New home view: Modern two-storey three and four-beds encircling a country house
Drogheda takes the biscuit when it comes to jobs. The coastal town has seen huge growth in both indigenous industry and foreign direct investment in the last number of years, the latest being 100 new positions at East Coast Bakehouse - an initiative from the former team at Jacob Fruitfield for a biscuit factory.
Medical devices and e-learning companies, along with call centres and factory outlets have all contributed to expanding the economy - and size - of this original medieval walled town.
And they all need somewhere to live, which is why construction is booming and developments such as Auburn Avenue, Carlinn Hall and Deepforde have been successful.
But the new build at Maydenhayes in Mornington is set to surpass them in number with a total of 241 three and four-beds coming on stream over the next couple of years.
This weekend sees the launch of the first tranche - 43 homes will be ready for occupation before Christmas with a number of show houses ready for viewing.
From Mornington New Homes, the estate encircles the old Donacarney House and Demesne - a country house built in 1860 on extensive grounds. Maydenhayes forms a U-shape around them, which means, for many of the occupiers, no over-looking. It is laid out in a format of Square, Crescent, Glen, Mews etc., with green areas dotted about.
The developer is showing three and four-bedroom semi-detached and four-bedroom detached units, all of which are two-storey but come with the option to convert the attic to a fourth/fifth bedroom if desired.
Exteriors are red-brick with a contrast white render. There is an inset front door in a matte grey with side and top glass paneling. Shrubbery divides each unit with cobble lock driveways for two vehicles.
The three-bed measures 1,165 sq ft, priced from €235,000 (€263,500 with the loft conversion). It has an L-shaped kitchen/dining room with a seating area to the rear, with double doors to the back garden, a separate TV room up front, utility and guest WC. Upstairs the main bedroom is ensuite and there is another double and one single, along with the family bathroom.
The four-bed semi-detached and detached are the same size at 1,350 sq ft and will be €255,000 and €275,000 respectively. Another €30,000 will get you a fifth bedroom on the second floor.
Some of these houses are attached to the three-beds, others you'll find the two four-beds together.
The layout is similar, with a kitchen/dining/seating area downstairs, sitting room, utility and WC. Upstairs are three double bedrooms and one single. Again, one is ensuite, as would be the fifth if the attic is converted.
All will be A-rated and feature an air sourced heat pump for hot water.
For many, Drogheda is a commuting town, so life is made easier by plenty of transport links. The M1/M50 offers Dublin city centre in 45km while the Airport is 39km. There is a train link with regular city services and a range of bus routes.
Socially, golfers will find plenty of putting at Baltray and Bettystown while beachgoers will welcome Laytown and Clogherhead. Laytown also has the famous horse racing course on the beach and the new businesses have meant new restaurants, shops and pubs also.
Viewing is this Saturday and Sunday 2-4.30pm.
Maydenhayes, Mornington, Co Meath
Asking price: €235,000-€305,000
Agent: Enquires to: Knight Frank (01) 6342466 or Tormey Lee (01) 8357089
A little bit of country in north Co Dublin
Doorage Woods, Ballyboughal, Co Dublin
House-hunters keen to add a little Irish pop culture to their lives can emulate Boyzone singer Keith Duffy by seeking out this quarter of north county Dublin.
The pop star-cum-actor and his wife Lisa put their home on the grounds of nearby Roganstown House in Swords on the market for €1.3m earlier this summer with a view to moving to Dooroge Woods.
The 37-unit scheme of three-bed, four-bed and five-bed detached homes is being developed by Martin Hannon from Greyfield Developments, a friend of Duffy's who gave the singer his pick of a site at Dooroge.
Duffy didn't venture too far from his own stomping ground near the airport (handy for jetting off on world tours) for his latest property move; Dooroge Woods is just a few miles from Roganstown and close to the M1 and M50.
The development, which is currently being sold off the plans, is in the middle of Ballyboughal village and the 8.5-acre site commands views of north Dublin's fertile farmland. Each of the properties comes with its own private lawn and patio, which overlook landscaped communal green areas and a children's playground. There is an option to add electronic gates at the end of each driveway.
Dooroge Woods comprises five different types of homes, including 32 two-storey properties ranging in size from 1,884 sq ft to about 3,000 sq ft, and five bungalows with three bedrooms. The largest property, a five-bedroom residence, is selling for €550,000. Greyfield promises that each of the homes, which are being fitted with solar photovoltaic panels, will have an A energy rating and underfloor heating so that their owners can keep their running costs to a minimum.
Show units will be available for viewing from October.
Enquiries to: Sherry FitzGerald Blanc in Swords (01) 8900944.
Saddle up for family themed development
Steeplechase, Ratoath, Co Meath
If you fancy living beside the home of the Irish Grand National, the well-established Steeplechase development near Fairyhouse Racecourse is a safe bet.
Eleven years after the first properties at Steeplechase went on the market, developer McGarrell Reilly is adding 12 more to the scheme. McGarrell Reilly is the company behind some of Leinster's best-known developments, including Malahide Marina Village, Stepaside Park, and Lusk Village.
The company's latest effort is aimed squarely at the growing market for family homes. The two four-bed detached houses being developed at Steeplechase are being sold for €360,000 apiece, while prices for the 10 five-beds have been set at €405,000. Accommodation in the four-beds are laid out over 1,400 sq ft, with the size for larger homes stretching to 1,850 sq ft.
The homes count Nordic Pine windows and McNally kitchens with granite worktops as some of their most prominent interior design features. Outside, buyers can avail of mature back gardens, landscaped front gardens and cobble-lock driveways.
The development has cycle tracks and new soccer pitches on site, with a pitch and putt course directly across the road. Footpaths give children safe access to new GAA pitches and a clubhouse. In Ratoath itself, there are four national schools and one secondary school, as well as the National Aquatic Centre, cinemas, and an angling centre.
The commuter town had the fastest-expanding population in the country during the boom, so transport links have been ramped up. The new M3 motorway means Ratoath is just a 30-minute drive to Dublin city centre and a newly built train station to the capital is only a 10-minute drive from Steeplechase. Register for the September launch at steeplechase.ie.
Enquiries to: Sherry FitzGerald (New Homes) (01) 6671888 or John Fitzgerald Properties on (01) 8027000.