Gardener's delight in Rathcoole
Co Dublin home comes with 1.75ac of land
For growing families struggling with the maths of trading up to a decent-sized family house in Dublin, a move to the periphery of the county is an option worth considering. For the price of a good, but not exceptional, four-bed semi in one of the suburbs of South County Dublin, you could have this detached home with 3,100 sq ft of living space and panoramic views of the Dublin Mountains.
Not only that, but Loch Bui, located three miles from Rathcoole in the west of the county, comes with 1.75 acres of garden, something that would send the price tag into the millions in Foxrock.
That amount of land is a tantalising prospect, particularly this weekend as the Bloom Festival hits its stride and turns us all into aspirational horticulturalists. Anyone with a hankering for a touch of the good life, a yen to get down and dirty with planting and growing, will be tempted by the possibilities. There's room at Loch Bui for raised beds, herb gardens, fruit trees, a poly tunnel or two, and the dreamy prospect of a simple life of self-sufficiency, with winter evenings spent perusing seed catalogues and a pantry smugly filled with homemade jams and chutneys and all manner of pickled and fermented homegrown organic vegetables.
Not to mention chickens - there's plenty of space to keep chickens at Loch Bui too, guaranteeing fresh eggs for breakfast every day. And bees - new owners could install a couple of hives, produce their own honey and make life sweeter still.
Loch Bui is accessed via a substantial entrance with electric gates and approached by a tree-lined avenue. The lawns are beautifully maintained and the flower beds, shrubs and mature trees are designed to provide a display of year-round colour as well as privacy and shelter. Outdoor lighting and south-facing patio areas make spur of the moment, opportunistic barbecues a doddle. And there's enough room for five-a-side football and the trampolines and swings that every family wants, but are such a squeeze in the regular suburban postage-stamp garden.
Built in 1996, the house has well laid out living accommodation on two floors. On the ground level, there is a lounge, dining room, family room, playroom, study (or fifth bedroom if required), and utility room, as well as a comfortable kitchen/breakfast room and guest lavatory.
The kitchen is a large, bright room with fitted kitchen units and a double sink, integrated dishwasher, electric oven, gas hob, extractor fan and a Stanley range cooker that heats the radiators.
An archway leads to the family room, from where there are magnificent views of the city and the mountains. Clearly the focus of family life, it's a room in which you could spend a lot of time. It has a wood-burning stove to keep things cosy in the winter months and French doors to the garden, which could stay open all summer.
Of the four bedrooms upstairs, two are ensuite and there is also a family bathroom with Jack and Jill sinks. The master bedroom has two walk-in wardrobes.
The house is in excellent condition and the finishes throughout are of a high standard, with wood floors, fireplaces, ceiling coving and some other nice decorative touches.
Outside, a double garage with electronic doors is connected to the house and there's also a block-built shed.
Loch Bui is a handy three miles from the red line Luas at Saggart and just a few minutes from the M7 and M50. Golfers have a choice of several courses in the area - Beech Park, Palmerstown, Slade Valley, Citywest and Newlands golf clubs are all nearby, as are schools, shops, restaurants and public transport facilities.
Avoca's flagship store at Rathcoole is worryingly handy. West Dublin's favourite meeting spot, if you can nab a parking space, is so well stocked that the new owners of Loch Bui need never go anywhere else to do their shopping, filling their baskets with cold-pressed juices, wine, sushi and artisan cheese and meat, or to meet up with friends. The Egg cafe has table service and a rooftop terrace that comes into its own in the summer months, but there is also a self-service restaurant, The Birdcage, where you can find all of Avoca's signature salads, hearty soups, stews and bakes - it too has a terrace.
Retail therapy is also on hand at Kildare Village, a quick hop down the M7. Amongst the retailers with a presence there is Ireland's favourite luxury designer, Louise Kennedy, alongside international brands such as Cath Kidston, Le Creuset, Ralph Lauren, Jack Wills and All Saints.
Newtown Upper, Rathcoole, Co Dublin
Asking price: €685,000
Agent: DNG Doyle (045) 874795