There are so many things to consider when buying a home: location, type of home, living area, move-right-in or fix-it-up, lot size and utility, condition... I could go on and on. But instead of doing so, here's another one for you. Does it matter if your new house is north- or south-facing? Is this a priority for you? Or does it not matter in the slightest?
As a real estate practitioner, I often see buyers get out their compasses, which are now readily available on iphones, to determine this for themselves. The direction a home faces is something buyers want to know. This is evident on the new MLS listing sheet which now asks the listing agent to include which direction the home faces — south, southeast, north, northwest, etc. So it is something many buyers consider, but does it enter into their final decision to buy a certain home or prevent them from buying one?
I usually consider the differentiation of how a home faces from a sunlight perspective. Typically a south-facing home gets sun for most of the day, especially at the front of the house, and is therefore usually brighter and warmer. A north-facing home gets sun at the back of the house and is typically darker and naturally cooler than a south-facing one. I live in a north-facing home, and I love the sun I get in my bedroom, which is at the back of the house. But I do wish I had some more sunlight at the front of my house, particularly in my foyer. And so I have always thought that a south-facing home was the preferred direction of a home.
This makes sense given the towns of Weston, Wellesley and Wayland (as well as the surrounding towns) in which we live where our winter days are darker and colder. Of course south-facing would be preferred. We want the sun to shine into our homes and light as well as warm the house for as long as possible. But in Texas, for example, where the sun shines more and the days are longer and hotter, maybe this is not the case? Perhaps a north-facing house is preferred so that the home stays cooler longer. Sun shining into a house all day in a hot climate can be problematic — not to mention that sun beating down on a house for most of the day can result in significant wear and tear (on the paint especially).
And then there's the whole concept of Vastu Shastra, which according to Wikipedia is "an ancient doctrine which consists of ... how the laws of nature affect human dwellings. The designs are based on directional alignments.... [It] is concerned primarily with architecture — building houses, forts, temples, apartments and other buildings."
As FindYourFate.com attests, "A house which is constructed keeping vastu principles in mind drives the negative energy and instead brings peace, success, supreme powers, holiness and opulence to the dwellers residing in the house." According to Shreevedic.com, "It is said that north-facing* homes attract a wide range of positive energy into the house. This positive energy not only creates healthy vibrations but also ensures the prosperity of the people living in such plots." FindYourFate.com summarizes by stating, "The north and east facing house is considered to be better when compared to one facing west or south. However such faults can be rectified with the help of vastu remedies."
This is very interesting because it presents a different perspective about the preference for which direction a home should face — at least different from the south-facing preference to which that I had always subscribed. The bottom line and the good news, however, is that whichever way the house is facing, it can be remedied if it is not allowing positive energy into your home.
So what are your thoughts on this subject? Have you heard of the the vastu principles? What is your preference for the way a home faces? And when buying a new home, would the way it faces be something you would consider or not at all? I can't wait to hear....
* Vastu Shastra also considers other facets of the house, including the kitchen, dining room and bedrooms, and recommends the ideal positioning and directional alignment for these areas.