Once a sleepy Dublin 14 suburb, Churchtown is fast becoming a magnet for new neighbourhood restaurants and bars. Last October it welcomed Union Café, a sister diner to the Mount Merrion eaterie, while across the green is Churchtown Stores, where a new "old-style" bar has opened in what was once the southside's favourite hardware store and a former winner of theIrish Times Best Shop in Ireland competition.
The suburb’s stock may be on the rise but its residential roads remain peaceful with birdsong in the morning and views of the mountains from many. Whitebarn Road is one such street. Half of the road comprises two-storey homes, of which several, all in need of modernisation, are currently for sale.
Smart refurbishments with large extensions to the rear are more apparent on the other half of this street, which links Nutgrove Avenue to Whitehall Road, and is made up of detached bungalows set on large plots. Visible signs of new families moving in include brand new window frames, gravelled drives and outsized house number ironmongery.
Number 11 is one example that has had a very considered upgrade by Celie O’Connell Architecture and detail-focused interior designer Helen Turkington.
The property now has four bedrooms, three of which are at hall level. A double to the front and nursery to its rear share a Jack and Jill bathroom, while the master, also to the front, but on the other side of the hall, has a small walk-through wardrobe and bright shower en suite as well as scope to install further storage.
A large and light-filled open-plan kitchen with handleless units and a living-cum-diningroom set around a Stovax insert fire fills the rear and spans the width of the plot. Off it are the engine rooms of any family home, a separate utility, a separate home office and playroom.
The property has a southwest-facing garden extending to 26m (88ft), a valuable pedestrian side entrance and a fourth bedroom under the eaves with a modest adjoining shower-room.
The fact that most of the accommodation is at hall level will have strong appeal for families with small children and downtraders.
When number 11 last sold in July 2015 it made €530,000, according to the property price register. Its extensive structural makeover, completed in 2017, means that the home now measures about 185sq m (2,000sq ft). Now it is back on the market seeking €950,000 – a 79 per cent increase in a 3½ year period. It’s an indicator of the premium agents are placing on properties in walk-in condition as more and house hunters struggle to find the additional funds for large-scale refurbishments.
While the cost of the high end renovation has obviously been structured into number 11’s asking price, it is also worth looking at number 15, a neighbouring bungalow that was seeking €725,000 at around the same time that number 11 last sold. It was in walk-in condition and the four-bed house, which measured 203sq m (2,185sq ft), sold for €815,000 in April 2015, according to the property price register.
While there are no other bungalows currently for sale on the road, the two-storey properties that are for sale are likely to require months of costly building work at the end of tender processes and the search for a builder to take on the project. These unquantifiable unknowns are reflected in their lower asking prices.
Number 54, an end of terrace four-bed of 126sq m (1,356sq ft), is seeking €585,000 through agent Beirne and Wise. McGuirk Beggan is seeking €575,000 for number 77, a 122sq m, G BER-rated property. Number 78, a six-bed end of terrace property of 169sq m, was seeking €449,000 having dropped its price by €46,000, and is understood to have sold close to its original asking price.
Number 122, a three-bed, also recently sold. It had been asking €525,000, having been reduced by €70,000. Last June number 97, a modernised four-bed of 141sq m (1,517sq ft), sold for €495,000.