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Buying a House? Consider the Sun

Updated on November 26, 2014

Where do the sun rays shine on the house?


What direction does the house face?

North, south, east or west, the direction your house faces makes your house light, dark, hot, cold, dry or damp. Noticing which windows the sun rises in and which windows the sun sets in indicates the functionally of a prospective home. If you thrive on light, a south facing home with warm sunlight pouring in may be for you. If you work at night, and need the day to sleep, a north facing home may provide the shelter from the sun you need. Buying a home facing the direction compatible with your lifestyle, can make living there as comfortable and as living in your own private spa.

Consider the Equator

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A markerBrazil -
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B markerUnited States -
United States
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Would you like to buy a home closer to or farther away from the Equator?

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A Perspective North of the Equator

Since I am located in the United States, I am using this north of the Equator orientation as reference. If you are considering a house in Brazil, or another place south of the Equator, your North may be more like the South I discuss here.

Would you like the Northern, Southern, Eastern, or Western sun in your backyard?

Would you like your front yard to the South and your back yard to the North?
Would you like your front yard to the South and your back yard to the North? | Source

Windows Facing North

Rooms with northern facing windows are often the coolest of the whole house. Living in a very warm climate may make a house facing North attractive as the costs of air conditioning may not be so high.

In climates that are not warm year around, northern facing rooms may be difficult to keep as warm as the rest of the house. If the northern room has a bathroom attached that allows moisture into the room, this moisture may linger in a dark cold room. If the room isn't aired regularly, mildew may grow more readily than in a sunny warm room.

If the house doesn't have any window that let the sun in, adding a skylight or two may be something to consider.

On the other hand, some people may sleep sounder in a cold dark room, so a northern facing room may be ideal for a bedroom.

The Bracingly Beautiful North

A markerAlaska -
Alaska, USA
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Let reminisces of the arctic beauty of Alaska help you decide whether a house to the North is the perfect direction.


Windows Facing South

Rooms with southern facing windows are warm, cozy rooms. They do come with the danger of becoming too warm in a hot climate. But in a cold climate they could become the rooms where everyone gathers.

Think of your property as a microcosm of earth

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A markerBali -
Bali, Indonesia
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Awesome place for a beach vacation. A backyard situated to the South is a reminder of the soothing Bali sun.

B markerIceland -
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Might need more than a bathing suit for this exhilarating holiday spot. A backyard situated to the North is exhilarating.

Your Own Microcosm of the Whole Word

Think of it. You are the creator of your own little world, your yard. The sun awaits your positioning. So plan where you want it.

When we plan tropical beach vacations, we look for warm beaches like in Bali. When we want invigorating vacations,destinations like Iceland and Alaska are perfect. So look for a house with your favorite sun where and when you want it.

If you live in the North, it is possible to have a piece of the Southern sun right in your own backyard. If you live in the South, you can have refreshment from the North at your house.


Windows Facing East

The sun rises in the east, so east facing windows capture the sun rise. What are you doing at sunrise? Do you want to see it? If you rise at dawn, the rising sun brightening the curtains may be the perfect start for your day. If you enjoy sleeping in, that sun may be way too perky early in the morning.

A bright sun streaming into the kitchen can be helpful in finding the coffee pot. But it may shine too directly into your eyes while eating breakfast if you like the blinds open. It's up to you where you'd like this early morning sun.

Both the Western Sun and the Eastern Sun have a Variety of Characteristics

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A markerSeattle -
Seattle, WA, USA
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Contrast your feeling of the sun of Washington State to that of Southern California.

B markerNorthern California -
Northern California
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Even within California the Northern sun is less intense.

C markerSouthern California -
Southern California
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Traveling down the coast of California, you'll feel the sun getting stronger the farther south you go.

D markerNew England -
New England
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Though the New England beaches are so alluring, they are not the places I'd choose to sit on in my bathing suit during the winter.

E markerNorth Carolina -
North Carolina, USA
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F markerFlorida -
Florida, USA
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Now Florida beaches are the places I'd like to relax during the winter in the sun.


Windows Facing West

Perhaps living rooms, dining rooms, family rooms, or great rooms are the ones to enjoy the setting sun in. A west facing room with a sliding window/door to the backyard could provide a sanctuary of relaxation after a long day.

Windows Facing Northeast and Southwest

Sometimes northeast and southwest facing rooms are the perfect compromise. A bedroom facing the northeast would be cool for sleeping with a wink from the sun at dawn. A family room in the back of the house, looking out to the southwest, might have the perfect blend of warmth and beauty at the end of the day.

Sun filtering trees


And Then There are the Trees

"The best laid plans..." Sometimes we can plan perfectly, and then mother nature gets in the way. Or does she? Trees can filter hot sun rays providing the perfect blend of warmth and coolness. Or their presence outside of a northerly facing window may make a cold room even colder.

Perhaps the kitchen in the house you'd like to buy faces that beautiful sunrise and has a tree outside strategically placed to prevent the blinding rays, but lets the softer morning rays filter through. So noticing how the shadows fall from the trees around the house, tells you how comfortable the room nearby will be.

The perfect combination, sun and trees.
The perfect combination, sun and trees. | Source

The Perfect Team: Sun and Trees

With strategically placed sun and trees, your new home can rival the best spa, and be the best place to unwind.


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