St. Paddy's Day Special: 7 Emerald Isle Homes to Make Your Friends Green With Envy
Rather than spending St. Patrick's Day quaffing green beer and pinching everyone not wearing green, you can indulge your fondness for Ireland by gazing at gorgeous Irish homes for sale.
Surprise: It doesn't require a pot o' gold to buy a home on the Emerald Isle, especially when compared with America's more expensive markets. Imagine an updated, "Masterpiece Theater"–worthy manor house for a mere $4.4 million! Or a large historic home known simply as Crofton Park for under $500,000.
According to Global Property Guide, it isn't an arduous journey to buy a place in Ireland if you're tempted to cross the Atlantic: "There are no restrictions for foreigners purchasing real property in Ireland and the investment climate is favorable for foreign businesses."
"Tourism to Ireland from the U.S. has been relentlessly successful over the past several years—even the five-star hotels are booked far in advance," says Murray. "I had half the year booked in my Dublin condo by January." She spends about three months a year in Ireland, and stays with friends when her home is booked.
So whether you dream of getting away from it all and moving overseas, or prefer to imbibe Guinness from the source on St. Paddy's Day, here's an Irish stew of properties guaranteed to give you food for thought.
Location: Fedamore, Limerick
Wee details: This is extraordinary manor sits on 16 acres of parkland, woods, and gardens. The 1880s property is probably the closest proxy for a real-life Downton Abbey. You can feel posh with 25,000 square feet of living space.
Lady Mary would have been perfectly content warming herself in front of the numerous period fireplaces and having the maids dust the woodwork, but she would have been overjoyed with its modern conveniences, including air conditioning, heated floors, indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, sauna, and home theater.
Wee details: You'll pay a wee bit more for this grand estate because it's located in the Irish capital. Built in 1792 on 17 acres, the fully restored main house has three reception rooms, a kitchen with a vintage AGA stove, cinema room, wine cellar, and four bedrooms, three of them en suite. There's also a fully restored coach house for staff or guests, and a cottage fully equipped with a gym.
The lavish grounds include a walled orchard, paths surrounding gardens, mature beech trees, a soccer field, tennis court, lawns, a lake, and over 2 kilometers of paths.
Location: Donegal Town, Ulster
Wee details: On the north coast of Ireland in County Donegal, you'll find a charming five-bedroom "cottage" overlooking a lough (lake). Set at the foot of the Blue Stack Mountains, the home was built in 2003, but designed to look like it had been there for decades. The residence features modern amenities such as a sauna, skylights, an eat-in kitchen, and sun porch.
Location: Ballina, Mayo
Wee details: Located on the gorgeously green west coast of Ireland in County Mayo, the Crofton Park Lodge features quaint details such as the cast iron stove and pine flooring as well as a conservatory, study, and extensive gardens. And it has six en suite bedrooms. Described as being situated in "a peaceful rural location just 2 miles from the commercial centre of Ballina," its green rolling hills are prime for hiking. It's also a quick bike ride from pubs and St. Muredach's Cathedral.
Location: Dunquin, Kerry
Wee details: Talk about authenticity! This property consists of a 19th-century cottage built of native stone on the very western tip of the Dingle Peninsula. It comes with an attached flat that's been used as a bed-and-breakfast. There's also an art studio with a view of lush gardens, the ocean, and the Blasket Islands.
Location: Castletownshend, Cork
Wee details: We're not sure how this place got its name, but we do know this Irish version of a beach house on the country's southernmost coast seems like a great deal. It's a restored stone cottage with gorgeous landscaping, a flagstone terrace, and barbecue. It has two bedrooms, and there's a charming shed out back. The beach is just a short stroll away.
Location: Docklands, Dublin
Wee details: If you're not into the whole old-timey cottage vibe, there are modern apartments in the Irish capital. The units in this 11-story building start at $233,842. That price will score buyers one bedroom, one bathroom, a contemporary kitchen, balcony, and underground parking.