Buyer-beware warning as Roscommon ‘ghost estate’ goes for a song

Unfinished development of 12 houses, built before crash, on sale at €300,000

The 12 residential properties at Quay West, Cootehall, Co Roscommon, are close to  Lough Key Forest Park. Potential buyers are required to have professionals on hand to undertake a proper survey

The 12 residential properties at Quay West, Cootehall, Co Roscommon, are close to Lough Key Forest Park. Potential buyers are required to have professionals on hand to undertake a proper survey

 

A home in Cootehall, Co Roscommon – where John McGahern set his novel The Barracks and through which the Boyle River meanders on its way from Lough Key to the Shannon – for just €25,000?

That is the enchanting potential of 12 residential properties at Quay West, Cootehall, Roscommon, equidistant from Boyle and the booming town of Carrick-on Shannon in Co Leitrim, both of which are on the main Dublin rail line.

An auctioneer could wax lyrical about nearby Lough Key Forest Park with its adventure playground and marina and the lifestyle you could have here as children walk to a national school set in fields literally around the corner from Quay West.

Offers will only be considered when there is proof that (a) the money is in place, and (b) the potential buyer has professionals on hand to undertake a proper survey

The houses were built around 2007/2008 and are the “second phase” of an earlier development which is now all occupied. They are all “unfinished” although all have doors and windows in place and they are weatherproof.

One lot

The 12 are being offered in one lot by Seamus Carthy of Roscommon Town based REA Seamus Carthy on behalf of a receiver.

But they have not yet sold, despite an offer €5,000 above the asking price.

Mr McCarthy is frank in his appraisal. He doesn’t like the expression “ghost estate”. A builder sold the neighbouring houses and sold the site of the final 12 to another developer who was unfortunately too late and got hit by the economic crash. Mr Carthy says he prefers to see the 12 houses as “phase two” of the original development.

But there is a lot more to buying any unfinished development than many might see, he says.

In the case of Quay West he says there are “legalities” with the title. Then there are development levies in the planning permission which, according to the council, would add another €70,000 to the cost.

Drainage

A potential buyer of any unfinished estate would also want to check out the services such as drainage and compliance with existing planning permissions.

In this case Mr Carthy is straightforward in both his advice to buyers and his requirements from them. Offers will only be considered when there is proof that (a) the money is in place, and (b) the potential buyer has professionals on hand to undertake a proper survey.

It is the old lesson of caveat emptor, or buyer beware, and Mr Carthy does not want people to be unaware of what they are getting into. “It is to be sold as seen,” he says.