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Explaining what a north facing garden is, if they're a good idea and whether they make it hard to sell...

We know how difficult selling a house can be – deciding which selling method to use, trying to find a buyer, choosing which offer to take (if you’re lucky enough to have a few) and that’s before you think about conveyancing and paying all the fees.

On top of this, some houses will be more difficult to sell than others, with a house with a north facing garden being no different.

But what is a north facing garden? What are the pros and cons of having one? And is it harder to sell a house with a garden facing north?

We’ve written a full guide answering all these questions and more!

What is a north facing garden?

A north facing garden is exactly what it sounds like it will be – a garden which faces in a north direction. When you’re standing with your back to the wall of your house and you’re looking down the garden, you will be looking in a northern direction, if your house has a north facing garden.

If you’re unsure about the direction your garden is facing, you’re able to work it out in a very simple way. Either take a real compass or open the compass app on your phone and point it towards the bottom of your garden, with your back against the wall of your house.

If the compass displays North, then, as you may expect, this means you have a north facing garden.

Alternatively, you could go onto ‘Google Maps’ and type in the address of the property. If you then view the house in street view, there will be a mini compass displaying which way the garden is facing, with the red part of the arrow representing North.

Do north facing gardens get any sunshine?

One big sticking point for a lot of homeowners who have north facing gardens is that they rarely receive any sunlight, with the garden being mainly shaded and therefore can be subject to dampness.

However, if you have a north-east facing garden you will have a slight advantage over completely North facing. With your garden facing north-east, when the sun rises in the morning the garden will get some sunlight.

If you’re a keen gardener and have a north facing garden, there are still plants that can grow in the damp and dark conditions, but it’s slightly limited, as you may expect:

  • Snowdrop

  • Lily of the valley

  • Dog's tooth violet

  • Snake's head fritillary

  • Hellebore

  • Begonia

  • Dicentra

  • Ferns

  • Vegetables, such as lettuce, rocket and kale

  • Herbs, such as mint, oregano and chives

What is the best facing garden direction?

In most homeowners’ ideal world, they would have a garden that faces south. This is due to the fact that they receive the most sunlight from morning up until sunset.

As a seller, having a south facing garden can increase your property’s value and make it easier for you to sell. This is because there’s a high demand for this kind of garden.

If you’re a keen gardener, a south facing garden will be the best option as it gets the most sun and therefore means there’s a wider range of plants that you’re able to grow. However, this isn’t to say that you can’t grow plants in gardens facing other directions – you will just need to pay attention to the types of plants you’re able to grow in your garden’s conditions.

We’re briefly summarised each sunlight situation for each garden facing direction below to help you decide which is the best facing garden direction for you:

  • North facing gardens will get the least light overall and can be subject to damp

  • East facing gardens will get sunlight in the mornings

  • West facing gardens will get the sunlight in the last afternoon and evenings

  • South facing gardens get the most overall sunlight, with them having sunlight throughout the whole day, from sunrise to sunset

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Pros of a north facing garden

Like with anything, having a north facing garden comes with its own list of pros and cons. We’re going to talk you through the positives below, to help you understand whether or not it will be easy to sell with a garden facing north:

  • Less fluctuation – due to the fact a north facing garden doesn’t really get any sun, there will be less fluctuation in temperature. This is good for those that are trying to grow certain plants that don’t cope with temperature fluctuations or extreme heat

  • Respite from the heat – even if it’s the height of summer with a heat wave in full swing, your garden won’t be subject to this and can be a useful shaded spot to cool down or stay out of the sun

  • Easier to protect young kids – if you have a young family and want to keep them out of the sun but still allow them to play in the garden, then a north facing garden will be ideal for this

  • Conservatory – if you have a conservatory round the back of your house leading to the garden, you won’t have to suffer from it being too hot in the summer and it could be a cool room for you to use to escape the heat

Cons of a north facing garden

And now on the flip side, we’ve broken down the cons of a north facing garden, helping you understand how hard it may be to sell:

  • Shaded and damp – as we’ve mentioned a few times already, one of the biggest downsides of north facing gardens is that it doesn’t really get any sunlight and so are shaded most of the time, causing them to become quite damp. Even in the summer months, your garden will stay in the shade, causing it to be quite chilly

  • Unable to have a grassy green garden – due to the lack of sunlight, having a grassy garden becomes difficult, as the grass will die very quickly. As a result of this, you may have to have decking or paving stones over your whole garden, but this won’t be ideal for those with young kids, older people or those who are keen gardeners

  • Unable to enjoy the sun in your garden – with there being little to no sunlight, there’s no opportunity for you to enjoy the spring and summer sun relaxing in your garden

  • Growth of moss and algae – because of the damp and shaded conditions, north facing gardens tend to struggle with serious moss growth, leaving you spending more time removing it from your garden than being able to enjoy the open space or do a little planting

  • Lack of choice of plants – as we mentioned earlier, with the damp and dark conditions, there’s a lack of options when it comes to what you can plant in your garden. This will be a big ‘turn-off’ for the keener gardeners when it comes to looking for a buyer

  • Cold back rooms – with there being no sunlight in your garden, this will also mean there’s no sunlight in the back rooms of your house. As a result of this, they can be quite chilly and dark, leaving you needing to up the heating and constantly have lights on, having a negative impact on your bills, especially with the current cost of living crisis

  • Hot front of house – on the flip side, the front rooms of your house will get a lot of sun, causing them to become quite hot and could become unbearable. As a result of this, you may need to install some form of air conditioning, further adding to your bills and house running costs

Is it hard to sell a house with a north facing garden?

If you’re looking for a short answer to this question, then yes, it will be harder to sell a property with a north facing garden compared to most other garden types. This is because the most desired garden is south facing, so north facing is quite literally the opposite.

Properties with south facing gardens sell quicker, for higher prices – something that is the opposite for those with a garden facing north.

You will especially struggle to sell if you have a small garden, as the chances of it getting any sun will be completely eliminated as the house will overshadow the garden and therefore it will be fully shaded all year round, no matter the time of day.

But it doesn’t have to be a struggle to sell your house with a north facing garden…

Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a cash buyer of houses, buying any property in any condition and any location. We’re not like any regular buyer, so we won’t be put off by a garden facing a certain direction.

With us being a cash buyer, we have our own cash reserves and so can buy your property in a fast timescale of your choice. We will also cover all the fees associated with selling your house, meaning you will get our cash offer in full in your bank!

Another thing that sets us apart from a typical buyer is that we’re members of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers, meaning we follow rules and regulations when buying, allowing you to relax that you’re in safe hands.

We’re also rated excellent on Trustpilot with over 1,000 reviews.

Give us a call or fill in our online form for a no-obligation cash offer to get rid of the struggle of selling a house with a north facing garden!

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Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra is a Content Producer who enjoys writing articles, finding out about the property market, keeping you up to date with the latest trends.