Buying a Feng Shui Home

Some people care about the Feng Shui of their homes. The time-tested principles of Feng Shui are value-added not only when it comes to real estate but also to your life, health, relationships, opportunities and weath. Feng Shui is not superstition or religion. And it’s about far more than your house number. It is worth the time for a buyer and their real estate agent to find the best house with the best possible Feng Shui. I thought you might find this article interesting. Find the link to the original article by Sarah Portlack of the Star-Ledger at the end.

When Cindy Chen, a real estate agent, was looking for a new home in East Brunswick for her family, her homebuilder agreed to not use the number 4 for the address, which in Cantonese sounds like the word for “death,” and instead built her a home at 6 Margaret Place.

On another East Brunswick street, Ann Long and her husband, who are originally from Guangdong Province, China, decided on a lot at No. 8 because the word for “eight” in Chinese sounds similar to “wealth.” The family then went through several architects to find someone who would alter the house layout to accommodate their ideal feng shui goals.

And, last year, real estate agent Michael Pennisi had clients back out on a home in Summit when they realized it was across the street from a funeral home, which could transfer negative energies to the home.

The normally daunting process of buying a home can become even more so when clients, armed with cultural superstitions or traditions, will rule out certain details of a house. In pockets of the state with the highest Chinese populations, like Edison, Jersey City, East Brunswick and Parsippany, real estate professionals said sorting through these kinds of criteria can further complicate the process, particularly now when other aspects like securing a mortgage are more difficult. The beliefs are more prevalent among Chinese-born homebuyers than their American-born children, agents and clients said, and are more imperative than simply a design choice.

“If you get some people that say, ‘I want to have skylights in my house,’ that’s not a deal-breaker for the most part,” said Pennisi, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Summit.

“Certain beliefs become deal-breakers,” he added. “It’s a prerequisite for buying a house.”

calendar dateClosing dates and move-in dates can be dictated by the lunar calendar, and certain numbers can play a role in home-buying. Whereas 13 is considered unlucky in Western culture, an address or unit that includes the number four creates the same caution for some Cantonese-speakers. But eight is considered so fortuitous in both Mandarin and Cantonese, clients will make offers on a house with as many eights as possible, like $488,888 for a house listed at $500,000, said Chen, who works at Weichert Realtors in East Brunswick. If the buyer and seller are both Chinese, it is often a successful strategy, said Chen, who is originally from Taiwan.

“I’ve done this a couple times,” Chen said. “It’s all for good luck, both for the buyer and the seller.”

Other homebuyers will consider how a house’s layout could affect which principles of feng shui — the belief that people, places and things have energy — would best help the individual meet certain goals at home. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but tenets like where bathrooms and kitchens can be situated in the house, which direction the house must face, and its proximity to other structures like power sources, water or a funeral home can all play a role, said Valerie Bogdan, a feng shui consultant from Long Branch.

The specifics of feng shui differ for each person and the options are limitless, so learning which principles a particular homebuyer wants is all part of the job, real estate agents said. When Chen first meets with a client, she asks which details are important and what are non-negotiables. She keeps that list with her as she combs through listings.

“If they told me they don’t like the number, we skip that — we don’t even go that far,” Chen said. “Before we go out, I always email them (and) if we have a picture, they can see it. They will tell me if they want to skip this one or if we will go.”

The criteria can often make the process longer, Chen admitted.

“Sometimes we have to see more homes to avoid these details,” she said.

Long and her family settled in East Brunswick after Chen referred them to an architect willing to adjust his designs to accommodate their feng shui aspirations. Six years later, Long said she still likes her home and considers it lucky.

“It is no. 8 and my house is good, and we are really good, too,” Long said.

Despite some of the details, there are still homebuyers whose priorities are more general, like location and price, even it means a compromise for another, more-traditional family member.

“In this market, what the buyer is looking for is still location, location, and the price has to be good,” said Hong Kong-native Sauling Lee, a broker associate with Davis Realtors in East Brunswick. “That’s what they are looking for, the other (details), they always can adjust.”

But one detail is universal, no matter the potential buyer’s culture or beliefs, said Phil Rivo of Armagno Agency in Jersey City.

“‘Happy wife, happy life,’” he said. “If the wife, or one of the partners, is happy, it overcomes all.”

Sarah Portlock: (973) 392-5994 or

see original post from

Posted in Good Idea | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Your Feng Shui Armchair

Art should be something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue.— Henri Matisse

living roomWhat do art and armchairs have to do with Feng Shui? Your home should be a place of respite from the rest of the world. It is the armchair where you rest from physical and mental fatigue. To design a home where this is possible is indeed an art.

The science and art of Feng Shui creates a habitat where you can receive nourishment in the form of qi or energy, through the use of time tested techniques This qi when directed properly creates better health, more satisfying relationships and greater harmony in the home. When you have these things you can rest in your armchair in comfort and satisfaction.

Posted in Feng Shui Tips | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Short Stop Feng Shui-Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

Baseball is our national pastime so I thought I would expand on last week’s article about Feng Shui of the Sport Stars. Here is a quick look at Derek Jeter’s new home in the Davis Islands area of Tampa.  According to Tampa Bay Online, Mr. Jeter’s new home cost him $7.7 million. That hefty price gives him 30,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms and two three-car garages. It is the largest home in the county.

derek jeter's home aerial view tampa bay online


Once again, being a celebrity doesn’t protect you from Feng Shui mistakes. The first mistake is having a road come directly to your front door. Situating your house on a T-junction is a big no-no for residential properties. (Businesses can under the correct circumstances take advantage of this) Roads carry energy in the direction of the traffic and in the direction of the land slope. This energy is very direct and ends up acting as a sha or negative energy. The energy is too strong and forceful for a home. The saving grace here is that there is a large courtyard to help slow down the flow somewhat. But it is definately not something you want to do in your home.

jeter home tampa bay online

Irregular Shapes

Another issue is the shape of the building. It is irregular-very thin in the middle and much bigger on the sides. It looks similar to an “H”. Imagine a circle divided into 8 pieces. Now place that circle over the middle of the house. Observe how many of the 8 pieces have almost no house in them.  Each part of the circle represents a person and relationship in the house. It also relates to certain body parts and illnesses.  When there are missing or truncated parts there will be problems depending on what that missing piece represents. A square or slightly rectangular shaped building helps avoid these problems.

front of derek jeter home N Y Times

See Through Buildings

The last issue is seeing directly from the front to the back of a house. In this photo you can see straight in the front door through to the back.  When you have this situation the energy that comes in through the front goes directly out the back and you have no opportunity to take advantage of it. This is especially pronounced in a hot area of the country where you have large openings to take advantage of natural cooling and ocean breezes. Energy is like food for you and your building. It is also money. So in order to get nutrition from the food and use of the money, we want it to collect and circulate inside our building.

If you want to know more about balancing the shape of your building, how to take advantage of incoming roads and water or remedy other Feng Shui issues in your property, be it business or residential, please contact me for a consultation.

All rights reserved ©Diane Kern 2011

Posted in Bad Idea, Feng Shui Tips, Sha | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feng Shui of the Sport Stars

Celebrities are just people. They have the same problems we do even if it is on a different scale. So we can learn some lessons from the Feng Shui of the stars.

Tennis star Anna Kournikova is selling her 6, 630 sq. ft Miami Beach home on .44 acres for $9.4 million. The Mediterranean style home on Sunset Island has water frontage on the bay and the canal. With seven bedrooms there is plenty of room for all your friends to visit should you decide to make a purchase. It also sports a coral rock pool deck, private sauna,and two-story guest house. No tennis court on site however.  (photos from I have no idea why she is selling, but that is not the topic of this post.

While looking at the photos on the above website I noticed several issues of Feng Shui importance. You can find these same issues in many homes that are priced much lower.

anna kournikova home with ivy walls

The brick walls are covered with ivy. (Click to read more about ivy and clinging vines). This looks very homey and some might say harkens back to the old English castles so it is not surprising that Ms. Kournikova might feature this clinging plant for her castle as well. Ivy can damage the wall that it clings to. Although I image that money for maintenance is not a problem in this case. But a vine or clinging plant often indicates that there are people who rely heavily on the owner.  The wealthy and celebrated usually have staff, agents and a retinue that rely on them so I was not surprised to see the ivy. People who rely on you and in the process use up your energy and money can be family members such as children who refuse to leave home at the proper time, an ill family member you have to take care of, or it could be outsiders-someone at work such as employees, or even neighbors who just seem to need your help all the time.

anna kournikova ceiling beams

Next item to consider is the ceiling of this room. The exposed beams are what I am talking about. It would be difficult to place your furniture in this room without it being directly under a beam. An overhead beam creates a downward pressure onto the person sitting or sleeping below it. This can result in headaches or illness in the part of the body that is under the beam. Although many people like the look it is not recommended to have exposed beams. There is another popular design element in this photo and that is the arched doorways. A door concentrates the energy flow and makes it faster. The curved aspect of an arch can cause a more disturbing, circular flow that can have a more negative affect than a squared off door.

kournikova interior courtyard

An interior courtyard in a home, although attractive creates a similar problem to the arched doorway. The open space acts as a chimney creating an energy vortex. This vortex is a vibration that disrupts the surrounding areas of the building causing problems for the people in the rooms adjacent to the courtyard.

One of the benefits of celebrity is living where ever you want. Privacy and safety are always of concern so gated communities are popular. The property is located on an island with limited access. Being surrounded by water it receives little earth energy. The lot is shaped like a triangle, with the smallest point being the entrance so it is difficult for energy to get in. However the house has a large outside ming tang to hold what energy arrives there. (see first photo)


So remember, just because you are a celebrity it doesn’t mean you have perfect Feng Shui. We can all improve our Feng Shui for personal and business success. If you would like to know how, please contact me.

all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2011

Posted in Bad Idea, Feng Shui Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Get Your Sexy On-Feng Shui for Romance

Relationship Rx

heartSo your love life is not going as planned. You seem to fall into the same patterns over and over again. You would really like to have a romantic relationship that is equal and long-lasting. Can Feng Shui help you to achieve this goal?

First stop and think about your past relationships. Write down what you see as the patterns and problems you have experienced. Now look around your home. Is there anything you find that mirrors or represents those very problems?

Pillow Talk

Let’s talk primarily about the bedroom although other rooms in your house may exhibit similar issues.

Is your bedroom set up for romance? Does it look ready for two people instead of showing signs of a single person? If you only have one pillow on your bed where does your love lay their head?

Is your bed pushed up against a wall? This is like a sign that only one person sleeps here. Move your bed so that it is easy for both people to have access.

Size Matters

bedside tableThat leads to the night stands. If you have one then you should have two. Each night stand should be approximately the same size. The same holds for the lamps on those stands. Pairs of items represent the two of you. If these items are widely differing sizes this represent an imbalance in the relationship. The same holds for decorative items-pairs of equal size.

The bedroom is for both rest and romance. Colors should be neutral on large surfaces, the walls, curtains and bedding. Use the accessories to add color. Also consider textures and fabric choices suitable to you and your prospective mate.

Writing on the Wall

Wall ornamentation should not include mirrors. You don’t want to be startled by a shadow in the mirror. That would ruin your sleep.   Wedding and family photos are also not suggested. Instead use artwork of romantic, beautiful and restful landscapes.

Make sure your room has age appropriate decorations. Ladies that means no stuffed animals and dolls. Gentlemen take down the swimsuit posters and sports paraphernalia. 


televisionAvoid having a TV in the bedroom. That goes double for a computer or work desk. No exercise equipment either. They are not conducive to romance or rest.

Clean your closet and declutter your room. There needs to be space  for another person here. The bedroom needs to be restful. Keep your closets organized and not a storage dump. Have room for your partner’s belongings.

loving coupleThe bedroom should not be too light and bright as that not only affects your sleep but the romance of the room. Plants and flowers are not good for the bedroom as their qi is too yang. Choosing the correct bed facing direction for you and your partner can also enhance your relationship, but that is a matter to discuss with your feng shui consultant. Present a serene and romantic picture in your bedroom for better love prospects.

all rights reserved ©Diane Kern 2011

Posted in Feng Shui Tips, Good Idea | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Good Feng Shui, Still Have Problems

Improve Your Life

up and down buttonsFeng Shui is all about improving our lives, creating wealth, improving health, having better relationships and in general just living a happier life.  Many of you have probably heard of  The Secret, a book and movie that tell how you how you can improve your life through correct thinking. Get yourself into a new mindset of positive thinking, thinking that the universe is at your service. All you have to do is expect it and your dreams come true. Well of course it is not quite that easy and that is not the whole story, or we would all be rich and famous. But the lessons are valuable none the less. I bring this up because you can have the best feng shui possible in your home and business but if you constantly are thinking that your life is miserable, that you are poor or that you never have good luck for instance, then you will not benefit from your good feng shui.

Make a Life Changing Movie

You may want to check out The Secret but there are other aids to improve your positive thinking abilities. One that I have found very interesting is Mind Movies. These are mini slide shows that you create with your very own positive affirmations and dreams. You then add photos and music and end up with a nifty video that you can watch everyday to remind you of what you are working towards. You can also share them with friends and the world by posting them on You Tube, your web site or other social networking sites.

Illustrate Your  Affirmations

So what is it that you want to manifest in your life, a new career, travel around the world, a new car, romance, financial freedom? Start by writing simple, straightforward statements that state you already have what you dream of. So don’t say, I want a new job. Instead say, I enjoy my job everyday. Of course you will want to add what kind of job that is. When you finish writing your affirmations start looking for photos that illustrate those thoughts. Use your own photos or use copyright free photos that can be found on the web. Then find some appropriate music. There is also copyright free music available on the web. Then put it all together for your own personal movie. Practice makes perfect so watch it everyday. As you practice you become these statements. Soon your positive outlook will become second nature.

Learn to “BE”

There are of course many programs available for doing similar slide shows, and if you search the web I’m sure you will find others. You probably have a movie maker on your computer already. Take a look and start thinking positively so that you can take advantage of that good feng shui you have created for yourself. 

What do you do daily to “BE” positive and create success?

Is your Feng Shui contributing to your success or hampering it? Contact me for assistance in balancing your environment using time-tested, traditional Feng Shui techniques.

good feng shui idea thumbs up
Good Idea

all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2011

Posted in Feng Shui Tips, Good Idea, Musings | 3 Comments

Feng Shui Glossary

You’ve heard these terms before but are you sure what they mean? These are basic explanations without going into more esoteric detail. I hope you find this short list useful.


Bagua Eight trigrams In Black Sect feng shui the 8 trigrams become 8 life aspirations

Ba zhai  Eight house school

Ba zi  Four Pillars of Destiny, a form of astrology

Celestial Animals  White Tiger, Green Dragon, Red Phoenix and Black Turtle were originally used to denote North, South, East and West. Today they are generally used to show the right side, left side, front and back of a building.

Compass School  The actual magnetic compass reading of the facing and sitting of the building is used in conjunction with flying stars to determine and auspicious property.

Feng Shui  translates as Wind and Water

Five Elements Earth, Water, Wood, Fire, Metal

Five Elements Cycles productive, reduction and controlling

Productive cycle – Using the 5 elements so that an element creates the next in line. Water, wood, fire, earth, metal

Reduction cycle- Using the 5 elements so that and element reduces the power of the next one in line metal, earth, fire, wood, water

Controlling- Using the 5 elements to control each other (not usually recommended) metal, wood, earth, water, fire

Flying Stars Nine different personalities of energy move through the trigrams in cycles of 20 years, yearly, monthly, and daily. How these energies interact contribute to whether a building or area is auspicious during that time period.

Four kinds of houses  based on flying star theory

Wang shan wang shui=mountain star in back, water star in front, good for people, good for money

Shang shan hsia shui = mountain star in front, water star in back also known as a reversed house, against people and money

Double facing = both water star and mountain star at the front, good for money

Double sitting = both water star and mountain star at the back, good for people

Form School  The lay of the land is used to determine if a property is auspicious or not. This includes the relationship to mountains, rivers, lakes, and the quality of soils and vegetation, slope or flatness etc.

Kan Yu  old name for feng shui

Luo Pan  Chinese compass used by traditional feng shui practitioners to determine the sitting and facing degrees of a building as well as other measurements.  Its many rings provide specific information for formulas and calculations.

Luo Shu Sometimes called the magic square because when you add the numbers in rows or columns they always add up to 15

Ming tang The wide open space in front of your house, also your entry hall

Sheng qi  Most active and strongest energy

Sha qi  Negative energy

Trigram Used to denote a direction, each has a family designation and a characteristic of nature. The trigram symbol is made up of three lines, either solid or broken stacked one upon the other.

Qian= Northwest, Father, Heaven

Kun= Southwest, Mother, Earth

Zhen= East, Oldest Son, Thunder

Xun= Southeast, Oldest Daughter, Wind

Kan= North, Middle Son, Water

Li= South, Middle Daughter, Fire

Gen=Northeast, Youngest Son, Mountain

Dui= West, Youngest Daughter, Lake

Twenty-four Mountains The compass is divided into segments of 15 degrees, totaling 24 segments altogether. Each of these is called a mountain.

Zodiac The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 animals Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Dog, and Pig

 chinese zodiac tiger

Posted in Feng Shui Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment