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Pre-Screen Listings By Street Name?



Image by Joseph Gareri

More to a House than the Home Itself

Can the name of a street provide you more information on a home than just an address?  Well, it may not be the defining factor when deciding to buy a home, but it can be an indication of what kind of lifestyle a buyer might encounter once they move into the property.

Streets are Like Waterways

In Feng Shui (wind-water), streets are like waterways.  Energy moves down the street just as it would if it were a body of water.  A wide busy freeway with loads of traffic has energy rushing at a frenzied pace making it too hectic to be healthy to live right next to.  A rambling, bumpy, unpaved country road would likely lead to a laid back, relaxed and much more slowly paced lifestyle.  Depending upon where a person is in their life, their personality and what type of living situation they are looking for determines what type of living environment is best for them.  If they love excitement, a busier street with lots of activity and even mixed use buildings will probably suit them best.  A person that prefers quiet times is most likely going to prefer a street with less traffic and a few stop signs along the way to keep cars from past too quickly. 

Names Carry Energy

Names also carry energy.  The name of a street can have an impact on residents.  This is personal because it depends upon what the name means to the individual.  For instance, most people are happy to live on a street named Sunshine Avenue, but living on Drippy Drive has a whole other connotation.  Something like Castle Street can mean different things to different people; some might think of a grand castle and others might think of a scary castle, so you can see how personal perception plays in. 

So if you have a client that you know is young, hip and looking for adventure, you can probably save yourself a trip if you see a listing on Fossil Lane.  If you have a client that is looking for peace and serenity when they come home, Tranquil Place just might be a winner!

Nickie is the founder of and She is a certified IBE Healthy Home Practitioner, Certified Usui Reiki Practitioner and Feng Shui Consultant. She has lived on both coasts (as well as in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains of Colorado) of the US and currently calls Los Angeles home. You can find her in plenty of spots in the online world and should you happen to catch her at home, she will probably make you something yummy!

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  1. Chris Shouse

    August 30, 2008 at 10:41 am

    So very true did you also know that if you have clients from China they do not like the number 4 and will not have it in their house numbers. The number 4 sounds like death in their language.

  2. Upstart Agent

    August 30, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I have thought about this myself sometimes – House numbers like 911 or 13 seem to always draw comments and no doubt it may negatively impact a buyer’s impression before even seeing the house.

  3. Jim Gatos

    August 30, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    1312 Mockingbird Lane?

    1164 Morning Glory Circle?

    Is there really a “Divorce Court” in Heather Highlands, Pa?

  4. Louis Cammarosano

    August 30, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Interesting article and good advice for buyers agents but what would you advise sellers to do if their homes are on the wrong side of Karma street?

  5. Benn Rosales

    August 30, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    This is pretty cool stuff Nikki, we’re more and more often being asked if we know anything about Feng Shui, and I remember offending a few folks early on in my career not understanding issues with house numbers, directions homes face, etc… We had to study some to undestand what the consumer was asking, because at first glance it seemed odd to lose a deal over something like this but folks really do tend to take it pretty seriously…

    Do you see this becoming a more perm niche for agents(some used to call it a fad, not so much anymore)?

  6. Nickie Rothwell

    August 30, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Chris! You’re absolutely right, that is how the number 4 is perceived by many from China and it can be a deal breaker. From the Western perspective, 4 represents Security and Self Discipline-completely different. Much the same as how our cultures differ in how we view the color white, in other cultures it is a color used for funerals, so in landscaping, white flowers should never touch a home. In our culture, white has a different meaning, so perspective does have an impact on some aspects of Feng Shui interpretation.

    Hi Upstart! Numbers and names do carry energy with them; I’m not sure if a street name would be a deal breaker for most, but it is part of the whole package and something to consider.

    Hi Jim, I wouldn’t know about that, but I sure hope there isn’t! 🙂

    Hi Louis! It would probably be fun to live on Karma Street! There are optimal positions to live on a street and places to avoid; we’ll be getting to those soon! (Hint: Avoid living at the end of a dead end street-if you do, there are fixes!)

    Hi Benn, you’re right, some people do get a bit off-put, but I think it is because they are unfamiliar with Feng Shui. Feng Shui is very simple yet complex at the same time. The principles are common sense and once you “get it”, you see how it all makes sense. But if you’ve never had the chance to see it in action, it can seem very abstract. For others, it can be a deal breaker. Hopefully as we get to talk more about the different aspects of Feng Shui, it will start to all come together for folks and bit by bit, people will have an opportunity to see how making a few simple adjustments in their environment can greatly improve their well being.

    A niche for agents? Definitely! The practice of Feng Shui has been around for thousands of years; it’s definitely not a fad.

  7. Louis Cammarosano

    August 30, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Nickie a post on the “fixes” for sellers would be grand…
    Could you do one?

  8. Nickie Rothwell

    August 30, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Absloutely Louis, my pleasure!

    Next post, fixes for sellers!

    Thanks for the input!!


  9. Missy Caulk

    August 31, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Nicki, interesting observation. I am at my cottage this weekend on Devils Lake. I HATE with a passion that name, but we loved the cottage and bought it. I have angels throughout it, but it is embarrassing to tell people where it is. So I usually say, “the Irish Hills area in Mi” which has many lakes.
    If they ask me which lake, I tell them.

    Got a good fix for that one? (((sigh)))

  10. Nickie Rothwell

    August 31, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Missy!

    This is such a good question!

    I wasn’t familiar with that area, so I did a little bit of research on the history of the name of the lake.

    It seems the lake got its name from one sad occurrence way back in the 1700’s and from what I could find, there hasn’t been anything else except great things talked about in the area.

    It sounds like a gorgeous place and thriving lakes are very auspicious. I saw that this is a great fishing area. You love your cottage and from I read, others love the area too.

    The best thing to do is to think about how you can change your perspective on the name and come up with a way that makes you feel better about it. Perhaps just plain consciously accepting how the father felt when he lost his daughter in the drowning accident, validating his feelings and then just releasing it all will do it. Since you already love everything else about the area, I’m sure you will feel even better about it if you no longer “HATE with a passion that name” and just accept it.

    I hope I don’t sound like I’m preaching, but oftentimes changing our perception just a little bit, can alleviate any feelings of discomfort over things like this. Sometimes with Feng Shui, making a little change inside is where it really matters.

  11. Missy Caulk

    September 1, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Thanks Nicki, amazed and appreciated you did so much research. So much of our history with the American Indian is based on tragedy, so you’re right I need to focus on the good. Thanks for taking the time to respond in sincerity and not a flip answer.

  12. Glenn fm Naples

    September 1, 2008 at 6:45 am

    I worked with a client that is very spirtual and love in with a home – address was 668, but doing some additional research on the property I found it was originally 666. I did disclose the fact to my client and they still purchased the property and appreciated my noting this immaterial fact to them.

  13. Nickie Rothwell

    September 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    My pleasure Missy!

    I’m so glad it worked out Glenn. Interesting that the address was changed through the years.

    If anyone should come across this with a client who does show concern, in Feng Shui, the number for a house with this address is 9 which represents tolerance, compassion and thinking of the greater good.

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Green Live & Work

Regenerating architecture: green building product innovations

(Green News) Sustainable design has evolved beyond robotics, and has tapped into the basics, using pre-historic methods: bacteria. Genius!





A Third Grade Teepee

Remembering back to third grade science class, about ten sticks bound together at the top with twine of some sort, and a little beansprout planted at the base of each pole, eventually became the coolest shelter this eight year old had ever seen. Seedlings wound their way up, tendril by tendril until their leaves reached just far enough to clasp and join, and create and fantastic teepee that was actually a food source, too! Talk about the ultimate in sustainability – but that was old school.


Making Something Out of Nothing

Enough about my blast from the past. I was seriously thrown into nostalgia when I thrust onto the path of this fantastic article by Gary Wollenhaupt earlier this week regarding some of the most inspirational green-building products I have heard about in quite sometime. It must have something to do with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Innovation Challenge and building products that seem to become something from nothing! Apparently these folks were up to the task!

So, maybe the little teepee which was representative of the sacred “three sisters” or corn, beans, and squash that the Native Americans utilized as their staple crops symbolized something else to me. The regeneration of soil, the regeneration of the land, and a regeneration of that happy little elementary school structure, covered in beans which became the perfect hiding spot.

Obviously, the teepee wasn’t innovative, but for this little kid, the shelter “appeared out of nowhere” once those leaves filled in. The Forbes article pulled together an arsenal of truly innovative products that are not only environmentally friendly, sustainably-minded products that will certainly turn many green-builders on their heads!

The Home that Regenerates Itself

Innovation comes in many different forms. Lots of great builders looking to build sustainable homes look towards energy efficiency in a hard-core way and building with products that take building to a new level; however, these innovators have gone and created building products that supposedly grow themselves, or are fire-retardant, or are -say what?- regenerating when they are broken? Oh, ok? This sounds like something out of the future, and we don’t even have our hoverboards yet!

Seriously though, it is amazing to think that there is a product made of a bacteria which will regenerate itself. Self-healing materials have been around for a while, but not necessarily for home building. Wollenhaupt noted that the”Bacteria engineered to thrive in dry climates is helping to create a concrete that can repair itself.

The bacteria are mixed into the concrete and release calcium carbonate, similar to limestone, as part of their waste process. The material fills in holes and cracks in the concrete, making it last longer and reducing maintenance costs.” As someone who is incredibly interested in developments like these, I am quite curious as to their durability and what the testing has been like for the products, but can’t wait to see what the future holds for green building products that bring us full circle! Fascinating, isn’t it?

Watch it Grow

It will be fascinating to see what happens when these homes are built out of these biologically and ecologically innovative building products, and if they will indeed withstand the test of time and do as they say they will. Take some time to view the entire roster of impressive applicants to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the California based non-profit who put on the event, check out their information, and applaud their achievements in green-building and design!

Now I want to go in the yard and build a little pole-bean teepee, and watch it grow. I don’t think my back yard is at the “coral-like” regenerating concrete bio-product level quite yet.

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Green Live & Work

Superadobe: super sustainable building phenomenon

Taking something that already had the power to be awesome and making it, well, super-powered, that is what one bright-eyed architect did with an age-old building concept. Let’s take a mini-adventure into the world of Superadobe, where a blending of concepts which are thousands of years old with some new ideas has created yet another buzz in the stratosphere of sustainability and green building.





Superadobe, I am Your Father

I believe it was Christopher Nolan who said “Batman and Superman are very different characters but they’re both iconic and elemental.” Either way you cut it, adobe is elemental, and adobe is nothing new; I make the comparison the Batman and Superman because they are both superheros, however different…

Adobe is also something nothing short of super. From the ancient Egyptians to the Anasazi Tribe, many cultures near and far have utilized the brilliant mixture of straw, soil, sand and water tamped together to create a sun-hardened earth house for shelter through the ages. These homes are sturdy, cool on the inside in the heat of the Sun, and warm on the inside during cool nights.

It is quite possibly some of the most amazing architecture that we can find when we look at the history of our progression of architecture, next to the great pyramids and cliff dwellings. Let’s face it, in many parts of the world, because of its magical simplicity, adobe is, after caves, how humans survived the elements.

Superadobe is Born Powerful

In the present, an Iranian born architect, Nader Khalili, has discovered, well- I say present, but it was some twenty plus years ago- how to perfect the concept of adobe and bring it forward into the new age. Through modification of the structural processing of the staging of the adobe, Khalili has managed to create a product and process that he has coined as Superadobe. Khalili has said that “Superadobe is an adobe that is stretched from history into the new century. It is like an umbilical cord connecting the traditional with the future adobe world.” He has an interesting take on adobe and its re-emergence to the “new world” through his superadobe product.

Moon-dust or Sand. Take Your Pick – it is Still Super.

What this really means is that his process of taking long tube-like bags, usually made of sturdy polypropylene or sometimes straight-up burlap, and filling them with sand, or rice or any sort of fill, then creating a trench for the foundation, and forming the frame out of these tubes which are filled with the “fill of choice” and then tamped down, either by hand or with a pneumatic tamper. As the foundation is created, windows can be created by having voids not filled, or cut out after the fact. A huge part of superadobe, beyond the tubular filled bags of soil or the like is the barbed wire which reinforces the shape of the buildings, which are generally a coil of these reinforced tubes which ultimately form a beehive shape. There have been extensive experiments with the concept of superadobe, or the earthbag building concept, which Khalili first came up with after attending a symposium at NASA in 1984 where he was trying to figure out who to build structures on the moon! Imagine, bags full of moondust. That sort of sounds magical, or super! Doesn’t it. Just agree. It does.


From the Moon to Your Backyard it seems that not even Kryptonite will take  this stuff down! Superadobe is one sturdy building concept. It is aerodynamic, just as its predecessor, just regular old adobe is. However; with the beehive and or rounded edges that it tends to take on, it can survive hurricane force gales. A superadobe home or building can be built by unskilled labors in a matter of days by the resources available on site, either of the sandbags, or of the specific tubing and barbed wire. The buildings are sturdy, sustainable, cost effective and can be built in nearly all elements. As a builder, one would look to superadobe from the cost effective standpoint for a client who is thinking about passive solar design; it tends to stay cooler during the day in those hot climates, and warm in the evenings in cold climates. The stuccoed exterior is incredibly low maintenance and provides the client for an exceptional opportunity for reduction in utility bills, or for even being off the grid, if they so desire. New offices looking for an interesting, cost effective and sustainable building concept, could certainly look at superadobe as an option. The unique building structure of the circular and hive-like shapes lend towards something new and different. If you want to stand out from the crowd, be sustainable, and possibly have a quick build, superadobe could be for you.  It From the moon to Costa Rica and everything in between, superadobe is a sustainable building concept that has green building aficionados looking towards the sun. It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No. It’s superadobe.

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Green Live & Work

GreenSpur: sustainable construction, reclaimed materials

GreenSpur Unveils their first OneNest Project home built in Virginia, a sustainable construction project that could be duplicated across the world.



sustainable construction

sustainable construction

One of a kind sustainable construction project

This weekend was full of anticipation and completed, what could be called “full-circle-excitement come to fruition” for those who have been keeping tabs on the GreenSpur construction team. Not so long ago, I brought word to you about the incredible opportunity that Mark Turner and his concept team were working on regarding a fully sustainable, green-built home constructed of Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) and reclaimed materials.

This project is the first of its kind and is hopefully going to be one of many that will be replicated internationally as a model of sustainable construction that meets the needs of a true nest.

Flying into the Nest

Minimalism, with a true rustic elegance is what you find peering out at you as you make your way up the steep, curving drive to the Delaplane OneNest home set atop a perfect hill overlooking the foothills of the Shenandoah mountains. It is almost as if someone has called in the gentle fog to hover just at the top of the treeline for intrigue, mystery and sultry ambiance to pull you into the site. Recall those mystical tendrils of smoke that lure… that is what pulls you here…to something new and exciting.

Before you get to the site, strategically placed communal fire pits with site-found logs are hissing, popping and generating that delightful campfire smell and then there is that house. With the elevation of a classic barn marrying a contemporary sanctuary, OneNest sits there among newly planted native river-birch trees, nestled in yet peeking out. The patina of the tin a deliberate match to the brick-red rust of the seamed and painted hardi-plank that covers the SIPS.

The standing seam metal roof line is a delicate yet masculine balance to the reclaimed history that is woven into this home through the use of wood paneling straight from past cabin quarters of the John Marshall property. The facade wouldn’t be complete without the mirror image of floor to ceiling windows flanking a steeple like fireplace that is masoned in stone harvested directly from the site. Usable porches galore. Panoramic views of the fog rolling on and on across the pits and valleys of the foothills while the cows come home. A matching barn is just beyond the main house that has an awning wide enough for a classic riding tractor. Classic is right. This is just the exterior.

Getting Cozy on the inside

Delivering more inside, OneNest’s vaulted ceilings are welcoming and open, leaving one to be baffled by the thought that this space is one-thousand square feet. It could be thousands more; the trompe l’oeil affect of the grande windows to the view beyond pulls the eye out and into the distance. The living room has very functional usable built-ins and is open to the stunning kitchen with a wonderful amount of storage. The fantastic use of counterbalanced Connecticut-style pull down lanterns is just one more ‘trick of the eye’ and fun for the gorgeous space and means to draw the eye up to the loft space above which is the master suite.

Past the kitchen, a full bath, well appointed and glowing is to the left, and storage to the right. Beyond that, windows, again floor to ceiling brighten the space and pull in the outdoors while highlighting the spiral staircases to go up and up into the nest. Before heading up, a nosy poke into the crawl space reveals some more smart design, wine-cellar in the crawl built from galvanized metal buckets and wine-racks; a good use of space in an otherwise unusable crawl!

The second floor is home to the lofted main bedroom, which has a lovely view of the great wide yonder and can be conveniently enclosed with thoughtful curtains; wrapped around the far right of the bedroom is a little nook- great for reading, a dog-friend or maybe some lovely indoor plants for creating a nice indoor air quality. The master spa-bath is impeccable with an egg-shaped soaker tub, walk-in shower complete with rain head and well, it is simple, yet stunning. Plus, there is a fireplace above the bath. Nice… I

n the central stairwell, up once again, the next level houses the guest room with incredibly functional use of space, reclaimed wood and a sumptuous bathroom which is just incredibly well done. This OneNest space is an unbelievable four stories of beautiful, reclaimed, green living space built to help the owner truly nest in, living in what they need.

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

Nesting as a Trend

Why OneNest? Business partner, Arian Lewis, stated “this is something that can be replicated in any country across the world. I’m currently talking with contacts in Malaysia to see about using our concept houses there.”

Lewis is the partner based out of the Oxford England team, who has been working on outreach to developing nations. These homes can be built anywhere. They are sustainable and don’t have to take up a lot of space or resources. Minimal or luxury finishes can be put into them and the product can be built an a relatively small amount of time.

Mark Turner, the brainchild behind GreenSpur and the OneNest project, said when asked what the biggest take away should be for the project, “Well, this was absolutely a labor of love and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wanted to do something different that other builders weren’t doing and that would change the way things were being built in the construction industry.” He has proved it once before when he built a net-zero house on Capitol Hill, now he has done it again with the OneNest project’s first completed home, built in 100 days in Delaplane, VA.

Turner reminds us all that “OneNest is the context of everything in one world- a natural resting place.” Mark has also been quoted, “When I think about designing and building PLACE, I am inspired by Stegner’s quote, ‘There it was, there it is, the PLACE where during the best of our lives friendship had its home and happiness its headquarters.’ This 1000 SF OneNest Project is our team’s best attempt to capture this spirit. We are using radical approaches in design, materials and building science to capture that simple notion that we all universally yearn for: ‘happiness its headquarters.'” I love this about this team, they are so grounded in their since of duty to balance and harmony with nature, life and the elements.

What is Next for OneNest

Looking at their mission, Delaplane was a lovely place to select for the first part of this project’s journey. Just off of John Marshall Highway in historic wine country, this may be an idealistic “happiness headquarters.” The first OneNest will be open for extended stays as well as events for the next six months to continue to the conversation within the community and beyond about this intriguing and passionate design and building concept.

Where do you think we’ll see more of these beautiful, sustainable creations across the States and internationally? Start the conversation by making the visit.

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