Associate director Chris Cooper knows how to keep calm and carry on
PUBLISHED: 10:04 10 May 2016
Chris Cooper of Benham and Reeves has been an estate for 29 years, and he really has seen it all when it comes to viewings
What’s special about your agency?
Benham and Reeves has been in Hampstead for almost 60 years and the best thing about the company is the quality and experience of our staff. We have a combined 203 years’ experience in the Hampstead office alone!
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in a house in Pinner with my wife and our dog, Millie.
Why did you buy your current property? What’s your favourite thing about it?
I loved its location, it is like a little oasis in a Conservation area but still only a few minutes from the station and shops. It has a beautiful garden which my wife looks after and my dog tries to destroy!
If you weren’t an estate agent what would you be?
I would love to be a professional golfer, unfortunately I lack the time, patience and any form of natural ability!
When did you buy your first property and what was it like?
I bought a two bedroom, two bathroom garden flat in Northwood about 20 years ago. It had three toilets so it was a great party flat.
What’s your dream house?
I would love a detached Victorian or Georgian house standing in its own grounds with a lake in the countryside.
How long have you been an estate agent? What’s the most shocking/surprising thing you’ve seen on the job?
I have been an estate agent for 29 years. I was valuing a property in Hampstead many years ago, we were let in by the nanny and told to look around as nobody was home. When we got downstairs a lady came out of the bathroom completely naked. She very calmly looked at us and said “well, now you have seen everything. Carry on…”
How has the local property market changed since you started out?
The main difference is the prices. I remember when one bedroom flats in Hampstead Village hit £250,000 and we were saying that it was crazy and not sustainable. The same flat now is worth over £600,000!
What are your top tips for the local area?
We take the Heath for granted, it is wonderful to sit overlooking the tranquil lake knowing that you can be in the West End in 20 minutes. Hampstead Community Market in the High Street is a hidden gem with a florist, greengrocer, fishmonger, cheese stall, organic butcher, and Billy’s sandwich bar for the best value lunches in Hampstead.
Are you good at Monopoly?
Of course, I am a bad loser!