23 January, 2015

Terrible Estate Agent Photos by Andy Donaldson [Louise, Central Library]

If you’ve ever lived in a house then this is the book for you.

It’s a collection of (you’d hope) the worst examples of real estate on the market ever. I mean, these are supposed to be advertisements, selling the property to prospective tenants or buyers, rather than what looks like crime scenes after the bodies have been taken away.

Real estate is pretty much the biggest thing to happen to Auckland since Rangitoto erupted, and it is fuelled by the glut of DIY shows, books, blogs, and fancy shops selling must-have décor items. Don’t get me wrong, I love all that stuff: interior decorating would be my superpower (able to make a couch really pop with an array of mismatched cushions! Bam!) but soft furnishings are not going to save these dwellings.

Rooms that look like those photos of urban exploration in abandoned and derelict old buildings but they are actual dwellings that you can rent or buy! That is (and I am not making this up) if you don’t mind a toilet in your kitchen, or a place where a compulsive hoarder lived for 80 years and then generously left all their junk there.

Some of the photos have been included simply because they are terrible, pointless, and weird, perhaps with a touch of dodgy Photoshop, like a photo of a mirrored wall with no reflection (is your real estate agent a vampire?) or photos where the agent just went all artsy and indulged his inner surrealist photographer (thanks. but what exactly am I looking at here?)

At a time when housing prices are out of control, it is reassuring to know that no matter how small and expensive your current home might be, there will always be some other place out there that is even more depressing and seedy.

Title: Terrible estate agent photos
Author: Andy Donaldson
Publisher: London: Square Peg, 2014
ISBN: 9780224100915

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