They say the camera never lies. Whenever we have our picture taken, the image we see isn’t exactly how we see ourselves. Our bums/boobs/thighs are too big, or our smile is just that little bit too goofy or forced.
How many times have you heard the number of pounds the camera ‘puts on’ our celebrities, yet we are supposed to believe that what we see is how things actually are. Some pictures are snapped with such incredible chance timing that the end result is uncanny, unusual, or funny. Pictures of every day things taken from odd angles are unrecognisable, whereas others taken with different depth perceptions suggest holiday makers are holding up pyramids, or little people are standing on our hands.
But what about photographs that deliberately mislead the viewer? I’m not talking about trick photography either.
We decided to spend today doing ‘drive-bys’ on properties we had seen for sale on the internet. We were dismayed to find that all of them were now sporting SOLD signs.
We checked out one familiar road name which had several properties advertised out of curiosity. It circled a communal green, with little off-shoots to clusters of houses or bungalows.
We hated it on sight. Nowhere to park, terribly overlooked, and judging by the bars, padlocks and chains on windows, doors and garages, Crime City.
So as not to waste the day, we decided to do things the old fashioned way.
We drove into the nearest town, found a street full of estate agents, went in AND ASKED for details. I came out with half a dozen properties. We narrowed our preference to 2 which we decided to have a look at.
The first looked very nice. A little higher than our budget, but you never know.
We rang the estate agents in the hope of getting a viewing and they promised to ring the vendor and call us back. The wonders of technology and mobile phones.
In the interim, we managed to find the other which in layout was very similar to our previous house.
And turned the car round.
There was a massive housing development going up behind it, but from the angle of the photograph, you couldn’t see that.
We then had a call from the agents telling us the vendor at the first property had agreed to a viewing. We arrived about fifteen minutes early, but she was home and invited us in.
When asked basic questions like heating costs and local taxes, she didn’t know, yet she said she had lived there for 9 years, which I thought odd.
Sadly, the property wasn’t for us though. We could see several serious structural cracks both inside and out, the boiler was old and needed replacing, the kitchen also needed updating though it was perfectly serviceable (apart from the damp we noticed on the walls) and we were also a little twitchy about the stream running at the bottom of the garden.
Some time ago, we’d seen a ‘lovely little bungalow’ and decided to take a look. The estate agents had airbrushed out all the radio masts on the adjoining property, and even from the car we could see that the windows were all rotten as were the fascia boards and gutters. The front garden and drive which suggested off road parking for at least 3 cars was only big enough for a mini, and the only thing in common with the photograph was the colour of the front door and style of the property!
I hate house hunting.
Sometimes it’s not only the photographs that are misleading. So are the details.
Many years ago I remember taking an estate agent to task for his idea of a ‘fitted kitchen’. It consisted of a tap hanging out of the wall, a free standing sink, and a boiler. He had not visited the property for some months, and the previous ‘tenants’ had gutted it.
Around the same time, we viewed a property in Scotland that was in ‘need of modernisation’. The only thing keeping the front door together was multiple layers of thick blue paint. The ‘compact bathroom’ was hilarious, as the bath was 6 inches too long for the room, and so a hole (I kid you not) had been cut into the wall and those extra inches could be seen jutting into the dining room. The kitchen was a dark corridor with no door or window and a cupboard at one end with a solitary pipe. The private water supply was a mound of pebbles in the front garden (bone dry) , and the garden paddock at right angles to the road, straight up. We didn’t ask about drainage.
So after a somewhat frustrating day and for a little light relief, I have gone through my favoured google images and found a nice little selection with my own narratives. Enjoy!