Cardinal Direction View Perspectives

Washington State is located between approximately the 46th parallel and the 49th parallel. During the summer months, the sun will generally move directly overhead from sunup to sundown. During the winter months, on the other hand, the sun will typically only pass approximately 45 degrees above the horizon to the South, with it's highest point at mid-day. In the following paragraphs, we'll discuss the pros and cons of the four different cardinal direction view perspectives and what buyers and sellers should consider when looking at properties with varying view perspectives. 

When we use the term view perspective, we are referring to the primary direction that a property's shoreline view is facing. For example, if the front entrance of the home is facing East, it's probable that the home's view perspective is out of the back of the home facing West. We would refer to this property as West facing. 

If you'd like to jump to a particular view perspective, please click on the links below:

  1. North
  2. South
  3. East
  4. West

Now, let's dive into the four cardinal direction view perspectives!

North Facing View Perspective

Although it is highly dependent on the topography and vegetation surrounding a property, in general, North facing properties have the lowest demand among the four cardinal view perspectives. There are certainly anomalies to this description, however in cases where North facing waterfront properties have large bluffs or tall trees behind the home, during the winter months when the sun doesn't rise more than 45 degrees above the horizon to the South, the shoreline on North facing properties can often be fully shaded.

Below is a video highlighting the Whidbey Shores community on Whidbey Island, in which the point of the community faces North and East, while the long stretch of properties predominantly faces North. As you will see in the video, there are sections of the North facing shoreline near the point without trees or bluffs behind the homes, which are fully in the sun, while other sections with trees/bluffs behind the homes that are almost completely in the shade. 

South Facing View Perspective

South facing properties are the most highly sought after and typically sell at a noticeable premium above other cardinal direction view perspectives. This premium reflects the fact that South facing properties will almost always have sunlight pouring into the windows on the home that face South, regardless of what season we are in. This is also true of the shoreline. Considering the water in Washington State isn't exactly the warmest in the world, having a sun drenched shoreline makes hanging out on the beachfront much more enjoyable.

The video below features the Warren community in Gig Harbor. Facing almost directly South, you'll notice that the shoreline and the South facing facade of the homes are soaked in sunlight. Generally, you will have this experience in almost every South facing waterfront property in Washington State.

East Facing View Perspective

Are you a morning person? Do you love waking up, brewing a pot of coffee or tea, and enjoying watching the sun come up over the mountains to the east as the sun wakes up with you and sends it's energizing rays through the windows of your home? If so, you may find that East facing properties are the best fit for you!

In the video below, we highlight the Point Evans community of Gig Harbor which faces East toward the Cascade Mountains. Homes in Point Evans and other East facing neighborhoods will experience cooler sunlight pouring into the shoreline facing facade of the home, through approximately mid-day. Depending on whether the East facing homes have bluffs or large trees behind them, a home may continue to have sunlight shed on it from the West or it may be in the shade. Typically, any time past mid-afternoon, East facing shorelines are generally in the shade. 

West Facing View Perspective

If you'd like to bask in the warmest possible sun on the day while enjoying the shoreline of your waterfront home, a West facing property is likely to be ideal for you. Similar to East and North facing properties, if you have a large bluff or tall trees on the opposite side of your home as the shoreline, its probable that your morning will start with your home predominantly shaded. As the day goes on, any time past mid-morning, your property will start to receive sunlight as the big star rises to it's highest point of the day. Now moving past mid-day, the sun will really start pouring down it's rays on the west facing shoreline of your property and, as the day goes on, those rays will really start to warm up. If you're fortunate enough to have a stunning mountain view to the west of your home, you'll be consistently amazed at the sunsets casting a myriad of oranges, reds, purples, and pinks through the sky. 

In the video below, we feature the Lofall community of Poulsbo. This community faces due West looking directly across the Hood Canal at the jagged Olympic Mountains. As the clouds and other atmospheric precipitation move across the mountain range, you'll be delighted by the variety of colors as the sun sets over the horizon. Don't forget, relaxing on the shoreline of West facing properties will be the warmest among the four cardinal directional view perspectives. 

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