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Property - Restoration Nation!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

There are always those who will continue to live in the past. Today we're talking how to take you there with your property!

Liz O'Kane - Property Expert
Liz is best known to viewers since 2004 as the enthusiastic, energetic expert and presenter on RTE's, House Hunters and House Hunters in the Sun series, where she lends her advice and expertise to property hunting participants.
This is Liz's second season as the property pundit for The Afternoon Show, where her main challenge is to find property gem's and bargains around Ireland as well as commenting on the current market.

Liz has also written a weekly property column for The Evening Herald as well as submitting regularly to other publications including the House Hunters in the Sun magazine.  She is also a regular commentator on radio and press and is known for her 'matter of fact' attitude and uncomplicated manner of explaining things.

Liz runs her home finding business is married to Rory an architect and has two children, Rossa aged 8 and Ellie aged 5 and a half.


Not everyone aspires to contemporary or modern architecture. There will always be people who have a great respect and love for the past and believe in conserving as well restoring our older properties to their 'former glory'

And 'former glory' is exactly what we're going to talk about this week as Liz stumbled across a website by exactly this name which is run by a guy called Chris Deakin.  It's a novel idea because if you're looking for an older unique property there is now one portal that not only carries period buildings that have already been restored, but also buildings that are in need of total renovation for those purists out there who really want to get stuck into a renovation project.

Properties on the site include: Castles, churches, barns, mills, railway stations, derelict farmhouses as well Georgian and Victorian houses and any building with character.

There is also advice and information and details of suppliers and craftsmen who can help you get a new lease of life to an old and crumbling building that has seen better days

Liz has chosen 4 examples this week from the 'former glory' site - two properties that have been completely renovated and two in need of complete restoration.  All four are beautiful to mind.

Drumkeary, Kylebrack, Loughrea, Co. Galway - €285k

This used to be an old post office built in the mid 19th century and has been fully restored by its owner.  It's now a little taste of heaven!
Detached 2 bedroom cottage in a quiet countryside location with outbuildings and sitting on 0.5 acre
Deck, mature gardens and a stream forms the boundary line of the house
One of the outbuildings is two story and could be an excellent work from home space or cottage industry or could be converted to guest accommodation
All mod cons including under floor heating downstairs 061 921498

The Lighthouse, Clare Island,   Co. Mayo - €2.1m

This is probably one of the most unusual homes we've shown on the programme and it is exceptionally unique!

A fully restored light house perched on a cliff with astounding views over the Atlantic Ocean, Achill Island and Clare islands.
The lighthouse is 3.5 miles from the mainland and Clare island has a thriving community of 160 residents!

There's two ferry operators who schedule 3 crossings a day and four in the summer months and crossings take 25 minutes.
The property has been renovated to a very high standard and literally the new owner would walk in and hang up their hat and lavish in the astounding scenery!

There are 6 bedrooms, as well as 3/4 other reception rooms and the house extends to 3,600 square feet. The price tag reflects the size, uniqueness and extraordinary location of this very beautiful home.

The Lighthouse on Clare Island dates back to 1806, when the original tower was built by the Marquis of Sligo. In 1818 there was built an additional larger lighthouse tower with further keepers' dwellings. The Clare Island Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1965, after 159 years of unbroken service. Since then it has been in residential use. Over the last number of years the main keeper's residence has been extended and renovated to the highest standards using the best of materials.

Emlagh House, Ballydavid, Co Kerry - €300k

This is Liz's favourite! A 200 year old farm house with the most beautiful sea views ever!

The house sits on approximately 0.5 of an acre.

There are spectacular sea views to the Three Sisters, Sibeal Head and Smerwick Harbour.

Dingle is 7 miles away and Ballydavid is only 0.5 mile and only a short walk to the beach.

Be under no illusions this house is in need of complete renovation but the views speak for themselves.

Fitzgerald & Associates - Dingle - 066 9152684

Old School House, Castleisland, Co Kerry - €170k

This property would suit a small builder or DIY enthusiast - someone with a passion for renovation

It is quite substantial in size at 2,200 square feet

It could easily be converted into a family home, restaurant or guest house subject to planning permission

There was original planning on this property for 2 x 3 bedroomed homes but that planning has lapsed but what's important is that there is already precedent there

Most original features are intact including the gothic stone cut windows

Castleisland is the gateway to Kerry and is a thriving market town with a population of 2,500 people.

It's 10 miles from Tralee, 15 miles from Killarney, and only 4 miles from Faranfore, Kerry airport

Key Properties, Bantry 027 50111