Terrible Apartment Photos: Taiwan Edition

In the course of apartment hunting in Taipei and now Kaohsiung, Steve and I have frequented Tealit.org, Kaohsiung Connect, and the all-powerful 591.com, which has listings in Chinese. The apartment quality has decidedly been of a mixed variety, since some are very old and shabby looking, but the location and cost go a long way to making up for it. However, aside from seeing some horrible apartments, we’ve also encountered some atrocious crimes against photography.

Great photos in an online listing can help you gloss over an apartment’s flaws or highlight its strengths. Bad photos, however, can put off prospective tenants, or worse, waste their time by making them laboriously puzzle out what the photo is actually of and where that furniture or wall is situated in relation to the other photos. It’s also exasperating because the number of faux pas seem innumerable and so easily avoidable: if you want to make your apartment look nice, photograph it during the day for maximum daylight. Stand still while taking a photo instead of dancing around. Don’t use flash directly in front of a window. Why is it so difficult to take a nice, wide-angled shot of a room? Even more landlords are preoccupied with giving you detailed photos of the bathroom sink from five different angles, what the hot water heater or laundry machine look like, and how many independent electric meters there are on the wall. All we want is to understand what an apartment looks like or would feel like to live in, and these photos have been so ridiculously unhelpful to that end that we felt the need to compile an album of the worst offenders.

Hence, Terrible Apartment Photos (Taiwan Edition):

1. The Slanted Photo

slanted photo
“Do you see how I slanted this shot just to work the glare of the bathroom light in there?”

For some reason, people think that you can cram more into the shot by tilting one corner up or down, but other than reminding us of some horrible retro photos, it just disorients the viewer, especially if there are several in a row.

2. The Homey Detail Photo

This wooden fish and a fuzzy green shrub-like stuffed animal really evoke the great outdoors inside this cozy apartment.
This wooden fish and a fuzzy green shrub-like stuffed animal really evoke the great outdoors inside this cozy apartment.

Truth be told, nobody gives a fig about your decorations or knickknacks. That stuff belongs on Instagram or Twitter. If I wanted a wooden fish, I’d buy a wooden fish, not your apartment. This is the most useless sort of photo and unfortunately, also the most common, as most cutely furnished apartments are trying to compensate for their tiny size.

3. The Front Door Photo

That's a facial and finger print recognition lock on this door. Was the previous tenant Edward Snowden or something?
That’s a facial and finger print recognition lock on this door. Was the previous tenant Edward Snowden or something?

We have seen far too many shots of the entrance area, elevator, fancy lobby, hallway, etc., or insert common area of your choice that you’ll never spend any time in if you actually took this apartment.

4. The Ridiculous Bathroom Photo (so good, I can’t just settle for one example)

We're scouting for an apartment to live in, not a music video shoot.
We’re scouting for an apartment to live in, not a music video shoot.
We were actually thinking about renting this place, believe it or not.
We were actually thinking about renting this place, believe it or not.

So my rent will also include a year’s supply of fresh rose petals, right?

5. The Through-the-Window Photo

WHY couldn't you just move a few inches to the right or left?
WHY couldn’t you just move a few inches to the right or left?

Some homeowners make do with cellphone photos of their real estate, which is a bit lower quality, but understandable, but if  you’re too lazy to move your arm and adjust the angle to get a clearer shot, then you’re just not trying hard enough to rent this place out.

6. The Glare Photo

Enough said.
Enough said.

7. The Unattractive Balcony Photo

I don't even know.
I don’t even know.

Green space and open air can be at a premium when you live in a densely populated city on an island, so I have accordingly adjusted expectations for balconies in Taiwanese apartments. Nonetheless, that’s no excuse for balconies to be downright ghastly. If there’s a room in your house that looks this bad, for goodness’s sake, do NOT put a photo of it on the Internet!

That’s all for now, folks. If I find any more egregious offenders, I’ll add it to the list. Tomorrow, Steve and I set off for Kaohsiung to -what else?- see some apartments and consider living there for several months!

Yours in good taste,
Connie

4 thoughts on “Terrible Apartment Photos: Taiwan Edition

    1. Don’t just dream! Let’s talk soon about how we can make those dreams a reality. ^_~ Expect an email from me tomorrow!!

      We miss you a lot.

  1. This is about the most random collection of shots I’ve ever seen, though I admit I wish I could see the rest of the place that belongs to that tub. Good luck!

    1. That apartment was indeed quite nice, but resembled more a hotel suite than anything else. One of the difficult things about Taiwanese apartments is that many of them usually don’t have anything near a full kitchen. A sink and a hot plate is about the best you can hope for. Okay, less whining about Taiwanese apartments… go see our latest Flickr photos for some views of how we fixed up our current place. =)

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