Every couple entering the marriage state believes they will live together companionably forever. It would be unromantic to make provision for what might happen should things go wrong, and that coyness explains why so many people end up living in bedsits on the North Circular Road.
No31 Park Lane in Sandymount, Dublin 4, presents a solution, because it's two houses in one. If you split up, one of you can take up residence next door without having to liquidate the main asset.
Needless to say, next door could also work as a granny flat - especially where the granny has come over from the old country with a brace of aunts. There are nominally three bedrooms there to accommodate them all with the minimum of rancour.
The main house, No31, was built in 1980 and the owners got planning in the mid-1990s for a two-storey extension, now known as No31A. They share a driveway but have largely separate gardens, with some wooden fencing almost dividing them. Both gardens are gravelled and southeast-facing.
The main house has a living room right of the entrance hall with an exposed brick wall and fireplace. The eat-in kitchen is at the back, also with an exposed brick wall, and there's a large skylight and a door to the garden from there. Upstairs are three bedrooms - two doubles with ensuites showers and one single.
Next door's front door opens into the kitchen/ dining room, with a painted wood floor and Belfast sink. Beyond that is a sunroom with patio doors and there's a study to the left. The stairs rises from the kitchen to two rooms used as bedrooms. In total, the property measures 2,056 sq ft.
It's for sale for €895,000 with Sherry FitzGerald Sandymount (01) 667 2244.