Wasim Elafech of Century 21 Bravo Realty in Calgary has heard all sorts of requests, perhaps none more common than feng shui. A feng shui-friendly home must allow energy to flow freely, but it also must be designed a certain way.
“If you walk into the front door, if the stairs are immediately in front of you that go up and down, that’s a no-go for some buyers,” said Elafech. “They think it’s a superstition, like their money will go out the front door. Another one is if the front entrance faces a back alley – that’s also a no-no.”
Feng shui is also heavily predicated on numerology, and the number four precludes taking up a residence.
Alex Balikoev is a sales agent with Core Assets Inc Brokerage in Toronto, and he says certain parts of the city, like North York, Markham, and downtown development avoid the number four all throughout buildings.
“Definitely for the Chinese community, the number four is bad luck,” said Balikoev. “In Mandarin, when you say four, it sounds almost the same as death. If you go to areas like North York, Markham, or CityPlace downtown, you will not find a single building with the number four – not even a four floor. In a lot of buildings geared towards Asian investors in North York, or CityPlace whose builder Concord Adex is Chinese, there aren’t any units with the number four.
Curiously, however, there are 40th and 44th floors.
Balikoev says 50% of condos in North York that are north of Hwy 401 eschew fours. He also recounted a house in Richmond Hill legally changing the address of the seller so that it could appeal to the city’s large Chinese community.
He added that cemeteries tend to scare away buyers, however, they do carry an advantage.
“Cemeteries actually don’t bring the value down,” he said. “Properties facing cemeteries take three times longer to sell, but they end up going for more money.”
Broker Sohail Mansoor of Royal LePage Signature Realty says buyers are deathly afraid of, well, death.
“Somebody not dying at the property, it’s quite common, but maybe not as common people not wanting to live in a former marijuana grow-operation. We still see that one from time to time.”
People come in all shapes and sizes – and so do their requests during when closing transactions.