I am looking for a new home & while I can feng shui any space to “make it work” my goal is to find my actual, ideal place. In the search I realized that I can shed a lot of light on what you can say yes to and what you should pass on, for your own peace of mind. Without further ado, here are the basics of feng shui’d home hunting.
Here are seven basic things to look for when shopping for a new home:
1. Why did the previous tenants leave? This is key. If they were evicted or it is a foreclosure, think twice about the space. I have found that this is a good indication of the overall feng shui of the place. Can it be fixed? YES. Do you want to invest in what it might take to fix it? Likely, it may be more trouble than it is worth. You won’t always get a straight answer from a landlord, and that in itself is a pretty bad sign.
2. Who lives there now & how do they rate their experience? Who are the other tenants? Even gorgeous buildings have very problematic tenants. If you hang around a place you are looking at and ask people how they life living there, you will learn a lot about the space. If you are looking at a big building, Yelp and other online review sites will tell a story. I wish I had started doing this sooner, it would have helped me make more informed decisions.
3. Darkness is not a good thing. If you see a place during the day and it is dark inside, take it that it won’t be lighter when you move in. If you are never home during the day, this might be passable for you, though I will say that light is a premium factor as it affects your mood, your sleep patterns and much more.
4. Immediate obstacles that will take effort to fix. If the lighting fixtures are deplorable, the ceiling too low in certain areas to walk freely or you are unable to access certain parts of a home easily, this will not work for you unless you are willing to renovate and change these things. Some landlords will make some of these changes, but if you are buying, its on you. So think through the actual, hard cost including the time and effort and inconvenience of making these changes. It may not be worth your time.
5. The neighborhood. This is a big thing. If you are not near enough to things you need, it will have an impact on your life. If you are thinking that the extra 10 minutes that you are from certain things is not a problem, remember that if you have street traffic that is an extra 20 or 30 minutes each way. Also, even if you are in a house, who are your neighbors? A bad egg really can spoil the batch. I had neighbors that were around the corner who managed to make calling the police for no reason a daily event. Its really important to walk around your prospective neighborhood, especially before buying.
6. Safety. Key. just because you are in a “nice” neighborhood does not mean that its safe. My neighborhood is ultra-posh and let me tell you, I had no idea of the car theft, the smash & grabs and shattered windows that happened regularly. Also, are you willing to be on a ground floor? Do you mind barred windows? Personally, I’d rather not buy my own plot of a prison cell.
7. Stability. Look at the floors- are they level? Look at the walls- are there cracks? Are there ill-fitting doors? Splitting beams? All of these can be signs of a foundation that is out of whack, and that will wreak havoc on the stability of your life. This may seem subtle but it is a big deal.
Of course, I could make this list a mile long with my own requirements, because, well, look at what I do all day! I do employ a little trick to find ideal space: draw it out. The ideal scene. Either in paragraph form or in images you sketch, find your perfect place as a physical mock-up. Surrounded by trees? Mid Century Modern building? Giant garden in the back? Go crazy and write and draw everything you dream of. You will find- if not the ideal- something that brings you closer. And… you will know when you find it!
Happy House Hunting!!!
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Always, I love hearing from you! xoxo Dana