Revamped home to be sold as couple's bitter dispute settled
FORMER couple Jim Sexton and Hilary Byrne wanted a total makeover of the love nest they were to share for almost a decade, a judge heard today.
The "top spec" work included marble and solid walnut flooring, en-suites, new kitchen, a gym in the attic and a doubling in floor space of the two-bedroom semi they moved into in 2001.
Barrister Mary-Jo Butler said that by the time their relationship broke up in 2010 the value of the redeveloped semi from a two to a four-bedroomed luxury home in 15 Highland Lawn, The Park, Cabinteely, Co Dublin, had, despite the financial downturn, been put at €650,000.
They were asking the court to determine the beneficial interest of each after a complex series of loans on the property and yesterday came to a settlement.
Ms Butler said that when the couple decided to move in together the semi-detached property was in the sole name of Ms Byrne. They took out a new €300,000 mortgage to pay off the €178,000 outstanding on Ms Byrne's mortgage with money to refurbish and extend the house.
They had decided that while the new mortgage would be in both their names the property would remain in Ms Byrne's sole name. In August 2005 they had taken out a second mortgage top-up of €50,000.
"They more than doubled the size of the property by extending on to an adjoining site and at the time the house was valued at €700,000," Ms Butler told the Court.
She said the parties agreed the current valuation was €650,000 which, with the existing mortgage of €300,000 left a net value of €350,000. They were asking the court to determine the beneficial interest of each.
Margaret Farrelly, counsel for Ms Byrne, said that because of a complicated system of contributions towards the mortgage and the redevelopment works the couple had been unable to agree a share-out of the value.
Following talks between the parties Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told the matter had settled. She made a consent order directing that the property be put on the market before June 15 next with a division of eventual proceeds allowing Mr Sexton a payment of €75,000.