What a difference a year makes to Cork city pad

Do-er upper back on market, within a year, and now 11 Magdala Terraces is all done up and set for a Christmas wrap, writes Tommy Barker

What a difference a year makes to Cork city pad
    Gardiner’s Hill, Cork city
  • €340,000
  • Size: 100 sq m (1,080 sq ft)
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • BER: B3

Do-er upper back on market, within a year, and now 11 Magdala Terraces is all done up and set for a Christmas wrap, writes Tommy Barker

There's been a quick turnaround in the look, condition and comfort factor at 11 Magdala Terrace in the past year, having been bought by an investor/do-er upper trading as a company called Oakstone, who now has several successful modest-scale house upgrades to his credit in Cork city and hinterland, and more to come.

This bright and breezily blue painted terraced home is up by the crest of Gardiner’s Hill, above St Luke’s Cross, within a walk of the city centre.

Obviously, it’s easier getting down to town than it might be coming back up again along the steady uphill trek, and for the more indolent, it’s good to know that it comes fully refreshed, with a back garden, and off-street parking to the front.

Likely to date to the early 1900s, and set in front of the popular St Patrick’s National School, the niche-set Magdala Terrace has had a small number of resales in recent years, four in the past five years, one one back in 2010 (No 9, making €252,500) with the strongest sale to date being that of No 8 back in 2018, at €320,000 according to the Price Register.

In contrast, the most affordable was when No 10 Magdala Terrace sold back in 2014 for €175,000. The most recent sale was of No 11 itself, when it fetched €226,750 earlier this year, having been on the market with a €245,000 price quoted at that time.

Overall, the Price Register records over 50 resales with a Gardiners Hill address (the spelling varies) and four of the larger, period homes in the vicinity have topped €500,000.

Now, coming into 2020, No 11 Magdala Terrace is for back up sale with a €340,000 AMV indicated by estate agent Suzanne Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing and who expected to be busy doing pre-Christmas viewings there all this week after it went to market at the end of the previous week, to swift inquiries and with high levels of interest.

Apart from the location, the key appeal is the fact its in walk-in order, and gets a B3 BER after its upgrades.

When last sold it was solid, but old fashioned, with a lowly BER and a Google Streetview shows it in a sort of sandy pebble dash: the new, replacement windows, doors and blue painted exterior, front and back, lifts it to a higher, more attractive level of visual appeal.

Externally too, it has a just re-tarmaced front drive, a paved slightly raised and paved rear patio and wide garden with some mature boundary planting, with views over the back boundary fence to St Patrick’s NS.

Now, it just needs a burst of replanting and spring growth and some landscaping to bed down once more (it had a pleasing country style mature cottage garden with arched trellis in the previous owner’s care, and that took a bit of battering during the build process.)

Internally, the only thing not changed was the stairs, says Ms Tyrrell, and so tackled by its turnaround practitioner was insulation, glazing, doors, floors (engineered timber, in the main at ground level), electrics, new gas central heating and rads plus a wood-burning stove in the main reception room, plus redone bathrooms and new fitted kitchen, along with appliances, tiling and carpets in the bedrooms.

With walls all painted white, it is a blank canvas in a good frame, effectively, just needing furniture, beds and some art on the walls: a Christmas tree and decorating can then be lined up for a year’s time, when it well well and truly be someone else’s pride and joy home.

VERDICT: What with builders and tradespeople currently in hot demand, and prices shot up for their services in some cases, there’s price certainty in being able to buy a just-finished, top-to-toe job on the city’s fringes. No 11 is priced €113,000 over its early 2019 sale ‘do-er upper’ price, and what it eventually makes as profit/premium over and above its costs will be of note to other would be ‘professional’ renovators and, indeed, many others.

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