House Spy … on the Southside
Our intrepid House Spy encounters hostile looks and a mixed bag of buyers at the viewings of five houses
On a recent Tuesday, the estate agent arrived promptly at 6pm to set up 59 The Beeches, Monkstown Valley, Monkstown, a two-bedroom semi of 56sq m (603sq ft) in a leafy estate off the Monkstown Road asking €360,000 through agent Ganly Walters.
Even though the viewing time says 6.30pm the first people across the threshold at twenty past. One of the party fires House Spy a look that can only be described as hostile, as if she expects me to deliver from my pocket the sum of €360,000 and bag the property there and then.
Upstairs, a party of three is trying to figure out if the room will take a double bed calculating the distance between the two plugs in the larger of the two bedrooms using the unscientific method of walking across the space and counting the number of steps. Eight parties are packed into the house. While several parties would like to know if the house incurs management fees, one woman laments the fact that the property backs onto Monkstown Rugby grounds. On View: Thu Oct 2, 6pm to 6.30pm
The following day apartment 9 Spranger’s Yard, Crow Street, in Temple Bar was to be on view for precisely twenty minutes from 3pm to 3.20pm. The two-bedroom apartment, 58sq m (624sq ft), is asking €250,000 through agent Bartholomew McElhatton. The agent didn’t show. When contacted the person who answered the phone said the estate agent (Bartholomew McElhatton) had been called away unexpectedly and unfortunately didn’t have time to amend the listing on the website. Viewing: By appointment only
While Stocking Wood in Rathfarnham, D16 is listed as “new five-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes” in the plural all that was on view last Sunday was the last remaining property to be sold, a detached three-storey house, 138sq m (1,485sq ft) in size, asking €460,000 through joint agents SherryFitzGerald and Knight Frank. It was a sleepy showing with two agents in situ in a house devoid of furniture and furnishings save for a large blue bottle lying prone on the windowsill of the family bathroom and seven more decorating the carpet of one of the bedrooms on the second floor. On View: Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm till 5pm
At 2pm the agents outnumbered the house hunters. Then a couple arrived. Romantically this was their very first viewing. They weren’t impressed by “the footprint of the house” and want something bigger. Another family went in and then a couple, pulled up beside House Spy to ask if the one house “was it?”. They then asked me, not the agents, if I knew of other properties that were on view and as I shook my head they screeched off in their flash boom era car to, presumably,to find other houses to view.
The welcome was warm when soaked to the skin House Spy crossed the threshold of 8 Meadow Park, off Barton Road East, Churchtown, D14, an 80sq m (860sq ft) bungalow, an executor sale asking €395,000 through Finnegan Menton. A father and daughter having peered into the attic were descending the Stira steps. Another single woman was doing some calculations on the garage size. A young family had just pulled up and ran in to get out of the rain. Viewing: By appointment
Across town at 102 Smithfield Village, Bow Street, Dublin 7, a one bedroom apartment 45sq m (484sq ft) asking €155,000 through Kilcullen-based Dowling Property, House Spy finally came face to face with that elusive genus, the property investor. She arrived with the agent and introduced herself with a strong, confident handshake. Then she and I followed him up the stairs to the first floor property where she pulled out her chequebook and used the small kitchen table to write a cheque for another one-bedroom property she had bought in another building in the complex. Although she looked at this one she didn’t buy. Viewing: By prior appointment
Next time: House Spy arrives on the Northside.