Inner space in Phibsborough
Don't be fooled by this Victorian property's deceptively modest external proportions
The term "deceptively spacious" is one which estate agents are very fond of throwing around. But now and again it is warranted.
Take the house at 40 Glengarriff Parade in Phibsborough, Dublin 7, which presents naught to the street but a bright front door and a single bay window column. It certainly looks cottage material. In fact, this house is single storey at road level but once inside it spreads out, up and down over two floors and spans well over 1,100 sq ft - the same floor area as a regular semi-detached home, with two double bedrooms and a single bedroom. So visually at least it's larger on the inside than it is on the outside.
With its present layout this is a two-bedroom house with a very large open-plan kitchen and living space and a separate living room. A re-jig would give it three bedrooms instead of the extra living room, providing a third bedroom for those who don't mind being a little unorthodox about their home's layout.
We've recently been reading about more landlords selling up than buying, and this house is an example of that. It was rented out until a few months ago. It had already been refurbished from top to toe in the nineties when a substantial kitchen extension was added on at the rear lower level. And when the tenants moved out in recent months the owners had its bathrooms and the kitchen upgraded. All in all, it's ready to move into.
This house was likely constructed in the early 1900s when 'villa' style homes like these proved very popular in the central suburbs. As a new middle class emerged in Dublin, builders concentrated for a time building 'mini townhouses' for them and adapted big house characteristics like the wood carved allusion to flanking front door columns, the overhead hall fanlight and the bay window column, to smaller homes.
There is a suspicion this one might have been constructed by a builder from Kerry given that this street, Glengarriff Parade, stands in close proximity to Derrynane Parade and Killarney Parade which are also from the same period - and this year likely the closest the county gets to Croke Park stadium which is within easy walking distance.
The period house is located at the modern entrance side of the Mater Hospital and while part of the North Circular Road is still a little rough around the edges, a number of factors have come together of late to make this part of town a good punt for both investors and owner occupiers. First off is the fact that the previously mentioned Mater University Hospital is on its doorstep. This has always provided nurses and medics along with students for the surrounding area's rental market.
Next comes the recently opened and fast expanding Grangegorman College campus further up on the North Circular which, when it combines a number of DIT colleges, will be one of Ireland's biggest universities. Again providential for prospective landlords.
Finally, the Luas recently opened on the other side of St Peter's Church. It runs in to town, which is walking distance anyways, but now also links into the Green and Red lines which take people to employment hotspots in the west and south suburbs.
With Google recently signing a contract to lease vast amounts of office space in the Sandyford Office Park, to join Microsoft's new mega campus, Phibsborough will for the first time become attractive to workers in this location or further afield to Tallaght.
As a result, gentrification has been running fast here with locations like nearby Geraldine Street and Fontenoy Street being almost totally transformed in the last three years from period houses in rental to owner-occupier families. Prices for homes this size in those locations went over the €500k mark long ago.
Upon entering number 40 you are into a narrow hall with a colourfully tiled floor harking back to the period the house was built. A stairs with hand-carved period detail takes you up to the bedrooms, while steps bring you down into the main living space, and a door leads into the living room with its bay window, original picture rails, ceiling coving and 100-plus year old black cast iron arched fireplace.
Down the stairs takes you to the nerve centre of this house, the extended modern kitchen and breakfast room. This has recently been fitted with a range of floor and wall units and a breakfast bar. New integrated appliances include an oven and hob, and there's some dinky understairs storage tucked away.
A door leads from the kitchen to the rear garden which is quite small on account of the extension, but it's neat and bright.
The house also has a utility room with a wash-hand basin and it's plumbed for a washing machine. Upstairs, the master bedroom is unusually large with an extended area off it for a dressing area with a vanity table. There's a shower room with a Triton shower, while the second bedroom is also double-sized with fitted wardrobes and shelves. This has access to a second shower room, also with a Triton shower. New owners may want to configure a bath tub in somewhere to this arrangement.
The house will suit a landlord looking to get into the high-end centre city market, or a family looking to discard the car and make use of its city centre proximity and/or the new Luas links to the south and west suburban employment hubs.
At €475,000 it falls well below some of the recently gentrified streets and way below equivalent period home prices in the south suburbs. Phoenix Park is nearby, with acreage enough for two-hour long Sunday walks, and so too Dublin Zoo.
40 Glengarriff Parade
Asking price: €475,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald, (01) 8373737