Since the 60-or-so large, detached houses at Heatherfield were built 12 years ago, they’ve sort-of been price barometers of upmarket housing in the greater Cork area, going up to near €1m in value by market peak, and down into the €400,000s during the slump.
Now, the vendors of the immaculately-kept No 18 Heatherfield Avenue hope to get close to their original 2004 purchase price,guiding the 2,480 sq ft five-bed home at €645,000.
However, they also know that what they put in then as ‘extras’ day one — such as corniced ceilings, gas- fired stove in the family area, oak joinery etc — won’t be repaid to them, but, still, it beats the losses suffered by those who bought a decade or so ago, and had to sell since.
The family who’ve lived at the walk-in condition five-bedroomed No 18 are downsizing, with three children reared and gone, and they say the Fleming Construction-built scheme a few miles west of the city (it’s sort of ‘outer’ Bishopstown) is perfect for child-rearing, with the highly-regarded Ballinora NS currently advertising spaces for new enrolments.
Heatherfield is a ten-minute spin from Bishopstown and the CUH, while the city centre is 7.5km away, with secondary city school-going students generally bussing it to Bishopstown and getting lifts out the last few miles to Waterfall, as the local country bus service is relatively infrequent.
When built, these energy efficient, steel-framed homes were popular with medics working in the western suburbs, and it has also been a very popular trading up location for those from Bishopstown and Ballincollig.
Resales in the past few years have hovered around the €500,000 level, though one shows up on the Price Register in 2011 at a surprising €640,000, while another that same year fetched €495,000.
The more recent 2016 sales aren’t on the Register yet, and the last few were of the smaller type at c 2,200 sq ft, so Heatherfield neighbours will be keenly watching No 18’s (just shy of 2,500 sq ft) sales and bidding progress.
(Around the corner, the first four of the more contemporary Fleming Construction homes in the recession-stalled Earls Well have now sold via Savills, at prices from €700,000 to €900,000: two were furnished show units and one, more dramatic barn-shaped structure was in a builder’s finish.)
No 18 Heatherfield is listed with Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald, and came to market a few weeks ago in what’s a definite summer lull, a quieter August than seen in the past several years.
Agents taking an upbeat stance put that down to the fact so many more Irish families are taking long, or overseas summer holidays in ‘16 and certainly the impression seems to be that good trading-up stock in the Cork city area which has been in short supply since spring will be updated come mid-September.
No 18 Heatherfield has had a series of viewings but there are no offers in yet. However, Ms Healy says it is impressing those who’ve made it out already and she expects competing bidding once minds get concentrated again post-holidays.
On a tended site of 0.19 of an acre, No 18 has had regular investment, and shows well, with neutral colours, smart decor and bathroom tiling that hasn’t dated in 12 years: the kitchen is a sort-of distressed oak, again not a victim to style over substance, topped with black granite and most integrated appliances have been updated now and so have good life in them. The house-prod owners fret about one element of an induction hob which they are getting repaired, so if that’s all, it seems it’s ready for new owners to just move furniture in.
It hits an excellent B3 BER, as Fleming’s construction was novel for the day with insulated steel-framed wall panels fabricated off site, and the gas stove in the family living area, down a few steps from the kitchen/diner, churns out the heat, meaning the open fireplace in the main, large front living room has only rarely been used.
Other accommodation includes home office, guest WC and utility, with very large central hall and landing, and two of the five upstairs bedrooms are en-suite, the master bed has a dressing area, and the main family bathroom has a Jacuzzi bath.
VERDICT: No 18 has come of age.
Heatherfield, Waterfall, Cork
Size: 231 sq m (2,482 sq ft)
Best Feature: Up to speed
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