Rathmichael is where you go if you want a good-sized house with a big garden in south County Dublin without breaking the bank. It's an area that tends to suit families with young children, because they have to be driven everywhere anyway, and parents reckon that if they're going to be spending their lives in the car, they may as well be able to park on their own gravel, behind their own electric gates.
There are plenty of old houses in Rathmichael, of course, but over the past couple of decades there has been an amount of development, most of which has been of larger, detached houses on generous plots.
The property at 14 Ballybride is one such home, and it will tick a lot of boxes for a young family, for whom the luxurious half-acre site of totally enclosed garden - mainly in lawn - will be pure heaven. Such a garden offers the prospect of packing the little darlings outside at first light and not having to think about them again until dusk. At the end of a summer in which many parents will have been put to the pin of their collars struggling to entertain their children in houses that are too small and come with gardens the size of postage stamps, a house such as this starts to look very attractive indeed.
The current owners have a tree house on stilts with a slide down to the grass, and swings, but there's room for trampolines and goalposts and rounders and cricket and just about any other form of wholesome outdoor activity you can think of. You could install a whole playground for your children and still have room to grow vegetables, keep chickens and cultivate dahlias, or whatever else might tickle your fancy. Or you could just relax in the barbecue area and keep one eye on the children and the other on your glass of chilled white.
Add to the large garden the fact that the house comes with a separate self-contained apartment - suitable for either a nanny or doting grandparents - and 14 Ballybride will make a lot of sense for a hard-pressed family, offering as it does the tantalising prospect of a better quality of family life than you could have in a more densely populated suburb.
No 14 is a total of 4,239 sq ft, making it around four times the size of the average family semi-detached, and the rooms are well-proportioned, offering a good balance between formal reception rooms suited to entertaining, and cosier spaces for everyday family life.
The main entrance hall is double height, with a tiled and oak floor, from which the staircase leads to the first floor. Immediately to the right of the hall is the study, which overlooks the front of the house, and behind it is the double-aspect drawing room, which opens onto the conservatory, which in turn spans the back of the house.
The formal dining room also leads directly from the conservatory, and other rooms on this level include the family room and the large, rectangular, double height kitchen/breakfast room, which is located in a wing to the left as you face the house.
A separate utility room can be found off the kitchen, and there's a lobby from which stairs lead to a loft space spread over two levels that could be used as guest accommodation, and is now configured as a one-bedroom apartment.
Upstairs, on the first floor in the main part of the house, is the master bedroom suite, which has not just one but two dressing rooms, so it's clearly a house designed to appeal to the clothes-conscious.
The en suite bathroom has a Jacuzzi bath, and there are two further double bedrooms, both en suite, at this level. Up on the second floor, meanwhile, there are another two double-bedrooms, one of which is en suite, and a separate shower room, plus a spacious storeroom.
The nearest village is Shankill, where there are a couple of national schools. St Gerard's, which is mixed, is the closest secondary school. If the garden of no 14 isn't quite big enough for a pony, then at least there are several riding stables nearby - great for those keen on their equestrian pursuits. The nearest DART is at Shankill, which is a drive, and it is about the same distance from the nearest LUAS stop.
Access to both the M11 and M50 is handy, which makes the trip out to the airport a painless one for anyone commuting to the UK or further afield.