Trust your gut

When inspecting a house with a view to buying it, it is extremely unwise to deny or try to overrule your basic instincts: your first gut reaction to the home, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, should not be ignored.

"Much," said Steward, "has been written about Feng Shui and there is a widespread feeling among some of the general public that it is all nonsense – or that it applies only to hypersensitive people whose cosmic antennae are more developed than most of us. I have no fixed opinion on this subject but I have to say that in 25 years of property selling, I have time and again noticed that when all the obvious rational signs point to a certain property being ideal for a particular client, one or more members of the family find that they somehow cannot enthuse about it – or at least about certain rooms in it.”

"I have also noticed that once a family moves into a new home, they can, for no obvious reason, feel compelled to move the work/study room to another place or to alter the layout of the beds and cupboards. These steps, it seems are taken instinctively and without reference to any clear cause – often, indeed, the reason given is illogical: nevertheless, the change somehow satisfies them."

Steward said that as some people undoubtedly do react in these ways to a home, it is important to think clearly before buying where ones' gut reaction is not good.

All too often, she said, the negative reaction persists in perpetuity.

Asked if in certain homes, a bad atmosphere may be felt because the sellers have not been happy there, Steward said that, again, she has no firm opinion but she can testify that in homes where the sellers have lived harmoniously and happily, the buyer will often pick up a good vibe – which will make him want the home.

"Certain homes," she said, "do give off a feeling of having been cared for and loved – and that very definitely is a huge incentive to buy."

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