AgentInternational

Chinese homebuyers say feng shui is imperative

The only factor more important to these buyers is neighborhood safety
  • According to the 2015 Profile of International Home-buying Activity published by National Association of Realtors, Chinese buyers spent an estimated $28.6 billion on residential U.S. real estate.
  • Feng shui is the second-most important consideration, only behind neighborhood safety, for Chinese buyers.
  • Of Chinese buyers surveyed, 86 percent stated feng shui will play a role in future home-buying decisions; 79 percent of respondents are willing to invest more for a home that incorporates its feng shui principles, and 36 percent said they wouldn't even work with an agent with no knowledge of feng shui.

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China surpassed Canada as the foreign country that spends the most on residential properties in the U.S.; Chinese buyers comprise 16 percent of international homebuyers.

According to the 2015 Profile of International Home-buying Activity published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Chinese buyers spent an estimated $28.6 billion on residential U.S. real estate.

Impressive numbers, but what do these Chinese buyers look for when shopping for a house? What type of house do they prefer? Do they like a house at the end of the street, close proximity to a hospital, a sloped or flat backyard, a bathroom facing the entrance, and so on?

These are key questions that agents need to know to sell to Chinese buyers. Understanding feng shui will help in answering these questions.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) conducted a survey and released their findings. It turns out feng shui is the second-most important consideration, only behind neighborhood safety, for Chinese buyers.

Of survey respondents, 86 percent stated feng shui will play a role in future home-buying decisions; 79 percent are willing to invest more for a home that incorporates feng shui principles.

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Respondents are willing to pay an average of 16 percent more for a home that complies with feng shui philosophies; 90 percent of Chinese-Americans believe implementing its principles increases a home’s resale value.

Agents with knowledge of feng shui are especially prone to success with Chinese buyers, as 36 percent said they wouldn’t even work with an agent who has no knowledge of feng shui.

Feng shui is a centuries-old philosophy that originated in China. It’s composed of two Chinese words: feng (wind) and shui (water), two of the most basic elements for human survival.

Chinese people believe good feng shui of a home has positive energy, and it will bring health, wealth and good luck to the owner.

Below are some examples of deal-breakers that go against feng shui and the reasoning behind those principles:

  • If the home is located at the end of a dead end street. Air cannot flow freely at a dead-end street, thus it accumulates dead air there. And when there’s a disaster — such as a fire — people in this property cannot evacuate from the back.
  • If a road or river is bending away from the house. The shape of bending away is like a bow or a reaping hook — a hint suggesting fortune loss, disharmony in the family and abandonment — while bending around is a hint of being protected and embraced.
  • If the home has a sloped backyard. It represents that the house is risky, while homes on a flat ground are more stable.
  • If a home is surrounded by taller buildings. The owner in this type of property is suppressed by the surrounding energy.
  • If the home’s back stairs directly face the front door. That’s because the ancient Chinese design philosophy says that all luck would flow out the front door.
  • If the home’s front and back doors are aligned with one another. The energy flow between the two doors could be too aggressive, which is a negative sign in feng shui. It indicates losing fortune and health, theft and disharmony in the family.
  • If the bed directly faces the door. The door is where wind enters the room. If the bed faces the door directly, the bed is facing the wind directly, which is harmful for people’s health. And people sleeping on the bed would have difficulty accumulating energy when facing the wind entrance.
  • If a mirror faces the main door. Because the mirror pushes away all the good feng shui energy that is about to enter the house.
  • If a mirror faces a bed. In ancient China, a mirror facing the bed is believed to be calling ghosts. Mirror has reflected light, which might cause neurasthenia.pic mirror facing bed with red
  • If a bathroom is located at the home’s center. The center of a home is a vital place. If it’s occupied by a bathroom, the owner will have bad luck in making money, and it’s harmful for the owner’s health as well.
  • If the stove in the kitchen is visible from the main door. The fire from the stove will block the inflow of wealth.
  • If the bathroom door faces the main door. The bathroom is not clean, and it will pollute the energy that people face when entering the main door.
  • If the home is in close proximity to a hospital. People who are hospitalized are out of luck, sick people have disease and surgeries in the hospital have a murderous look, all of which have negative impact on the magnetic field around the area.
  • If the home is in close proximity to temples, churches or cemetery. Energies of places for gods or ghosts are disrupted and effect human beings negatively.
  • If the home is situated close to cinemas or theaters. Energy of cinemas and theaters is not stable; it’s up when an audience comes in and down when the audience leaves. The volatility will affect the energy atmosphere of that area. People living in that area have frequently changing luck.
  • If the home is adjacent to elevated roads or a platform bridge suffers from the noise and shaking. People living in this environment tend to get neurasthenia.
  • If the home has a front door that faces a big tree. The big tree in front of the front door can block the inflow of positive energy.
  • If the home has an arched front door. The shape of the arched door is similar to a tombstone. The owner of the house is often ill-fated.
  • If the home has a front door facing an elevator. The elevator tends to absorb energy from the home.

There are also some good feng shui features of a property:

  • If a home is backed by a mountain. If there’s a mountain — preferably a round shape without a sharp corner — the owner of the property has backing, and it’s easier for the owner to have good fortune.
  • The front door or the gate of a condo building facing the east or south. East is the direction where the sun rises, which indicates a bright future. Sitting in the north and facing the south is traditionally a perfect direction in feng shui as this direction is easiest to get the essence of nature.

Having knowledge of these feng shui principles would greatly assist in dealing with Chinese homebuyers.

Sam Van Horebeek is a director at East-West Property Advisors, a U.S. real estate advisory firm based in China. You can follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Email Sam Van Horebeek.