Home Orientation Rundown

One question heard with frequency is what direction is best for my house to face? The short ambiguous answer is that it depends. Each buyer may have a different preference depending upon their lifestyle, use of the home, and tolerance to temperature. First, a simple fact not to be diregarded is every house will have exposure to all four directions. Therefore the initial question to ask is where do you spend the majority of your time in and around the home? This will be the first step to determine what direction would best suit your needs.

In Tucson the common element dictating people’s decisions is the sun and our higher summer temperatures. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, maintain full time residency in Tucson, and are sensitive to hot temperatures then backyard exposure to the west would be least desired because of the direct afternoon sun at the hottest part of the day in the summer months. On the other hand, another person who enjoys spending time in the backyard but who is a seasonal winter visitor may actually enjoy a west facing backyard since that additional sun in the afternoons during the winter months will provide more comfortable temperatures on average and could lead to actually spending more time outdoors.

A particular house’s layout may also factor into the decision. If your lifestyle finds you spending abundant time in the kitchen and you’re concerned with too much sun heating up the kitchen in the summer, than two homes on the same lot may offer vastly different results. If both kitchens face south and one has few windows while the other boasts a wall of expansive windows, then the additional sun from the south facing home with a lot of windows may be less desirable. Another potential contributor may be the surrounding area. Does a particular home have neighboring properties, trees, or other structures that block the sun? These external factors often aren’t readily apparent from online listings, so don’t necessarily discount a particular home based on its orienation without having a complete picture.

So what should you do if you find your dream home and it faces a direction that isn’t compatible with your lifestyle? Well, there are several possible remedies that could mitigate such a scenario if excessive sun was the issue. Products such as window screens, shutters, tinting, or even upgraded windows all can provide reprieve on the interior of the house. Exterior landscaping with shade trees or extended porches/patios may also be options to provide more shade to a yard or house. So while prior thought should be given to your preferred house orientation, it’s often advisable for it to not completely determine your search. The bottom line is give some thought to your preferences, lifestyle, and use to determine your ideal house orientation, but keep an open mind because you never know if a house or lot has unique attributes that may end up working well for you.

Stephen Woodall
REALTOR, GRI @ Long Realty Company
Stephen has made real estate his full-time career and passion since 2008, primarily specializing in the Foothills & the Northwest Tucson areas of Oro Valley and Marana. He is a multi-million dollar producer, representing both sellers & buyers. Stephen has tremendous experience in new home sales, listing & selling primary residences, listing & selling vacant land, listing & selling luxury homes, investment properties, rentals, and real estate development parcels.

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