The lighter side of real estate

Buy Steward’s Lodge For €1,101,240

Ever wanted to live like the Irish Taoiseach? Well, start saving, because Steward’s Lodge will set you back a cool €1,101,240.

Natalie Grigson

Staff Writer

155 articles, 0 comments

Prime Minister of Ireland

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At Movoto Real Estate, we know our strengths, and we tend to stick with them. For example, we can evaluate the heck out of your favorite homes from “Adventure Time”; we are rock stars at finding the best places to live throughout the country—be it for nerds, movie lovers, or just the best places within a state; and if you’re looking to build your home out of something a bit unconventional, well, you’ve come to the right place.

What I’m getting at here is, Movoto covers all the Big Stuff; you know the important things in life, and we generally try to leave the politics out of it. Not that those aren’t important or anything, but have you seen what happens when you mix politics with entertainment?

Politics aside, I have been writing a lot lately about certain aspects of politicians; namely, their homes. I’ve evaluated the Canadian Prime Minister’s home, Kirribilli House in Australia, and today, I’m going to hop across the pond to the Irish Taoiseach’s (prime minister’s) official residence, Steward’s Lodge.

So, how much was Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s current residence worth? €1,101,240, or $1,499,338. Keep on reading to find out how I got there.

How I Did It

Just like our other Novelty Real Estate listings, in order to come up with a price for Steward’s Lodge, I needed a few key points for our platform:

  • Its location
  • Its size
  • Comparable properties

Finding the location was easier than pronouncing “Taoiseach,” but when it came to figuring out its size and finding similar properties, well, that was the real red tape. More on that in a moment, but let’s start with the Lodge’s location.

Searching For Steward’s Lodge

Dublin Skyline

Source: Wikipedia user Aapo Haapanen

Finding Steward’s Lodge is really not all that difficult a thing to do. You’ll simply go to Phoenix Park, just a few kilometers west of Dublin’s city center, north of the River Liffey, and, well, there you are.

The Lodge was once a part of the sprawling grounds of Farmleigh House, a gorgeous 18th century estate now used as the official Irish State Guest House. In 2006, though, Steward’s Lodge was essentially emancipated from Farmleigh, given a €600,000 makeover, and re-opened independently of the property as the official residence of the Irish Taoiseach.

Now we know where Steward’s Lodge is; now comes the tricky part: finding the place’s size.

Why The Size Of A Cup Of Tea Matters

Finding the size for most of our fictional evaluations is usually something of a challenge. We’ll study a photo or video of the place, find some common unit of measurement (a person, for example), and lots and lots of math later, we can determine the property’s square feet. No matter what, though, we generally have something to start us off.

Here’s the thing about Steward’s Lodge: It was harder for me to find good photos of it online than it was to come up with a headline for this section (Taoisizing—come on!). It seems as though when they renovated and deemed this building the official residence of the Taoiseach, they not only cut off its original gravel entryway from Farmleigh House; they also cut off its accessibility to the public (meaning no photos).

What I was left to work with, then, were several shots of the house from various rather distant vantage points, most of which include a red brick wall blocking some of the view. Like I said, this was the red tape.

In the end, though, I relied mostly on this picture and this one. To determine the width of the house, I wanted to be very precise. So, I did a couple of (rather weird) things. First, I noticed the paper coffee cup lying on the ground in the photo. As I was writing, I happened to have a standard-sized 20 oz. tea next to me—remarkably similar to the one in the photo. So, I decided to measure it; it was approximately six inches tall.

With this six-inch unit of measurement, I used the cup in the photo to measure the width of the building’s wide upstairs window, from frame to frame. Nine cups. Then, I used the window’s width (54 inches, or 4.5 feet), to measure the width of the entire building—and ended up with 10 windows, or 45 feet. Getting the depth of the house was a little simpler, as this photo shows it to be approximately half as deep as it is wide: about 23 feet. Easy.

To find the home’s square footage, I simply took this figure (45 by 23) and multiplied it by two, for the two floors of the house: 2,070 square feet total (192 square meters). This is pretty standard for a four-bedroom home such as Steward’s Lodge.

This may have been a roundabout way of getting the place’s size, but, like I said, I wanted to be precise. Plus, I had the cup and all. Now, onto comparable properties.

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Comparing The Incomparable


Source: Wikipedia user Sun Ladder

In order to find the value of Steward’s Lodge, I needed to find some comparable homes in the area to get an average price per square foot. All and all, the Lodge is actually a pretty standard four-bedroom house—well, minus the historical value; the views of Farmleigh house’s boathouse, lake, walled garden, and glasshouses; and the recent €600,000 renovation. Apart from that, though, Steward’s Lodge is similar to your run-of-the-mill luxury home in Dublin.

With this in mind, I set out to find houses in the Dublin area that were luxurious, inside and out. I found a lot, but only eight that really fit the bill. When all was said and done, the average price per square foot was €532, or $724, per square foot.

The Price Of Comfort

At €532 per square foot and a size of 2,070 square feet, Steward’s Lodge would be worth approximately €1,101,240, or $1,499,338 on today’s market. Of course, this number doesn’t include the Lodge’s historical value (priceless) or the security required to protect the Taoiseach (not-so-priceless), but, hey, even at over a million Euros, this is still a steal—especially compared to some Prime Ministers’ homes.

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posted on: February 13, 2014
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