Flat hunting and the Big Lie

Every flat advert contains a Big Lie. Sometimes this is obvious just from the photos, unless every estate agent really does live in a fisheyed-lens world with over-saturated colours. Possibly the same world John Key and Miffy Bunny live in.

Sometimes it’s less obvious, like the property advertised as a freestanding house which turns out to have an unexpected bottom flat (complete with “quiet Asian couple”, as if there was any other kind), the property advertised as a freestanding house which turns out to BE an unexpected bottom flat (featuring in only three of seven photos, the rest of which are of the much nicer top property), or the single bedroom which “you can fit a queen-sized bed in!” – yes, but only if you don’t want to be able to open the door or the closet. Or the “studio” which turns out to be a dank converted basement with a tiny window and pipes running along the ceiling, and an affable occupant who assures you it’s okay if you “run this baby all the time” (patting a large dehumidifier).

This widespread fibbage demonstrates either a lack of integrity issued at the same time as the keys to an investment property, or a lack of confidence that the property will shift on its actual merits, although thanks to Christchurch and the RWC, a landlord doesn’t have to try very hard – a hole in the ground lined with a tarpaulin would sell, provided it afforded “unique ground-level views” and the tarp was a nice colour.

This is an environment owned and run by nice middle-class white couples, who do just as fine a job wrenching around with people’s lives and rights as they have every other thing, from TV One to large-print mystery novels.

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