A place among the pines
El Pinar, Sandyford, Dublin 18 Asking price: €250,000-€375,000 Agent: Savills (New Homes) (01) 6181300
The name El Pinar may conjure up an exotic Spanish villa surrounded by a pine grove, but when a developer was building an apartment block just off the Kilgobbin Road in Sandyford a decade ago, his Spanish wife - inspired by the pine trees in the area - suggested the name for the Dublin scheme.
The boom-era apartments, nestled at the foot of the Dublin Mountains, were developed just as Ireland was on the brink of a property crash, so the owner rented out them out rather than putting them on the sales market. The owner has now decided to exit the rental market, so is selling each apartment as the lease expires.
All the homes have been redecorated and upgraded, according to the selling agent. New condensing boilers were installed to help drive up the building energy rating from a C to a B2; this has improved the apartments' energy efficiency but they are not as eco-friendly as apartments built after the introduction of new building energy regulations. New hobs and ovens from Neff were fitted to the high-gloss McNally kitchens and all the properties have been repainted, the agent said.
El Pinar was built on the site of a former dormer bungalow that had its own tennis court and pond, and the apartment block's southwest-facing mature rear gardens are situated on what was once a tennis court. The pond was also retained.
The block is a two-storey-plus dormer building, with four apartments under the eaves of the top floor. The building contains two one-bed apartments, eight two-beds, and four three-beds. All either have a balcony with composite decking or, in the case of the ground floor units, have both a front balcony and a rear terrace that overlooks the gardens but is bounded by hedging for privacy.
The building has a brick and render façade, set off by timber-framed double-glazed windows from Rationel. Each apartment comes with one designated car space and a pool of three visitor spaces, though there will be a limited number of additional parking spaces available to buy.
The ground floor is home to all the three-bed apartments, each of which measure between 1,006 sq ft and 1,017 sq ft. The terrace in each of these units leads off the master ensuite, while the balcony is off the open-plan kitchen-diner-lounge. This design also has a main bathroom in the middle of the apartment.
The first floor contains a mix of 513-sq ft one-beds and 821-sq ft two-beds, while two-bed apartments with 1,041 sq ft of living space apiece are on the second floor. The latter apartment style has a master ensuite, a separate family bathroom, a storage space, and a balcony off the kitchen/dining/living area. All the bathrooms are tiled and incorporate a shower screen and Laufen sanitary ware.
Prices at El Pinar start at €250,000 for a one-bed, €340,000 for a two-bed, and at €375,000 for a three-bed apartment. Six of the 14 units in the block will be launched this weekend, with further releases at the end of 2017 and next year. Service charges range from €1,280 for a one-bed apartment to €2,500 for a three-bed unit.