A quirky home on Phibsboro Ave for €395k – too good to be true?

Parts of this three bed are in flitters, but a €115k refurb could reap big rewards

  • Address: 19 Phibsboro Ave Phibsboro D7
  • Price: € 395,000
  • Agent: DNG
This article is 10 months old

At first glance the asking price of €395,000 for 19 Phibsboro Avenue seems too good to be true – especially when you see that the three-bedroom property measures 171sq m /1841sq ft.

And in one way it is. The house hasn’t been lived in for decades but it could offer a brilliant opportunity to someone with the extra cash to do the renovations needed to bring it into the 21st century.  


Of course there are a few considerations – the main one being that half the ground floor is in a very poor state of repair.

The house is hidden from view, accessed by car via Phibsboro Avenue where it sits at the top of the street looking down across the city. Railings delineate the tiny outside space to the side of the house and a high concrete block wall to the right marks the back entrance to Dr Quirkey’s which fronts onto Phibsboro Road.

The owner recalls a time when one side of the avenue was lined with single storey artisan cottages. Her mother worked for TD Martin Conlon, elected to the Dail for Roscommon in1926, and who originally owned the house.

Her mother bought it from Conlon and lived in the rooms that are currently habitable. She recalls the rest of the property – the unused rooms accessed from the Phibsboro Avenue side – being let as a separate flat. 


Her family used the second entrance, via a pedestrian lane that connects North Circular Road and Phibsboro Avenue. This is the original front of the property. Growing up the postal address she used was 342a North Circular Road.  Built circa 1885 its front gardens were sold off at some stage and a whole new street has been built to its fore. This part of the house is north-facing but is also private with a small terrace with planters.

The fanlit front door frames a brick façade with granite window sills and opens into a good sized hall with a drawing room to the righ. Its interconnecting doors are closed and the uninhabited room beyond looks onto Phibsboro Avenue.

On the far side of the hall is the dining room, and the kitchen is another room off it. Beside the kitchen is a small shower room and from here begins the more distressed part of the property, a series of lean-tos and other half standing spaces that comprise the rest of the ground floor and looks onto the Phibsboro Avenue.

A refurb this space could retain the courtyard at the centre of the property, an appealing idea given that it faces south.

Halfway up the stairs the steps split with two bedrooms, set to the original front of the house. Both doubles, one is a very large dual aspect twin room with a wardrobe that appears to lead through to the master bedroom, but a screen of spiderwebs and dust deterred this writer from exploring it any further.


Accessed via the other side of the split stairs the master, a spacious room, is off a roomy, dual aspect landing that would make a really nice study area. These windows offer views of the Dublin Mountains.


A buyer with extra cash could – subject to planning permission – consider adding another floor with glass walls and a small terrace to make the most of the southern aspect and Dublin Mountain views.

According to Kevin Moran of Moran Builders the basic structural measures required for this would be at least €60,000, while any refurb would require a minimum of €100,000, and that’s before any roof works.

If the current owner won the Lotto she says she’d love to hold on to it, do the refurbishments and turn the formal sitting room into a tearoom.

There is no off-street parking.


Kevin Moran, Moran Builders. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Kevin Moran, Moran Builders. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Builder Kevin Moran of Moran Builders says the brick-built, period home is a great refurb opportunity that is not for the faint-hearted. “With 171sq m of floors, and over 400sq m of ceilings and walls, even your decoration job will be sizeable and costly. Simple painting and decorating, for example, will set you back about €8,000.”

Expect to pay around €11,000 and €15,000 apiece on a complete rewire and a plumbing overhaul. Insulating, dry-lining and a complete re plastering job if required, will cost at least another €16,000.

Supplying and fitting new floors throughout will cost another €10,000, although it may be possible to re-sand and re-stain original floors. And if the original and single-glaze windows need replacing that will cost another €20,000.

Sanitaryware and kitchen supply could cost at least €15,000. He also suggests having another €20,000 on hand for initial stripping-out works, joinery works, contingency and smaller sundry items and inspection works.

And that’s before the roof is addressed. “The fact that it has a parapet roof does lend itself to a clean, charming facade, but it also means rainwater from the roof is taken away from valleys over the internal body of the house. These valleys will more than likely need attention. If the roof needs to be felted and re-slated then expect to pay around €12,000.” In all prospective buyers might want to factor in around €115,000 for the refurb and that’s before any major structural rethink or roofworks. (moranbuilders.ie)