Tag Archives: Buying a Home

Buying a Home? Look for these Feng Shui Features.

When you’re in the market for a new a home your biggest priorities are usually price and location.  Next, the floor plan of the home and the feeling you get when you walk in will be deciding factors.  Have you ever experienced that feeling of  “ahhh!” when you enter a space?  It’s an intrinsic feeling you get when an environment feels nurturing.  It’s a great indicator that the house has good Feng Shui.    

Here are six features to look for when you’re in the market for a new home that will create good Feng Shui:

1.  Where is the home located in relation to the street? Avoid buying a home on a T-junction.  When a home is on a T-junction it gets bombarded with traffic energy coming towards it.  The result can be increased arguments and conflict at home.  If the home sits back a good distance from the street or if there is landscaping between the street and the home it alleviates the negative effects.

2.  Does the front door face the street?  Look for a home a with front door facing forward, not to the side, and which isn’t blocked.  The  front door is important in Feng Shui because it is the primary pathway for energy.   A front door which enjoys a clear pathway can receive energy- also referred to as “qi” – and the home will be healthier.  Avoid having large trees directly in front of the door which block qi.

3.  Is the floor plan practical and functional? Practicality almost always indicates good Feng Shui.  Some minor oddities are endearing, but things that make you scratch your head and say “what were they thinking?” are almost always a sign of bad Feng Shui.  Trust your instinct.  If it’s impractical and feels awkward to you it can likely cause problems in your home due to unbalanced energy.

4.  Does the home have good flow?  Open floor plans are preferable because they allow  qi within your home to circulate.  If the floor plan is compartmentalized ensure that rooms have windows so you create good qi pathways.

5.  Do you feel comfortable with the way the home sits on the lot?  Having a steep hill six feet behind you can cause you to feel claustrophobic.  Conversly, if the home sits on top of a hill you may feel exposed and unsupported.  It’s best to look for a flat lot that comfortably fits the home.   When home is grounded and securely placed on the lot, you’ll feel the same. 

6.  What type of driveway does the home have?  Is it circular?  Don’t buy a home with a circular driveway unless you plan infrequent use.  If you use a circular driveway often, the coming and going of the vehicles create a disturbance of energy in the front of your home which can cause conflict inside your  home.

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Now, more than ever, your Home is not your 401K

Are you in the market for a new home?  Do you feel excited and inspired?  Or are you paralyzed with fear? If it’s the later you may be putting greater priority on making your home a profit center rather than a place to live.  If your first priority is price, and next priority is re-sale value, changing that paradigm will change the experience of buying and living in your next home.

Of course the price of a home is relevant and you can keep an eye toward eventual resale value but to make money a top priority is looking at a house as a profit center and not as a home. 

As a society it seems that we’ve lost sight of the main purpose of a home – to live in.  It’s not a 401K.  The recent financial crisis forced us to re-think the idea of a home as a profit-center.  A home is a big investment – but it is an investment in yourself and your life. Instead of thinking about how much return you’ll make on your investment, why not consider how much return you’ll get emotionally and psychologically?

Remember, a home is a container for our creativity, our hopes, and our dreams.  How do you put a price tag on that? 

If you can shop for a home with the goal being adding support and comfort to your life rather than getting the “best deal” you’ll transform the buying process.  You’ll be able to envision the places in the home where you can plant a garden, spend time with your family, cook nurturing meals, and entertain friends.  You can take out fear and instead create inspiration and excitement.

Remember that you have a relationship with your home, and it’s more than just making a monthly mortgage payment.  Your home offers you a place to create – whether it’s dinner with friends or memories of your child’s first birthday.  I’ve seen that many that buyers don’t consider intangibles, instead erring on the side of not making a financial mistake.

Imagine yourself in each room of the house experiencing love and cultivating  joy.  And if the price is a little higher than you had anticipated or if you’re uncertain about what the resale value will be, remember that the intangibles are priceless.  Enjoy your home!

Feng Shui 101- Does the Home You’re Buying Have Good Feng Shui?

Take note of the following features when selecting a home.  Of course, no home is perfect, so don’t worry if not all of these conditions are met. 

Interior Features

Interior features like rounded corners on walls, organic shapes, an open floor plan, and lots of natural light contribute to good Feng Shui.  In Feng Shui, energy (qi) flow is vital.  If you’ve ever gone into an attic with no ventilation odds are you didn’t feel like staying long because of the stale air.  It’s important to your well-being to have healthy, flowing energy in your home.  An open floor plan allows for circulation of qi.  Rounded corners allows qi to flow easier than sharp angles.  And abundant natural light alleviates qi from stagnating.  Too much or too little natural light in the home causes discomfort because instinctively people feel that the home is not balanced.

Location

Neighborhoods with well-maintained homes, meandering street traffic, and varied topography are desirable because they indicate good energy in the area.   Look for a home that’s situated on the lot in the form of an armchair. It’s best to have the front yard open and without obstructions so you can receive qi; and a hill, fence or trees in back of the house to gather qi;  and support on the left and right side of the house – usually in the form of neighboring homes.

Street Traffic

Streets that are straight carrying fast traffic are not good for residential areas.  In short, people don’t like to live on highways.  Feng Shui principles explain why.  Too much noise and rushing qi outside create an imbalance inside and negate relaxation.  Winding streets are best because qi moves slowly and accumulates in front of the home, then gently flows into the home.   When the street traffic is too fast qi rushes by and can’t enter your home and the chaotic qi from the street beats against the home.

Proportion

Proportion is also important in Feng Shui. A hill behind your home is a desirable feature, but if it’s only six feet from the back door it’s not. Instead of gathering qi, the hill can make you feel claustrophobic and can constrict your opportunities in life. A home should also be well-situated on a symmetrical lot.  When a home is too close to the street or when it is situated on an unevenly shaped lot the balance of qi will be uneven and can affect relaxation as well as prosperity.

Floor Plan

Fundamentally, the goal of Feng Shui is balancing yin and yang energies. Yang corresponds to movement and light.  Yin corresponds to the opposite – quietness and dark.  Correctly balancing yin and yang creates comfort.  Quiet rooms, like bedrooms, should be located in the quieter, yin areas of a home.  Most of the time, the quieter area is the back of the house.   Active areas like the kitchen and family room should be together.  Does it feel odd to you when a bedroom is located next to the kitchen?  Or when a bedroom is adjacent to a garage?  This is because of the nature of the rooms – the kitchen and garage are active areas and the bedroom is quiet area.  When the floor plan seems awkward or impractical it’s because rooms aren’t arranged according to their function.

Avoid these Features

Features in opposition to Feng Shui principles include stairways facing the front door, low ceilings, irregularly shaped rooms, rooms over garages, and spiral staircases.  These features tend to cause negative circulation of qi.  Of course, remember that no home is perfect and all homes have some negative Feng Shui aspects.  Trust the feeling you get when you’re inside  the home.  If you feel at ease and comfortable, you’re most likely experiencing good Feng Shui.

My Job is to Help Home Sellers and Now I am One.

Buy our home in Austin!

We decided to be proactive about our finances and decided that selling our home was the best solution to our current economic state.  My partner David never really felt like our three-year old home was “home.”   I did, but I also succumbed to the facts about how much money we were spending versus how much we were earning.  In light of the recent real estate downmarket it seemed like in an instant we went from having lots of business to almost no business.  I’d been hearing about how bad things were in other places and how little business other Realtors®  had but that was not our situation at all until it was our situation.  Along with last year’s dramatic stock market losses we suddenly found ourselves in a pickle neither of us planned for.

It was a  tough two weeks of physical labor and 15-hour days spent decluttering, moving furniture, cleaning, packing, and even holding a garage sale (which I vow never to do again) to ensure that our home was balanced, beautiful, and shining.  As the echo of  the mantra I use with clients rang in my ears….you only have ten seconds to create a great first impression, I looked for every detail in my home that I could improve upon.  Since my job is selling other people’s homes and staging them using Feng Shui, I wanted to use every staging idea I had and implement every Feng Shui treatment I knew.

That part is done.  Our home went on the market four days ago.  I expected to have at least one call by now but it’s been very quiet. Looks like we’ll get to experience first-had what other sellers in Austin and lots of places are seeing which is a scarcity of buyers.  Hmm… maybe tomorrow?  Now my mantra is… it only takes one person to buy your home.   I’ll keep you posted.

Don’t worry about the market, and don’t try to time the market.

green yellow flowersSelling your home this year?  Even though the Austin Real Estate market remains one of the strongest in the country, the truth is that you may not be able to sell your home for the price you thought you could, especially if you’ve lived in the house for under three years.  And you know what?  It’s okay!  When you need to sell your home, you need to sell your home.  Waiting another year may get you a larger profit, but will it ultimately be more stressful to wait rather than to sell now?  

I’ve worked with several clients recently that were fearful and confused about whether to sell their house because they weren’t going to get the return they had hoped for.  I encouraged them to do what would best support them right now.  In both cases, the cost of keeping the house would have been far greater on their emotional and physical health than the cost to sell it.  What price do you put on an intangible benefit like peace of mind? 

I believe the intangible benefits of  better mental health, increased energy, and less stress easily outweigh financial goals.  I encourage home sellers to make peace with the idea that they aren’t going to make as much money as they may have hoped for, but weigh that with the benefits they’ll reap by making a positive change in their lives by selling their home right now.