Seasonal Affective Disorder
10:44 25 October 2011
DONT BE SAD
Its just over a week till the clocks change, and for many this marks the beginning of a bleak time. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects about 7% of the population during the winter months and can kick in as soon as the clocks change at the autumn equinox.
Nicola Oddy of Stacks Property Search in Cornwall says, How light your home is can have a serious effect on SAD, but its easy to ignore matters of light when viewing property. And even if you dont suffer from SAD few people would dispute that a bright house is more desirable than a dark one.
Before you view a property, take time to look at its position, which way it faces, especially which way the garden faces, and the most important rooms. A house that faces east and has its garden facing west is good. Youll get sunshine in through the front windows in the morning, and sun in the garden and through the back windows in the afternoon.
If the garden faces south, thats great for time spent outside, and in the rooms that overlook the garden, but the front of the house will get very little light all day. If your garden faces north, it will get very little sun ever.
Then think about rooms; most people would prefer morning light in the bedrooms; afternoon and evening light in kitchen/living rooms. If the main rooms have dual aspect, its even better. Predominant rooms facing north will feel dark all day.
You need to add into the equation the amount and size of windows. Large windows will let in loads of light, but small ones, perhaps with leaded lights, and hidden away under the propertys eaves will struggle to bring in the light you want. Large rooms with high ceilings will generally make a room feel lighter and vice versa.
Also look at the topography of the land. If the property is hidden away in a dip or valley, your available light will be limited whichever way it faces, and however big the windows are. Or situated on the side of a north facing hill, the south facing aspect of your property will struggle to gain the light you might think it deserves.
The immediate surroundings will also affect your light. Trees, buildings, large hedges, and local topography can have varying degrees of impact. If youre viewing in the winter, imagine the trees with full foliage; and if youre viewing in the summer, imagine the scenario when the sun is much lower in the sky.
Taking all this into consideration isnt easy, but if light is important to you, its crucial you do your research. Make sure multiple viewings of a property take place at different times of the day, and make a point of establishing where the sun is, and which way its going. If the lights in the house are switched on, ask for them to be switched off, or do it yourself, so you can get a true impression of how much natural light the property gets.
If the house of your dreams has light issues, and you decide to buy it anyway, there are things you can do to help. Light boxes, internal glass walls, mirrors on the sides of dormers or replacing door panels, light floor coverings, furnishings and wall finishes, and hanging curtains so they dont obscure the windows when open will all help. And of course artificial light its worth speaking to a professional lighting consultant to achieve the best result.
Stacks Property Search & Acquisition has nineteen offices throughout the UK.
The Old Vicarage
St Newlyn East TR8 5LJ