Number Superstitions and Selling Your House

Even today, number superstitions hold sway over a significant amount of the real estate buying public. From triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) to “lucky number 7”, real estate buyers can have some deeply held beliefs that will influence them when considering the purchase of your home.

The fear of the number 13 is one that many Western cultures share. Some of it comes from the Christian tradition of the Last Supper, where Jesus and his apostles numbered 13. The number 13 is associated with chaos in Persian myth. In the Norse pantheon Loki, the trickster, was believed to be the 13th god. Today, some people go so far as to avoid homes with the number 13 in the address or condos on the 13th floor of a building.

Tetraphobia, fear of the number 4, is alive and well and searching for a home near you. The number 4 is associated with death in China, Japan and Korea.  As with 13 in Western society, 4 is often omitted from floors, addresses and telephone numbers in these countries. Even in North America, this fear has led to some hasty rearrangements of some telephone policies to accommodate the avoidance of 4.

Fourteen is also a nasty number according to Chinese lore. The words for ‘ten’ and ‘four’ in Chinese also mean ‘accident’ or ‘will die’.  Add a 5 to that and the Chinese words are pronounced as ‘I will die’,  not exactly what someone wants to look forward to in their new home! It is also noted that similar aversions towards 4 and 14 and 514 are also present in Feng Shui, that extremely popular home design movement.

Number superstitions aren’t all bad. There are a few numbers that are considered very good to have in your address or telephone number.  Perhaps the most famous in our Western culture is ‘lucky number 7’,  the number every gambler wants to see the dice end up at.  Many cultures share the regard for 7 as significant,  there are legends as far afield as China and Japan concerning 7.  China views 8 and 6 as lucky.  An address with a large number of 8’s is held to be extremely auspicious.

Other views on numbers involve numerology. A Life Path number is held to be all the numerals from the day, month and year of birth added together until only one remains. So, if one was born on April 3, 1977, you would add 4 3 1 9 7 7=31. Then you would add 3 1 together to get 4. An address with 4 in it would therefore be a good choice, according to this system.  Some numbers are held to be “compatible” and some are held to be “incompatible”.  The 4 person should avoid 3, 5, and 9.

Superstitions about numbers are alive and well in house hunters the world over and there isn’t a lot you can do to make your address more palatable.  However, take comfort in the knowledge that most people aren’t going to demand that you add 8’s and remove 14’s from your address.  Most people care more about how well the house suits their needs as homeowners and don’t pay much attention to what numbers are associated with it. Except, of course, the price.

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