House of the week

THERE’S huge originality to play with at 4 Pinewood, a century-old home on Cork’s main Douglas Road — within a skip of the city centre, and with a private, long back garden.

New to market as an executor sale, it’s on a strip of road between St Finbarr’s Hospital and Douglas village where ‘sold’ signs have suddenly proliferated on houses which had, in some cases at least, been on the market since last year or before.

Prices on the sold properties ranged from a refurbished four-bed semi by the village sold by Timothy Sullivan for close to €500,000, a large Victorian semi by the swimming pool made between €450k and €500k with Sherry FitzGerald, while two adjacent period terraced homes by St Finbarr’s sold for €120,000 to €250,000, in very different states of repair.

One, a low, terraced house a dozen or so doors away along the main Douglas Road from 4 Pinewood made around €250,000 with auctioneer Hugh McPhillips of Marshs, and he has just now also pinned a €250,000 guide on the spacious 4 Pinewood, even though it’s only a two-bed: the bathroom ‘annexed’ a previous bedroom number three some years ago, and now this attractive washroom is large, with a timepiece fireplace to encourage lolling in the tub.

The house has oodles of character, and hundreds of yards of wending, back garden with old trees, abundant pear, apple and other fruit trees, secret lawns — and, a real bonus, rear access from a lane by the back of the old Nemo Rangers and Críost Rí playing fields. But, handy and all as it is to have, it’s a bit of a haul to be taking the shopping up from any car parked at the private far end laneway gate.

By contrast, in front, No 4 has a small garden separating it from the road and city and the nos 7 and 10 buses stop at the door opposite the Bellair estate. Currently this front garden is home to a fruiting fig tree behind its old red-brick wall and wrought iron railings. Though needing work and modernising, internally No 4 is a pure delight for the right buyer, as it has its original ornate quarry tiled hall, no less than five original fireplaces with art deco tiles and motifs in the cast iron surrounds, some fine stained glass, original sash windows with shutters, old timber floors needing a going-over with a sander, and a kitchen with brick arch just waiting to be stripped back and graced by a range.

Features of the 1,500 sq ft home are the interconnecting ground floor reception rooms with their large double doors between them, and the elegant first floor main bedroom, full width of the front of the house, with two sash windows and a fireplace.

VERDICT: Short on sufficient number of bedrooms for a family, this is ideal for a trader-down or for a couple, and once the south-facing rear yard (with outside privy and lean-to sun room) and kitchen is reconfigured, there could be something very special here for a very reasonable extra spend.


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