Confessions Of An Estate Agent: 'He had a wetsuit...'

Nigel Stills, director of Stephen Noble Lane Fox, Poole
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The Independent Online

"Three years ago we were just launching a brand-new waterfront development on Poole Harbour and were holding an open weekend. The block of apartments were at Sandbanks, which is quite topical at the moment as there has been a lot of press after Jamie Redknapp and Louise, among others, moved there.

"One article recently said that this particular development was the third most expensive property in the world, which is of course a load of nonsense, but it is certainly good publicity.

"The development, which has 16 apartments, is right on the harbour front with a couple of jetties and a slipway and it had a fully kitted-out luxury show flat. The flats start at around around £750,000 and go up to nearly £2m for the penthouses and are pretty impressive. They're very modern with lots of curves and glass and, at the time of my story, they were very much a modern concept design.

"It was a fantastic sunny day in the summer and, as you can imagine, we were absolutely inundated with holidaymakers looking around. It became so busy that in the end we were trying to almost push them away. Then suddenly this guy arrives, soaking wet, at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, almost as we were closing.

"This chap had windsurfed up to the slipway in a full wetsuit, left his windsurfer at the water's edge and waddled up the path from the harbour to the block. He stopped at the front door of the show flat, dripping with water, and asked if he could possibly have a look around.

"He was a very polite, semi-retired or retired fellow from London; probably in his late fifties or early sixties. When I said, 'We're terribly sorry but you can't come in, you're soaking wet,' he was very nice about it. He said, 'No, no that's OK. It's fine.' And off he went into the sunset on his windsurfer.

"We carried on with the day and thought nothing more about it. But then a little later he came back, fully clothed, in his smart car, having showered and changed.

"I thought he had just windsurfed up to have a casual look around, but we actually made a sale that day. This chap, who I now know is a fanatical windsurfer, bought the three-bedroom, two bathroom ground floor show flat as a second home. He gave us a holding deposit and we exchanged shortly afterwards.

"The apartment he bought has got stunning views of the harbour and everything else you could want. It even has a terrace and garden area so he can keep his windsurfers on the lawn, which he still does today."

Stephen Noble Lane Fox, 01202 557766

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