The South of the United States can be a truly wonderful place to be. Southern homes are particularly charming and often contain features unique to the region. These architectural, environmental, and decorative features serve to protect occupants from wildlife, make their environment more comfortable, or even promote a social way of living. If you are house hunting in the South, you’ll want to look out for these unique elements in any potential new abode. 

A Porch

The South is famed for community participation. There is nothing like a bit of southern hospitality. One of the ways in which this cohesion is most evidenced is in the prevalence of porch life. For southerners, the porch is a place to watch the world go by, to commune with your opposite porch dwellers, and to entertain under the shade of the gables. Socially, the porch is fascinating: it is both within the home and in the public eye. This runs counter to the increased privacy and isolation of modern suburban living elsewhere in the country. A porch is a must-have for any southern home. 

Raised Foundations

There is plenty of wildlife in the South, and not all of it is particularly pleasant to have in your home. Early settlers started building houses on raised stilts in places such as Louisiana. This effectively kept alligators and snakes out of the main body of the home. A stilted house is perfect if you live in a swampy, flood-prone area full of characterful—if a little snappy—southern wildlife. The space under a raised house is also perfect for storing boats, cars, and tools. 

Efficient HVAC

The South can be rather hot. Temperatures in Dallas, Texas reached a scorching 106 degrees Fahrenheit in August 2020. Every southern home needs a decent heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (or HVAC for short). Traditionally, HVAC systems consumed a huge quantity of power. Today, there are myriad solutions for making your home environment comfortable without burning through lots of energy. Solar-powered systems, geothermal energy pumps, and motion-sensitive air conditioners are just some of the solutions being made available to homeowners.

Bringing in some professionals in order to conduct a regular HVAC service is also essential. You don’t want your system breaking down during the height of summer!  

French Windows And Doors

French windows and doors are classic features of southern homes, especially in areas influenced by French colonial power such as New Orleans. French windows and doors are full-length glass doors that can be opened out. The reason that they are so popular in the South is that they are perfect for providing ample ventilation throughout the home. Many southern homes will have open French windows all day on both sides so as to cultivate a welcome breeze. French windows and doors can be a little bit pricey to install from new, but in the end, you’ll thank yourself for incorporating this tried and tested natural air conditioning system into your house.