Ireland is about the best place I can think of for genuine hospitality. Folks speak English—which is a big plus—and hopping around Europe from your Emerald Isle retreat is a synch thanks to low-cost airlines. (For example, flights of a couple of hours to France cost from $80.)
I’m sure you know the country’s real estate market took a beating during the crisis. It’s picking up, but there are still great-value properties to be uncovered.
That’s why I took some time to look for property in a part of Ireland that’s long inspired travelers. A quiet, peaceful, non-fussy life is exactly what you’ll find in the Blackwater Valley in Ireland’s southeast.
The second longest river in Ireland, the Blackwater is often known as ”Ireland’s Rhine” for the number and scale of the castles on its wooded banks. It’s also renowned for salmon and trout fishing. Anglers from all over Europe visit annually to hunt out the ”king of fish.”
Live here and you’ll enjoy morning walks through the countryside, spectacular views of the Knockmealdown Mountains and dine on fresh-caught salmon for lunch or spend an evening sipping a Guinness in a lively traditional pub in one of the small market towns.
On a quiet country lane close to the river I found one turn-key cottage with an asking price of $135,000. It has original high ceilings, two-bedrooms, and a large shed at the rear. The rear garden is big and offers great scope if you’re green-fingered. It comes fully furnished, too.
You’re just minutes from the small village of Villierstown. Just 50 minutes away is Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford, and you’re an hour from the international airport in Cork.
Nearby, the pretty market town of Cappoquin sits on a bend of the Blackwater and has restaurants and pubs. And…you’re just a 20-minute drive or so from the harbor town of Dungarvan and the sandy beaches and secret coves of the County Waterford coast.
Enticing country retreats for sale are round every corner of lush countryside.
Upriver, around the town of Lismore, you’ll find traditional thatched cottages for sale. Extensively restored and in a private setting with beautiful gardens you can own one for $150,000…or less… Remember to bargain on the asking prices here. You won’t find buyers queuing up for these country retreats—not yet anyway.
With unrivalled views of the valley and the meeting of the river Blackwater and its tributary, the River Bride, I came across one 900-square-foot cottage that could be the perfect setting for a quiet and relaxed lifestyle. It has a solid-fuel stove and a large traditional fireplace inside. Price: $151,650.
You’ll also find properties for around $100,000, east of Dungarvan town, in Lemybrien. This village sits alongside the main road from Waterford to Cork, and lies at the foothills of the scenic Monavullagh Mountains. With local shops, a bar, and post office, it offers Irish country living in a beautiful setting.
If you’re looking to spend closer to $200,000 for a bigger property, and with history, then you’ll find plenty on offer. Like a four-bedroom property in Mount Melleray, a short drive to Cappoquin town. Built in 1842, this old forge retains its character, with bright white outer walls and bright red trim.
If a unique, relaxing, traditional home is your dream, then Ireland can offer you the life you’ve always wanted—English speaking, spectacular scenery, a non-stop flight over the Atlantic, and Europe at your fingertips.
And now is the time to go…
Ireland is one of the world’s friendliest countries, a place you can peel back layers of history, enjoy country living reminiscent of small-town U.S. as it was in a bygone age… And as you can see, it’s still affordable to buy in the Emerald Isle.
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