What the Feng Shui?

Key Feng Shui concepts for homebuyers to consider when looking for homes.

Buying a home is one of the biggest events a person has in their lifetime. The process of buying a home can be challenging and emotional, and most people only get the chance to purchase a home once. Can you imagine going through this process and then finding out just a few months later that you are not happy and don’t know why? This is due to people not listening to their Feng Shui.

So, right now you might be thinking, Feng Shui? Isn’t Feng Shui some sort of hocus pocus Chinese religion or superstition? Isn’t Feng Shui some hipster word or something relating to interior design? Well, although Feng Shui and interior design go hand-in-hand, Feng Shui is very real and in a category all of its own. Feng Shui is not some sort of religion nor is it based in superstition. Sure, Feng Shui has ties to Ancient Chinese practices, however, in simplistic terms it is an art and science around how energy flows and affects living organisms- mainly humans.

I am a Realtor and you’re probably wondering why I am telling you about Feng Shui. Simply put, the foundation of having good Feng Shui is in the space that surrounds you. Why wouldn’t you apply- or at least understand- some of the basic fundamentals of Feng Shui when on your home search? In fact, all people experience Feng Shui when looking for a home and most likely do not realize it.

Would you agree that when you live and work in a space that feels good to you, your attitude is more positive and seems like you are on the top of the world? When you are consistently surrounded by things that feel good to you, you will experience better productivity, well-being, positive relationships, and the empowerment to accomplish most anything in your life.

The primary principle of Feng Shui is establishing/maintaining your well-being. Simply put, if it feels good and safe, it’s good Feng Shui. Listen to your body, mind, and soul. What is your body telling you when you stand in a room? Does something feel off to you? Do you have a pit in your stomach or does your head feel cloudy? Do you feel joy where you’re standing or sitting?

Hopefully by now I have at least somewhat convinced you that Feng Shui exists. You are probably wondering, “how do I control Feng Shui?” Feng Shui is a major area of science and study. There are principles- from simple fundamentals to complicated mathematics- that are employed when designing new buildings, landscaping, parks… even entire cities! I am going to give you a few simple pointers based on what I have learned to help you in your home search. Remember- every home can incorporate Feng Shui principals and ideas to change its energy and feeling. The thing to keep in mind is how much are you willing to (or can you) invest to change the environment to meet your needs?

There are various principles of Feng Shui called “Schools.” I am going to give you a glimpse at some examples from these schools to use when searching for a home. These principles are scientifically-tested, proven, and have stood the test of time. In full disclosure- I am not nor claim to be an expert in Feng Shui. I have experienced the benefits (and detriments!) of environmental energies throughout my life and I hope my sharing of what I’ve learned helps you in some way.

The Compass School of Feng Shui offers guiding principles based on cardinal directions, as the name suggests. Feng Shui, in translation, means “wind & water.” The movements of a compass are compelled by energy flow; the very energy and flow that influence prosperity and good fortune in your life. When searching for a home, pay attention to where your front door is facing and what goals you want to achieve in life. Please note: choosing a home facing in the “wrong” direction doesn’t mean that you won’t experience good luck and happiness. There are certain things you can do to your home, inside and out, that alter the flow of energy and give the illusion of facing the direction best for you:

Southeast – Wealth & Prosperity
South – Fame
East – Family
Southeast – Love & Partnership
West – Creation
Northwest – Synchronicity
North – Career
Northeast – Knowledge
Center – Health

Most people put little importance on the outside of their homes other than its aesthetics. How the outside appears to you, including landscaping, proximity of neighbors, fencing, etc. is crucial to balancing your Feng Shui in the home. The inside can have all the right elements, however if the outside isn’t right, it can throw your entire balance off. In Feng Shui, protecting your back is important for feeling secure. If you are a person that is frequently scared, you might want to have more protection in the back yard- such as a ledge or a tall fence. Also, the house location on the street has a lot of influence on your sense of security. If you fearless, a house on a busy street might not affect you. However, a person who has experienced lots of trauma in life might not feel as secure.

How hard was it for you to find the house? Will your guests or family get lost? Is the entrance to the house easy to identify? How is the parking situation? Whether you are a family that likes to entertain or a person that wants to be away from people, noticing these elements are important in order for you not to feel stress.

How does the landscaping look? Plants, including grass, are living organisms and promote healing, increase productivity, and reduce stress. However, unsightly landscaping can cause unnoticeable stress and lead to feelings of unhappiness. If you are a person that has little money to pay for services and does not like to do a lot of gardening or lawnmowing, you might want to consider not buying a house that has a big yard or lots of gardens to maintain.

Additionally, the Yin-Yang principle is an easy way to determine the energy balance when touring homes. This principle suggests whenever there is equal Yin and Yang the Feng Shui is considered balanced. Depending on who you are as a person, you may feel comfortable with more Yin than Yang, or vise versa. Yin is energy that, according to Ancient Chinese theory, is feminine in nature- posing as dark, damp, soft, and still feelings. Yang is energy that is male and is related to bright, dry, hard, and active feelings.

Consider visiting the house you are serious about purchasing three times, if the market allows. It is important to note to only do this if serious in putting in an offer. For example, if you are seeing the house for the first time at night, consider going to the open house or ask for a second showing during the day. When you make an offer, schedule the home inspection at a time you haven’t yet toured it.

If you are a person that likes natural light, identify the presence of windows throughout the house and how the natural light comes in. Remember that the sun migrates throughout the year, so try to imagine where the light would be coming from in different seasons. If you prefer shade, notice the landscaping and how many trees there are. Also, notice how the climate of the home feels to you and ask questions on how much it would take to affordably adapt it to your sensibilities.

These are a few basic fundamentals of Feng Shui that you should consider when buying your next home. There are many books about Feng Shui, several legitimate websites that can guide you, and/or consider hiring a Feng Shui consultant. Yes, they do exist!

Bottom line- make sure you pay close attention on how you and your family feel during your home tours. It’s important to alleviate any stressors in the purchase so that you and your family do not start off living in your new home with negative energy. Hiring a Real Estate agent to manage the transaction and guide you through the process will help ensure the experience is a positive and fruitful one. Best of all, Agents representing buyers are compensated by the listing Broker, so it really is a no-brainer to hire someone to shift the stress of organizing the transaction to someone who is trained to do so!

One last word of advice- lots of people close to you will have strong opinions during your home search. Of course, it’s important how your loved ones perceive where you live. However, at the end of the day it’s you/your family that has to live in the house. Your family requirements are unique, you all have unique feelings when experiencing nature and home, so try not to let others’ opinions completely take over the decisions that are right for you.

The factual information in this blog was annotized from the following book
McCandless, C. (2011). Feng Shui That Makes Sense: Easy Ways to Create a Home that Feels as Good as it Looks. Two Harbors Press; Minneapolis, MN.