North and South Facing Lake Homes
If you’re buying a home for the first time, it’s easy to become inundated with information. There are many factors that influence your choice and often times it can be stressful.
Among these wildly varying factors is the cost. Sure. But when investigating a property there’s likely emphasis on how you will enjoy and grow into the home.
Comfort is among the biggest buying factors for new homeowners. However, Freshhome.com also listed these as potential deciding factors, when making that big purchase:
The Neighborhood and Commuting Distance
Lot Location and Size
The Architecture and Layout
Last but not least, the potential for future projects
Yet, one factor isn’t discussed regularly, and it’s awfully important to the energy efficiency of the home and the future of the yard:
What direction is your home facing?
Sunlight in the Home
This isn’t just about proper feng shui.
If you’re looking into purchasing a lake home, or a first home, or any structure, in general, it’s quite important to understand what direction the home is facing. After all, this determines how it will affect your living situation.
Especially true of Midwest homes, where winters can be colder than other areas, the way we heat the place is affected by sunlight, dramatically.
A South facing kitchen and living room would mean more natural light and a warm ambiance in those rooms throughout the day.
During the winter days, the rooms located on the South side of the house would get more consistent light especially on the shorter days of the year.
The temperature will be warmer on the South side of the house as well. Great for wintertime, even with all our modern utilities, heating, by electricity or propane gas, can be expensive. It’s worth using natural sunlight to help temperature maintenance and be a little more energy efficient in the process. It’s the why and how that will help make your purchasing decision.
For energy-conserving purposes, a house on an east- or west-facing lot should also have the long side facing south. This is a good aspect of home ownership to look out for if you’re searching the market. With the ridgeline oriented east-west, this may mean that a narrow side of the house faces the street.
A North facing house typically would indicate a South facing backyard. Generally speaking, the kitchen and living room would be located in the back of the house as well.
A South-facing home gets sun for most of the day, but it also matters how the layout of the house works. It is brighter and warmer if the kitchen is on the south side of the home. A north-facing home gets sun at the back of the house and is typically darker and naturally cooler than a south-facing one for Summer.
There’s an entire Hindu concept called Vastu Shastra, which according to Wikipedia is a dedicated “ancient doctrine which consists of how the laws of nature affect human dwellings. The designs are based on directional alignments, primarily concerned with architecture — building houses, forts, temples, apartments, and other structures.”
These old concepts are still with us today, and make a big difference in the ways our homes function.
Lake Home Real Estate and Seasonal Affect
One big factor for a lake place to consider is the time you’re going to be spending there.
Often people buy a home to get away on weekends throughout the Summer. Or there’s the retired crowd that likes to have a lake getaway and subsequently snowbird to a warmer climate in the Winters. That’s lake life after all.
Whatever you're plan is there’s going to be North or South-facing benefits.
Among those benefits is the idea that a North facing home will warm itself with the evening sunlight and stay cool during the day. That’s ideal for those spending a large amount of time out at the lake during the Summer.
For those staying through the winter, it also might be applicable.
Having a warm bedroom, on the south side of the house, is a benefit worth considering. This is especially true for full-time lake residents who work during 9-5 business hours. These residents won’t worry about a foyer remaining colder through the day, as they might just appreciate the sun-warmed bedroom instead.
Benefits In The Yard
Since we have covered the major aspects of the home, it’s time to consider your yard.
Many lake places enjoy access to a fresh garden. Summer storms in the Midwest can deliver water if you’re only out at the lake place on the weekends, when you come to the lake and can enjoy the literal fruits of your labor.
For sunlight though, placement of your garden is crucial. We all know that healthy crops are thanks in part to a balance of water and sunlight.
The main advantage of a North-facing house is that you can place a garden in an area with the right amount of sunlight. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the south side of any house will see the most hours of sunlight during the day – especially in the Northern Hemisphere – so a south-facing garden takes advantage of this.
Home buying, while it can be stressful, gives us a lot of options for consideration. When you’re making a list of must-haves, and visiting properties, remember to get the compass out on your iPhone and check the path of sunlight by seeing what sides of the house face south.
This one factor will change the way you approach energy, living, and the value of your home over time.
Thanks for reading and please consider watching our blog for more tips on having a prosperous property in lake country and beyond. Happy holidays!