Which way should a house face?
Q. We’ve seen a house we like, but we’re concerned that it might be more difficult to sell later on, because the garden isn’t south-facing. Is orientation important?
A. The short answer is no. Indeed, some of the nicest people I know have north-facing gardens.
Seriously though, there is a widespread perception that somehow, south-facing properties are always best. However, the plain fact is that they’re not – or at least, not always – because they don’t suit everyone.
Whichever way a property faces has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your lifestyle – and the size of the garden, of course. The main thing in favour of a southerly aspect, for example, is the sun. Yet, for many people, this can be a real drawback. We’ve all been in homes where you simply can’t sit in the south-facing conservatory, because it’s like an oven – even with all the windows and doors open, the roof blinds drawn, and the ceiling fan going at full s;eed. In the heat of the day, a nice, cool north-facing garden can be a real treat – particularly when filled with shade-loving plants and the soothing sound of running water. Pet-owners will often prefer a north-facing garden precisely because of the shade it offers. And of course a north-facing bedroom will be to a lot of people’s liking during those long hot summer nights.
If there is such a thing as the ideal orientation, then my personal preference would be for east-west. That way, you not only get all the benefit of the early morning sun, but also the very best of those balmy summer evenings.
That said, however – and everything else being equal, of course - I would never let the orientation of a property dictate my choice. And neither, I would suggest, would anyone else. So, my advice is, if you really like the property, then go ahead and buy it, before someone else does. One thing you can be pretty certain of is the fact that by the time you come to sell again, the market will be in a much healthier state than it is now!