A buyer’s-eye view at €1.1m property in Sandymount

At a viewing of this five-bed modern townhouse last Saturday, there’s was no shortage of interested parties, but opinions were varied about the prospect of buying via the auction process

Thu, Oct 3, 2013, 09:32

The open viewing at 75 Sydney Parade Avenue in Sandymount on Saturday was steady – not queues out the door but a regular stream of couples having a look at the five-bed townhouse. On Thursday, the first day of viewing, 14 parties were through the door. It’s for auction by Lisney on October 23rd with an AMV of €1.1 million.

For at least one couple the auction scenario rules the house out. Resident in the area, they are looking to trade up and this house, in walk-in condition ticks a lot of boxes for their, and indeed any, family.

It’s modern, has 231sq m (2,488sq ft) spread over three floors and is spacious with a lovely 28m mature garden. And it’s a two-minute walk from the seafront.

“But how do people buy at auctions now,” asked one half of the couple, slightly mystified. There’s no bridging loans anymore, we’d have to sell our house to buy this one, so even if we wanted to, it wouldn’t work practically. Only a cash buyer could do it and are there really that many of them at over a million euro?”

The cash element was not what was worrying another viewer I spoke to. She returned from abroad four years ago and has been house-hunting since, coming close to buying twice but pulling out when the private treaty bidding spiralled.

An open auction might at least be a more transparent way for her to buy, but she wasn’t living here seven or eight years ago when auctions at this end of the market were the norm, and so finds the whole process daunting.

“Seeing a house, getting it surveyed, getting your solicitor involved and signing a contract all in the space of a few weeks? It’s too rushed.” She has though, she said, noticed that the market is moving faster now than when she started house-hunting. “There seems more pressure now.”

The last house in Sandymount auctioned by Lisney was at 125 Strand Road, a beautiful three-bed period home. It didn’t sell in the auction room on July 24th and was then put on the market for sale by private treaty at €1.25 million. It is now sale agreed.

With an AMV of €1million, this semi-detached house at 75 Sydney Parade is in that price bracket but it’s quite different. Built in the 1990s it’s big in terms of square footage and the number of rooms – a five bedroom house is unusual – but it doesn’t have any particularly grand rooms.

At hall level there is a drawing room to the front and a large open-plan eat-in kitchen and living area to the back with a separate utility room.

An unusual feature of some of these houses – five were built at the same time – is the two-storey conservatory at the rear. It has a spiral staircase that leads up from the kitchen area to another living room on the first floor – a layout that might not appeal to everyone. The biggest of the five bedrooms is on the first floor and it has an en suite.

The main bathroom and the four other bedrooms, one with an en suite, are at the top of the house. There is off-street parking – a definite plus in Sandymount.