House hunting the unconventional way

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Often used interchangeably, there is a big difference between "house" and "home." A "house" is a capital acquisition, something you buy as an investment – a material possession. But a "home" connotes an emotional purchase, where you live and find comfort, warmth and protection. A home is something for your future and that of your family.

The unwritten rules in looking for your dream home

In buying a house, all that needs to be considered first and foremost is the price; then location, accessibility and then the most important, the resale value. Since your mindset is business, the bottom line is how much profit you make after selling it.

But in buying a home, several things have to be taken into consideration. Of course, you still have to consider price and whether it falls within your budget, as you certainly do not want to end up sweating in paying off a loan or facing possible foreclosure. Also, you need to look at the location: peaceful neighborhood; accessible to public transportation, schools, churches and shopping malls; good drainage.

Then, with the help of your friendly and professional real estate broker, you now scrutinize the unseen and hidden aspects of the house by insisting to the broker your right to full disclosure: the water system – layout and availability; the electrical connection – layout in accordance to safety standards; check the ceiling for telltale leaks; also the rafters, house foundation and materials used for sub-standard quality; and check at random for termite infestation. Then, the most important – check the title and history of ownership.

After considering the above preliminary steps, we now go to the unconventional, unwritten rules in choosing your home. Without the broker, go back to the house and look around the vicinity. During heavy rains, is there flooding within the premises? Hope not. Ask people in the neighborhood for information about the previous owner: Why is the owner selling the house? If the answer is due to economic problems or domestic quarrels and differences, then it is not a good house.

Did anybody die in the house and if yes, did they hold the wake in the house? Do not buy the house for morbid reasons. Dictated by culture and tradition, people in some countries, especially in Asia, hold wakes in their residences rather than in funeral parlors. It is believed, therefore, that souls of the departed may still linger in the house for sentimental reasons and may bring bad luck to the next occupants.

Certain rules on Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese belief that govern the balance of forces in the universe. It is believed that there must be a balance of energy in the environment to attain harmony in the surroundings, including good health and happiness of the inhabitants.

Therefore, the position and orientation of the house, outside and within, including the furniture and fixture, must conform to that balance of forces and energy. The house should face east, where the sun rises. A house facing the sunset is a hot house because it is exposed to the sun's rays longer in the afternoon. When you walked into the house, did you have a happy disposition? Or did you have a gloomy and sad feeling?

The house should be cool and airy with proper ventilation. Check the main door – it must not lead straight to a back door. The reason for this is that good energy and good luck entering the house must stay and not just exit straight to the back door. In like manner, each and every door of the rooms must not face directly each other. There must not be a central pillar within the house. Lastly, do not choose a tiered house that steps downward from the entrance.

If you question the rationale for some of these do's and don'ts in choosing your home, there would not be any categorical answers for you. There are rules to follow handed down from old folks or even from folklore. All that can be said is follow them, and you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

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