Number 348

Last week Strettons sold a 990 year lease of 348 Hornsey Road for £61,000, £1000 above the top end of the guide price.

The shop's lain empty a long time and almost anything that opens will be an improvement, so I'm grateful to whoever bought it and look forward to becoming a customer.

In the meantime, I've been struck by how the auctioneer's advert has none of the softness of residential estate agent patter, none of that buy a lifestyle feel.

This isn't 'a rare opportunity to purchase an exceptional property in a sort after area', or 'a superb family home'. 

It's 'an inter terraced ground floor lock-up commercial unit forming part of local shopping parade on the east side of the A103 Hornsey Road about 50m south of its junction with Tollington Park'.

The rest of the advert tells you about the square footage and has a dry warning that the auctioneers have been 'unable to inspect the property internally' or check that no-one's squatting there.

This is sensible stuff, it says, for down-to earth business people. It's a practical buy. None of that silly frippery here. 

Except, of course, that buying a shop is a brave thing to do, far braver than buying a house. You have to live somewhere, the only choices are where and whether to rent or buy. You don't have to open a shop on a scruffy street and in a flat-lining economy.

That's the romance hidden in high streets:  each newsagent and cafe, each haberdashery and upholsterer  holds the story of someone's hopes. 

Where: 348 Hornsey Road
When: Not yet. 
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