The direction an apartment or condo faces may not be something that immediately comes to mind when looking at properties, but it can have a big impact on the feel of a home.

Due south

South facing is a preferred direction to face, offering a bright living space, although it can warm in the summer months. South facing units are best in colder, northern climates, where you want to take advantage of the sun’s warmth as much as possible.

Northern exposure

Conversely, north facing can be great in warm climates such as the U.S. southwest, as it allows you to keep out most of the hot summer sun, while letting enough light in during the winter. For others, it can feel too dark, with the light that does get in never really feeling “warm.”

East meets west

East facing is bright in the morning and cool in the evening, which is perfect for early risers. West facing is likely best for those of us who like to sleep in, with the most amount of light coming in the later afternoon hours and just before sunset.

High quality blackout curtains and blinds can help mitigate any issues with bright rooms that make it difficult to sleep, or get too warm.

Get to know your neighbours

It’s important to keep in mind what the adjacent buildings are used for. Is there office building with a noisy air conditioner next door, or a nightclub? 24 hour convenience stores can cause issues in neighbourhoods, is there one in the building or nearby?

Also keep in mind that adjacent buildings or lots could be redeveloped or built on. Check with the city if any development is proposed nearby. This information can often be found online under “rezoning” or “development applications.” You should also ask your realtor, but keep in mind, they may not be aware of a proposed development.