Choosing A Home: Problems To Avoid

Los Angeles Whole Life Times Magazine – Feng Shui Clinic: May 2002

Finding a home with 100% perfect feng shui is unlikely. Finding a home with at least 70% good feng shui is to be at least hoped for. A home with 70% good feng shui means up to 30% of the home’s feng shui will need adjustment. For the most part this should be easy to accomplish.

Below I have listed some of the most detrimental and most difficult feng shui problems to solve. These are problems that any good feng shui practitioner should check before spending a lot of time on the rest of the house. Some of these problems are modern concerns which you will not find in books about traditional approaches to feng shui. These are problems that physically cannot be changed or easily remedied. Avoid renting or buying houses like these at all cost.

If you ar living in a home that falls in any of these categories, before you panic and move, evaluate if indeed you are having any of the difficulties described. Also consider how long you have been living in your home. If you been living there for several months to a few years and you are not having problems, don’t fix what isn’t broke. But if you are having difficulties (though there are probably other feng shui problems), these are the one’s for which there are no acceptable remedies. Again I say, consider relocating as soon as possible. The urgency of this suggestion is in proportion to the severity of health, relationship and money problems you may already be having.

DO NOT consider buying or renting homes with the following problems:

  1. Extremely odd-shaped houses.
    The overall problem with odd-shaped houses is that they have no easily defined center and are therefore fragmented or, shall we say, dysfunctional. Some odd-shaped houses do have a nice sense of flow and can be brought into balance using lights, foliage or furniture placement. But most odd shaped houses reflect chaos and discord.
  2. Property on reclaimed wetlands or garbage dumping site.
    Solid ground equals stability. Reclaimed wetlands and garbage dumping sites not only lack stability, but there is also the likelihood that noxious gases like radon will be rising to the surface to undermine health.
  3. Property on a cemetery or ancient burial grounds.
    To disturb the spirit-energy of a cemetery or ancient burial grounds is to be ever disturbed by the Spirits in return.
  4. Houses built on the very edge of a cliff, ravine or gulch.
    Houses built on the edge of a cliff, ravine or gulch make the inhabitants feel “edgy” and come to represent a life that is being lived “on the edge”. This results in nervous conditions, erratic emotions and always being anxious with money and relationship concerns. Fences and potted plants properly placed may give a feeling of containment, but it is best to avoid such eroding situations.
  5. Houses close to a power generator station or substation, utility pole transformer, high tension wires, airport radar or a nuclear power plant.
    An electro-magnetic field in close proximity to human bodies is highly detrimental. Health problems will be related to the immune, hormonal or nervous systems. The question here is, “how close is too close?” Twenty-five yards to fifty yards is probably too close to a transformer can on a utility pole. One hundred to two hundred yards is possibly far enough away from an electric power generating substation. While a mile to two miles might be sufficient to avoid the harmful effects of an airport’s radar doppler emanations, within fifty miles is probably too close to a nuclear power plant.
  6. Are there excessive outside noises or obnoxious smells?
    We generally think of feng shui as assessing problems of structure and placement of objects in the environment. Noise and obnoxious smells in the outside environment must also be taken into consideration especially for those living in larger urban centers. The presence of either loud noises or foul smells will disturb rest, distract from work and effect intimacy. In many situations keeping windows closed and playing music that you find appealing will mask the outside noise. Burning incense or diffusing essential oils might mask odors coming from outside. But you really need to evaluate why you are choosing to live in what is basically an unhealthy environment.
  7. River, rain water drainage ditch or roadway behind the house.
    River, rain water drainage ditch or roadway behind the house also weakens and undermines the stability of the house. Prosperity and good opportunities are easily “washed away”. The faster the traffic on the roadway or the swiftness of the river, the faster good fortune gets washed away. You can try erecting a fence or planting a hedge between your house and the fast moving road or river but it is not likely to be very effective especially if the river or roadway is loud enough to be heard throughout the day and night.
  8. A garage under the bedroom.
    A bedroom situated over a garage is also experienced as disturbing to one’s sleep. This should be especially avoided in apartment complexes built over a communal underground garage or street level car port with many cars constantly coming and going. As with other situations, some individuals are more sensitive to these influences than others, and ultimately it will be your own experience that will determine whether this is an unfortunate place to sleep. The best remedy I can suggest is tacking a red ribbon from the ceiling of the garage to the floor of the garage and then tying a nine inch red ribbon around the middle and making a bow. In this way you will have symbolically connected the bedroom with the earth below. As with many of these symbolic cures, it is necessary to use prayerful attunement to anchor the cure into the subconscious mind.
  9. A bathroom in the Wealth or Relationship Area of the home.
    According to the Eight Aspirations (Ba-Gua) approach to feng shui, you do not want to have a bathroom in your Wealth or Partnership Corners as you do not want to have either “go down” the toilet or down the drain. The Wealth and Partnership Corners are the southeast and southwest respectively according to the Compass School, or in the back far left and back far right corners of the house respectively according to the Black Sect Tantric Buddhist School. Whichever system you use, the appropriate use of colors, shapes and symbols can be used to strengthen these corners to over come the bathroom’s draining influence. But given the importance of money and the fragility of relationships, I would avoid any home with a bathroom situated in the crucial Wealth or Partnership Corners of the home.

This list is by no means complete. There are many problems that require careful measurements and complex formulas. In this article I’ve tried to list the most severe situations that you are likely to encounter. Remember, if you are not sure what to do, call an experienced feng shui practitioner for advice.

Send your feng shui questions to: Elliot Tanzer, 31558 Lakeridge Court, Temecula, California, 92591. or via e-mail at:

Elliot Tanzer is co-founder of the Integrative School of Feng Shui in San Diego and is also available for feng shui and astrological consultations in the Los Angeles area. Contact Elliot to schedule a consultation or to find out about upcoming classes. Check out Elliot’s new website at: where you will find many other articles and tips to help you in your personal growth and to enjoy a success life.