iStock_8971187_MEDIUM.jpgGhosts, levitation, and smashed china dishes. Sounds like the makings of a paranormal movie, doesn’t it? Not this time. Today, we’re talking about the weird, the interesting, and often quirky realities encountered by homeowners—and home buyers and sellers—around the globe.

Popular traditions and lifestyles vary dramatically from place to place, and those associated with homeowners and homebuyers are no exception. We found a few interesting international housing facts that make the traditional American housewarming party seem a little bland!

1. The levitating houses of Japan

Earthquakes don’t harm people, falling debris from earthquakes hurt people. Japanese inventors have engineered a system that effectively levitates entire homes in the event of an earthquake. When the system senses a tremor, a compressor will pump air into an airbag and float the house off of its foundation as much as 3 centimeters, thereby reducing the earthquake’s impact. Genius!

2. Why you want a red door in Scotland

iStock_6559450_MEDIUM.jpgRed doors have a long history. In colonial America, a red door meant a safe place to stay for tired horse and buggy travelers; and, in popular Chinese culture, a red door is a sign of positive energy or “Feng Shui.”

But why are so many doors in Scotland red? Actually, homeowners in Scotland paint their front doors red when they’ve paid off their mortgage. So, if you’re ever in Edinburgh and you see someone with a fire-engine red door, congratulate them!

3. Getting spooky in New York City

Certain homes across America have been known to have supernatural inhabitants, but it isn’t typically included in the average “home for sale” description. However, thanks to an infamous court case, home sellers in New York must disclose if their house is haunted by ghosts. It is actually considered a material fact about the property, and can be a potential deterrent for some buyers.

4. This German town was built in… a crater?

iStock_27301065_MEDIUM.jpg

A little over 14 million years ago, a meteorite crash-landed into what is now Germany, creating a crater roughly 15 miles in diameter. Today, the crater is inhabited by the townspeople of Nöerdlingen, who happily embrace their unique hometown history. In fact, the city’s church of St. George is primarily composed of suevite blocks--rock that melted upon impact from the meteorite.

5. A New Year, a new pile of broken dishes

iStock_24037090_MEDIUM.jpgIf you find yourself in Denmark over the New Year, don’t be alarmed if you hear shattering sounds outside your door. Actually, you should take it as a compliment! Throughout the year, people in Denmark save old dishes to be thrown at the homes of their closest friends on New Years Eve. The more broken plates on your doorstop, the more friends you have!

Do you have visions of finding a home, so you can one-day paint your front door red? Get pre-approved for a ditech home loan or call 800-700-9212. We can help.

Subscribe to Email Updates