Nothing average about Passage West home with ’average’ price

A survey this week by Real Estate Alliance indicates that the average price for an Irish three-bed semi-d is €179,981: it noted that this house type had gone up 21% in value within the past 12 months, and by 24% in Dublin.

Nothing average about Passage West home with ’average’ price

Passage West, Cork €180,000

Sq m 101 (1,110 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3

BER Rating: B3

Best Feature: Quality interior.

Coincidentally, a house priced at that national average, at an even €180,000, has just come to market in Cork’s Passage West - with an interior very far from ‘average’.

There aren’t too many houses in the greater Cork market so accessibly priced, and with interiors as good as No 26 The Drive, Harbour Heights. The only problem for buyers might be the slight dismay - if and when they do buy - is to see it denuded of all the furniture and trimmings that are so much a part of its overall look once owner moves out, with bags and baggage. So, to be on the safe side, it might be no harm to make a bid for all the stuff inside as well, as it all works so well as an entire.

This week’s REA price survey suggests that the Dublin market is showing signs of cooling down its recent rampant price inflation: no harm, as average prices for a three-bed semi-d in the capital now stand at a hefty-enough €375,000. In contrast, right now, No 26 Harbour Heights is priced at less than half that Dublin average, guided at €180,000 by selling agent Mark Rose of Rose Property Services.

Those with a €200k budget for a ready-made home might indeed want to start talking all-in packages with the vendor, down to the fairy lights in the decked-out back garden, with its bold blue back wall, all very room outdoors and interiors magazine-inspired. At the risk of blunt and possibly sexist stereotypes, it seems as if at least one of the owners here mightn’t mind going interiors shopping all over again..... No 26 is a three-bed semi-d taken to extra heights in the Harbour Heights development in Cork’s Passage West, built by O’Brien and O’Flynn around 2008.

It weighs in at just under 1,100 sq ft, and as bedroom three is pretty compact, this is a house most likely to suit a single buyer, a couple or even a trader down.At ground level, the floor plan works well as there wasn’t any attempt to squeeze in too many rooms: to the back, is a kitchen/diner linked to a single storey sun-room addition, and it works well as an open-plan space, with tiled floor and white units topped with black granite, all very restrained and elegant - and unlikely to date.

The day the owner got the key for brand-new No 26, she was on her way up to the city from summer holidays in Schull, so she blitzed housey shops en route, stopping off in Skibbereen, in Thornhills’ hardware shop for starters for a range of kitchen essentials, bakeware, cushions and even the blue paint was mixed up by Thornhills for the garden’s back boundary wall.

Next, one of Skibbereen’ several interiors shop, the very well-known Embellish, was also visited, for things like feature mirrors, and more fabrics adding to the luxe look came from Laura Ashley. Local Passage West business the Old Pine Stores supplied side tables and more, while other bits came from Villa and Hut, and the kitchen table and chairs were bought from Thompsons’ garden restaurant near Fountainstown. Finally as a personal family touch, paintings framed and hung up in the hall and kitchen were done by the owner’s mother - so, hands off. Auctioneer Mark Rose listed No 26 only a few weeks ago and it’s impressing on viewings, he notes, as it’s so well maintained and presented, with gas heating and an excellent B3 BER rating as practical adjuncts to the look.

“It would suit a downsizer who is used to a well-finished, luxurious and high-spec house with garden, but who needs a smaller, more manageable size or perhaps it would also suit a first-time buyer who wants a modern house with no compromises,” comments Mr Rose.No 26 is towards the back of the Harbour Heights development, with enclosed back garden and off-street parking, and across the Cork-Passage road is the walking-cycling waterfront route back towards the city along the old rail line.

VERDICT: Far from average.

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