Stories about sellers dropping their asking price to nearly half what they originally paid are the norm in the current depressed market. Very often, even that's not enough to get wary buyers through the door, and so it's the properties that are well maintained and presented in pristine condition that may attract more attention.
Kim Gale is owner of one such home with an appealing interior design. Number 35 Drumnigh Wood, a modern four-bed semi in Portmarnock, Co Dublin, is now on the market for €595,000, through local agents Savills. Gale is philosophical about having paid €985,000 five years ago for the property.
"You know how you try not get carried away, but when you fall in love with something it's difficult to resist? Unfortunately, that was at the height of the boom. But the house was so perfect for us and only needed a cosmetic makeover. Now, because of work commitments elsewhere, we know we have to significantly drop the price if we hope to sell."
Originally from Donabate, Gale wanted a home by the sea and along the Dart line and number 35 fitted the bill. Also, the 141 sq m (1,500 sq ft) floor space feels even bigger because the bright open-plan living areas interconnect through to the rear garden and this makes it a great house for entertaining, she adds. The house was built around seven years ago and all that was needed was a fresh decor.
The bright entrance hall has ceiling coving, tiled floor and double doors into an equally bright living room. A special feature of the living room is the mirrored walls either side of the granite fireplace. This room connects to the dining area through double doors. Both rooms have pale, solid oak floors. The dining area also leads directly to the sun room and, from there, to the south-facing rear garden. In the fitted kitchen is a run of oak units, integrated appliances and a tiled floor. Adjacent is the utility room with side door to the garden. Also at entrance level is a guest cloakroom with mirrored wall.
Upstairs are four bedrooms, the main with built-in wardrobes, en-suite with double shower, and more mirrored walls enhancing the space and light. The three remaining bedrooms have built-in wardrobes while the fully-tiled main bathroom has a jacuzzi bath.
To the front, the drive can accommodate two cars. Both front and rear gardens are in lawn surrounded by mature shrubs and there is also a timber garden shed.
Now that a change of work location necessitates a move, Gale says she will miss not only her home in this quiet cul-de-sac near the sea, but also the local community.
"You know how people say these days that neighbourly living is gone? That's not the case here and I think it's because everyone is so proud of their house. All the gardens are well cared-for and you just get a feeling of calm the minute you drive in. Whatever about price drops, I feel we were very lucky to have had this house, and if my husband's work wasn't due to take us abroad, we would never leave it."
Asking price: €595,000