When I discuss with friends about buying real estate in Manhattan, and specifically about why my husband and I have not been able to find anything for years, I always blame him (out of his earshot, of course). He happens to be one of those people who want a perfect home, and we all know that “perfect” doesn’t exist. There’s always a little compromise here and there, but most buyers end up with a home that they love, after some renovation or what not. But he is unbending in his quest. Another problem he has, when looking, is that he’s always looking to buy something for nothing. In other words, if the property is listed at $1 million, he only wants to pay $500K. And another problem he has is…. Wait, I could go on forever!
But I have to admit that I, too, have little fixations that do not help. I’m a big proponent of Feng Shui, the Chinese art of interior design and placement which theorizes that the layout of a home can influence your life. It really does make sense: a layout of a home can give it a certain energy that will affect your chi over a period of time.
There are many schools of thought in Feng Shui, but the basic premise is that different spaces and corners of your home represent different areas in your life, such as love/marriage, money, friends/helpful people, career, education, and so on. If certain corners are missing from your home (if you have an L- or T-shaped home, for example), those parts of your life can be seriously affected. That’s why the first thing I do when searching for apartments in New York is to ask the broker to send me the floor plans. I then obsessively screen for “whole” apartments: no corners missing, front door in the right place, bathrooms situated in the right place, and so on. My favorites are apartments that are completely square or rectangular. Sounds simple enough, but surprisingly hard to find in Manhattan.
By the time I’m finished with my Feng Shui screening, about 95% of the listings are tossed out. Whatever I end up with, I show to my husband, who as previously mentioned, has his own real estate pathologies. Should anyone be surprised that we haven’t yet purchased our dream home?