16ft by 12ft front reception (with attractive slate fireplace) and in an overhead, and similar-sized, main bedroom.

A single-story side wing used as a study/fifth bedroom also has a slight bay window. There’s a ground-floor shower room and a main bathroom with bath and separate WC, on the stair return.

In the kitchen to the rear, units are in oak and are likely to have been fitted over a decade or so ago.

Overall this house’s condition appears good, thankfully with lots of retained older features too. The property has central heating and windows have also been replaced some time ago with part-leaded panes; however, it’s probable that whoever now takes ownership of Westlands will look at spending on modernising sections, or extending even more, on top of their purchase price. — whatever that turns out to be.

VERDICT: One to watch especially in terms of price recovery, in a strong suburban location.

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