Thursday 15 November 2018

Look inside: Family home on tiny Dublin grassy square which is an annual party spot

12 Vavasour Square, Sandymount, Dublin 4 €1,050,000

No 12 has 123sqm of living space — many of the neighbouring houses have extended out into their gardens
No 12 has 123sqm of living space — many of the neighbouring houses have extended out into their gardens

Words by Katy McGuinness

The first thing anyone who lives on Vavasour Square will tell you about it is the wonderful sense of community there, fostered by the grassy square in the middle. On a spring morning, the balls and goalposts indicate that the soccer season has begun, and the bikes and scooters in front gardens are evidence of families with young children.

The residents even have their own WhatsApp group, and the vendors, who are now selling No 12, say that children who live on the square regularly call in to invite their own little ones out to play. During Storm Emma, the owner of No 12 asked if any neighbours had a spare pair of gloves for her daughter, who had left hers in school. Within half an hour there were several pairs on the doorstep. The WhatsApp group is handy for residents seeking recommendations for tradesmen and, more enjoyably, when the annual summer and Halloween parties, for adults as well as children, are being organised.

The square lies just off Bath Avenue and No 12 backs onto the Aviva Stadium. the vendor says that there is a great buzz on match days, although Vavasour Square, unlike nearby Havelock Square, is not a cut-through to the stadium, and residents still have vehicular access to their homes. Sadly, though, there are no free tickets for residents. "My husband would never move if there were," says the vendor.

The current owners of No 12 bought the property a number of years ago, and lived there for a short time before renting it out when the family relocated to the UK. They returned last summer and undertook a top-to-bottom redecoration - nothing structural was required - and now that they are moving on again, they have put the house on the market.

The impressive entrance hall at 12 Vavasour Square, Sandymount, Dublin 4
The impressive entrance hall at 12 Vavasour Square, Sandymount, Dublin 4

The brick facade is in excellent condition as are the granite steps leading to the front door.

Privacy is ensured by plantation shutters installed on the front windows.

As currently configured, No 12 has 123sqm of living space, but many of the neighbouring houses have extended out into their gardens to add on larger kitchens and more bedrooms, so there is potential to increase this, subject, of course, to planning permission.

On the ground floor, the layout is open-plan and split-level. The entrance porch is tiled in black and white and opens directly onto the living room to the right and one of the bedrooms to the left. The vendors use this as the master bedroom as there is an adjacent lavatory and shower-room that doubles up as the guest loo.

The living room leads down a couple of steps to the dining room, which in turn leads to the kitchen; both rooms have doors out to the garden which is nicely landscaped and has a lawn, a patio area and a garden shed.

Upstairs there are two lovely children's bedrooms - one fetchingly decorated for girls, and the other for a boy - and the family bathroom.

Part of the stylish living spaces at 12 Vavasour Square
Part of the stylish living spaces at 12 Vavasour Square

The effects of commuting on families is one of the big problems of our age, and many of the apartments that have been built in Dublin are, for the most part, unsuitable for families with young children. The prospect, therefore, of a family home located within easy walking and cycling distance of the city centre and the docklands and convenient for primary and secondary schools will appeal to those who would prefer to spend time with the family rather than sitting in traffic or squashed on to busy trains and trams. Residents' parking is available on the square.

"I use Lotts & Co as a supermarket," says the vendor. "They have fresh meat and fish and I always come back completely laden-down. I just can't resist. There's an Avoca opening around the corner on Shelbourne Road soon too."

Elsewhere on the square, there are hoardings up on a couple of houses, indicating that refurbishments are under way, and No 19 is also on the market; Sherry FitzGerald is asking €1.15m.

According to the Property Price Register, the last house on the square to change hands was No 16, which made €300,000 when it sold in 2011, and €447,500 when it came to the market again in 2013. Things have clearly moved on since then.

Era: 1850s

Size: 123sqm

The designer kitchen at 12 Vavasour Square
The designer kitchen at 12 Vavasour Square

Agent: Youngs (01) 497 5581

Viewing: By appointment

The outdoor space at 12 Vavasour Square
The outdoor space at 12 Vavasour Square

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