WATCH: House of the week: Old Quarter, Ballincollig, Cork €280,000

Do not judge 42 Waltham Abbey by its facade — this is a home that opens out like a Tardis, as soon as you get through the mid-terrace property’s front door.

Size: 156 sq m (1,686 sq ft) Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3

BER: B1

The term ‘Tardis’ comes from TV’s wildly inventive Dr Who, an acronym for ‘time and relative dimensions in space’ in its original Dr Who guise, the Tardis looked no more than a British phone box on the outside, but opened to another world, immediately once past the threshold.

Well, No 42’s a bit like that, sort of a Doctored Wha’?

Its current residents had bought, and lived in No 42 when it was a straightforward two-bed 960 sq ft mid terraced townhouse on a large, wedge-shaped site in an inner section of Waltham Abbey. 

It’s part of O’Flynn Construction’s quite extraordinary ‘new town’ of Ballincollig Town Centre, on the dozens of acres which had been a military barracks for centuries.

“Where else would you get a scheme with so much housing choice and services, right between a town’s Main Street and a river and an amenity park?” asks Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald, of the overall scheme, of which Waltham Abbey, Old Quarter, is a part, and which now comprises one half of Main Street with shopping and restaurants, right back to the River Lee, and served by a regional public park, a great new playground and a host of sports pitches and clubs of all denominations and codes.

WATCH: House of the week: Old Quarter, Ballincollig, Cork €280,000

With a family growing, the couple at 42 Waltham Abbey engaged the services of architect Andrew O’Brien to come up with extension plans. 

He opened it up internally andwent out considerably, but he also stretched the build up into the attic, for a truly top flight, penthouse master suite/bedroom three. 

Builder was Shane Kavanagh. The result is a three-storey home, fresh and crisp, with above-standard specifications and finishes, and surprisingly accommodating too.

It’s gone from an initially acceptable 960 sq ft to a hugely embracing 1,680 sq ft today, thanks to its rear box-like add-on, and under-roof suite, a private, hide-away level.

The oft-expressed cliche of ‘the best of stuff has gone into it’ rings true here, and all three levels have a quality of comfort as good as the next, with continuity of white walls, brushed steel sockets and switches, quality lighting and walnut timbers, in doors, and in the rear extension’s flooring. 

WATCH: House of the week: Old Quarter, Ballincollig, Cork €280,000

All three bedrooms are crisp and smart, there’s plenty of concealed storage too, and as the original house was wider at the back than the front, there are some interesting ‘kink’ shapes to some rooms also.

Down at ground, apart from a sectioned-off entrance hall and stairs (with neat, pull-out understairs storage, and guest WC) it’s very open plan: the kitchen’s to the front, with Neff appliances and new, handless gloss units from In-House. 

Flooring in the hall, kitchen and wide dining area is a high-gloss porcelain tile, and there are double doors to two adjacent patios.

There’s a good, south-west aspect to the rear and a big garden, so it’s a perfect orientation for the new, add-on 330 sq ft box extension, with wide sliding doors to a second, part-sunken patio with lawns above.

This room is very open to the main house still, but can be divided off by a sliding, hardwood and glazed ‘pocket’ door which slides back out of sight into a wall slot when not in use.

WATCH: House of the week: Old Quarter, Ballincollig, Cork €280,000

This new room, with membrane covered flat roof, has a solid walnut floor, and a large flat-screen TV inset in side wall, but the centre-piece is the free-standing wood-burning Arrow stove.

The adjacent, end-terrace home on this row also appears to recently have ‘gone large,’ with broadly similar style extension glimpsed over the garden wall.

Ms Healy guides No 42 at €280,000, which seems low for the floor area/size and quality, and possibly reflects its modest-seeming external approach, but once viewed, competitive bidding may well drive that on quite a bit, given its interior appeal. 

Where it ends up will come down to what else you can buy in Old Quarter for the available budgets.

No 42’s owners are trading up once more, and so buyers for their three-storey, done-to-a-tee home could include singles, first time buyers, and traders down.

VERDICT: Top marks


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