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.

In buying a house all that need 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, whether it falls within your budget as you certainly don’t 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, good drainage.

Then with the help of a good and responsible 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 signs of leaks; also the rafters and house foundation if materials used are of 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 unwritten rules in choosing your home. Without the broker, go back to the house and look around the vicinity. 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? Don’t buy the house for obviously morbid reason. During heavy rains, is there flooding in the vicinity? Hope not.

The house should face east or the sun rise. 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. Likewise, each and every door of the rooms must not face directly each other. There must not be a central pillar within the house. Lastly, don’t choose a tiered or multi-level house that steps downwards from the entrance.

If you’ll ask me the rationale for all these do’s and don’ts in choosing your home, I would not have categorical answers for you. They are rules to follow and not question from old folks and folklore. The Chinese have a term for it: “feng shui”. All I can say is follow them and you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.


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