WIW - Sydenham House, Dundrum, Dublin 14

Derelict Victorian House -asking €575k
myhome.ie/residential/brochu … 14/1750166

Interesting History
urbanexploration.ie/globalur … f=20&t=376

If they don’t sell it they could rent it out. The style and condition is not far removed from the house I’m renting at the moment. (And the pro-renters wonder why people like me are so keen to buy…)

i would say they might get the asking … not because i believe its worth it but because some idiot will pay it. Good location but lots of traffic on the road.

Actually … i take that back … nobody will pay the asking price for that … its in such poor condition and when coupled with the planning restrictions it could be a very very expensive refurb.

What’s the renovation budget for something like that going to be?

The road is busy at peak times, and there’s a school right next door. I also think Dundrum is not the place it once was prior to the mega-mall opening.

Still, a detached Victorian house on half an acre has got to be worth a lot when it’s finished, surely in excess of a million euros. Pirton House down the road has failed to sell at 2 million, I’d much prefer to have this one and do it to my own taste.

it was a victoria house … there is nothing left of it worth keeping.

What’s it worth? 200k or a little less I would imagine. Not because of what it would be worth finished but because no bank is going to touch that no matter how much you twist their arm. I think bare minimum you need to spend 300k on this house and that 300k could easily become 450k.

So If you have to buy this house, it has to be an entirely cash bid for site and refurb.
To pay 500k for it you need to have at least 800-950k in the bank. If you had 850k in the bank. Why would you put yourself throught that when that budget will buy you this in D4?
myhome.ie/residential/brochu … -4/1495502

Forgive my ignorance fitw, but why would no bank touch this?

My experience is that no bank is willing to lend against property that is not immediately remarketable. i.e. more or less in turn key condition. They are stuffed to the gills with houses as it is… I can understand the logic. Firstly there barely any money available for mortgage lending. and secondly its probably too hard to value for the loan officer (they could lose their job too easily if they get it wrong)

Ive been looking at distressed/semi-distressed for about a year. Ive only ever come across other cash buyers…(and there isnt much competition). The key to securing a place like this is convincing the vendor that actually the place isnt worth that much…which is true. The money you spend refurbing/rennovating a place like that will likely be more than the cost of building on a greenfield site…

so…pay for the land not much for house. and make sure you love the place enough to go thru the planning/conservation headaches…

Id say 200-250 area myself…

Yes, from bitter experience, once the loan officer sees the photos from the valuation report they will go uh oh.

Thank you both for the education. In my naïveté ( nice spell-check!) I thought that if X was the purchase price and Y was the build/ refurbish price ( as evidenced by architect, maybe also quantity surveyor or builder) then bank would look at X plus Y, all the other usual parameters of savings, earnings, affordability etc. and then, if nervous, go lower percentage on LTV.
Also could make contract subject to FPP.
Would the same difficulty arise with a greenfield, planning permitted site?

hi maca,

depending on the state of the place you may well be able to get a bank to give you a mortgage of say 80% on X but under no circumstances at the moment will they give you anything towards the Y (rennovation) on any property Id say. And it would very much determined by the state of the house on completion date (plus your own financial circumstances). In the example above you are towards the hardcore end of renovation. The building as it stands right now is not habitable in any shape. So from the banks point of view its not collateral. It is not a dwelling. It may have the scope to be so in future but you couldn’t live in it now.

At risk of stating the obvious banks want to make sure whatever happens on new mortgage lending they do not become landlords, developers or builders. If things go wrong on new lending they want out. fast (subject to forbearance regulation etc). They need (and the country needs them) to just make conservative loans and collect interest. no more no less.

As to your point on greenfield I think you are right. Id go out on a limb and say that no bank in Ireland will lend of undeveloped land for 15-20 years. NAMA is stuffed full of this. Some of the worst loans ever made in banking history. globally. it wont come bank anytime soon. even in a “conservative” form.

Happened to pass by this yesterday and I have to say, the location is pretty good overall. It’s not like it’s a derelict house in a run-down area. Most of the of the surrounding houses in the immediate vicinity would be regarded as highly desireable (love the place opposite with the rooftop room in the round-tower thingy!). It would be a shame if this wasn’t restored to its former glory given its history - it’d make a fabulous family home. Sure, it’s on a busy road but speeds are generally low and the house is set back from the road.

(Don’t know what it’s “worth” but it doesn’t make sense to price this anywhere near €200,000)

Would love to see a, “Homes Under The Hammer” type project on this one.

Thanks fixie
That’s a scary scenario for anyone hoping to build their own home on a site . Given the whole state of chaos and properties reverting to banks etc, I take your point about them not wishing to become landlords or developers but in many instances will they not be the vendor of such places? and perhaps then will whistle a different tune to someone who Is in a position to borrow “responsibly” from them .

It is possible to get a self build mortgage at the moment, but you’d have to have enough cash to buy the site, and get a long way through the build. I know someone who recently got a mortgage sanctioned (outside of Dublin) in these circumstances. Just realise that you’ll have spent a lot of money before you get your first cheque from the bank, and will need to get each stage of the build signed off.

That seems low to me. We’re talking about 1900 square metres of land in Dundrum. So at the price range you mention, the price of the land would be 105 - 131 euro per square metre, which seems low. It’s certainly a fraction of the price per square metre that other sites in south Dublin are selling for.

On the other hand it is possible that the house itself has negative value. The condition looks poor so it may be more expensive to renovate than to knock and rebuild. If it has historical value, it may be that you can’t knock it, and you are stuck with a cold, damp building that costs a fortune to renovate and even more to heat.


I have to agree that no bank would touch this, not for even the smallest amount of the finance. The vendor will need to find a buyer with the cash to purchase and renovate. I’d estimate the refurb cost here at €500k-1m, depending on the delights they uncover. So I really can’t see it selling until there are no other detached houses with large grounds available at all in SCD (which of course could happen in the next 12 months at the rate supply is drying up).


Come on, i’s not like they are trying to build a gold-plated castle on quicksand. It will undoubtedly be very expensive, but the worst case must surely be to gut it to a shell then re-build around the original walls - with some modern insulation, double-glazed sash windows etc. while you are at it.

its 2250 sq ft so given its listed features i’d estimate costs to refurb at approx 337k. Thats purely for the main building excludes grounds work or refurb of rear building. If that needs to be retained you would possibly require an addition 50k-60k for basic job.

Look at what you can get for 575k + 400k in the market …

Haven’t undertaken such a project myself, but this rough estimate is based on anecdotal evidence I’ve garnished over the last couple of years from talking to architects, lenders, builders and a couple of unfortunate buyers with period money-pits on their hands. We’re not talking here about a simple refurb, but a derelict building.

In one case I’m familiar with, a small terraced period villa renovation in Blackrock that was not in nearly such bad condition to start with is looking like it will cost the owners over €400k in spite of initial estimates of €200k max. Because of the overrruns, they can’t do any of the ‘nice’ additions/finishes they had desired for their home: every aspect of their plans has been cut right back to bare essentials. In another case I came across, a large terraced house apparently in walk-in condition after being refurbished five years ago has proved to have had structural issues overlooked in favour of cosmetic renovation: the new owner is going from a cost of zero for refurbishment to around €100k to redo the job properly and redecorate afterwards.

People buying period houses requiring substantial refurbishment are all too often blind to the truth about the potential costs: the phrase used above - “the worst case must surely be…” - is no doubt familiar to many who have been through a worse nightmare than they could ever possibly have envisaged. This doesn’t mean nobody should take on such a project: you just need to have lots of extra cash, nerve and patience and a very pessimistic estimate of what the worst-case scenario might really be.