Despite being just 3km from the city centre, the seaside enclave of Clontarf has somehow still managed to keep a village feel about it.
The promenade is packed with walkers and runners every morning and evening. St Anne’s Park is home to young families and dog lovers. The coffee shops are buzzing with home-makers and home-workers, who are looking for a quick chat before going about their day.
It’s this sense of community that the current owners of 85 Mount Prospect Avenue love most about the area. “It’s such a small area so everyone is looking out for you. It feels very safe, especially for the kids. Between schools, Nolan’s supermarket and the park, you meet people you know everywhere you go,” says the lady of the house.
The couple was living in the area at the time and always admired the houses on Mount Prospect Avenue when driving past. “We weren’t looking to buy a house when we bought here. We actually had no intention of moving at the time. We drove by one day and saw it was for sale. We viewed it out of curiosity and instantly fell in love.”
When the current owners bought the house in 2005, Number 85 was in a state of disrepair so they totally gutted it and started again. Despite the extensive renovations, the 2,425sq ft home hasn’t lost any of its 1930s character. Much of the area was built up in the 1930s, when despite depressed times, building continued at pace. In this decade a family home in the area cost roughly IR£850 at a time when a new bicycle would set you back a fiver and a pint of Guinness was 12 pence. The entrance hall has its original timber joinery and staircase, and an old-fashioned tiled floor that is in keeping with the décor throughout the house.
Off the hall is a guest wc and a good-sized home office, complete with built-in shelving and work station. The sitting room to the front of the house has a bay window that overlooks the garden and sliding doors that link it to the open space at the rear. The back of the house has been extended and opened up to provide a large living space on two levels, easily the property’s strongest selling point. The elevated dining area has hardwood floors and glass panels looking down into the living room. There is also a utility room on this level that’s fully fitted with access to the side entrance.
You step down into the bright kitchen and living area. The SieMatic kitchen has tall ceilings and an island large enough for the family to sit around for dinner. All appliances, including Circotherm double oven, hob, microwave, integrated dishwasher, larder fridge and freezer are included in the sale.
The back of the house is glazed, with fully retractable accordion doors. The tasteful extension is a mixture of silver cedar panels and an aged copper-clad domed roof. This extra space didn’t take away from the garden though, which still sits at 150ft in length. There is a decked area that leads onto the lawn, which is very private and south-facing.
There are four bedrooms upstairs. The master is extended above the kitchen below and has a wide picture window with three floor-to-ceiling glass panels and an en suite bathroom. This room is the owners’ favourite part of the house.
“We have to say, our favourite place is our bedroom. There’s a small corridor to it and it feels so private and peaceful. With downstairs being open plan, it’s nice to come upstairs and escape and feel totally cosy.” Two of other bedrooms are decent sized doubles, and the fourth was the original main bedroom, with a bay window to the front and en suite shower room. The family bathroom has a bath and separate shower.
New owners won’t have to do much more than move their furniture in and unpack boxes. The bus stop is outside the door and the park is across the road. The agent says everything you need is within a hundred metres.
For the owners though, it’s not easy to walk away from a house you’ve put so much work into. “Now that we’ve decided to sell, we’ve realised how much we really love the house. We renovated it from scratch. The kids have loved the garden and will find it hard to leave. We’ve had a great time in this house. We’ve had communions and christenings and 40th birthday parties, and enjoyed every minute of it.”
Number 85 Mount Prospect Avenue is on the market with a guide of €1.85m through agents Gallagher Quigley.