Bring on feng shui

Question from Jacquie updated on 5th December 2012:

I am building a four-bedroom house for rental in Aidanfield, Christchurch. Most homeowners tend to be Chinese (about 40%) in this area. I like my neighbours and would like to attract similar for my tenants. Any ideas before I build?

Our expert Mark Dickson responded:

It would be a good idea to consider feng shui (風水) when designing your home. Feng shui is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. There are some particular things to avoid, such as a toilet or a kitchen in the middle of the house and a staircase directly facing the front door as these things are associated with leaking wealth. Likewise the house should be longer than it is wide, as it is better to walk into a long house where your wealth is deep and not shallow. The back section should not be lower than front, as this indicates your children will struggle in life.  A higher back section indicates support behind your back. The garden should be rectangular rather than triangular, with no spiky plants (sharp tips do not signify peace and happiness), and no big rocks (future generations will have a hard life). The head of a bed should not be put against a wall that has an oven on the side as heat and fire means you will have lots of arguments. In general, round is good! So consider rounded walls, or round windows, although these types of features can be costly. Other positives include windows on all sides of the house – bright is good, whereas things liken sunken lounges or multiple sets of small steps can be associated with qi not flowing well. Also remember that cooking is very important to many Chinese families. Make sure that the kitchen has gas so that a wok can be used (and with an easy-to-clean splash back). An outdoor cooking area that includes a gas stove would also be highly valued. Finally, do not buy land numbered 4-anything! The more rules you follow, the better chance you have of attracting good Chinese home buyers or tenants.

Mark is a Director of, which connects homeowners, who post jobs, with verified tradespeople who respond and complete jobs. Tradespeople are rated by customers so future customers can compare tradespeople based on genuine ratings and price.

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