Go big in Blackrock
A double-fronted red brick in seaside Blackrock will appeal to big family buyers who don't want the period house blues, writes our property editor
The property boom got into its stride properly in Dublin in the mid 1990s when religious orders and farm owners, the last of the big suburban land owners in the city, began selling up vast swathes of green field sites in prime locations to developers.
The resulting developments in already established areas began to sell out off the plans, a relatively new phenomenon back in a time when Ireland had been used to homes being bought only when construction was well underway. One such scheme, Clonfadda Wood, was completed in 1997 by Gem Construction on the site of a former dairy farm off Mount Merrion Avenue in Blackrock, Co Dublin.
In the year it was completed property prices in Dublin shot up by 20pc to 25pc. Luckily for the buyers of the schemes homes - a mix of apartments and a limited number of large detached houses - they had all put their deposits down the year before. The then new owners were also fortunate to buy at a time when workmanship on new homes was high and had yet to be diminished by the skills shortage that would later take hold as the boom began to escalate towards its 2006 peak.
The run on Clonfadda's big detached properties helped set another type of precedent - showing developers that the market was once again ready for more exclusive double -fronted detached new dwellings. The trend would ultimately manifest itself in the boom genre of ultra-exclusive "millionaire's row" estates like Abington and Abbott's Hill which came along a few years later.
The detached homes at Clonfadda vary in styles and this one at No3, which has just been placed on the market, has clearly been influenced by the neat brick trim of the classic Stringers and Strains of the 1920s and 1930s. In this sea proximate location, most of the architecture is Victorian or early 20th century.
With four bedrooms, a substantial attic den room and an expansive rear garden, No3 will attract those in search of a last stop big family home in Blackrock without the period house problems. Being sold by its original owner, the 1,950 sq ft property is almost twice the size of an average three-bed semi.
There's also a very substantial and private south-facing back garden which comes with an unusually large sandstone patio to capitalise on the summertime rays in the long evenings. This has a formal barbecue area, a decorated and colourful garden shed, climber-clad pergolas, lawns and mature shrubs and trees.
Enter into the hall with timber floor and a turned staircase. There's a private study to the left with fitted shelves and this looks out on to the front garden area. To the right is the living room which runs almost the full depth of the house with French doors leading out to the garden and double doors in walnut interconnecting to the open-plan kitchen and dining room. When opened, the result is a house with flowing spaces capable of entertaining a large crowd. The kitchen also has French doors to the garden.
Also on this floor is a guest wc and a cloakroom. Upstairs sees the four double bedrooms arranged around a central landing, all with built in wardrobes and two are ensuite. The master bedroom comes with additional storage. For families with teens, the top-floor attic room makes the perfect den and games room. This also comes with additional storage space in the eaves.
At the height of the boom, these houses were selling for more than €2.6m and this one is on at €1.35m in an area where period homes of this size generally range from €1.5m upwards.
There's a quality bus corridor at the top of Mount Merrion Avenue on the Stillorgan Road, while there's a Dart at the other end of the avenue. Willow Park, Blackrock College, St Andrew's College and Sion Hill are all within walking distance of Clonfadda Wood. For college, Trinity is accessible via the Dart while UCD can be reached via the 17 bus route which runs from Blackrock Station through the UCD campus and onwards to Dundrum, Churchtown, Rathfarnham, Terenure, Kimmage and into Dolphin's Barn.
Blackrock Village by the seaside has a host of amenities, including two shopping centres, cafes, bars and restaurants. There's also the famous Blackrock Market which houses, among its antiques and bric-a-brac outlets, the Michelin starred restaurant, Heron & Grey.
On down the Dart line and within walking distance are the twin piers at Dun Laoghaire with more bars and restaurants along the sea front. Work is expected to get underway soon to restore and convert the old Victorian baths here into a new public amenity space.
But if you want to stroll closer to home then Blackrock and Carysfort parks are right on your doorstep.
3 Clonfadda Wood
Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.35m
Agent: Norths (01) 4332222