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Feng Shui for Apartment Buyers

Sunday, November 5, 2006
By: Joey Yap

In keeping with my promise of following up on the precious article about high-rise Feng Shui, I would like to share with you more tips on Feng Shui for Apartment Buyers! High-rise dwellings are prominent landmarks that dominate city and metropolitan landscapes all across the world, so it's definitely worthwhile taking the time to know what makes an apartment or condo's Feng Shui good.

Now, you probably don't want to know all the technicalities and techniques involved - you jut want something practical, easy to understand - no-frills, as it were. So now, let me give you the 'no-frills' guide to Feng Shui for apartments.

And for the sake of brevity, I'll be using the word "apartment" to encompass serviced apartments, normal apartments, condominiums and any other high-rise residential properties.

Getting the Direction

When it comes to apartments, the challenge for enthusiasts and laypersons are getting the Facing Directions right.

Now, most of the time, incorrect Flying Stars (Fei Xing) or Eight Mansions (Ba Zhai) calculations are obtained when it comes to apartments because the Facing Direction has been taken from the wrong place!

Unlike landed property, apartments can be confusing, because the Facing Direction is usually not always obvious. For instance, do you take the directions from the guardhouse? The entrance to the block you are planning to buy a unit in? Or is it from the unit in question?

Some people say each unit has its own Facing Direction. You may even have even heard of one school of thought that says the first nine floors have one Facing, and the subsequent nine floors have a different Facing.

The answer is fairly straightforward, however. Take the direction from the façade of the block that you intend to purchase a unit in. The reasoning is simple - an apartment block is basically one large house with many rooms.

Last I checked, most apartments had one common roof. So in Feng Shui, we treat the whole block as one house with one Facing Direction.

Once you have the direction, plot the Flying Star or Eight Mansions chart, whichever system you feel more comfortable with to obtain the Qi map of the unit.


Use the calculators on my website, to work out the Feng Shui math once you have the right direction.

Now, you might be thinking- hey, that means all the units in the block have the same Qi map! So how do I know which one is best or is there no difference at all?

The design, of course, will be standard and so is the layout but each unit is not all located in the same location on a space continuum.

Firstly, the external forms, which are the Mountain and Water formations around the apartment block itself and the area that the apartment is located in, will also influence the Qi of each unit differently. And the location of the forms will vary from unit to unit on the same floor, and each unit on different floors.

A simple way to appreciate this is to basically take aYin form, like a Table Mountain (An Shan), which is the term Feng Shui practitioners use for the mountain in front of the residence that serve to lock the Qi in an area. Of course, the size of the mountain will be different, depending on the floor you are on.

Generally, when it comes to Luan Tou or Forms Feng Shui, we don't like the Table Mountain to be too high or too low. So depending on the floor you choose, the Table Mountain will either be just right, too low or too high. It will also be in a different sector, depending on where your unit is located.

When it comes to apartments, the application of Feng Shui is also much more subtle. The small differences between each unit on each floor are what count. For example, the difference of a few degrees in location of external forms and internal forms can make all the difference to the Feng Shui of a unit, because a practitioner will usually be using Xuan Kong Da Gua in addition to the basic systems. And Xuan Kong Da Gua involves very precise, down to the degree calculations to determine the Qi map of the property and ascertain the Qi points.

Your Unit Here

Once you have the Flying Stars or Eight Mansions chart of your apartment block, get a copy of the unit's floor plan. You have to do a bit of work here but, basically, you need to superimpose the chart over your unit.

How do you do this? Use a compass to get the direction of your unit's door. Super-impose the Flying Stars chart that is in the building's Facing Direction onto the unit's plan.

So, for example, if your apartment block faces West 2 (W2) but your unit's main door faces East 2 (E2), you need to transfer the stars found in the East sector of the apartment block's chart onto the Main Door sector of your unit's floor plan (see diagram).
Remember, the Main Door of the unit may not be in the same directions as the Main Door of the block, which is why you have to superimpose the chart.

I won't go into the details of all the type of combinations you don't want to see at the Main Door of your unit but here are a few negative combinations you don't want to see:

3-2 (arguments and disputes will be plentiful), 9-5 (indulgences, unhealthy habits) 3-5 (wastrels and problems caused by money).

The logic behind this is quite simple: the stars at the Main Door of your unit give you a general snapshot of the Qi affecting it. So, if the Qi at the unit' door is not good, what's circulating in the unit cannot be any better.

As I always tell my students, you can't perm your hair if you don't have any hair in the first place! You can only tap the Qi that you have at hand, not create it out of thin air or suck it in with some cast-in-gold Flying Dragon.

If the Main Door of the unit has good stars or good combinations, move to check the bedroom sector. It is preferable too see good Sitting. Stars in the bedroom area as these help with health and ensure good relationships professionally and personally.

Forms, Inside Out

It is important to also observe the external forms that influence the apartment block's Qi and the forms around the Main Door of the apartment block.

For this, the rules that apply to landed property, which I have written about in my book, Feng Shui for Homebuyers - Exterior, can be used. The external forms must always be checked before we look inside.

Typically, a professional Feng Shui consultant will evaluate the external forms from the apartment block's Main Door and also the balcony of the unit. You can also do some quick and simple evaluation from the balcony yourself. Stand at the balcony and look out.

Do you see any hills or mountains or river formations? Where are these hills or mountain and river formations located?

Here's the quick 'no-frills' answer to mountains and water. Ideally, you should see Mountains or hills at Northeast, West, Northwest and South sectors and Water at East, Southeast, North or Southwest directions.

Remember, the apartment swimming pool is a sufficiently large body of water to take into consideration, so check to see if it is located correctly, based on the preferred directions above.

For apartments, internal forms arguably play a more important role because if you have a problem, you have less room to play with in terms of making changes or renovations. So, observing the forms within the unit is important.

Good stars at the unit' door will not be helpful if the unit's door has a Qi flow problem due to obstruction or the lack of a Bright Hall (Ming Tang). You need both good stars and good forms!

Generally, try not to have cluttered or tight corridors outside of your apartment unit.

The life to your floor is considered an internal Qi mouth in apartment Feng Shui, so you don't want the flow of Qi from the lift to your unit door to be obstructed or blocked. Similarly, inside the apartment, make sure that there is an open space just beyond the unit door for the Qi to collect.

Kitchen Matters

Moving the kitchen I a non-existent option when it come to apartment, so it is vital that you check this aspect of the unit out before you buy or rent.

Professionally, we look at both the Flying Stars or Eight Mansions charts and the forms to determine if the kitchen is an acceptable location and how to place the stove in it. But for the layperson, I would suggest just going along with the internal forms.

Here's the 'no-frills' approach; make sure that you can locate the stove in a place in the kitchen that has no negative forms.

The rules that apply to internal forms for kitchens in landed properties apply to internal forms for kitchens in apartments.

So, for example, you don't want to buy an apartment unit where the kitchen is designed in such a way that you have to locate the stove opposite the kitchen door - or the only way to put your sink and stove is right opposite each other, resulting in a Fire and Water clash.

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