IN PROPERTY sales, quick results most readily come from a top location, a top address or simply a covetable home, in tip-top order.
Size: 137sq m (1,475sq ft)
In the case of Ardvarna, a early-to-mid 1900s semi-d inside Cork’s prized suburban Menloe Gardens, this is a house which scores on address cachet alone (the name ‘Menloe’ scatters gold-dust on values).
The location’s also in the very heart of Cork’s ‘suburb de jour’, Blackrock, within a kilometre walk of the village and marina, and while the house’s condition’s not the best right now, it’s certain to be taken back to a higher plane once in new ownership, and after further spending and/or extension.
Built in what’s loosely deemed to be a ‘Domestic Revival ‘ style, Menloe Gardens, with several dozen houses in the cul de sac park, has a mix of house types and sizes on super-mature tended gardens.
The ones further in are on four sides of a large green with century-plus trees (below).
Selling agents for this relatively rare Menloe Gardens arrival are Ann O’Mahony and Florence Gabriel of Sherry FitzGerald, and they guide at a modest-seeming €440,000.
For that, Ardvarna’s a lovely home even now, just in at the start of Menloe Gardens off the main Blackrock Road (it’s the second house in and so before the green), and it’s in what estate agents can sometimes euphemistically describe as ‘original condition.’
But, that originality’s an asset in the case of this new-to-market listing, as it means new owners will get to make almost any changes they wish within the structure and overall budget, and they may well also seek to extend, as there’s room to add on to the side in particular.
Right now, this left-hand semi-d has about 1,475 sq ft, thanks to a dated kitchen/breakfast room extension to the back, plus it has two interconnected reception rooms right of the entry hall, each with fire surrounds.
The front room has a gas insert fire and bay window, while the one in the back/dining room is tucked into a corner, has an original oak surround and is currently boarded up.
This linked back room, via double doors, then opens to the mature, and quite compact, back garden through original, timepiece steel french doors with glazed side panels, also in old steel frames.
Then, there’s a further reception/family room off the double aspect kitchen/dining room, with side door access to a gravelled side garden/yard and shed.
One of this owner-occupied family home’s nicest surviving features is the chunky, curving stairs handrail and newel posts, with side gable window, and overhead are four bedrooms, two of them doubles and the other two are reasonable sized singles.
At the house’s outer corners, the roof timbers slope into bedroom ceilings, and on the available and immediately visible evidence, there’s dampness/condensation or water ingress issues that will need attention.
If new owners opt for a side/rear extension, tackling the roof will be on the cards anyway.
Given how ‘hot’ Cork city’s Blackrock Road property has been in the past few years, and with Sherry Fitz among the small coterie of active agents notching up €1-€2m Blackrock area house sales, there’ll be quite a line of aspirant viewers.
Realistically, if Menloe’s in your sights and you’re prepared to do up the likes of the attractive Ardvarna, think of a c €600,000 budget, at least, for purchase post bidding and necessary upgrades.
The last sale here was of another semi called Scarteen: Scarteen was House of the Week in May 2015, was already extended to c 1,800 sq ft and had two of its four bedrooms en suite.
It launched at €600,000 with James G Coughlan, and was sold later on in ‘15, showing up on the Price Register at €595,000 by year’s end.
Elsewhere within Menloe Gardens, resales of similar vintage homes occurred in a very flat market of 2010/11, at prices from €385,000 to €485,000, and also sold in 2011 was a very poor condition detached house called Bruideanbararra, on an over-sized site.
It fetched €730,000, was later demolished, and replaced by a super-sized new build, probably the largest in Menloe Gardens, and one of a few ‘contemporised’ homes in this niche park that would sell for a €1-2m sum.
VERDICT: Menloe itself is a old chestnut for reliable sales.
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