Bective House, a magnificent if ramshackle 19th century mansion and estate in Co Meath, was placed on the market last spring with an asking price of €3.5m. Meanwhile, nearby Balsoon House sold last June for €1.7m, according to the Property Price Register.
If you didn't feel quite able to muster up this kind of money, there is nevertheless a chance to acquire an appealing period property in the same neighbourhood.
About 500 metres north-west of Bective House, as the birds fly from its wooded grounds, lies Balgill Cottage, a prettily restored stone-fronted bungalow in the adjacent townland of Balgill, on the other side of the Boyne.
It's on 0.8 of an acre of very pleasant gardens with a lawn, flowerbeds, and mature ornamental trees, including cherry blossom that now coming into their own. There's a patio out the front, as the house is side-on to the road, facing south, and a greenhouse for getting your tomatoes going.
Within the cottage, everything is comfortable, bright and well cared-for, and there are period features including vaulted ceilings with visible beams, exposed stone walls, fireplaces and a country-style kitchen.
The sitting room is the first of two reception rooms, and has a bay window with a window seat, a solid-fuel stove in the fireplace and double doors to the patio. The second is a family room with an exposed brick chimney piece, also with a solid-fuel stove.
The kitchen is fitted with wooden cabinets and a Belfast sink, and to complete the rustic look there's a flagstone floor and an Aga.
There are four bedrooms (one en-suite), and the main bathroom has a Jacuzzi bath.
It's about six kilometres from Navan, and less than an hour's drive from Dublin via the M3.
Balgill Cottage is for sale for €350,000 with Townshends Auctioneers (01) 507 9430.