The bold and beautiful

BIG, bold and in a beautiful location, this house at Keel, Kilgobnet in Co Kerry is priced at around E1.2 million. And why?

A cursory glance would suggest that this is just another big, one-off house, the kind that gets right up the nose of conservationists and which is about to be blacklisted by every planning department countrywide.

Yes, it is another big house, but on a scale way beyond the usual ambitions of Síle and Seán Citizen we're talking almost 7,000 sq ft here.

And it's a hobby farm in two ways: two and half acres are given over to paddocks for cows, ducks and hens and the basement of the house, all 3,000 sq ft, is used for tinkering with machinery and has its own car lift.

The property was built four years ago in this beautiful part of the country by a Dutch citizen with business interests in his own country, but who lives here full-time with his family.

According to auctioneer Michael Coghlan, of Sherry FitzGerald Coghlan, the vendor now plans to move to another area of the country and this two-storey over basement house at Keel is on the market for offers in excess of E1.2m.

For that kind of money you get a house that has some very fine details, and again, while it comes with just four bedrooms, they're huge.

It's set on an elevated bluff on some good, dry and level land, says Mr Coghlan, and has a long, cobble-lock driveway.

The usual electronically controlled gates are installed but the cobbled area extends to 10,000 sq ft and leads to an underground garage with electronic doors. Here, there's parking for up to seven cars and access to the main house is via a spiral staircase.

Designed by a Dutch architect and with lots of fixtures and fittings which were specially imported, this house comes with copper flashing, drains and down pipes and double-glazed cedar windows that are also shuttered.

Inside, the flooring is also hardwood and at the rear, there's a wooden deck that runs the length of the house and is made of ship's timber, so it will never rot even in Ireland.

Yet for all that, this is not a pretentious house, it's geared for family living and its most luxurious attribute is space and lots of it.

For instance, the sitting room is 30' by 21', with a large stove, and this leads onto a huge conservatory fitted with tinted glass roof. This has double glazed panels and the best of views towards the Reeks. Next is the kitchen which has a double range cooker and an island, with utility and guest bathroom close by. One of the two en suite bedrooms is on the ground floor and on the upper level, there are three bedrooms and a bathroom.

Here, the master bedroom comes with a huge en suite that includes a central, raised bath and a closet space with mirrored doors; it also has a viewing balcony.

Oil fired heating with a huge capacity, underfloor heating, recessed lighting, a stone wall boundary, large patio and lots more are included. Buyers also have the option of taking some of the furniture.

According to Michael Coghlan, this is a perfect house for a family.

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