Tommy Barker says as city prices soar, theres’ value left in easily commutable rural locations.
THE city housing market has taken off at a pace in Cork, especially in the suburbs, and those in search of a decent-sized family home, at a comfortably affordable price, are now casting their nets to rural buys for sheer value for money.
And, that’s where this Bridgestown, Cloghroe bungalow will score: it offers 1,600 sq ft of space, with more to hand in the attic, and the existing rooms have a pleasing decor, sort of French styled, subtly feminine, book-ended by a sun-room, all on tended tiered gardens.
Estate agent Darragh Taaffe of Keane Mahony Smith sold this home to its current owners well over a decade ago, they then extended and put on the gable-end sun room as a sort of welcoming garden eyerie; they are just now set to trade down, with the house and gardens in great shape. Now that the owners are on the move, it’s guided at €299,000, and that’s for a spread with four bedrooms, with two en suites and a selection of reception rooms along and off its considerable length. You won’t get much to this spec in the suburbs for the sum.
It’s about a 20-minute commute from Cork city, near Tower, Muskerry Golf Club and Blairs Inn, and the setting is super-quiet, just off the main Cloghroe Road, over the old stone bridge (hence the Bridgestown address). Also nearby are Inniscarra and Ballincollig, for those who might have gainful employment in the likes of EMC and VMWare.
Set off a wooded section of winding rural roadway, and on a sloping site that heads back downhill towards the stream called the Sheep (a tributary to the Martin?) but which doesn’t quite have a stream boundary, this home is likely to date to the 1970s, but is far fresher feeling inside thanks to its owners’ ministrations and decorating prowess.
Most bedrooms are down to the left of a long hall, and there’s a series of attractive inter-linked living rooms and a very attractive den/study at the other end, with a very good kitchen fitted out in country style, with varnished teak or mahogany worktops, painted units, Belfast sink and moveable island — so, a raft, really.
There’s a staircase sort of in the middle of the house, leading up to one bedroom/store and a bathroom with a Velux window: in truth, this takes up such a small section of the overall available upstairs that several more bedrooms, or a games room, could easily be slotted in here.
KMS auctioneer Darragh Taaffe reckons there’s 600 sq ft extra to be deployed up here, at a reasonable extra cost. “This is a cracking good family home, in tip-top condition, and it’s ideal for a growing family,” he says, noting it’s on a site of a third of an acre, with good parking, and lots of privacy, especially in the tiered back garden, with several flat sections, seating spots, bower and sheds.
It’s in the middle of a cluster of three similar era homes, each respectful of one another’s boundaries, and the best room is probably the recently added-on sun room, with lofted ceiling and buffed terracotta tiled floor to match that in the kitchen.
This room’s current crowning glory is the sight of a Stagshorn Sumac tree currently turning an array of autumn russet shades, before reducing to skeletal form for the winter. KMS agent Darragh Taaffe is confident he’ll have happy buyers in residence for next Spring’s new growth.
VERDICT: Commutable locations like Cloghroe, in well-established communities, are where value is to be had right now.
Cloghroe, Co Cork €299,000
Sq m: 148 (1,600sq ft)
BER rating: D1
Best feature: Interior style and gardens
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