Tommy Barker visits a Rochestown Road property that has seen almost €1m knocked off a boom-time price tag.
Rochestown Road, Cork €675,000
Best Feature: One-off, in sought-after Rochestown, secure and easy to lock up and leave
The Courtyard is a one-off contemporary home, designed and built in the mid 2000s – and it’s the second time it has come to market.
When last offered as a fresh, out-of-the-box completed and furnished build of 3,000 sq ft, full of high-end finishes, it carried a €1.6 million price tag, optimistic even back then in early 2008 before hyper residential property prices fell off a cliff, with a decided bang.
Definitely an unusual build, but with an appeal to those who want something easy to ‘lock up and leave,’ secure and distinctive along with being well-located, The Courtyard’s a home with a definite feel of a duplex penthouse apartment more than a ‘traditional’ house and garden.
It’s set right on the Rochestown Road in outer suburban Cork, where the very best of homes can still be expected to comfortably top the €1m barrier.
Even though the previous few years of Celtic Tiger boom had seen even some Cork apartments hit the €1-1.5m level, it didn’t sell back in ‘08; after a change of agents and a price drop, the owners (who had an architecture background) stayed on, and later rented it out.
Now, after a protracted price trough and a belated strong-ish recent recovery, The Courtyard’s back up for sale, this time guided at €675,000 by estate agent Mark Gosling, of Behan Irwin Gosling.
Stretching to 3,000 sq ft, it took 18 months to build, and was slotted into the small garden site of an old cottage, and was joined on this setting opposite Clarkes Hill by another, more traditional-style new-build, using some of the same Donegal quartz stone as seen in much of The Courtyard, build around three sides of an enclosed site which includes an integrated garage.
Materials in this more ‘contemporary’ design, with upside-down layout, bedrooms beneath and living spaces and roof terraces above, include Donegal quartz, limestone cills and window frames, iroko teak in external box cladding and hardwood windows, Indian sandstone paving for terraces, bespoke wrought iron railings and porcelain tiled floors, with views out over hard lanscaping, free from lawns and flower beds.
And, the monopitch roof sections might look like zinc, but are a synthetic membrane finish which we noted here eight years ago ‘have a long-life guarantee.’
Well, whether it’s a materials issue, or a fitting/installation matter or some other, the news is, ouch, there’s small roof leak which hasn’t been tackled yet, so it’s something bidders will want to have an engineer check out and cost for remediation before proceeding with and concluding a sale.
It’s a relatively easily remedied glitch, apparantly, but the vendors weren’t in a position to address it themselves, suggests the auctioneer Mark Gosling as he prepares for viewings at the re-priced property with numerous individual flair touches.
Because of its assertive looks and personality, it made the pages of at least one construction/design magazine back in the 2000s as an example of what can be achieved when you think and act ‘outside the box,’ and mgo beyond the bog-standard home palette.
The lack of a garden may appeal to those who don’t want or need a traditional garden, while its two raised roof terraces can be used for outdoor entertainment and play, as well as planting.
Iroko teak sections, such as protruding window bays and panelled box overhangs serve to grab extra space above the site’s footprint, doubling up as window seats.
VERDICT: Second time ‘round.
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