The phrase “south-west facing aspects” can be somewhat of a buzz-word when it comes to property searches. But are they really all they are cracked up to be? How does garden orientation really affect the value of a property?
WHY THE OBSESSION WITH SOUTH-WEST FACING GARDEN ORIENTATION?
If a south-west facing property is put on the market, the advertisement almost always specifies the garden orientation. Why? People are more attracted to south-west facing properties than any other kind, and some people specify this a non-negotiable feature of their property search.
- These properties generally benefit from the afternoon and evening sun streaming in
- The warmth of the sun can help heat a south-facing property throughout the day
- Maximising on available sunlight is especially popular because Ireland gets up to 225 rainy days per year
- Those who are selling properties with south-west facing gardens can expect to receive a premium when the property goes to market
ARE SOUTH-WEST FACING ASPECTS REALLY ALL THEY’RE CRACKED UP TO BE?
South-west facing gardens are great. Who would rather a cold, shaded garden compared to a warm, sunny, south-west facing garden? But what if your south-west facing garden doesn’t get the amount of sun you expect?
- Ask yourself if your sunlight will be obstructed by a nearby building. Such a hindrance to light could suggest that the premium you will pay may not necessarily be worthwhile
- The smaller the garden the more beneficial a south-west facing property is. If you have a big, south-west facing garden, the sun will only ever shine on a certain portion of the garden at the one time
- If you are living in Ireland you aren’t guaranteed very much sun, regardless of which direction your property faces
In saying that, a south-west facing property can be a deal maker or a deal breaker for some people, and it should always be remembered that no matter what changes you make to your property, you cannot move it. If a south-west facing property is a non-negotiable for you then just be on the look out for anything which may interfere with the light shining on your property.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER GARDEN ORIENTATIONS?
For many people, the ideal property will be located in the perfect area and have a south-west facing garden. But this combination, more often than not, is not on the market.
So what about north-facing and north-west facing gardens?
Thinking outside of the box can be extremely beneficial when it comes to finding the right property. Though a south facing garden will benefit from the afternoon sun, most of us aren’t even in our properties at that time of the day! North and north-west facing gardens can get the evening sunlight, and that is when the majority of us will utilise our gardens.
The below image, for example, maps two properties in the same housing development. Though the south-west facing property (number 17 on the image) is €150,000 more expensive than the north-facing property, the north-facing property (number 1 on the image) actually gets more sunlight. This is because the midday sun will be obstructed by other properties in the south-west facing garden, while the north-facing property has no such obstructions to the evening sunlight.
If your north-facing garden is long, another thing to consider is arranging your garden so that the seating area of your garden will be bathed in the evening sun (so long as the light is not obstructed). Also consider adding skylights to maximise on your property’s access to sunlight.
I recommend using a sun-tracking app when viewing any property. This will allow you to see where the sun will be at different times of the day. You will be able to see whether or not the sunlight will be obstructed. We love Sun Surveyor Lite, available for both iOS and Android users.
If you are interested in any of Eldron’s services, why not request a free consultation and we will get back to you.