House of the week: Douglas, Cork €490,000

SOONER or later, every housing estate undergoes renewal - a changing of the guard, and that was the case when this Douglas house, Elyan, or No 15 Ballincurrig Park, last came to market, at peak-value time, in 2006.

House of the week: Douglas, Cork €490,000

Size: 195 sq m (2,100 sq)

Bedrooms: 4 plus attic

Bathrooms: 3

BER: E2

Best Feature: Location

Back then, after upgrades, a rear extension and an attic conversion, Elyan was guided at €595,000: in the event, the sizeable semi-d was bid to €750,000, possibly a record price for a Ballincurrig home.

Since then, houses in the area have sold steadily, recovering from the depressed, mid-€300,000s-level of just three and four years ago to the last two sales, of €425,000, in 2014, for Brelon, a well-upgraded, 1,775 sq ft four-bed, and €452,000, in 2013, for Woodfield, a smart, 1,400 sq ft four-bed set on the main Douglas Road.

Also on the city side of the main Douglas Road, Lisney have secured over €900,000 for a detached, modern build of architectural distinction: the area’s hot once more.

Most of the Ballincurrig Park homes that sold in recent years have been significantly extended after purchase: the location justifies it, and buyers are prepared for the expense of renewing these mid-1900s semi-ds.

After buying it in 2006, Elyan’s owners extended it further, over two levels to the back, and also spent on new bathrooms, a reworked kitchen with black-granite worktops and a host more upgrades.

Now, eight years later, Elyan is back for sale, as a very decent-sized, Douglas, four-bed semi-d in a coveted cul de sac.

It is now priced at €490,000 via agent, Mark Rose, of Rose Property Services. And, as the market recovers from chastened and straitened times, that may prove to be a figure that will be surpassed in bidding — especially given the dearth of good trading-up stock in the older and inner suburbs.

“The location should exceed the expectations of family buyers who want a mature and convenient location, along with more space than the typical house,” says Mr Rose, adding that the work since the last sale was done “at great cost, resulting in a house that now yields 2,100-plus square feet inside.”

The house was one of three pairs of semi-ds in this section of Ballincurrig Park (note, the address is the aspirational ‘park’ rather than the more prosaic ‘estate’) built by Hegartys, around 1939.

This particular house was lived in for decades by one of Cork’s dwindling Jewish community families, the Elyans. When it was for sale in ’06, Elyan family members came back from London to view it, and in pride of place was a set of four servant’s bells, still there, as a reminder of that family’s a live-in maid: the bells got particular use on Saturday Sabbath, when the family could do little or no work.

Now, though, au pairs are more likely than traditional house-keepers to take up any spare rooms, and with an attic conversion with staircase access, and two Veluxes, Elyan’s big enough for most families - with or without live-in help to hand.

It faces west, towards a hedge-and-tree gree strip by Rosebank estate houses, and is just 50 yards off the main Douglas Road, near the Briar Rose bar and Spar shop at the Ardfallen Centre (home also to medical units,) and St Anthony’s and Eglantine national schools, as well as playing fields, a public park and a swimming pool.

Inside, off a welcoming, enclosed porch, are two interlinked reception rooms, a playroom, utility and ground-floor guest WC with shower.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, one en-suite, and a reworked main bathroom, as well as that handy, adaptable attic room.

It’s all in walk-in condition, with double glazing and gas central heating (but scores a surprisingly poor E2 BER) and, as the furniture has been moved out and the walls are bare, viewers will just have to imagine it furnished with their own belongings.

VERDICT: Great location, work all done,walk-in order within a walk of Douglas and city centre. What will it make now?

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