Trading Up




BLARNEY, CORK €325,000

Sq m: 172 (1,850 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2

BER: C1

Blarney’s already a worldwide icon, thanks to its castle — and that famous castle image is right in the frame of the panorama from this Stoneview home — though the view of the actual Blarney Stone from this eyerie might call for some exceptional eye-sight.

Blarney-based estate agent Humphrey Hogan says this immaculate four-bed home on a one-third acre site has possibly the best views over Blarney of any home in the area he’s had the gift of selling.

It’s only minutes from Blarney and Killeens, with Cork City a 10 minute drive, and the area’s so handy that Stoneview was all set for a new house scheme of thousands of new homes until the market crashed: it’s now most likely further over the horizon than you could see from this elevated dormer home.

Its owner has done lots of work to the 1997 property, bringing it up to a good C1 BER energy, and features within the 1,850 sq ft home include quality hardwood floors in walnut and ash, a Shaker maple kitchen, chrome sockets and switches, Jacuzzi bath, new Solo heating, etc. There are two reception rooms, kitchen dining room, utility, ground floor bedroom with adjacent bathroom, and three overhead bedrooms, plus bathroom.

VERDICT: Worth a view, inside and out.

BALLINLOUGH, CORK €230,000

Sq m: 83 (900 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

BER: B3

Not so much a trading-up house, it’s more a trading in or trading down home for many likely viewers — welcome to 2 Willow Mews.

A recent, mid-2000s build on the main Ballinlough Road in Cork City, this three-bed semi-d is bright and easy to keep, inside and out, and is guided at €230,000 by agents Frank V Murphy & Co.

It picks up a good B3 BER, so heating it is never going to break the bank, what with its modest enough 900 sq ft, and its insulation levels with modern, efficient gas heating.

Location is at the city end of the road, near the church, schools, shops, amenities, credit union and public parks, as well as swimming pool and tennis courts.

There are buses passing by, off-street parking for a car or two, and the north-facing back garden and patio is brick-paved, with an old limestone back boundary wall picking up and reflecting sunlight.

Layout’s quite standard, with front reception with open fire, rear kitchen/dining with utility extending behind, there’s a ground floor guest loo and overhead reasonable-sized bedrooms and a bathroom.

VERDICT: A clean buy, easy to look after, and with everything on the doorstep

MONKSTOWN, CORK €395,000

Sq m: 214 (2,300 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 3

Broadband: Yes

A Monkstown family home on a half acre site, named after adventurer Jacques Cousteau’s boat and vessel for many exploratory voyages, Calyspo, has just been relaunched.

A year or so ago the five-bed detached on a half acre site had a €575,000 asking price, with some of that value ascribed to a site with full planning permission for a 2,500 sq ft new-build on the lower section of the grounds.

Market reaction didn’t favour the site option, and now new newly appointed agent Ann O’Mahony of Sherry FitzGerald has repriced it at €395,000, and isn’t stressing the site hopes.

This price acknowledges there’s more money to be spent on Calypso, which is very much of its 1970s time, with things like painted blockwork and parana pine ceilings etc — but its layout has really stood the test of time.

Most of its key rooms are placed to the front for views and light, over Cork Harbour, Haulbowline and Verolme.

The accommodation is, essentially, ‘upside down’, with main living rooms on top and a nice flow from one to another. There are five double bedrooms in all between the two floors.

VERDICT: With its private and mature site, and its lower level home to several multi-purpose rooms, Calypso could be used for home office/working as a lifestyle option.

BALLINSPITTLE, CORK €290,000

Sq m: 235 (2,500 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 4

BER rating: C1

Ballinspittle, near Kinsale and Garretstown beach, is enjoying a surge of activity as new residents find favour with its village quality of life; it’s even got several trendy new shops and cafes recently opened to cater for locals, tourists and surfers. Now, a detached house in a modern development Kilmore Woods that appeals to lifestyle relocators is up for sale here with agents DNG Michael Galvin in Bandon, who guide it at €290,000.

A recent (2010) comparable Kilmore sale was for €335,000, while five years ago they made over €700,000.

According to Mr Galvin current interest in 2 Kilmore Woods on the village edge is from people trading up, and at €290k, it seems to fit their bill and needs. At ground level No 2 has two reception rooms, plus sun room, a kitchen/dining room with distinctive part-painted Shaker units with feature red panels, rear hall, utility and guest WC plus bedroom, and overhead two of the three other bedrooms have en suites, and there’s a main bathroom as well.

All the village amenities are within a walk, the beach is a mile or two away, Kinsale’s a 10 minute drive and No 2 has mains services, and gas heating.

VERDICT: Village life beckons.

VICTORIA CROSS, CORK €160,000

Sq m: 95 (1,050 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1

Broadband: Yes

There’s a lovely River Lee aspect to the back of this three-bed semi — but, back two years ago, the river turned its fury on this Victoria Cross stretch of Cork when water released from the Inniscarra dam flooded swathes of the city causing damage right down the river as far as the Mercy Hospital.

A victim of that flood, this house called Glen Imail has dried out, has its floors dug up and needing reinstatement — and is for sale for €160,000 via agent Malcolm Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing.

It’s going to have an appeal to those who believe lightening (or flooding) doesn’t strike twice — the circumstances of that disastrous flood were quite unique and man-made — as well as to investors/cash purchasers who may take a more sanguine view based on its price and location so close to UCC.

The adjoining house has been significantly extended and makes real use of its garden/river setting with decking, so there’s an example of what could be done with this c €160k purchase and its 75’ long garden.

It has two reception rooms plus kitchen/dining needing new floors poured, and three overhead bedrooms, bathroom and separate WC, with an attached garage with service pit.

VERDICT: It never flooded before in its 50 year history, so deserves a break


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