Determining the most desirable aspect when buying a home is difficult because there are so many variables. There is a pecking order in place, and it can often be a buyer’s chief consideration when pondering a property purchase.
A north-facing aspect seems to be the first choice in Australia anecdotally. This doesn’t mean the front of the house faces north, by the way. It refers to the orientation of the main living space and garden in relation to the sun. This aspect allows access to plentiful amounts of light all year round. At the height of summer, your north-facing living room and garden will be oriented away from the full force of the sun, maximising the opportunity for shade. In the depths of winter, your living space/garden will be bathed in sunlight as the sun moves low in the sky from east to west.
If north-facing is best, does this mean its opposite, south-facing, is the worst aspect? Not exactly, however the sun will find it challenging to brighten up your living room in the colder months. That said, summer will be quite okay, though, with the sun’s more southerly track affording much direct sunlight.
An east-facing aspect is like getting a credit mark for a university essay, pretty good. Your morning coffee will be accompanied by a glorious sunrise no matter the time of year. It could get a bit hot later in the morning, but you will be protected from the worst of the afternoon sun.
With a west-facing aspect, the mornings will provide a sanctuary from the fast-rising sun in summer, but it might get a bit sticky in the afternoon and early evening. Winter, however, will be a different story. The afternoons will be pleasant as the sun will offer plentiful light from a northerly angle.
Trees and hedges, slope, elevation, the height and proximity of neighbouring properties, and the size of your block can turn these general principles on their head. Your north facing garden might have an apartment block just over the fence impeding the winter sun in the afternoon.
Your east-facing living room could have the neighbours’ leighton green hedge obscuring your morning sun. On the other hand, your south-facing living room might have been designed by an innovative architect who included a line of openable skylights bringing light and air movement in winter. And your west facing garden might have a row of beautiful snow pears providing soothing shade from the summer sun and dappled light in the winter.
So, which is the best aspect to look for when buying a house? It depends on many variables, which your local Raine & Horne agent will be able to explain.