House of the week: Ballincollig, Cork €420,000

EVERY spring when the daffodils come up, half the country must regret not planting more of these cheering bulbs the preceding autumn. 

House of the week: Ballincollig, Cork €420,000

Sq m 140 (1,500 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3


Best Feature: Views to the front, extension behind. 

September is the month to buy a big sack of these bulbs, to plant in drifts and clumps for post-Christmas glories and harbinger of New Year blooms.

And, now is the time too to make a swoop on this family home, No 26 in Cork’s Daffodil Fields development.

This extended, detached home is at the Cork City/Model Farm Road end of Ballincollig, and it’s not going to be around long.

It’s likely new owners could be in occupation when the first real daffodils start to poke their shoots through hard winter soil.

The perennially-popular and quiet development was built in the late 1990s by H&F Develo, where the ‘F’ represented builder John Fleming’s first move into house building around the city.

Fleming’s empire blossomed, in Cork, Dublin, and in the UK building modular homes, before becoming an early and significant casualty of the collapse.

Set on what was an old, local farmhouse’s suite of fields overlooking the River Lee and Inniscarra/Muskerry valley just west of the Poulevone roundabout, Daffodil Fields is now a lovely, settled niche development with very easy access back to the western suburbs, to third-level colleges, and to employment bases like hospitals.

And, Ballincollig itself has been revolutionised in the past decade by the redevelopment by O’Flynn Construction of the former barracks site. Between that, and EMC’s presence in Ovens, it’s a boom town for jobs, with a knock-on uplift effect on local house prices.

So, given Daffodil Fields ‘best of both words’ setting between city suburbs and Ballincollig’s core, expect bidding interest to push its sale price handily beyond its €420,000 asking price, quoted by Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald.

It’s a mover for its owners, who have bought a larger, one-off home on larger grounds in Cloghroe for a family with a third child on the way.

No 26 was bought initially by one of the owners who hails from Cloghroe, as a single man, and since marriage and children have followed. Now, a new chapter (and a return to Cloghroe roots) beckons for them.

No 26 is on a corner site, with unobstructed green and valLee valley views to the north, and its smart, single-storey extension which its current owners added on has a southerly aspect, with a good flow of space and connected rooms to the back.

In contrast, the front reception room is more traditional with double aspect, bay window, fireplace, and parquet-look polished floor.

It’s used as a play room, and is bright and cheery thanks to its two large windows.

Most of the day, it’s likely any occupants will stay to the back, where there’s a dining room/den off the kitchen in the bright extension which has gloss units, breakfast bar and casual seating space, by a side window and rear patio doors.

The membrane-finished flat roof has two skylights, and the floor has pale cream porcelain-type tiles, so light gets bounced around.

There’s easy access from the sliding door to the garden, which isn’t huge, but is mature and well-screened for privacy and has a small lawn, sandstone-paved patio/seating/barbecue area, and there’s a section of side garden with gate access to the front drive, where there’s off-street parking for a couple of cars.

Back inside and upstairs, No 26 has one of its four bedrooms en suite, and two of the four bedrooms are described as singles.

Sherry Fitz’s Norma Healy says Ballincollig’s trading up homes are selling in jig times (as other local agents too will testify), instancing two recent detached house sales in Prospect Lawn near Ovens, gone in a month or so, one of which was extended and super-smart inside, making over €460,000.

Although one Daffodil Fields home topped €400,000 in 2010, when No 38 sold for €404,000 after having a €455,000 guide in 2009, the Price Register shows Daffodil Fields homes selling for prices in the low €300,000s in more recent years.

No 2 was sold off-market this year for €325,000. Corner-set and extended No 26’s progress and eventual selling price will be watched by the estate’s other home owners.

VERDICT: Poke your own head up in Daffodil Fields.

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