Highgate Village is like Cheers bar for this local agent, full of pubs where everybody knows his name
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
James Wilkinson of Winkworth in Highgate has come a long way from his days emulating Men Behaving Badly in Winchmore Hill.
What’s special/different about your agency?
We’re London’s largest independent estate agency network and each office is independently owned and operated as a franchise.
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in Highgate with my wife, Fran.
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Why did you buy your current property? What’s your favourite thing about it?
I bought it because it’s the perfect space for us. My favourite thing about it is the light we get from all sides.
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If you weren’t an estate agent what would you be?
I can’t imagine what else I’d do but I’d love to have been a golfer if I had a bit more talent.
When did you buy your first property and what was it like?
I bought my first property in 1988. It was a lovely three-bedroom property in Winchmore Hill which I shared with my current business partner – it was very Men Behaving Badly.
What’s your dream house?
Definitely a German Huf Haus. I think they’re spectacular.
What’s the most shocking/surprising thing you’ve seen on the job?
That it still takes ages to get a property through to completion, even in this day and age.
In what ways has the local property market changed since you started out?
Prices, of course, but otherwise the biggest change is the way properties are presented. When I started they were literally photocopies on a piece of paper and you’d get one black and white shot of the outside. Now property’s a lifestyle thing and it’s completely different
What are your top tips for the local area?
I’d say if you’re selling a house do it in the spring time because that’s our busiest time, when families like to move before the start of the school year.
Otherwise, I absolutely love walking on the Heath. I love to see shows upstairs at the Gatehouse Theatre, they really are as good as the West End. I also really like to just have a wonder around and go to a few pubs of Highgate and see some friends. Many people have lived here for a number of years and you’ll always bump into somebody you know.