House of the week: Douglas Road, Cork €695,000

It’s been a while since a house in Cork’s Knockrea or Woolhara Parks have come to market - certainly not since the upper end of the market began its climb back out of the doldrums of the last seven years.

House of the week: Douglas Road, Cork €695,000

Sq m 245 (2,650 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 6

Bathrooms: 3

BER: Pending

Best Feature: Address

So, while the greater Douglas suburb made a good price recovery in the past 18 months, with a clutch of sales in the €500k to €820k level in older settings like Cross Douglas Road, main Douglas Road, Endsleigh and Eglantine Parks (plus, one going through now on a large site for c€2m), there’s been little or nothing in other niches like Woolhara, or Knockrea.

Now, that changes as No 3 Knockrea Park comes for sale, with a €695,000 price guide quoted by Hugh McPhillips of Marsh auctioneers, a firm 180 years in business this year.

That’s for a well-kept family home of 2,650 sq ft, plus a separate, detached rear building with permission for commercial uses. This additional 450 sq ft single storey build has been used by one of the owners who’s a florist, and includes overhead store, WC and a cold room.

It has a myriad of alternative uses, both professional and private, as a den, studio, play room, music room, home office and a host more to come up blooming.

Tall and semi-detached, No 3’s just inside Knockrea, and is west-facing, looking over an unused and overgrown green patch: apparently, the green can only be built upon with the permission of all the park’s residents. Just over the tree line is the period Knockrea House, on an acre, expected to come for sale again this year for over €1m after legal/title issues have now been addressed.

Also just back on the market, just across the Douglas Road from Knockrea and Woolhara Parks in the architect designed Mosman, which hit a last minute sales glitch months after going ‘sale agreed’ after spirited bidding. Mosman is detached, private and discretely high-end, and is now priced at €875,000 by Trish Stokes of Lisney.

No 3 Knockrea is likely to hit the sales market running: the time of year is perfect for viewings, there’s precious little stock of quality, and very little with this bedrooms tally. Location-wise, it’s a walk to the city centre, a walk to Douglas village and shops, bars and restaurants, and schools and there’s a range of schools - both primary and second-level - in the vicinity, plus lots of sports facilities too.

It has up to six bedrooms, with a bathroom/WC on each level, plus a recently re-done kitchen, with range cooker which also does the house’s zoned central heating. Adding to the comfort factor is a wood-burning stove, in the main front living room: on an evening visit, this room - now the full width of the house after two adjoining reception rooms became one - was positively toasty.

It’s about 26’ wide, with one door in off the large, tiled hall and a second chimney breast here has been adapted, making way instead for an ‘integrated’ display cabinet, an unusual and effective touch in this dining end of the room, and with a west-facing bay window.

There’s a side add-on serving to enlarge the main entry hall, done in original and matching tiles, big enough to take a few chairs and pieces of furniture, with a pitch-pine dresser serving as bookshelving, while to the rear of the house is a study/family den/TV room.

The kitchen’s a very recent upgrade, a single story extension with pitched roof and Veluxes on either ceiling slope, while units are a quite timeless mix of white-painted doors in timber frames; keeping it all light and airy is a pale, tiled floor, and there’s rear garden access from here.

Overhead, the first floor has four bedrooms plus family bathroom, and the top floor has two more characterful bedrooms, under sloping ceilings, plus shower room.

There’s a lawned front garden and parking area for a couple of cars, while behind, the rear garden has now been paved, with some landscaping and sitting out areas, with a fringe of old trees for screenings. A portion of the back, between the kitchen extension and by the rear den, is ideal for a glassy sun-room, but given the house’s west-east aspect, in any case it would only get morning sun.

VERDICT: early 1900s home more than holding its own.

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