A father- of-one from Poulton has told how is hoping to become the Fylde coast’s answer to TV property gurus Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp.
Russ Leonard, 32, has set up Chosen Homes, a firm aiming to help people wanting to buy or rent rather than sell a home in areas including Blackpool, Poulton, Lytham, St Annes. Thornton, Cleveleys and Fleetwood.
I thought there was a gap in the market and that is proving to be the case.Russ Leonard
Mr Leonard, whose background is in marketing, said: “I’d been interested in property as a hobby and had bought, renovated and sold a few houses so friends and family were asking me for advice.
“They were saying, ‘Why don’t you go into business doing it?’ and I thought I might as well get paid for it.
“I thought there was a gap in the market and that is proving to be the case.”
Russ has already dealt with ‘nine or 10’ purchases and four rentals for clients and is currently finding a woman from Poulton a home in London.
He said his contacts with local estate agents and landlords ensure he is one step ahead of search engines and can often find properties before they are advertised on the market.
Russ’ services include an initial no obligation meeting with would-be customers to find out their needs, and can extend to viewing properties and negotiating the best possible price – usually including his own fees within the client’s budget.
“A lot of people have said ‘are you Phil and Kirsty’ (Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp from popular TV show Location Location Location)?” he added.
“It’s the same premise and I know it’s not a brand new idea.
“I noticed a lot of people down south were doing it when I was in London but people on the Fylde coast have slightly different needs.”
The one-man band says there are many reasons why people need help in finding a home.
“The most common reason is because they do not have the time to look themselves,” he said.
“Others may have issues with negative equity or be trying to find their first house, then you people who have inherited money and want to buy a property to sell it and couples whose children have flown the nest, whose mortgage is paid, and who are looking to downsize.
“I also advise on renovations, so if someone wanted a three bedroom house for instance I might find them a two bed bungalow which could be extended upwards and come in under budget.”
He currently works from an office at his home on Highcross Road, but added: “In the long-run I’d like to establish a high street presence and take on staff. The demand is definitely there.”
For more information visit www.chosenhomes.co.uk.