Feng Shui Real Estate

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Use Feng Shui to Buy Real Estate

Time to switch homes and you’re combing the real estate apps and figuring out where the next dream spot will be? Feng Shui is there for you in a big way. Here’s eleven essential Feng Shui home selection criteria to look for when you meet with the real estate agent or landlord.

Don’t worry! I’ve made a handy checklist for you to bring with you when you are looking. These tips apply whether you are hunting for a house, condo, apartment or other living arrangement.

You probably will never find a home with all eleven features. I never have. When you find a place that really calls to you and there are a couple of items on this list that are flagged, we can make some Feng Shui adjustments to get the space into greater balance.

Where you will want to step back and reconsider is when several items on this checklist get flagged. Then it may be a challenge to acclimate to the new home successfully. Knowing these Feng Shui details ahead of time will give you an energetic platform on which to judge this most vital decision.

1 for Selecting a Home: An Ideal Location

The real estate broker’s mantra for a desirable property is, “Location, location, location.” Of course, we all want the right location for our needs, but Feng Shui has a slightly different twist on this most vital feature.

Pay close attention as you approach the property. Is it easy to find, in a safe and attractive neighborhood plus does it seem friendly and inviting to you? Make note of anything around the structure that feels out of proportion or imposing.

Next, assess whether the structure, be it a free standing home, apartment building or condo, is in the Seat of the Armchair. Simply put, when facing the front of the building, look for something taller behind, lower on both sides and the road on the side with the front door. Get a detailed description of this essential Feng Shui positioning in my post, The Ideal Feng Shui Location.

2 for Selecting a Home: Predecessor Energy

Have you ever heard the term Predecessor Energy? In Feng Shui, it describes the residual energy that any occupant leaves in the home they vacate. You leave it, I leave it, everybody leaves it. The key is to become as aware as you can of what this energy is telling you.

Ask why the residents are leaving, how they earned their livelihood, who was in their family and any other questions you can think of that will reveal how the existing Feng Shui influenced their lives while in that dwelling.

Make note when you get feedback that the property  sale is part of a divorce settlement, they lost their jobs, went bankrupt or are selling because of a health issue. Then you can take a much deeper look at how the Feng Shui of the structure may have contributed to their situation.

Feng Shui can identify and adjust imbalances. The people in our last home went bankrupt, but I recognized many of the Feng Shui challenges and made adjustments and improvements galore when we moved in. Finances were not a problem for us during our twelve years living there.

3 for Selecting a Home: Wholesome Shape

When you visit the property, try to determine the overall shape of the interior floor plan. A complete circle (yurt?), square or rectangle is the most desirable.

If a floor plan is available, get a copy and place the Feng Shui Bagua. It will reveal a lot about the property and earmark certain Feng Shui challenges. The more parts of the Bagua Map that are “Outside of Structure” the more challenging those areas of your life might become.

There are Feng Shui practitioner stories by the hundreds of homes with Relationship areas Outside of Structure yielding divorces in owner after owner.

4 for Selecting a Home: Garage Placement

Garages are a big consideration in Feng Shui. A detached garage is excellent if it is shorter than the height of the home. If a garage is attached to the house, its space is included in the overall floor plan and, therefore, the Feng Shui energy pattern of the interior of the home.

The garage door has the potential to be an oversized energy drain. The consistent up and down of the door coupled with the vehicle’s constant coming and going drain Chi and potentially the occupants’ energy as well.

In the top photo at right, the garage protrudes forward, leaving the front door recessed and hidden far behind. The predominant energy that could overcome the occupants is a come and go, overly busy lifestyle.

The bottom photo shows a home where the front door is the focal point of the facade. The “side loading” garage door takes a back seat. It is much better Feng Shui.

5 for Selecting a Home: Prominent Front Door

The part of the home where energy enters is the front door, called the Mouth of Ch’i in Feng Shui. Ideally, the front door is on the front of the house or building and is easy to find. These may seem like simple criteria, but I have been to many, many homes where it has taken me quite a while to find my way to the front door bell!

Is the path leading to the front door wide, unobstructed and well lit? If visitors can navigate and enter the front door easily, so too can vital Chi energy.

Also notice if the front door is given proper respect for the important job it does. Many newer homes recess the front door dramatically, (as seen in #4), shoving it deep beneath a dark overhang begging to be noticed. The more quickly and easily you see and get to the front door the better.

Feng Shui Tip #6 for Selecting a Home: Smooth Ch’i Flow

Once we’re inside our homes what interacts and sustains us is vital Chi energy that enters through the front door. The path this Chi takes is critical to the home’s occupants and whether they are energized and supported by its flow or possibly challenged or depleted.

Floor to ceiling windows, a stairway directly across from the front door and windows and doors lined up from front to back are a few features that drain vital Chi. Be mindful of bathrooms, laundry rooms and other places with sinks or drains all clustered into one section of the floor plan.

There are easy Feng Shui adjustments for many of these situations. You’ll be a huge step ahead if you’re aware of them ahead of time. Then you can place your furniture and other Feng Shui enhancements to modify these imbalances the day you move in.

7 for Selecting a Home: Bed & Desk Position

The Feng Shui Power Position is another Feng Shui term that is important to understand during your home search. Simply put, you are in the Feng Shui Power Position when you sit at your desk or lie in bed so that you can see someone entering through the door, but you are not physically in line with the door.

Make a mental note when touring the bedrooms that all beds can easily be placed in the Power Position. This tip will go a long way to providing good conditions for maximizing relaxation and rest.

Try to also identify a space you might designate for an office so you can check whether your desk can be in the Power Position. This includes the additional consideration of having a solid wall to your back when seated at the desk. Don’t think you’ll need an office? At least define where you’ll sit with your laptop most often and be sure that location is in the Power Position.

8 for Selecting a Home: Stove Location

The definition of the Power Position is the same for the stove. In Feng Shui, the stove represents wealth and the overall success and sustenance of all the home’s occupants. However, most stoves are up against a wall so the cook’s back is to the activity in the room which is a highly undesirable situation. This can be addressed with the Feng Shui adjustment of a mirror on the wall over the stove.

Galley kitchens that are lined up with a door at either end have the potential for too much traffic and disruption and can be quite problematic in Feng Shui. Keep an eye out for them and give them a thorough evaluation.

9 for Selecting a Home: General Maintenance

This is a common item to consider whether you’re using a Feng Shui checklist or not. Of course, most folks want their new place to be clean, updated and in good repair. However, the question about a shabby condition is whether a Feng Shui concern may be influencing the owners’ ability to perform regular upkeep. Poor health, stressed finances or even a slow leak in a water heater may be contributing to the situation.

Keep digging for the Predecessor Energy (#2 above) information to unearth possible reasons. If that doesn’t seem to be part of the cause, consider a Feng Shui consultation to continue to unearth potential causes.

10 for Selecting a Home: Location of Power Sources

Part of modern life, the location and intensity of electrical and other wireless equipment are a big concern in Feng Shui. Living near large transmitting installations such as an electrical substation or electrical or cell towers would be a deal breaker for me.

Note where the electric meter is located and whether it is near a place where anyone would sleep. This goes for the cable or wireless entry and equipment as well. If you are looking at an apartment or condo, where is the main electrical service housed in relation to your unit? It is best to have any of these features as far away as possible from bedrooms or other rooms where people spend a consistently large number of hours per day.

A Feng Shui colleague, Peg Donahue, has additional  training in this field and performed an Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) Evaluation for us before we moved into our current home. She brought in meters and other equipment that assessed the EMFs in our home and offered guidance on how to modify their effects.

11 for Selecting a Home: Good Feeling

Having all of this new information to consider in your decision may seem like a lot but remember to also go with your gut. Anything that doesn’t “feel” quite right probably isn’t very good Feng Shui.

Just this week a friend had me look at a real estate listing for a home she was considering. Her concern was about the pool and lanai. Sure enough, the Ch flow was very constricted, and she was “feeling” the imbalance.

Pay attention when you have a good feeling about something. It’s your Inner Feng Shui steering you toward a more suitable path.

Considering these eleven criteria will give you a positive jump start to living a long, happy, prosperous and joy-filled life in your new home. You can use the abbreviated checklist below when you’re onsite to give you a quick review of the tips. Please let me know how it works for you so I can continue to improve it for the next home hunter.

It is true that some Chinese, especially those from Hong Kong and the southern part of China, practice and believe strongly in feng shui – to the extent that feng shui masters are sometimes flown in from overseas to attend open inspections! We have seen a feng shui master have the final say on a deal
even though the buyers really loved the property. They may end up in homes which are inconvenient or unsuitable, but they bought the place anyway all in the name of feng shui.

As bizarre as it might sound, the good news is that the majority of Chinese today practise feng shui at a very basic and simple level. As long as the basic criteria are met, most of the time they care more about the practicalities like price, location, design and so on, like any other buyer.

BASIC STRATEGIES


We are far from being feng shui experts and we will not try to be. However, we are able to share some basic strategies of how to handle common issues when it comes to dealing with feng shui-driven clients, and how to turn those issues to your advantage when you market
the property.

STREET OR HOUSE NUMBERS


If your property address has number 8 or 9 on it, congratulations! You’re off to a good start. The pronunciation of the word for number 8 in Chinese is ‘BA’ and sounds like the word for prosperity, which is pronounced ‘fa’. This number is so auspicious that some Chinese will pay a premium for it. We recommend agents make a big selling point out of the number when you are marketing the property. Make Number 8 part of your tag-line; even better if you can paint a huge 8 on the front entrance! Don’t believe me? Whenever you are on the road, take note of car number plates like 1688, 8888, and check out the ethnicity of the driver.

Number 9 is a homophone of ‘everlasting’ and is pronounced ‘jiu’. If your property address has number 9 on it, a good marketing strategy might be to target young newly-wed Chinese buying their first home together! On the flip side, if your property address consists of numbers 4, 14 or 44, some hard work needs to be done.

Number 4 is the homophone of ‘death’, pronounced ‘si’. Chinese will often make every effort to avoid anything to do with it. However, we have seen buyers who love a property so much that they are willing to make some sacrifices. To remedy the situation, on their main entrance where they put the number 4, it will be followed by the Chinese characters .

Reading the number 4 and then the three characters together gives the pronunciation ‘yi’ which means ‘prosperity in everything’. That would counter the bad luck, as some would view it, of the number. Some homeowners pretty much hang the 4 upside down so it does not look like a 4 – as long as the postman recognises it!

If your property has a number 4 on it, don’t panic. Tone down on the address, and if buyers pick up on it share these ideas with them. If the property is attractive enough, they might actually use your ideas!

LOCATION OF FRONT AND BACK DOORS


Another common belief in feng shui is that if the front door is aligned directly across from the back door, chi or energy will pass quickly through the house, meaning the house is not good at preserving wealth.

This issue is an easy fix (and one to take note of during open for inspection times). Put up a screen or reposition your furniture to create a redirection of flow. Investigate the possibilities with the buyer; for example, putting a round table between the doors so the chi spins around and gets retained in the living area where there is a huge ornament to trap the good luck, and so on.

You will be surprised at how a discussion like this will build a strong rapport between you and the buyer. They will appreciate your efforts, too, in trying to understand their culture.

MAIN ENTRANCE


Like any other culture, the main entrance is the face of the house and it is important that it is presentable. The Chinese always love a grand entrance. Huge entrance doors with plants and flowers leading to them always score. However, one key thing that usually turns Chinese away despite the grandeur is the direct alignment of the main entrance with sharp objects like a big tree, streetlamp or telephone pole.

They call this ‘sha chi’ or negative energy; it reduces the overall prosperity of the property, making it undesirable to live in.

Luckily, like any negative energy, there will always be something to counteract it, and in this case the most common remedy is to place a mirror over the door, which will reflect the negative energy away from the sharp objects.

To make this more interesting, an uncle of mine who is an extensive practitioner of feng shui once engaged an architect to design his main entrance in such a way. Reflective mirrors were placed at an angle to reflect the sharp objects opposite, but tilting away from the river bend which was meant to bring in his wealth. The design concept of the facade was largely feng shui-driven, albeit very beautifully done. When he listed the property on the market, a non-Chinese buyer actually fell in love with it because of the facade and paid a premium for it. Now, tell me if this is not good feng shui – or good design!

Feng shui is an ongoing contest, as different schools of thoughts have different practices. However, the key point is to understand that rather than seeing it as something that might jeopardise your sale, you can find ways to work it to your advantage. Remember, for every negative chi there will always be a positive chi to counter it.

And this is true whether or not you believe it. As Donald Trump said, “I don’t believe in feng shui, but I use it because it makes me money”.

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