Bird's Nest in Dublin 14
Hawthorn's show house in D14 will be sold as seen. You'll just need to hang up your clothes
This weekend, a cash buyer or lottery winner could make an appointment to view the show house at The Hawthorn, a new development next door to the behemoth of revivalist architecture that is the Church of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of the Miraculous Medal on Bird Avenue in Clonskeagh, decide that they like it and - in the kind of parlance that estate agents love to use - "be in for Christmas".
Those with mortgage finance - even with every 't' crossed and 'i' dotted - are likely to have to camp out with the in-laws for another year, given how long it seems to take to close off financing with the lenders these days. (But lovebirds could possibly be in their new home for February 14.)
When the Hawthorn development - a mixture of 52 apartments, duplexes and three- and four-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes priced at between €400,000 and €770,000 - was launched earlier this year, it sold out almost immediately, with most purchasers reported to be first-time buyers. The first 10 residents of the new estate have already moved in, with another 10 expected to be ensconced in time to deck the halls and hang up their stockings.
So, the prospects for a Hawthorn residents' festive knees-up are looking good - it's just a question of whose house it's going to be in, and who's responsible for buying the cocktail sausages and deciding whether Hawthorn is going to be a Sauvignon Blanc or Albarino type of estate.
The remaining units in the development are still under construction, with completion expected in March next year. By the time the summer rolls around, the estate should be fully occupied.
Now the four-bedroom detached show house with 1750 sq ft of living space arranged over three floors - the last unsold house in Hawthorn - is on the market, priced at €835,000.
The houses in Hawthorn have a traditional design, with the red brick on the front elevations resonating with the façade of their imposing ecclesiastical neighbour, the design for which was selected by John Charles McQuaid, the Archbishop of Dublin at the time. The developer is Brian M Durkan & Company, and the houses are designed by John Fleming Architects.
Downstairs, the house has the easy flow of space preferred by young families, with the bedrooms arranged over the two upper floors.
Two of the four are ensuite, and there is also a family bathroom - handy for when there's a house full of teenagers and boomerang young adults who never really seem to leave.
The show house is being sold 'as seen' with all its contents. Everything from flooring to curtain poles to the furniture, light fittings and appliances is included, which means that all the new owners have to do is unpack their clothes and settle in. Think about what they'll be missing - no trips to Ikea, no squabbling over the instructions for flat-pack furniture, no endless arguing over which model of dishwasher to select - because all those decisions have been made for them.
For its marriage-saving potential, there are plenty of people who will agree that it's definitely worth the premium price.
The homes are laid out around a central green area, designed by Ronan Mc Diarmada Landscape Architects. Among the features incorporated into the open space are a timber pergola, pebble river, several seating areas and numerous paved stone footpaths. Also included is a natural playground trail with numerous play items for children in an area floored with a safety surface, to calm parental nerves. The open space at Hawthorn is intended as a contemporary reimagining of the beloved 'greens' of old and is ideal as a place for children to play and for other family activities.
Clonskeagh is right in the heartland of South County Dublin, located close to the Luas - a 10-minute walk away - a wide range of schools and UCD. Shopping at Dundrum Town Centre is one of local residents' favourite leisure pursuits.
As well as the delights of Harvey Nics and House of Fraser, and an outpost of Brown Thomas, Dundrum is also home to some more mundane shops catering to the everyday practical requirements of local residents, which means that it's possible to pick up groceries as well as designer handbags.
Dundrum Town Centre is also home to a multi-screen cinema and a range of eating options to suit just about every palate.
Jamie's Italian - a partnership with the Fitzpatrick family - is one of the most popular, but there is also Beeftro catering to unreconstructed carnivores and The Porthouse, which serves some of the most authentic tapas that you'll find in Ireland. Five Guys serves a mean burger, as does The Counter.
The Show House
Hawthorn, Bird Avenue
Clonskeagh, Dublin 14
Asking price: €835,000
Agent: Hooke and MacDonald (01) 6318402