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“I just want a concrete box with plumbing in the corner.”

Famous last words in my quest for a new home. What makes the stressful search for a new home even more complicated for my husband and myself is that I’ve been a Feng Shui consultant for over twenty years. In those twenty years, I’ve lived in just about everything— apartments, a trailer, detached homes as well as above a business—but never in just a concrete box. Our budget for a home in the Bay Area really excluded spaces that were big enough for our furnishings unless they needed a ton of work--like a complete gut. Traditional Bay Area bungalows have small rooms with lots of built-ins, doors and windows which meant there was nowhere to put our furniture. They were also going for 100K over ask. Another issue was that we did not have time on our side as we needed out of the rental we were in. When we started the list of needs and wants, we realized we had to think unconventionally. We searched all over for the right space that fit our very specific requirements: It had to have spaces that were big enough for our two enormous antique Persian rugs. It had to have a deep bathtub in a clean, new bathroom. We liked modern and industrial. We needed a semi-bad neighborhood to scare off competition. We needed it to be sound-proof (to protect the neighbors from us--we are very loud). It needed to have space to breathe, but not too much space since we hate to clean. It needed to have opportunity for improvements, but not too many projects since we would be living in it and everyone knows that there is a level in Dante's Inferno called "living in construction". And it had to have great Feng Shui! You can imagine how exhausting that search was and how many old, gross, tiny traditional homes we looked at. Some I refused to get out of the car. In my exasperation I said "Why can't I just have a concrete box with plumbing in the corner?!?!" And that is how we began searching for a great loft in a crap neighborhood. I will point out that my husband has always been a Feng Shui Good Sport and he was the one that eventually found our dream, dealt with the realtor and closing, and got us moved in. All of that, it turns out, was the easy part.

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