Ancient feng shui principles are very much alive

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Chinese and Chinese-American buyers make up the fastest-growing segment of the homebuying population. As a group that spent a projected $28.6 billion on real estate in the U.S. from April 2014 to March 2015, the Chinese buyer has a lot of power — and a lot of rules to follow.

Feng shui principles may not be important to the American homebuyer, but they can be a deal-breaker to the Chinese buyer. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, in partnership with the Asian Real Estate Association of America, recently conducted research with 500 Chinese-Americans to learn about their buying habits and home design mindset.

Developed more than 3,000 years ago, feng shui is an art and science created to promote positive energy and balance to the design of a home. The study found that 86 percent of Chinese-American buyers will consider the principles of feng shui and 79 percent would pay more for a home that fits that preference.

Real estate agents should take certain things into consideration, such as a home located at the end of a dead-end street, with the front and back door aligned or with a staircase directly facing the front door, as these are all against the principles of feng shui.

 Feng shui embraces a clutter-free home — most importantly in the kitchen, where clutter quickly accumulates. All counters are to be cleared of appliances and personal items to let the energy, or qi, flow freely. This is an important component of a home for 64 percent of Chinese buyers.

The elements in a home — fire, water, wood, earth and metal — should be balanced. This means plants, intelligently placing mirrors and adding only pops of complementary colors. The bathroom is a great place to add plants, especially in bathrooms with more modern design or hard elements.

Thirty-two percent of buyers look for complementary colors in the kitchen, like orange or red. Because there is already fire and water in the kitchen, play with incorporating metal and wood with decor and furniture.

The bedroom is another room that should be clutter-free, and the bed should be placed in the middle of the room to promote good energy flow. Get rid of the television and separate any other spaces, like a workspace, from the core layout of the room by using room separators.

Absolutely do not place the bed facing the door, according to 41 percent of Chinese-American buyers.

For some, these standards may seem picky, but these buyers are willing to pay 16 percent more for a home that aligns with feng shui, and 75 percent say a home with a structural feng shui “deal-breaker” would keep them from closing a deal.

Takeaways:

  • Don’t show Chinese-American buyers a home at the end of a dead-end street, with a front and back door aligned with one another or with a staircase facing the front door.
  • Eighty-six percent of Chinese-American buyers will consider the feng shui principles when buying a home.
  • Clear clutter and balance out the elements in a home: fire, water, earth, wood and metal.

See BHGRE’s infographic about feng shui:

feng-shuiArticle originally written by Kimberly Manning, Inman Select August 2015

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