Check out the amazing staircase in this dreamy Cavan home - on the market for the price of a semi in Dublin
View a five-bed with a 1.4 acre spread for the price of a semi in Dublin
Weary veterans of the Dublin house-hunting scene will know that €550,000 doesn't get you a whole lot of family home in the capital these days, particularly in the south county area. Indeed, for this amount you'll get slightly above the average, if we reference a recent report by the auctioneers organisation IPAV.
The report puts the average south Dublin home at €511,000 and the north county average at €358,000, compared with the cheapest average in the country - €80,000 for a three-bed semi in Longford.
So, for those who yearn for a spacious home with plenty of room for living - as opposed to existing - complete with panoramic views, a rural location surrounded by green fields and full of bracing country air, Bruise in Lisduff near Virginia in County Cavan may give pause for thought.
With 3,400 sq ft of living space - more than double the average suburban semi-detached Irish house - Bruise (so named because it is located at the foot of what is known locally as Bruise Hill) overlooks, but is set back at a distance of 1km from, the N3. The commuting time to north Dublin could be as little as 40 minutes, given a fair wind and empty roads. In rush hour, the journey into the city centre will be significantly longer, but for those who don't need to be in the city every day, who have flexible working hours, or who are prepared to knuckle down and accept a commute as the price to be paid for considerably more room and a lifestyle change, it's a prospect worth considering.
The five-bedroom block-built house was constructed in 2005 and is in excellent condition, standing on a well-maintained and nicely planted site of over 1.4 acres. The house is approached via a tree-lined and timber rail-fenced driveway, lit by Victorian-style street lights, and surrounded by mature hedging of laurel and Red Robin.
Externally, Bruise features custom-made Carlson's Scandinavian-style timber-framed windows with specialised factory paint finish. The accommodation is laid out over two floors. Designed by an architect, the house has been planned to facilitate modern family living, so there is an easy flow from room to room, with different areas for adults and children to make their own, and plenty of built-in storage.
The ground floor living rooms are spacious and bright, with the family room opening out onto a sheltered decked area with views over the countryside. The open-plan kitchen/dining space has a vaulted ceiling and features bespoke, hand-painted fitted units with natural stone and butcher's block countertops. There's an AGA range to keep things cosy all year round, and the room looks out onto a courtyard which is cobble-locked in natural stone.
Also downstairs are handy boot and utility rooms, and a lavatory, along with a fifth bedroom that can alternatively be used as a home study. The floors are made of reconstituted natural wood and there is a feature oak staircase painted in white leading to the first floor, which has a hollow concrete floor.
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms. The master is en suite and has a walk-in wardrobe; there is also a family bathroom. Both bathrooms feature tumbled marble tiling. The attic has been converted and could be put to many different uses, or simply as a repository for the detritus of family life.
Bruise has its own private sewage and water facilities, oil-fired central heating and a BER of C1. There's an internal Beam vacuum system and high-speed fibre broadband, essential for anyone who works from home.
Families with young children, especially those accustomed to the Dublin morning traffic, will find the prospect of a walk rather than a car journey to the local primary school, Carrigabruise National School, a major draw.
While Maghera itself is a 'blink and you'll miss it' village, nearby Virginia has plenty going on. Virginia Forest and Lough Ramor have lots to offer in the way of country walks, fishing, and watersports, and there are local soccer, rugby and GAA clubs.
Richard Corrigan's Virginia Park Lodge is one of Ireland's most splendid wedding venues, and from the organic farm there Corrigan supplies twice-weekly van-loads of seasonal fruit and vegetables to his London restaurants, Corrigan's and Bentley's. Although Virginia Park Lodge is mainly used as a private wedding and event venue, there are regular events at which places can be booked in advance. Next weekend, for instance, there's a Sunday Beef & Oyster Club lunch celebrating the new season of Irish native oysters, and on October 1 there's a harvest lunch. And at St. Kyran's, overlooking Lough Ramor, chef Eddie Attwell's food draws locals and those from further afield.
The Virginia Agricultural Show in August is one of the highlights of the year, and the upcoming Pumpkin Festival in October is another, with a torchlight procession through the town and a Halloween concert.
The current owners of Bruise are staying in the area and plan to embark on a new building project nearby.
Lisduff, Maghera, Virginia, Co Cavan
Asking price: €550,000
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald Declan Woods, (049) 438 0038