Property people Q&A: Tim Richardson

Tim Richardson of Astin's in  Whitby
Tim Richardson of Astin's in Whitby
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Tim Richardson is residential sales manager and associate director at Astin’s estate agency in Whitby, www.astin.co.uk

Q: How did you end up in estate agency? By accident. I had just been made redundant as a farm sales rep. after foot and mouth and was thinking about the possibility of going into teaching when I saw a job advert in the Whitby Gazette. The late Eddie Astin was looking for somebody to work over the summer months in the office. I knew Eddie through the rugby club and thought it might help me and him out. He asked if I was interested in joining the firm on a more permanent basis. The rest is history.”

Q: How is the housing market faring in York and the surrounding area? Very up and down. The weather since Christmas has slowed down property instructions and created a shortage, particularly in the second home/holiday cottage market, with cottages in Whitby and all the coastal villages all selling very quickly in most cases.

Q: Are there any up-and-coming places? All the coastal villages continue to prove popular but it is noticeable that the villages within in easy reach of the town are showing a resurgence.

Q: If you were the Housing Minister what would you do? A change in stamp duty on holiday cottages, especially as most of our buyers are small, one-time investors, who want to buy and improve properties that really are not suitable for living in permanently in the modern world. These people bring money into our local economy. There’s also a lack of good quality rented housing for local young families and I’d like to see the council take on more responsibility for this. Many of them would like to stay in the area near their families but are forced out because there aren’t places for them to live. Compared to people who come from outside the area, they are often treated as second class citizens when they try and rent places that do becom88-e available.

Q: What are the best and worst things about working in property? The best thing is the satisfaction in being able to help a client achieve what they want and when they have listened to and acted on your advice. The worst is a growing trend for estate agents to be largely judged on how cheaply they can sell a property rather than on the help and advice they can give. The latter can help smooth the path of the sale and can achieve a better result for the vendor. The other downside is the seeming inability of some solicitors to find solutions to problems rather than just to highlight them.

Q: Where and what your ideal home? I have a nice house that I was lucky enough to build myself and I live in a fantastic area with the sea on one side the beautiful moors on the other and I have a lot of good friends in between, so I am really happy where I am. Having said that after this winter’s weather a place in the Caribbean to escape to wouldn’t come a miss.