What Would You Do?

Great reply thx.

We will certainly consider handing off to the architect. I noticed that the firm Extend.ie offers a three tiered option. I presume others do too.
Only one house out of 35 on the road has sold in the last six years, 450K, and it wasn’t really comparable. Different smaller design, poor condition. Another more comparable one, failed to find a buyer at 875, and the owner decided not to move.

Here’s the only 5 bed semi listed for all of SCD, and it’s almost identical in size. Dalkey is more des res, I’ll grant, but I’m suddenly seeing a “uniqueness quotient” in the place. Pass go, add 10%, and rob a bank.

myhome.ie/residential/brochu … in/2719995

I’m starting to wonder if it might not be easier to try to finance it from the US, with home equity loans on properties we own here. Would likely need to set up US and Irish corporations, with the costs, obligations, etc. associated.

we had a similar situation a few years ago. lots of us had to make a decision and there were varying inputs.

in the end we did a very quick tart up job, rented for 12 months and then sold. Luckily just as things were getting a little healthier.

Being in the market for a house such as you are describing I would advise against getting pp and selling on with that. It offers no value at all. either sell as is or fully and well finished. I would also advise against maxing out the development potential of the house, do a good extension & refurb and leave a bit for the new owners to put their stamp on it. You sound like you are trying to build the house of your dreams rather than an investment project.

You will need to spec the finish very highly. A good architect will be worth your weight in gold. I am not sure extend.ie would be considered a “good architect”. I know only a little of their work but they seem to specialise in extensions rather than full refurbs.

FWIW I think you’re mad. Sell now and leave the emotional stuff aside. If you start a major project, the family hassle could be far more than the extra you will gain in money. I wouldn’t take on a project like that for anything. And I’ve done it twice in my own PPR’s. Imagine how stressful, time consuming and expensive it will be and multiply by 10. And then factor in your siblings and their input on “the family home”. IMO it would need to be a serious amount of money to make that worth while.

This and more. To add market value in a refurb and extension requires a very tight focus, something that’s near impossible to do by committee, more so with each member of the committee emotionally and financially involved. Set a deadline by which all family members who wish to keep the house must buy out all members who want out.

Easier. LOL.

Setting up companies in multiple jurisdictions to finance a house extension? You’re absolutely barking mad. :smiley:

Given the recent battle of Armageddon in the construction sector, the shoe is firmly on your foot here. My own experience of architects, in the industrial sector granted, hasn’t been all that positive, so you would need to do your homework to make sure you got a good, hungry one willing to put in the on-site presence needed.

The last 6 years has seen house prices drop by perhaps 50% with a localised upturn in SCD in the last year (whilst almost everything else appears to be heading south/stabilizing). This makes it difficult to use even those nearby property as indicators. Suffice to say, yours is a very saleable property in the current climate. But since the majority of buyers at present appear to be cash buyers (who for one reason or another didn’t get caught by the crash of 2007) and there is a limit on the amount of cash buyers there can be, it can’t be expected to remain haymaking time for ever. Outside cash buyers (with pent up urges expressing at what they consider the bottom of the market) the fundamentals remain bleak.

I would examine (although I’m not imposing a negative spin on that word) the wisdom of increasing the size of the house to 4000 sq ft in the context of it being in an estate of houses in the 1500-2500 sq ft bracket (if that’s about the right guesstimate). It’s one thing to have a standalone house which you crank up to that size. Another to try to turn one of a row of Ford Mondeo’s into a muscle car. There’ll always be someone who has a large family and needs floor area but it’s not going to attract the premium that an appropriately (for its surroundings) large house would obtain.

Try look at equally large 4 beds which. It doesn’t take much to erect a partition wall and turn 4 into 5. Or deconstruct and make 5 into 4. There probably isn’t going to be a premium paid for 5 over 4 which are otherwise similar.

It’s a property investment you’re engaging in, in an underwater country still struggling with the aftermath of an enormous property crash. There aren’t any pointers indicating there’s any reason to suppose we’re out of the woods in that regard (and by out of the woods, I don’t mean a return to boom-time prices, but that we’re at a stable bottom of the market). There are strong indications of a cash-buyer fueled feeding frenzy hovering right over your location right now.

The country is awash with people who followed the sinking market down in their asking prices - but who failed to bite the bullet, slash their price and jump in front of the tumbling figures. They thought they could play the market and so as to extract those last few 10K’s … and lost big time. The same kind of risk awaits those playing the property game now. Unless there are substantiated arguments supporting the kind of large scale expansion you’re intending (and the arguments seem to stack up against it) you would be in danger of engaging in the same kind of Russian Roulette that they did.

There’s a premium being paid for walk-in condition houses which have been brought up to modern spec electrical/heating/insulation/window/etc wise. This for the simple reason that folk frequently don’t feel themselves capable of project managing same. Adding on a 400 sq ft extension would bring the house up to bulls-eye size from an Irish-market perspective which, allied with modernizing would probably give you max bang per buck for minimum risk/cost/input/timespans. The aim would be a quick turnover, making hay whilst the sun shines.

All in my limited opinion.

Seriously? For a one-house renovation/letting project?
Everything about this seems unnecessarily complicated, imo. As someone else said, if your siblings don’t want to sell, give them a deadline by which to buy you out.


If you want to sell, and others don’t, why are you putting the work in to keep it?

Doing a refurb and extension to then rent the house is mental (imo).

sounds to me that they’re skating cloose to their inheritance tax limits. good luck explaining to revenue how you improved the property at your own cost to achieve a higher selling price.

  • are both mutually exclusive?

I can’t reply to the financial benefits, but would add, if you do go for the extension/renovation job, do not select an architect (or project manager if you decide not to have the architect project manage) purely based on fees if you’re not in the country. Excluding the benefit of good design aspect completely, in a former office, the practice did a few of these jobs and the project architect on each put a serious amount of time in to managing the project on site for the owners. If someone prices unrealistically, they will not dedicate the time into treating the job as if it was their own house.

One other point is that if you are looking at selling in a high end bracket, the finishes you choose for the house realistically need to be higher end, which drives up your build cost by a fair bit. Most people looking at spending that amount of money will know the difference in cheap versus expensive flooring or kitchens for example.

Is there actually that much of a market for big family houses with a garden where you have to choose between a patio table and a swingset? Ime, most people with families want a garden big enough for a patio table, a nice lawn, a washing line or two, if not a vegetable garden at least a herb/salad patch, and space for swings and or a trampoline. And if not a SW aspect, at least a garden big enough to benefit from the sun whenever it shines. Not everyone is going to get everything they want from a garden due to budget/location but people in the market for 3000/4000Sqft homes tend to have a family big enough to want a decent garden and may be less inclined to compromise on something so important to quality of life.

I’ve already replied to you once that the two holders don’t have the readies for an immediate buyout. Should be easier for 4 to finance a 150-200K extension, than have two finance the 350K buyout of the other two. It’s simple math. I don’t understand your difficulty with that. All we’ve actually decided for now, is not to sell for 12 months.

Many good points in those replies, thx. Again, I’m going to try address the many issues raised with one reply. If I miss a point you made, please don’t sue me.

I acknowledge lots of time and money involved in just the selection of the architect. Maybe a youngNhungry recent graduate? It would be a simple job architecturally speaking. I may contact UCD etc. for lists.

The point about quality fixtures driving up costs is a good one too, I hadn’t given that much thought.

The downside of maxing out the buildable area is also a worthy consideration. One of us, (not me) had already thought of that. Otoh, my experience both in Ireland and the US is that gardens, though nice, are generally very much underutilized. Dedicated green thumbs will certainly get their value and enjoyment, but I think most others don’t. People spend a lot more time indoors than out, particularly in Ireland. An extension would likely also include a conservatory of some kind.

I have a 4B 2500 sqf on half a wooded acre, with a 20 X 40 pool and we rarely use any of it. Ten years ago I put 30K into rehabbing the pool. I still regret every penny, every day. And I’d be hard pushed to get 400k for it today.

In Dublin a 3,000 sqf+ house would typically be a close in Georgian/Victorian, or a detached on a larger plot, either of which would command a lot more money than I’m talking about. I’m just trying to explore the idea of a less expensive compromise. I’m sure some would find it unappealing, but I don’t think everyone would. Busy professionals maybe?
The concept of overbuilding a site is well known in the US. There’s a pejorative term for it, McMansion. But I wonder is there maybe a market (small) for McMansions in SCD?


Can’t believe this. Even the supply of 4B is very tight, speaks to the issue of rising prices. Just one D, and 4 SD. Gotta be something wrong with that.

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myhome.ie/residential/dublin … axsize=200

To the various naysayers and doubters, if I had simply started a thread that said we’re selling or renting the house it likely wouldn’t spark much interest. Would you have bothered? I focused on the most complex/controversial option in hopes of generating the most response, because that’s where I need to learn most.

On the issue of inheritance tax, yes we are sailing close to the limit.

Related to that, the will was submitted for probate in early January. In early Feb. I checked my spam folder and had 6 phising mails purporting to be from the Revenue and Bank of Ireland. I’ve never done biz with BOI, and haven’t had contact with Revenue for 25 years. I saved them, but didn’t open.

Someone must be hacking the Probate Office, Registrar of Wills etc. Funnily enough, my siblings haven’t received any. A sample below.

Bank of Ireland 365 Onli.

Account Verification ( Customer ID ) - 884578 - Dear Bank of Ireland 365 holder account, As part of our security measures, we regularly screen

Revenue Irish Tax & Cus.

Tax Return : ID Customer - 682337 - Dear Sir/Madam , I am sending this email to announce: After the last annual calculation of your

As someone who would be after this type of property I have to say I detest garage conversions and max pack extensions with a passion, especially if it compromises garden space. It sounds like a heap of hassle, there’s probably a bit of sentimentality attached to hanging on, but imo it makes the most sense to tart up a bit and sell, or rent for a fixed period and then sell. If severing your links with Dublin are the issue then why not sell and buy an apartment for use between you all

I really don’t think there is a market for McMansions in dublin. I think you are fooling yourself or you have lived in the US for too long. Irish families love gardens, especially those in the SCD market. You’ll find a whole lot of ‘A’ houses that have tiny gardens that sold for far less than expected, if it all.

If all this is serious … of which I am rather dubious:
You will find it hard to get this ‘lean and hungry’ architect - what with the new Building Control Regulations with its Assigned Certiier requirements for 40m2+ domestic extension imminent.
If you, the house and the family are real - maximize return and minimise expenditure by just selling as-is rightaway.
Cheap inputs will not result in ultimate value for anybody here.

I bet you use more than 25sqm of it though! Irish people love their gardens, especially people with dogs and kids. As for the adults, we get so little good weather that when we do have it all we want is to be outside. Just take a look at all the threads that pop up here, on boards.ie, on askaboutmoney, etc about rear garden aspect. Gardens that get sun are an extremely, extremely important consideration for housebuyers. Cutting the garden down to it’s minimum allowable size due to your own preference isn’t a good way to develop for profit.

We also tend to dry our washing outside significantly more than people do in the US so you may be forgetting that. If a garden isn’t big enough for a washing line, in an airy, sunny spot, forget about selling it to a family and the big house market is a family market.

Great to see Irish begrudgery at a fella tryin to make a few Euro is alive and healthy. :slight_smile:

Seriously though, thx for the great replies and I understand the skepticism and cynicism. I’m simply trying to tease out the pitfalls of the most complex option, and there have been several very worthwhile points made. I set out the scene and invited comment. I can hardly complain if the commentary is negative. I just hope to learn something from it, and I have.

It may be that I am too long and far removed from the Irish market. It may also be the case that the negative views expressed here are a reflection of the inherently conservative dominant dynamic of the Irish market/nature. I think there should always be room for a contrarian view. I won’t discount the possibility that there is a market for a McMansion, but I think that when my siblings see this thread, the vote will be not to build to the max possible, if at all.

Thanks for that info about the new building regs. I had been unaware. Just did a quick search and found links to existing law and the new changes that I haven’t yet read. One link I did read in part, was this discussion on Boards that seems to have some knowledgeable posters. Surprisingly, no similar discussion here. The changes as set out in the post below suggest to me more onerous paperwork, and new rules about who can/cannot sign that will add to cost, rather any substantive changes to what is/not permissible to build. Will have most impact on the DIYer. Am I missing anything? Anyone disagree?
From this thread, emphasis supplied.

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A friend in Dublin who watches the market, alerted me to this house that escaped my earlier search because it is smaller than the criteria I used. I didn’t think there would be extended 4B’s at only 1,600sqf. It’s close enough to ours both in design and location, and at E450 a sqf it’s an absolute bargain. Seems to me it’s quarter/3 quarter detached, rather than the detached claimed.

myhome.ie/residential/brochu … in/2746616

It’s worth noting that building up to 40 sq m extra doesn’t fall under the new regs and doesn’t require planning so long as you stick with the fairly loose regs. Get yourself a decent builder capable of project managing himself and an architect prepared for the minimal involvement required for the necessary signing off and you could keep costs from ballooning. Farm out the decor to an interior designer (less to go wrong than farming out a complex project to a novice architect) and you could conceivably manage with minimal trips here.

A bargain?!

I’d have gone for the recently sold No.20 across the road and used 200K of the 300k difference to turn it into a 1700-1800 sq foot 4 bed, BER rated B, with modern, top quality fit out, modern layout and a south facing garden (something sought after here)


The clue to Inver is it’s BER E rating. That tells you that the windows need replacing, that that the walls don’t have any insulation, that the central heating system needs replacing, etc

It would be a draughty old ice-box and and the cost of rectifying that fact as well as bringing the tired interior up to spec is going to cost the guts of 100K. It looks like it could do with a bit of extending to the kitchen/diner as well.

Although the facade of Inver is more attractive than No.2, a 200K difference for effectively the same end result doth not an absolute bargain make.

I forgot to include this in my previous post. Here’s a bit of cultural conflict for you. In the US hanging washing out to dry is considered vulgar. Rarely done anywhere, except maybe isolated rural, and certainly not in respectable hoods.
The phrase “Airing your dirty laundry/linen in public” has common currency, literally.
Air your dirty laundry | Idiom Reference
idiomreference.com/define/ai … ty-laundry