Sunday, 28 July 2013

Family Home

81 Turlewray Close is a large, ungainly but not ugly, Edwardian (?) house at the northern end of the Wray Crescent Open Space. 

It's also a misfit. The half-dozen other houses are 'family homes' in estate agent speak. Smart vies with smarter up to the house whose owner threatened to sue the cricket club if they damaged his Porsche SUV. 

81 stands alone and decades behind. Its woodwork is peeling, its curtains are sagging, its garden is a neglected haven for birds. The stripey awning over the main door has a faded seaside resort air and the 'CCTV' sign in the side window might as well say 'gentrification stopped here'.

It probably doesn't help that it's next to the Islington Arts and Media School.  IAMS is doing well now (good with outstanding features Ofsted, Kaya Scodelario's alma mater) but it has a tricky history and schools are noisy.

Still, this is the view from the front gate:

And this is the garden, as photographed by Davies & Davies: 

Yes, it's on sale and yes, they are asking £2m for it.  So why is it so run down? 

In 2004 it was a nine bedroom house on sale for £775,000.

Now it's bedsits, let for £8k a month. 5% return on your £2m, assuming no repairs and no voids. 

I'm curious to see what happens next;  whether it'll stay a relic of when round here was all bedsit-land, become flats or even go back to being one huge house. 

What would you rather? More homes or a better building and better homes for fewer people? The moral, I think, is that morals in housing are hard to pin down. 

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