Do you salute a magpie? Are you afraid of walking over three drains but will happily walk across two? Cultures are full of superstitions, with many finding their way into the world of property.
As tomorrow is Friday 13th, online home-moving service provider, reallymoving.com takes a look at 13 house selling superstitions from all around the world and through the ages.
The number 13
The number 13 has long been associated with bad fortune and it appears that a great many people don't buy houses that are number 13. Last year at reallymoving.com we analysed sales of all the number 13 properties, which according to The Land Registry, was 2,240,575 transactions in 31 months.
Surprisingly, we discovered that the volume of properties numbered '13' dropped significantly below the national average for properties numbered 12 or 14. Our graph shows what the national average of property numbering looked like. There should have been over 15,000 number 13 sales. In fact, there were approximately 10,000.
After further investigation, we found that Birmingham had the lowest number of number 13s relative to average 11s, 12s, 14s & 15s. Similarly, the region of England and Wales that appeared to be the least sensitive to the number 13, was Romford, yet the South East of England appeared generally least concerned about the number 13.
The country as a whole appears to be increasingly superstitious, and whilst there is no evidence that properties at number 13 sell for a lower price than other properties, the superstitiousness index for the England and Wales overall is 37%, whereas for new build properties the figure is 57%.
Interestingly, many property developers building high-rise towers and apartments avoid listing the thirteenth floor entirely, whilst others choose to name a property rather than numbering it 13.
12 more house selling superstitions.....
Leave your old broom behind
In both the UK and America, it is popular belief (or superstition!) that when you move house, you need to leave your broom behind. Any old mops and brooms you have used in your old home are believed to carry the 'dirt' of the place into your new house should you decide to take it with you.
Even if you aren't superstitious, you might need to invest in a nice, new broom after cleaning your old house from top to bottom prior to your move!
New shoes on a table
Ever heard this old wives' tale? Traditionally the saying warns of bad luck because new shoes were often put on the dead before they were laid to rest on a table. If you're moving to a new property be careful where you put your shoes when you're unpacking!
We all know you get 7 years bad luck for breaking a mirror, which means you need to be extra careful when moving house! This superstition originated from the Romans who believed that breaking a mirror would bring 7 years of misfortune because the soul of the person who broke the mirror would be trapped inside.
Not so much a superstition as the art of optimising energy and luck, this ancient Chinese practice harmonises the environment to create a peaceful living space. The art of Feng Shui is popular amongst many interior designers and even if you aren't superstitious, good Feng Shui means health, happiness and good energy – the perfect combination for a happy home!
Burning Sage for protection
Cleanse the energy in your new home by 'smudging Sage,' an ancient Native American ceremony that many still believe in today. Burning Sage is an easy ritual you can carry out in your new home if you'd like to purify the energy for your future life - just be careful when carrying a smoking stick around your brand-new house.
The lucky number 8
Regarded by the Chinese as their luckiest number, number 8 is pronounced, 'Ba,' which sounds a lot like 'Fa,' meaning wealth, or fortune.
The unlucky number 4
Unlike 8, the number 4 is generally considered as unlucky in Chinese culture as the number 13 is in the Western world. This is because 4 is pronounce 'Si' which means death, or to die, in Chinese.
Exit the same door you entered
According to this old Irish tradition, the first time you enter your new home has to be the same door in which you leave, otherwise you'll receive a wealth of bad luck. This seems easy enough though, considering how many times you'll be walking back and forth through your front door to unpack your car!
Don't walk under a ladder
A popular every-day superstition, many people avoid walking under ladders for fear of the bad luck it will bring. One origin of this superstition dates back to medieval times when ladders were connected to the symbol of the gallows, a place where people were hanged. To walk under a ladder would be to meet the same unfortunate fate.
Don't open an umbrella inside
According to the Ancient Egyptians, opening an umbrella inside would offend the God of the Sun as umbrellas protected people from the heat. Perhaps not a superstition you need worry about too much if you live in the UK with our unpredictable weather – unless you want to avoid getting rainwater on your new carpets!
Moving on a Friday, Saturday or rainy day
Although the most popular days of the week for removals, a Friday and a Saturday are considered unlucky and may prevent you from settling into your new home. According to Indian tradition, the luckiest day to move to your new property is Thursday. Compare removal quotes to see if you can get a lucky date with one of our removal companies!
Bury a statue of St Joseph in the garden
Feeling a little out of luck if your property has been on the market for a while? Try burying a statue of St Joseph in your garden, a superstition believed by many to help you sell your property. Once your house is sold, dig up the statue and find a place for it in your new home. Not only will you have a nice, new house to live in but you'll also have a new decorative ornament for the mantelpiece!