Hampstead estate agent on escaping busy London for leafy suburbia

Jeremy Karpel, TK International

Jeremy Karpel, TK International - Credit: Archant

As director of TK International, Jeremy Karpel spends his days moving and shaking in Hampstead so heading back to suburbia is something of a relief.

What’s special/different about your agency?

An entrenched and knowledgeable team of partners and negotiators who have collectively worked in Hampstead for over 110 years. We base our business on service, service, service!

Where do you live and with whom?

I live with my wife and two children (aged 15 and 12) in leafy Bushey Heath. After a hard day’s work and networking in Hampstead it’s almost a pleasure to hit junction 5 of the M1 and the pleasant mundanity of suburbia.

Why did you buy your current property? What’s your favourite thing about it?

I bought my house because it was a large five-bedroom detached house with a 120 garden, garaging and off street parking and it cost me less than a one-bedroom flat in Hampstead. My favourite thing about it is the large garden.

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Do you prefer a fixer-upper or plush new-build?

I prefer a fixer-upper

If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell yourself when you bought your current home?

Rather than refurbish my house it probably would have been better to knock it down and build a completely new one and take advantage of the 20% VAT saving and from a resale point of view ‘new build’ is always more valuable when it comes time to sell.

When did you buy your first property and what was it like?

I bought an early ‘70’s’ built two bedroom duplex maisonette in Hatch End in 1988 as my first married home, cosy but bland.

What’s your dream house?

If I could buy a substantial secluded plot I would personally design and build a large lateral contemporary house of circa 8,000 sq ft on two floors only with leisure facilities, huge double volume reception room and an all weather tennis court (to keep my son happy).

How long have you been an estate agent? What’s the worst thing you’ve seen on the job?

I will have been an estate agent in Hampstead for 28 years this coming October. The worst thing I have seen on the job is the way Camden has littered this beautiful Village with unnecessary street signage and furniture, parking meters and ‘traffic calming measures’ – its criminal.

What are the most common mistakes clients make?

Turning down the most fantastic cash offer on a property for the simple reason that it is the first offer they receive. Sometimes, it just happens that THE very best buyer for a property is the first one through the door and once rejected the offer is never replicated.

What are your top tips for the local area?

Chez Bob for the beef rib and burger, the Everyman Cinema (need I say more), the grilled prawns at Retsina in Belsize Village and an early evening Grey Goose with tonic at the bar at XO with a portion of squid and chillies.