5 Reasons Why Buying Property in Koh Samui, Thailand Might Be Easier Than You Thought

We’ve all fantasised about it before; living on a tropical Island. Perhaps it was when you were sat on the bus on your way to work, squashed between a tired nurse and an arrogant teenager; picturing your very own slice of paradise in your minds’ eye. Then as the bus comes to a sudden stop, you’re snapped back into reality and sink further into your bad mood because you convince yourself that it is something that will simply never happen.And why shouldn’t it happen for you? Why should you not be allowed to live on a luscious tropical island? As it turns out, there are ways in which you can make this happen, if that’s your wish. The question is though, where?Well, how does the heart of South-East Asia sound? More specifically, Koh Samui, in Thailand. Of course, you’ll have to work incredibly hard for it, save as much money as you can and focus on a career that can be continued in Asia (or a retirement plan); though that’s not to say its impossible.In this article I am going to list a few reasons why moving to and buying property on Koh Samui is well within the realms of possibility. If moving to an Island is what you’ve always dreamed of, then why not? After-all, we are the architects of our own reality, right?1 – Because You CanIt really is as simple as that: because you can. Yes, there are complications and a number of laws in place that make it quite difficult, though it’s not impossible. The problem is that there are always horror stories and rumours that float around, shattering everyone’s dreams. Yes, you can buy property in Thailand – no, it’s not impossible.


The only thing is that you have to do your research and know your rights. That being said; there are plenty of experienced legal aids in Thailand who will be able to guide you through every step of the process, including a wealth of Real Estate Agencies who will put your needs and desires first so as to ensure the smoothest transaction.It is worth putting in the extra effort, believe me. Read on and we will explore some of the things that make Koh Samui so special!Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the World, and expatriates from all over the World have long been flocking to its shores to start a new life. In the same breath; Koh Samui is one of the larger islands and has grown in popularity over recent years, thus contributing towards it booming economy and real estate industry – do you want to be a part of that? Because you can.2 – Because Koh Samui is MagnificentKoh Samui isn’t one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations by accident. It has gained such a reputation because of its unparalleled beauty. Koh Samui is truly one of the most beautiful locations in the entire World, rich with a cultural tapestry that will rend you awe-struck and inspired.The local Thai community are wonderful and accommodating too, welcoming all who flock to their shores with bright smiles and open arms.From the hustle of Chaweng Beach, to the tranquility of the Lamai side of the Island; Koh Samui has something to offer everyone. The island boasts a wealth of magnificent landmarks and activities, including the Ang Thong National Marine Park, Bophut’s Fisherman Village, the Secret Buddha Garden and the World-Famous Scuba Diving that Samui’s neighboring island, Koh Tao has to offer.3 – Because the Weather Doesn’t SuckWho doesn’t want to walk around in a vest and flip-flops all of the time? Some people (crazy people) like the cold, I for one could not think of anything worse. In Koh Samui you can enjoy the benefits of living in one of the most wonderful climates in the World.Sure, you’ll have to weather the occasional tropical storm during the rainy seasons, though even they come with their own unique set of charms. Yes, the power of mother nature can be rather intimidating, but there is something inexplicably remarkable about sitting on your balcony and watching as the storms rage and the skies light up in a grand display of electric artistry.4 – Because the Food in Thailand is far SuperiorOK, so this point may be a little biased and of course there are many who will disagree. But for the most part, anyone with great taste will know and understand that the Thai’s truly know how to eat! If you want to get away from the Fish and Chips and the Microwave Ready meals, then look no further than Thailand. They are known the World over as having some of the most magnificent food in the World.


But don’t worry, for those of you who aren’t too adventurous with their food, you will still have access to all of the western cuisine that your hearts desire. With plenty of local supermarkets selling everything you could possibly want for a slice of home.5 – Because the Properties are Worth Every PennyIt’s no secret that money goes much further in Thailand. For what you would spend on a 2-bedroom terraced house in elsewhere, you could instead buy a villa with your very own private swimming pool! The Real Estate industry in Thailand is booming and there is a wealth of quality and experienced Real Estate Agents in the market who will be able to help you find your dream home without straying over your budget.In fact, even if you were to simply rent a property in Thailand, (which is entirely viable) to compare – rent prices in the United Kingdom are 96.83% higher. In a nutshell, your money will go much further and you’ll be able to live a much better quality of life. Stop dreaming and make it your reality.

How to Find a Quality Halfway House in the United States

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HALFWAY HOUSES*

The first thing you need to know is that most halfway houses are NOT regulated. Many operate without a state license. Most halfway houses, regardless of whether they are licensed or not, do a great job at helping a person stay sober, and can assist a person in reconnecting with family, and also becoming a contributor to society. Many Halfway Houses operate without a license simply because the licensing agency and/or the zoning commission prevent halfway houses from operating in their neighborhoods by restricting census (total amount of residents in any single location or house). Few halfway houses can stay open when a licensure agency and/or zoning department tell them they can only have 4 residents in a large 4 bedroom house. Few places can keep their doors open with these unfair and illegal tactics due to the large overhead incurred (lights, electricity, heating, cooling, insurance, mortgage payments, staff, etc.). What is most important is how they go about helping people to stay sober and keeping residents on track- what is their main focus, making money or helping people- this is typically the main difference between a quality run halfway house and a poorly run facility. There are many questions to ask to determine the difference between the two. Are they staying on top of their resident’s sobriety? How do they maintain a clean and sober environment, etc.? Do they have rules? What are the rules? How do they enforce them? Always ask to see a copy of the rules!!! Are they a coed facility? Typically, a male or female only halfway house has better odds at maintaining sobriety and dealing with length of stay issues. You will want to know what happens if you come home drunk at 2 A.M. on a Friday- do they just kick you out of the halfway house into the neighborhood? Do they have protocols for dealing with this and many other possible scenarios? Find out how they deal with situations before moving in. You should definitely be given a complete tour (especially visiting exactly where you are going to be placed), along with explaining all the rules and regulations, as well as a residents responsibilities. Note: Most Halfway Houses require, at least initially, a resident to have a roommate, as this helps make sure a person is accountable by at least one other person besides the House Manager and the General Manager/Owner.

You should take note of how the place looks. A few years ago I was involved in property assessments for a program helping mentally ill patients. One of the first things we would take note of is whether there was grass growing in the cracks of the concrete. Another item was the condition of the landscaping (was the grass mowed, the bushes trimmed, the trees pruned, etc.). We would then move on to how the paint looked, the roof, whether the windows were clean, etc. With this same approach, you should be looking to see how clean the house is. Are the grounds well kept? Is the roof showing signs of possible leaks? How does the entire exterior look? What shape is the room you will occupy, etc?

Another issue you may find at halfway houses are the managers. Most, if not all, are in recovery themselves. There is a big difference between what is called a General Manager and a House Manager. It is very typical, and normal, for a house manager to have only a few months clean and sober. This does not mean the halfway house has poor management. It is not so much time clean, but the quality of clean time that matters most. It is typical that a House Manager will move on to getting their own place by the time they get 6 months to a year clean, so this makes sense why House Managers have little clean time. On the other hand, the General Manager typically has years of sobriety. What’s most important is how many years the General Manager has running a halfway house system as opposed to how long the House Manager has clean. A General Manager that has both years of sobriety coupled with years of experience running a halfway house is a winning combination.

One of the most important factors in whether a halfway house is of good quality is how the General Manager and/or Owner deal with the overall handling of each and every resident. They should be forever vigilant, and firm. They should be able to tell you how often they are around the residents and the house, and if they run more than one house, they should be able to tell you how they stay on top of all their houses- what system is in place so that residents and houses are not left unattended for any length of time. A quality run house should require a length of stay commitment from the potential resident prior to moving in (this is usually anywhere from 3 months to 1 year- the longer the stay, the higher the success rates). All facilities should be set up so that every resident MUST report to the General Manager or House Manager, and that the House Manager reports directly to the General Manager or Owner. A quality run halfway house should have sign in/sign out sheets designating why a resident is going off grounds including where they are going and what time they will leave as well as when they will be back- make sure there is a system in place that checks and verifies this information both before a resident leaves and how they appear upon return. This includes going to work, a job search, (this should include a separate list of places they are applying at and how long they will be at any one given employment office/business), 12-Step Meeting attendance (this should state which meeting, time of meeting, and any other important information), visiting family, (who, where, etc.), visiting a friend (This should be looked at by the General Manager/Owner and not just the House Manager- keeping in mind that certain people and places are off limits), as well as any other reasons and times for leaving the house- responsibility and accountability are important components at a good halfway house- look for this.

Money is another issue. If a person will be tempted to drink/drug, a quality house should have a safe place to hold a residents money. If, for instance, a resident has another person (family member, case worker, etc.) paying for their stay at a halfway house, this money should go directly to the company/Owner, and not to the resident. Employment may be required as part of a residents stay, and there are certain high-risk jobs that should not be allowed by management. These include driving a cab, working at a bar, graveyard shifts, and working too many hours that the resident does not leave time to engage in their recovery effort. More information on typical fees can be read further down on this article.

Responsibility- Most halfway houses require residents to attend what is called “House Meetings.” House Meetings should occur on specific days at specific times, for the purpose of reviewing how a resident is doing, if they are attending 12-Step meetings, counseling sessions (if offered), and any other issues that may have come up during their stay. Most good halfway houses require residents to attend either or both inside and off grounds 12-Step Meetings (Typically 12-Step attendance is a minimum of 1 per day initially, and at least 3 meetings per week as a maintenance level- most quality houses require a resident to have a sheet signed by the meeting chairperson stating the name of the meeting, day, date, and time). It is very important how a halfway house handles a residents free time (at least for the first 30 days), as new residents should only be allowed off grounds with a stable resident to go with them, and it should be noted if they are utilizing this privilege without abusing it. Typically, a new resident may be restricted to the unit for the first few days. After between 1 week and 30 days, if a resident has shown responsibility and accountability, a resident will be allowed more freedom, but keep in mind that a quality house should always have curfews in place regardless of length of stay. Most will have specific wake-up times. It is also important to find out how they handle visitations (family, friends, case workers, etc.) Free time includes going to off grounds 12-Step Meetings, working with a 12-Step Sponsor, working the 12-Steps, etc. Free time is extremely dangerous for a newly recovered person, so a good run house should have programs and activities to keep them occupied. Most require a resident to do chores (gardening, sweeping, cleaning, cooking, etc.) and these are usually done without pay. If a resident has a vehicle, it should be either paid for or they are making payments on it- these payments should be verified as being up to date. A resident must be properly and currently licensed to drive it, and the tags should be current as well.

On another note, the level of care at a halfway house can vary greatly. Some offer the bare minimum- a bed with a roof over it. Others provide counseling, 12-Step Meetings, guidance, true random drug testing of their residents, food, and transportation to/from outside meetings, job coaching, training, placement, and many other services. The key is to find a halfway house that is run well, as well as one that meets your needs. Keep in mind that many who choose, or are placed into, a halfway house do get better and can stay sober, but this requires a combination of resident dedication and good management. Also keep in mind that halfway houses are not treatment centers, not a place of luxury, and definitely not responsible for a person’s sobriety. Be aware of so-called “flop houses” which are just places to sleep without any supervision or accountability- these usually have high rates of failure/relapse. Some houses deal with dual diagnosis issues (substance abuse and mental health problems). Most provide a safe place, depending on the quality of the program, a facility manager and/or owner to oversee it, and some basic needs for the person living there. Please don’t start checking out various halfway houses with the expectation of going to a country club, or more importantly, that everybody who is there is happy, healthy, and mature individuals- remember, they too are trying to get their lives together; some for the first time after decades of abusing alcohol and/or drugs- in other words, there is no perfect fit. If you are in need of detox services, this should be done with medical supervision- withdrawal can be deadly without the proper medical care in place- you may need to go to a separate place to detox safely before moving into a halfway house. If a halfway house provides detox, they should have qualified medical staff to deal with this issue- make sure you verify credentials.

It helps to keep in mind why you are going to live at a halfway house… and that reason is, to be at a place that is alcohol and drug free, to be surrounded by people trying to build a better life for themselves, and a place that will keep an eye on you until you start to get on a successful path to making your life better. Keep this on your mind the whole time you are in a halfway house!!! Besides the basics provided, at a typical halfway house, be grateful if they provide anything else for you- remember your purpose for being there (to get a good shot at sobriety) and don’t expect extras. There are many resources within each state to help you obtain a list of halfway houses near you (see resources below this article). Keep in mind that the lists provided to you contain mostly licensed facilities- a licensed facility does not mean they are better- just that they do a good job at paperwork and at paying licensing fees.

A CASE IN POINT

I had a very, very, very dear close friend named Bob (actually he was the best friend I ever had in my 50+ years on earth) and he had been sober for 6+ years. He took a relative, (who was actively using drugs) into his house to help him get his life back in order. As time went on, this relative and his influence took my friend Bob down the dark path of relapse. I worked as best I could with Bob, being that I was in Southern California and he was in Mesa, Arizona. Bob decided he had enough, and wanted to get clean again. Bob checked into a licensed halfway house and 1 day into staying at the house he had to pick up his last paycheck, so he could pay his rent at this halfway house. The halfway house let him leave alone, to get his check- a bad move on the managements decision to allow him to go by himself to do this (all they were concerned with was getting rent money from him) and so he picked up this large check and immediately got a hotel room, drugs, and proceeded to get high. Bob died in that hotel room. A quality run halfway house, licensed or not, would never have allowed him to do this, considering the risk, as a quality run halfway house would have arranged for the employer to mail the check, or that the House Manager or General Manager would have escorted Bob to the company and made Bob accountable and would never have permitted him to cash it and be left to his own devices- alcoholics/addicts are impulsive, especially early in their road to recovery- and Bob would have returned to the halfway house and the manager would have held his money to pay rent and also, hopefully, given him money to live on, but not enough to get high on. It is, in large part, the halfway houses part to intervene and assist a newcomer in making sound decisions instead of an impulsive weak moment that eventually lead to Bob’s death. I continue to place a large amount of blame on this halfway house for playing a large role in my dear friends death. Had Bob been in a quality halfway house, licensed or not, he would still be alive today. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my best friend. This article is dedicated to him in the hopes it doesn’t get repeated.

Additional Information

A special amount of attention should be paid to the weekly costs and up front monies a particular halfway house charges to their residents. Typical average charges at halfway houses from state to state in the USA run from $90.00 to $150.00 per week. Some will take anybody in without upfront monies as long as the facility is reasonably confident the resident is either employed or employable and will be able to make their weekly rent payments and be able to make up for back rents. Some houses require up front monies prior to admission, a security deposit, and rent paid in advance. This may be a barrier to getting into certain facilities. There are no insurance companies that cover halfway house rents, unless the house provides specific treatment, counseling, etc., and even at this, it is difficult to get insurance companies to commit to extended periods of coverage. Also of concern, is if the resident is able to work- A Halfway House is a business, and overhead plays a big part in whether or not they can keep their doors open. It doesn’t do much of anything if all the right pieces fall into place at a quality house, if they can’t pay the bills. Many facilities go under, not because they don’t care or want to help, but simply because they have too many residents who are not working, not enough residents, some who can’t work, or are unable to cover and/or pay back the rent payments owed and/or the initial move in costs.

So what can you expect for the amount of money you pay to a halfway house? This varies greatly. For some houses it is all-inclusive, meaning they provide everything from phone service, food, counseling, job seeking assistance, etc. For others, they may offer some or none of these services. Much has to do with whether you are going, or sending someone, to a 1/2 way house, or to a 3/4 house, or a sober living environment, recovery home, etc. (see additional information concerning this factor below). Typically, a Halfway House is for those just starting to get their life in order. A 3/4 house, sober living house, recovery home, etc. does not provide the intense monitoring of their residents. The residents pretty much go and do as they please, without meetings, UA tests, or signing in and out, as opposed to a quality run halfway house that should monitor all activities and services. It is best to check out what type of house you NEED and are interested in- this includes going to the possible house, talking to current residents, and checking out the outside as well as how the internal accountability (both for residents and managers/owners) factors are carried out on a daily basis.

An additional word should be mentioned about the differences between a halfway house and a ¾ house, sober living home, recovery homes, etc. There is a distinct difference in all of these compared to a typical halfway house operation. First off, a halfway house is typically the place to go to, or be referred to, when someone has been actively using drugs, drinking alcoholically, or has been discharged from a treatment center or a prison for a non-violent drug offenders. It is not a detox ward, (unless they state this service is provided), as detox should be handled only by a medical facility run by professionals, (doctors, nurses, etc.).

So, how do you know you are going to a quality run halfway house? This requires research, asking many, many, many questions directed to the owner and/or halfway house manager. NOTE: If they don’t answer their phone calls or emails, don’t return phone calls or emails, will not give you a tour, or have an attitude of indifference towards you for asking so many questions, it is best to find another place and start the process of finding a quality run halfway house all over again- keep in mind that you are literarily placing your very life into their hands, so you don’t want to get this wrong.

Finally, It should be noted that a good halfway house needs to run successfully- this means not only helping people, but also, meeting the bottom line financially. Residents must meet their full monetary obligations- paying rent (on time and in full) and be actively involved in their own recovery, as this resident accountability factor plays a major role in success or failure. Sometimes a person fails/relapses, so find out what the procedure is for re-admittance- some will never take back a resident who relapsed while in their halfway house program, others may require a period of time clean before accepting a person back. It is the responsibility of the resident to know what happens if they relapse- where will they go, will the halfway house assist them in securing a place to live, what are the options available to them. The bottom line is to ask, ask, ask… Read the full article with more resources at nicd.us

*This article is written by Stephen J. Murray, NICD Director for use by individuals, family members, referring agencies, (Treatment Centers, Detox Facilities, Social Workers, Case Managers, Courts, etc.), Halfway House Managers/Owners, and Other Professionals who are looking for a quality halfway house.

How to Sell Your House Privately

To sell your house privately can be an exciting challenge for most people but can also be a daunting task especially if you’ve never done it before. While selling your house privately is never as easy as you think, it’s certainly a feasible way to avoid paying thousands of dollars in commission to a real estate agent. If you’re confident you can do it or just want to give it a go, you’ll need to know the ways in which you can market your house so that you receive a quick hassle-free sale as well as achieving the best sale price possible.

Here are several ways that you can market and sell your house privately…

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 1: Internet
The Internet is probably the most utilised form of contact for buyers looking for a house so you should have your house listed on the Internet, but on probably no more than two websites (any more than two is unnecessary). Unfortunately the major sites realestate.com.au and domain.com.au don’t allow private sellers to list their houses for sale. However there is a loophole…several private listing real estate websites actually subscribe as members to the above websites. So if you list your house with these private listing sites they’ll automatically list your house on whichever of the major two sites that they’re subscribed to (for a price). Otherwise you can simply list your house for sale on a private sale website such as PrivateSales.com.au.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 2: Flyers/Leaflets
According to statistics, something like 80% of homebuyers buy a house within 5km of where they currently live. This being the case, it’s a great idea to create your own flyers using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher and have them printed professionally by a printer. Flyers are usually dirt cheap so shop around for the best deal. You’ll probably need around 5000 to make a splash in the area (in metropolitan areas) and something like 15,000 flyers would create a good coverage of your local area.

You can deliver them yourself (if you have the time), or you could use a mailbox distribution company such as Salmat or PMP Distribution (These are Australia’s two largest distribution companies). Your cost of delivery will probably be a minimum of 5 cents per flyer under a certain delivery amount (say 30,000). This is quite cheap when you consider that you’d either have to deliver them yourself (you could probably only deliver a few hundred per day) or have to pay a commission to a real estate agent.

For ideas on how to design your flyers, simply copy the best ones that you receive in the mail from the larger franchised agencies such as Ray White, LJ Hooker etc. Remember to use a ‘catchy’ headline at the top of your flyers eg. ‘HUGE family house on a BIG 1200sqm block’. Expect a 1% response rate on your flyers eg. Deliver 5,000 flyers and you likely receive around 5 calls.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 3: Newspaper
Newspapers are the most traditional way of advertising a house for sale. There are two ways you can advertise in the newspaper. You can have a ‘display ad’ which is simply a ‘picture ad’ along with a certain amount of text allowed (these are the most expensive ads but you can specify the unit size of the display ad from a small one unit up to an entire page depending on your budget).

The other type of newspaper ad is a ‘classified ad’. A classified ad is a text-only ad that allows headings, bolding, underlining, bordering and even some coloured text to make the ad stand out. All of these features come at an additional cost but classified ads are the cheapest types of newspaper ads available. Prestigious and/or expensive houses usually work best as display ads since this is where your target buyer is looking for these types of houses.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 4: Magazines
Advertising your house for sale in magazines is a more niche way of advertising your house simply because magazines usually have a specific niche that they’re targeting their publication to eg. ‘Country Property Magazine’. This is not necessarily a negative; in fact it can be very positive because you have more qualified homebuyers looking in these publications for a house. Most magazines will have display ads as well as classified advertising available; again it depends on your budget as to what ad you’ll use.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 5: Word of mouth
Word of mouth is often overlooked as a possible way to market a house. You can spread the word through family, friends, workmates, business colleagues, schools, membership clubs that you’re involved with, sporting teams. You could create some flyers and hand them out, send out a broadcast email for friends to forward or even organise a private open house for friends and friends of friends.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 6: Signage
Signage is a great way to attract local interest in your house. It’ll create a stir in the neighbourhood and may even help you achieve a sale if one of your neighbours friends wants to move to the area. You can have a sign made by most printers; the material or product to ask for is a ‘corflute’ sign to advertise a house for sale. Most printers are probably involved with a local real estate agency and create them often. It may set you back a few hundred dollars but shop around and see what you can do.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 7: Open House
Your end goal with all of your marketing is to get potential buyers to inspect your house and one of the most common ways for buyers to inspect houses for sale is through open houses. They offer buyers a somewhat anonymous way of inspecting a house without any sales pressure. It’s a great way to screen buyers to see which ones are ready-to-buy so that you can spend the most time with those buyers. Create your own Inspection Register and get the names and contact numbers of everyone who inspects your house. This is not only good for the sales process but also for general security of your house. Have a set presentation for when you first meet potential buyers to let them know about some of the features of your house. It’s a good idea to have brochures or flyers on hand to give to buyers.

Questions to ask potential buyers are:
Have you been looking for a while or are you just getting started? (if they’ve just started looking they will need to be educated about prices in the area. They can potentially be time wasters as they don’t have any reference points to compare your house with others. In addition to this, the type of house they think they’re looking for could be completely different from the one they actually buy after they’ve completed some research.

Are there any features that you particularly like about the house?
How does this compare to other houses you’ve seen?

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 8: Investor Groups
There are always investor groups or buying clubs that have a database of members that are constantly on the lookout for investment opportunities and could be suitable for you to approach to sell your house. A few downsides to these groups is that they’ll want to buy the house for the lowest possible price and generally won’t be emotionally driven to buy the house which can affect your end selling price or even negotiating power. If you have a particular urgency in selling your house then this option could be for you. A lot of these types of clubs promote the fact that they buy houses for cash with a quick settlement period. Several of these groups include WeBuyHouses.com.au and The Investors Club

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 9: Postcards
Postcard marketing is a more unique and modern way of promoting your house for sale. They work the same as flyers except that your ad is printed on postcards that are then distributed to letterboxes. It’s best to have them distributed by companies such as Salmat and PMP Distribution.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 10: Publicity
Publicity is probably THE most underutilised way to sell a house privately (or through an agent). Publicity is great for a number of reasons; first of all, its free, and secondly and most importantly, publicity promotes your house from a third party perspective. Instead of you saying ‘my house is so great…’ you have a third party saying ‘this house is great, you should go and see it!’.

Some of the top real estate agents have connections to local newspapers and publications and use them regularly if they have a house to sell that has some unique aspect to it. To gain publicity for your house you’ll need to stick with local publications as they’re the ones looking for local news, stories, people, business info etc. Here are several points of interest that you can exploit (write a press release about) that may get you’re house into the local paper:
Unique house
Quirky
Odd colours or features
Unique street appeal
Amazing gardens (rare flowers or plants)
Famous previous owners
Well-known street
Local businessperson owns the house
Award winning house

Here are some catchy headlines to give you an idea of what to write a press release about:
‘How this house went from being an asbestos health hazard to a dream house in 37 days’
‘For Sale…the cleanest house in (suburb)’
‘Why this is the most quirky house on (Smith) Street…’
‘Why I painted one room of my house seven different colours…’

Try to think of weird and wonderful things about your house and really hone in on one specific point that makes your house newsworthy. Email, post or fax your press release into a specific person that writes about property related matters in your local paper. Include a photo as a teaser.

The Family – The People of the Astrological Houses

The most important thing that we do in our experience is to relate with one another. To not be able to relate successfully makes life very difficult for many. I have done thousands and thousands of sky maps for thousands of people over my long years of being a professional astrologer. Probably the single thing that was most important to the person being read was relationships of all varieties. At the end of life, relationships or the lack of them were what was valued most, regretted most and controlled the end of life circumstance the most. At the core of relationship issues are the initial and primary relationships we form with our early family. Here is where our values are established and developed to become the basis for the relationships we build for ourselves in our future. As we mature, we form our own individual family circles plus a myriad of other relationships into which we enter. Family is where we begin our journey to understand and develop all relationships.

In previous articles I have written about the parental axis, the 4th/10th houses of any sky map, as well as the individual maternal and paternal roles. However, the family is not just our parents or lack of them. Each of us has a long, rich history within our family, good guys and bad guys. There is a genetic heritage. Yes we can see the physical characteristics that are handed down through the gene pool. But there is far more than what we inherit from our families on other levels. I am exploring this family astrological heritage step by step through a series of articles.

Any sky map is constructed with the earth (on which we all exist) in the center and the cosmic energy pattern existing around that central core. If we were on the Moon, sky maps would be constructed with the Moon in the center. On Mars, Mars would be in the center, etc. The wheel shape is called “the chart” and the divisions are called “houses.” There are 12 divisions of the houses just as there are 12 sign divisions for the zodiac. The signs show mannerisms, expressions and are descriptive in nature. The houses illustrate 12 compartments or arenas of physical experience. Each of those twelve houses therefore must contain numerous issues and also the people in your life. The whole of the wheel maps the whole of your life, every single thing. The trick is to learn to read that sky map successfully, which can be more involved than it seems. Our focus for this article will be on the people represented by the houses, particularly the members of your family.

Houses General house information will help us reach the point where we can see the validity of the people representations. Remember that the 12 houses begin with the ascendant and are listed counter-clockwise from that point around the wheel. Psychologist Carl Jung divided human expression into four categories: intuition, emotion, sensation, and thought. In brief:

· The left half of the wheel (rising planets) represents the development or the interests of self.

· The right half of the wheel (setting planets) represents involvement with others or the interests of others.

· The bottom half of the wheel represents the time from dusk to dawn, the introspective, internalized, reflective self.

· The top half of the wheel represents the time from dawn to dusk, the externalized, participatory, extroverted self.

· The four angles of the house wheel represent the point of beginning for each of the four quadrants of the chart.

· The general activity of all four chart quadrants are in this order from the Yung perspective: intuition, emotion, sensation, thought.

· The ascendant is the angle that begins the personal, subjective first three houses of intuition (1, 2, 3).

· The IC or 4th cusp is the angle that begins the subjective, other involved next three houses of emotion (4, 5, 6).

· The descendant is the angle that begins the external, other involved three houses of sensation (7, 8,9).

· The midheaven is the angle that begins the external, self-interest three houses of thought (10, 11, 12).

These few sentences describe the hemisphere and quadrature influence of houses. In addition,

· The angular house for each quadrant is dynamic active, visible, directly related to the individual.

· The succeedent house follows the angular house in each quadrant (succeeds the angle) and represents establishing, building, formalization of that quadrant’s issues.

· The cadent house follows the succeedent house and represents adaptation and promotion.

· In brief, the angular house activates, the succeedent house formalizes, the cadent house promotes the issues of a quadrant.

· The round of the three types of houses begins again at the next angle.

There is one more explanation of the cadent house that will help you understand its role better. Adaptation is the key word here because the dynamic influence of the angle is followed by the establishment influence of the succeedent house, which is a logical sequence for experience. However, it would be difficult to move from building brick by brick (establishment) to the dynamic activity of an angle because form would tend to resist the initiation of something new. The cadent houses bridge this gap between the establishing principal of one grouping of three houses (quadrature). and the dynamic principal at the beginning of the next grouping of three houses (quadrature). Using this rationale:

· The 3rd house bridges (adapts) the subjective self-aware first quadrant as it encounters the subjective awareness of others or emotional quadrant initiated by the 4th house. Intuition gives way to emotion.

· The 6th house bridges (adapts) the subjective awareness of others quadrant as it encounters the objective awareness of others or sensation quadrant initiated by the 7th house. Emotion gives way to sensation.

· The 9th house bridges (adapts) the objective awareness of others quadrant as it encounters the objective awareness of self or thought quadrant initiated by the 10th house. Sensation gives way to thought.

· The 12th house bridges (adapts) the objective awareness of self quadrant as it encounters the subjective awareness of self or intuition quadrant initiated by the 1st house. Thought gives way to intuition.

· The cadent houses are therefore key to understanding the point of flux, adaptation, bridging within the chart and are definitely more important than surface reading would indicate.

If you will add this information on the houses with what you already know about the houses, this material should add a layer to your understanding. Read slowly and re-read as necessary.

People of the Houses Who are the people represented by the houses? Everyone in your life is in that wheel somewhere. We will begin with the four angles and the technique we will use is the derivative house system or what I call “wheeling the houses.”

Self Many are aware that the cusp of the first house is called the ascendant and represents the physical presence of the person or entity represented by that sky map. Much of the descriptive reading about a person comes from that cusp and that house as well as that person’s personal projection, response to its environment and coping skills. This is how the world sees us, through the filter of the sign on the ascendant and the planets in the first house. In brief, the first house and its cusp represents the most personal point of the physical self, the “me” point of the wheel.

Partner Diametrically opposed to the ascendant is the descendant or 7th house. This is the point of the chart that is farthest from the point of self and may be described as the not self or the shadow self. This point represents the qualities we do not want to embrace and that we project onto another (partner). It is interesting that this represents the point of committed or contractual partnerships whether those relationships are personal (such as marriage) or business (such as partnership). Our committed partner is supposed to represent all the things we do not choose to express. What action do we do at this cusp? We commit to a person, walk into a house, lock the door behind us and attempt collectively to turn the house into a home. The way to a successful conclusion is to learn from that partner and embrace our own lesson. That way we can be with a person because we choose to, not because we must go to school with them as teacher.

Parents The 4th/10th axis (cusps) represents our parents (or lack of them), the parental roles themselves. I want to back up for a moment and mention that this pair of houses is called the security axis and represents our internal and our external security needs. Our parents are supposed to fulfill that role or to at least prepare us for that role. There is a great deal of controversy as to which parent belongs in which of the two houses. I did cover that concept in three previous articles so I will not repeat that information here. Briefly, the 4th house parent’s job is to offer internal, subjective security, also known as the family. The 10th house parent’s job is to offer or prepare us for external, objective security, also known as making our way in the world successfully. Some people get lucky and the parents fulfill their roles well. Some people are not so lucky because dysfunction exists which can cause the individual lifelong problems. Not every parent is equipped for the role they have chosen. Some people take the lemons they received from their particular spin of the parental wheel and they make lemonade. I encourage that.

So far we have ourselves (ascendant), our partner (descendant), our parents (both, either, or). What about all the other people that comprise our families? Where can they be found in the wheel?

Grandparents The parents have been shown to be the 4th (and its axis partner 10th) from the 1st house of self. Where are the parents of your parents? They must be located in the 4th house from your parent cusp. You always count starting with the house you are questioning, such as the 4th house parent. Put your finger on that house counting “one” then count forward (counter-clockwise) one house at a time until you reach the 4th house of that 4th parent. That would be the 7th house. The same action would be taken for the 10th house parent but it is unnecessary to repeat the exercise, just look to the axis partner of the 7th or the 1st (you). So your grandparents (you have four) are found on the ascendant/ descendant axis. There are only two houses in this count, so two grandparents belong in one house and two belong in the other. It will take a little work on your part to sort this out, but this is where you go to find the answers.

You will probably have genetic hand-me-downs from your grandparents. Two will have great similarities to you, those who are represented by the 1st house and ascendant. Two will seem less related as they occupy your 7th house of not-self. That probably is part of the generation gap. Physical and non-physical characteristics from those grandparents will evidence in you just as you will pass on certain characteristics to your grandchildren. My deceased father’s contribution to my kids and my grandkids is a specific sense of humor. My mother’s love for dancing and music has shown up as well in my kids and my grandkids as has my paternal grandmother’s beautiful singing voice. My parents and their parents are alive and well in the genetic contribution they gave us all within our family. Thank you for the gifts.

Partner’s parents and grandparents What if you marry? The 7th house will describe your partner and your marriage. It should tell you what and who you are looking for, what you want someone else to do in place of you, and what you are not comfortable with within yourself. At times you are grateful. At other times you will fight the process (and the person). That partner has parents and so those parents will be the 4th from the 7th (and its partner) and we are again back to the 4th/10th axis in the chart. Hmmm. So far we are getting a large number of people in very few houses. Perhaps that will help explain why astrologers concentrate on the angular houses. Hang in there, we will move outside the 4th/10th axis shortly. Your spouse has grandparents (4) as well and they will be shown by the 4th of the parent or the ascendant/descendent axis. Getting crowded isn’t it? Again, this can take some effort but this is where you begin.

Multiple Partnerships All committed relationships are a 7th house issue. It illustrates what you are seeking in a partner because you are avoiding it as yourself. What if you have more than one marriage or partnership? To differentiate, skip the 8th house and go to the 9th house. 7th/9th illustrate your second committed relationship. Skip the 10th and go to the 11th. The 7th/11th is your third committed relationship. More? Busy little beaver aren’t you? Do the same routine: skip/choose. Just skip a house, go to the next one and join it to 7th. This combination should describe each individual person it represents.

Children of all varieties Children are thought to be a 5th house issue. These would be natural children of the body (kids) or the mind (creativity). The oldest child is also described by the 5th. The second child would be the 7th along with the 5th. This 7th house child would be most like your spouse. The third child would be the 9th along with the 5th, and so forth around the chart. If you were to have 5 children, the 5th child would be most like you because that child would be represented by the 5th and the 1st houses. Children of your spouse, adopted children, fostering of children are each represented by your 11th house. Same procedure, maintain the base house but do the skip/choose procedure for each individual. Spouses of your children would be shown by the 7th (partner) of the 5th and additional house influence (child).

One last “child” that may be found in the 5th house could be small pets. Large animals such as horses or elephants are read from the 12th house. We all know people who treat their pets as a child with wraps or costumes, who may eat from your plate, considered a member of the family, be the recipient of lots of baby talk, etc. I am not talking about the ordinary affectionate position of a pet within a family. There should be plenty of emotion and caring for any pet. As you know, some pet owners go beyond even that. With some you may find the 5th house is active or gives a better description of their pet, particularly if there are no natural children or are there are children but they are not available to the person. The pet becomes their child.

Grandchildren A child of your child, your grandchild, is the 5th house from the 5th house or the 9th house for all grandchildren and particularly the first one. Again the skip/choose procedure applies for each additional grandchild The child of your spouse belongs with the 5th from the 7th or the 11th house as its base and skip/choose applies here as well.

Siblings and Partners Do you have siblings? They are a 3rd house issue, all of them. However, we must differentiate for individuality. All siblings and particularly the oldest one are 3rd house. The next in age is the 3rd and the 5th in combination. The next in age is the 3rd and the 7th in combination. Each succeeding sibling would maintain the 3rd and add the next 2nd house skip/choose jump (skip the 8th and go to the 9th). This is how you would look at siblings in general and specific siblings in particular. The partners of your siblings are shown by the house opposite the one chosen for that sibling.

Siblings of Spouse and Their Partners If you were seeking information on the siblings of your spouse, look to the 3rd of the 7th, which is the 9th. This is often referred to as the general in-law house as well. Again the 9th would be all siblings of your spouse particularly the oldest one. Do the same skip count as your own direct siblings, the second oldest sibling of your spouse would be the 9th/11th, and so forth. The partners of your partner’s siblings are showy by the house opposite the one chosen for the siblings of the spouse.

Cousins, Aunts and Uncles of all varieties Cousins fall into the same house arrangement as your siblings (3rd). A spouse’s cousins fall into the same house arrangement as their siblings (9th). Your own aunts and uncles have their basis in the 6th house, same counting arrangement. Your spouse’s aunts and uncles have their basis in the 12th house, same counting arrangement.

In Brief We have looked at the generalities of the houses to establish a reasonable base for understanding our relationships with others, specifically those we consider our family. We then moved on to the relationships we form and how to find them in the wheel. You must start with yourself because you will always be one end of any relationship possibility in your own life. The other end will be one of a number of relatives. In brief:

· siblings and cousins = 3rd house

· parents = 4th/10th houses

· grandparents = 1st/7th houses.

· natural children = 5th house

· foster or adopted children = 11th house

· spouses of your natural children = 11th house

· aunts and uncles = 6th house

· spouse or partner = 7th house

· spouse’s children = 11th house

· grandchildren and in-laws in general = 9th house

· multiples of births or marriage are delineated by the skip/choose house count

. Obviously you will have more and different kinds of relationships as we have explored only the family in this article. Please re-read this article as many times as necessary to clarify. This technique is not the easiest task to do and it will take you a little time to learn. For additional assistance look to articles or information on derivative house systems.

Recommended reading: the three previous articles in this series

  • Where do You Find Mom and Dad in a Chart? The Parental Axis
  • Parents – Who and Where is Mom in a Chart? – The Maternal Issues
  • Parents – Who and Where is Dad in a Chart?