Get an inn like Quinn
You'll count Niall Quinn among your neighbours should you join the high flyers at Kildare's Straffan Manor
In 2016, Niall Quinn, the former Irish soccer international, and his wife Gillian sold Longstone Rath, a six-bed home set on a 33-acre estate outside Naas, with the intention of downsizing as their children began to fly the nest.
The sale enabled Quinn and his ex-model wife to purchase a detached home at Straffan Manor, an exclusive scheme that's home to chief executives and entrepreneurs and is located some 2km from the eponymous Co Kildare village. The former Arsenal and Manchester City footballer and Sky Sports pundit wasn't long making himself feel at home: he's been spotted playing for Straffan AFC in over-35 matches.
And should Quinn wish to continue practising his golf swing, the championship course at the five-star K Club resort is a five-minute drive away. The course is where top European and US golfers vied for the coveted Ryder Cup in 2006 and where Rory McIlroy won his first Irish Open. The complex's upmarket high-end properties also count celebrities such as blogger Pippa O'Connor amongst its residents, while brash MMA fighter Conor McGregor also had a home on its grounds - much to the consternation of some neighbours.
Quinn's home was one of only four very large detached abodes built at Straffan Manor, a scheme of 21 four, five and six-bed houses off the village's New Road that was developed by Mulberry Properties, which also built the popular Straffan Gate estate. Now well-heeled soccer fans can join Quinn's league because another one of those four big properties, No. 17 Straffan Manor, has just come on the market, at €895,000.
The vendors, who are selling up so they can move elsewhere for career purposes, have included carpets, light fittings and the integrated kitchen appliances in the sale price. They bought No. 17 in 2015, when the house was completed to a builder's finish so that the new residents could choose their own layout and finishes.
Barry Flood, the selling agent for No. 17, says: "The vendors put in a bespoke kitchen, converted the detached garage to a gym, added more ensuites to the bedrooms, and put in floor-to-ceiling patio doors to the kitchen-diner so that the patio became an extension of the living area. And instead of a hot press, they chose a walk-in storage room that's nearly the size of a box bedroom."
The result was a five-bed, six-bath detached house that spans 3,935 sq ft - more than three times the size of the average three-bed semi in Dublin. It sits behind a set of electric gates at the end of a cul-de-sac within the Straffan Manor development and is close to a communal green area.
The façade of No. 17 is finished in a mix of cream render and brick, with full brick to the gable-fronted section of the exterior. There are two feature bay windows to the left of a red front door - itself flanked by side-glazing - with another bay window to the right. A slate canopy hangs over the front door and windows.
To the front of the house is a pebbled driveway with enough space to accommodate as many as five cars. The driveway sweeps across to the left-hand side of the house, where the brick-fronted detached garage - currently used as a gym - is located. This building, which is fitted out with carpet flooring, inset lights and a set of double doors leading out to the garden patio, could also be used as a home office or games room.
The back garden is south-facing, an aspect that enjoys the least shade, and comes with granite paths and a landscaped pebbled area planted with a mixture of manicured shrubs.
Inside, there are extra-high ceilings both to the ground floor and first floor. Ceramic tiles have been lain to the grand entrance hallway and guest lavatory. Off the hall are three reception rooms; the main sitting room to the left has double bay windows, and there is also a living room with one bay window and a dining room with sliding doors to the rear garden.
Because the dining space in the kitchen/diner to the back of the house is so big, the vendors use the separate dining room as a playroom. Indeed, the dual-aspect kitchen/ dining room is large enough to impress any cook. Skylights add extra light to the space, which has ceramic flooring throughout, a central island, marble countertops, floor and wall-mounted kitchen units, and integrated appliances such as a waist-high Neff oven. The separate utility room has a veneer worktop, tiled floors, floor-to-ceiling units, and a door to the side passageway.
Off the first-floor landing, which is flooded with natural light by two Velux windows, are five double bedrooms with carpet flooring and a family bathroom. All but one of the bedrooms has an ensuite with a double shower and heated towel rails. There are built-in wardrobes in each bedroom, apart from the master ensuite, which is fitted with walk-in wardrobes.
The family bathroom on this level has light-grey floor and wall tiling, heated towel rails, and sanitary ware from Villeroy & Boch. The walk-in storage room is fitted with a Velux rooflight and has access to the attic.
The A2-rated home is equipped with a heat pump for the central heating system, gas for cooking, solar panels on the roof, and triple-glazed windows. The heat pump, along with the underfloor heating system, internet connection point and solar panel centre, is housed in an engine room located on the ground floor.
Prospective buyers with a young family won't have far to go for the school run - Scoil Bhríde National School is a four-minute walk away. Straffan itself has equidistant access to the M4 and M7 motorways, which are within 12km. Dublin City Centre is 28km away, while the airport is 37km.
17 Straffan Manor
Straffan, Co Kildare
Asking price: €895,000
Agent: Coonan Property (01) 6286128