The St. Patrick's Day approach to real estate

St. Patrick’s Day is always fun and festive, and if you’re on your home search, you may be feeling the luck of the Irish. You might not think that finding the perfect home has so much to do with luck and superstition, but for some, it’s on the list.

You have to do your research and check out the tangible factors, but it has been known to happen that the wrong number can stigmatize a property and hurt the price – or add value because of a luck factor.

Numerology plays highly in real estate superstition, because it’s so integral – street names, street numbers, floor numbers, suite numbers and even the sale price. Home pricing strategy, says Realtor Yan Gurevich, is affected by numerology and personal connections to lucky or unlucky numbers, and to personal and sometimes weird preferences. He notes that you’ll see numbers that add to a specific lucky number, or the inclusion of repeated numbers, like an 888 price point.

So what are the lucky – and not so lucky numbers?

4 Unlucky

Tetraphobia. In Chinese it sounds like the word for death so 4, and any number with a digit of 4 is to be avoided: 40, 444, 441. Numerous buildings exclude the fourth floor. You may find buildings like hotels, apartments and even hospitals without a fourth floor and even a room number 4. In fact, Vancouver has had an increasing problem with developers wanting to omit the fourth floor, 14th floor and any other floor with the number 4 – even excluding suites with the number 4. According to Chief Building Officer Pat Ryan, as reported in the Vancouver Sun November 2015, it was becoming a safety issue, and the city issued a bulletin to developers that removing floors for cultural or superstitious reasons would have to stop, citing that, for example, it could pose a danger to firefighters in case of emergency, who would not be able to rely on finding an actual floor by numerical sequence if random numbers are arbitrarily missing in some buildings.

4 Lucky

Our St. Patrick’s Day festivities would not be complete without the 4-leaf clover.

7 Lucky

Whether it’s the number of days it took the divine to create the world or the fact that 7 is a number that repeats itself in too many obvious ways – 7 seas, 7 colours in the rainbow’s spectrum, 7 notes on the scale – it’s lucky and it’s worked out well for playoff games and James Bond (007) too. My house address is number 7, and without fail, everyone that has ever visited has remarked that my home is lucky. I can’t disagree – it’s been good to me.

8 Lucky

An auspicious number in Chinese culture, 8 is considered to be the luckiest number. Have you ever seen a property listing price with the last three digits 888 – as in $400,888? Now you know why.

9 Unlucky

In Japanese, 9 sounds like the word for torture or suffering and is to be avoided.

13 Unlucky

Triskaidekaphobia or the fear of the number 13 has long been a superstition. Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. Whether it stems from The Last Supper in the Christian faith, where Judas was the 13th apostle to sit at the table, or from Viking lore, we’ll never know – but it’s among the most famous of the superstitions, enough so that a great number of buildings – rentals, condos and office buildings – don’t offer a 13th floor.

17 Unlucky

In Italy, 17 is not a welcome number. The Roman numerals for 17 – XVII are an anagram for VIXI – a term implying you’re dead, similar to the term RIP (Rest In Peace). You don’t want your address denoting you’re dead. Real estate, in turn, rules out 17 – which is easier and less intrusive to do than 4!

18 Lucky

In Hebrew, the same digits are used for letters and numbers, so every word can be read as a number and every number can be sounded out. The digits for 18 are read as the word “life” which is invested with a belief of luck, especially luck to live a long life. To live at number 18 or on the 18th floor would invest the residence with luck for a long life.

666 Evil

From the book of Revelations, John The Apostle’s reference to ‘The number of the beast’ (chapter 13) is associated with Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Though in Chinese culture, the pronunciation of 666 sounds like “things going smoothly” so the number is favourable. I once had a colleague who lived at 668. She joked that she was ” The Neighbour of the Beast.” This one is pretty universal.

There are other superstitions and signs of luck in real estate, beyond buying a home with a yard full of 4-leaf clovers on St. Patrick’s Day. The colour red is a symbol of luck in Chinese culture and occasionally comes up, from the paint palette to the marketing material of new developments.

Some agents and homeowners believe that burying a little statue of St. Joseph will help their home sell. There are a few differing views about how the statue should be buried, though all agree that the statue should be wrapped to keep it clean as a sign of respect. You can buy a St. Joseph House Selling Statue Kit online.

Feng Shui is also given some consideration. If a property has bad energy or no flow, it can be a deterrent for a sale. Feng Shui can even relate to a residence’s placement on a street and how the energy will interact with the flow in the neighbourhood. A home at the T of an intersection can get to much chi too fast, and that’s not good.

But for now, in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, may the luck of the Irish be with you for your real estate ventures this week!

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