Keeping it country: Ballinlough home for under €230,000

ECLECTIC travel collectibles and funky upcycled furniture are the order of the day at 23 South View, a local home with a global feel and a price tag that paves the way for first time buyers.
Keeping it country: Ballinlough home for under €230,000
23 South View, Ballinlough Road, Cork  Picture: Eddie O'Hare
23 South View, Ballinlough Road, Cork Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Pictures: Eddie O'Hare

ECLECTIC travel collectibles and funky upcycled furniture are the order of the day at 23 South View, a local home with a global feel and a price tag that paves the way for first time buyers.

For the past nine years, it’s been home to Siobhán Devereux, a travel agent with Trailfinders, whose own globetrotting escapades have been severely curtailed by the pandemic.

Now she’s confined to plotting “red-hot” travel experiences from home and hoping that Covid-19 stops playing havoc with holiday plans.

Ms Devereux herself has visited every Continent “bar Antarctica” and has the souvenirs to prove it, including colourful tapestries and lightfittings and photographs.

She also has a step-father with expertise in antique furniture and upcycling and his skills have contributed towards some pretty hip furnishings in a city home that somehow manages to keep it country.

A collection of wildlife in the pretty back garden feeds into this rustic charm.

The collection includes two “rescue” hedgehogs who need help getting back on their feet before their release into the wild; a raven who visits daily and two beehives.

Ms Devereux was two thirds of the way into an eight week beginners’ beekeeping course run by Carbery BeeKeepers when the pandemic hit. It meant she could no longer make the weekly trip to the Celtic Ross hotel from where the course was run. It hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm. Her gardening is literally “buzzing” with worker bees flitting in and out with the necessary resources to keep the colony alive.

Three rescue dogs complete the menagerie but despite the animal presence, there are no household odors. No 23 is fresh and clean and proudly displaying some lovely original features including the black and red Victorian tiled hallway, original floorboards in the two upstairs bedrooms and a staircase pared back to its natural state with a well-positioned alcove for holding plants or candles.

Newer features include the Munster Joinery windows and front door.

Auctioneer Jeremy Murphy of Jeremy Murphy & Associates sold the 908 sq ft more-than-century-old house to Ms Devereux almost a decade ago - by coincidence they were in school together - and now he’s back, handling the resale of No 23 for €229,000 and he’s seriously impressed by what his former schoolmate has done with the place.

“It’s transformed. It shows what you can do without knocking walls. It’s a whole different house now,” he says.

The garden has also been transformed, Mr Murphy says, to create a lovely, enjoyable space for entertaining. Entertaining indoors has proven not to be a nuisance for the neighbours because of really thick walls.

“Even with a small party, the neighbours can’t hear,” Ms Devereux says.

The living room at the front of the terraced house and the central dining area are more or less a single space delineated by a flat arch. A stove which was once fitted into the fireplace is now sitting on the hearth.

To the rear is a kitchen extension which opens out onto that wildlife haven, a long, narrow back garden with two separate seating areas to catch the sun, one of which is a patio. Greenery is in the form of plants, trees and hedging, but no grass, as the gravel is easier to maintain, Ms Devereux says. There is rear access to the property via a laneway off Carrigeen Park on Ballinlough Road..

The kitchen extension has a more modern look than the rest of the house - it is of a different era after all - and includes a breakfast bar for two at the garden end. The cooker is electric, with a gas hob.

Off the kitchen is the bathroom where eye-catching seagreen subway tiles form a striking wall while a Velux window helps to keep things nice and bright. A chrome heated towel rail gives a nice finish.

Upstairs are two double bedrooms, the front window has lovely colonial shutters, with no need for curtains. Both bedrooms have built-in wardrobes and there is additional storage space under the stairs and in a cupboard in the dining room.

Ms Devereux says she has rented the second bedroom on occasion. Short leases suit her lifestyle, she says, as she normally travels a lot.

The pandemic has forced her to forfeit multiple trips this year, including to New York, Tenerife (birthday trip), New Zealand and Australia (to see her Dad), taking in Bali on the way.

For now, her back garden will have to suffice, in her “nice and peaceful” neighbourhood.

She loves the neighbourhood, she says, and the fact that her home is only a 10 minute stroll from the city. She believes it will hold strong appeal for a young couple.

Her decision to leave South View is a tough one for her, but she would like a larger property now, she says.

Mr Murphy says No 23 would make “an ideal first time buy” or equally, it’s "a good investment opportunity".

VERDICT: Great house, great location.

Ballinlough, Cork

Price: €229,000

Size: 84.36 sq m/908 sq ft

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 1

BER: C2

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