Thu 17 Jul 2014

David Maslen on feng-shui vs common sense

Several predictable aspects of a property typically impress a buyer. A well-presented, quiet area, good repair, being neat and tidy, pleasant sounds and smells, good neighbours, light and airy atmosphere, spacious rooms, well-balanced accommodation, good flow, a well-planted garden, a convenient location, privacy, etc. These preferences are not unique, as people tend to like the same things.

However, there is an increasing trend for people to seek other ways of assessing the desirability of their future home, such as feng-shui, the Chinese art of harmoniously arranging a property to promote a healthy balance of vital energies. Now well-accepted in major businesses such as British Airways and Disney, feng-shui consultants are increasingly being asked to assess residential properties. Indeed, there was a case of a £4.5m chain of four linked transactions being held up, pending the results of a feng-shui report conducted on behalf of a wealthy purchaser. Fortunately, the results were favourable.

Feng-shui seeks to optimise the emotional reaction a person has when entering a home. Much of it is common sense, such as avoiding a property built under a road (!), clutter, dark corners, gloomy colours and low ceilings – although few of us would regard the feng-shui definition of ‘sharp objects’ such as telegraph poles and road signs pointing towards the property as conspicuous cause for concern. Other aspects might also appear strange, such as ensuring your property is ‘supported’ by a large object such as a building, clump of trees, or large fence to the rear and front-right, with a smaller object front-left (looking towards the house).

Ideally there should be something circular to the front of the property, such as open ground or a circular flower-bed. Apparently even a roundabout is good, but this is where balance comes in – the balance between an alternative approach, and old-fashioned common sense!