There's something about that "Open House" sign that acts like a magnet. Whether you're looking for a new place to live, keeping tabs on real estate in your neighborhood, or just angling for a sneak peek at someone else's private domain, the lure of an open door is strong indeed.
This week we have a little something for everyone. From million-dollar coastal getaways to affordable age-qualified communities, we lay down the welcome mat at some of the most diverse open houses in the nation. So wipe your feet at the door and walk right in.
Open Houses for Jan. 13-15
Open house: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: Miami Price: $10 million Property details: This tropical-modern mansion overlooking Biscayne Bay is Miami luxury at its finest. Filled with original keystone and mahogany details, the Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design blends seamlessly into the home's lush, palm studded landscape. You can enjoy stunning waterfront panoramas from every vantage point thanks to generous windows, breezy patios and spacious outdoor entertaining areas. This five-bedroom, five-bathroom home also boasts a private dock, perfect for the anglers among you. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: Portland Price: $875,000 Property details: If you're looking for a home that's anything but traditional or cookie-cutter, then this rare four-bedroom residence on North Holloway Drive may be perfect for you. With soaring 10-foot ceilings, glossy hardwood floors, and beautiful wood detailing throughout, this home has character and craftsmanship to boot. Huge windows flood the entire home with light, but if you prefer direct sunlight you can always go outdoors and relax on your own private patio, nestled among fir trees.
See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: Austin Price: $889,900 Property details: This beautiful home right on Lake Austin is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. You get stunning views of lush Texan greenery no matter where you are in the house (even your backyard pool is nestled among towering trees), flawless landscaped gardens throughout the grounds, and stunning sunset views over Austin. If you're more of the indoors type, that's OK too -- with marble floors, dripping chandeliers, fireplaces, a state-of-the-art kitchen and five massive bedrooms sprawled over 4,100 square feet, there's no need to leave the house, anyway.
Open house: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: Denver Price: $1.495 million Property details: This Humboldt Island beauty exudes historic grandeur that simply cannot be found in newly-built Denver homes. The stately Denver Square has maintained all of its turn-of-the-century historic integrity, including a dumbwaiter (which is a fun and convenient way to bring the groceries up from the garage!), fireplaces and a great room that was originally part of the home's ballroom in 1916. Though it's been updated with modern touches -- new bathrooms, a new kitchen and new plumbing -- all its original hardware is still intact, including original stained glass windows and antique mirrors.
See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: Sun City Center Price: $210,000 Property description: This gorgeous three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the age-restricted Caloosa County Club Estates boasts a sprawling 2,069 square feet of air-conditioned living space. The home isn't just a pretty face, though, it comes with tough, cataclysm-proof features! Hurricane film covers all the windows, a sturdy Tradewinds-model roof, and screened, enclosed lanais that provide al fresco-like entertaining even in bad weather -- which, in Sun City, is next to never. And for retirees looking for more modest accommodations, the community has plenty of homes for less than $50,000.
Open House: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: Chicago Price: $1.995 million Property description: This property is a far cry from all the generic, vanilla-colored condos cropping up all over Chicago these days. This home is filled with character and unique details like coffered ceilings, herringbone masonry, fireplaces and exquisite maple doors. The beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom home also boasts 12-foot-high vaulted ceilings, a sauna and wine cellar, a spacious roof deck and a huge, sunken family room.
Open house: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: San Francisco Price: $599,000 Property description: This is a California one-bedroom condo with a difference! Located in a premier Art Deco building on Powell Street, the property has 1,427 square feet of space that includes a formal dining room, a generous living room and wonderful period details. What we love most about this airy, light-filled condominium? Its location. It's a stone's throw from downtown, Union Square and the trendiest shops and restaurants in San Francisco.
Open house: Sun., Jan. 15 Location: Atlanta Price: $1.85 million Property description: This immaculate home stretches across two private acres and is perfect for entertaining. With a huge pool and spa, resurfaced tennis court with lights, huge level play area, garden, and even a patio with an outdoor kitchen, this stunning six-bedroom property is perfect for big, fun parties. If you'd prefer a quiet night in, that's fine too -- the home features a fireplace and a gorgeous great room with soaring, 24-foot ceilings.
See inside this property.
The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metropolitan area’s greatest strength for those without an automobile is the prevalence of dense, easily manageable communities. This makes it exceptionally easy for residents to reach amenities such as groceries, restaurants, shopping and schools. The metropolitan area’s primary city, Boston, has the third-highest walk score in the country. The area’s public transit also has a relatively high service frequency rate, making its use that much more convenient for the city’s residents.
> Transit coverage: 96 percent (second highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 6.2 (second lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 25.6 percent (69th highest)
> Walk score: 65.9 (14th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.87 percent (14th highest)
Los Angeles is the second largest city by population in the United States, and its metropolitan area is fairly spread out. Due to its extensive public transit system the area has avoided a complete automobile-based culture. The metro area’s 19 transit systems have more than 500 bus routes. As a result, 96 percent of neighborhoods are within 0.75 miles to a transit stop -- the second highest rate in the country. Better still, commuters can catch a form of public transportation from their nearest stop every 6.2 minutes.
> Transit coverage: 89 percent (eighth highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.5 (11th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 58.9 percent (2nd highest)
> Walk score: 57.6 (29th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.78 percent (17th highest)
Utah’s population is expected to grow from 2010’s approximately 3 million to 4.4 million in 2030. Salt Lake County accounts for more than one-third of the state’s population. To accommodate this growth, the Utah Transit Authority has plans to add four more lines to its light rail system, TRAX, up from its current three lines. This investment is meant to improve transportation for the suburban and exurban population to the city. In the winter, the UTA runs ski transit lines in addition to its rail and bus services.
> Transit coverage: 83.7 percent (12th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.1 (10th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 47.5 percent (10th highest)
> Walk score: 60.4 (23rd highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.79 percent (16th highest)
Denver has bus service, light rail lines and an airport shuttle service. The city is currently undergoing a multibillion dollar expansion of its transit system, called the FasTracks Expansion. This plan is meant to increase light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid-transit lines. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2019, currently faces a $2 billion shortfall.
> Transit coverage: 95.6 percent (third highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 6.9 (fifth lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 58.4 percent (third highest)
> Walk score: 54.5 (34th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.56 percent (seventh highest)
The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area’s public transportation is overseen by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Like Los Angeles, the area relies heavily on buses, running about 100 routes. Public transit covers 95.6 percent of neighborhoods, the third greatest in the country. Public vehicles also run under seven minutes apart, the fifth smallest frequency. The metro area also has the seventh highest rate of commuters who travel to work by bicycle.
> Transit coverage: 85.3 percent (11th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.8 (15th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 33.4 percent (35th highest)
> Walk score: 73.6 (sixth highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.07 percent (ninth highest)
Seattle’s public transportation system not only includes bus and rail transit, but a monorail in the city center, as well as ferries. The city also has the sixth highest walk score in the country, due to its high number of easily accessible amenities. According to Bicycling magazine, Seattle is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country and “has a 10-year, $240-million bike master plan that seeks to triple the number of journeys made by bike and add 450 miles of bike paths.”
> Transit coverage: 97 percent (the highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 9 (18th highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 59.8 percent (the highest)
> Walk score: 63 (19th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.95 percent (12th highest)
Honolulu currently does not have an urban rail system, but its bus system helps cover 97 percent of neighborhoods — the highest rate in the country. Additionally, almost 60 percent of jobs are accessible within 90 minutes to those who live in neighborhoods covered by transit. This is also the highest rate in the country. Nevertheless, the city is planning a $5.5 billion rail project called the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. This will include 20 miles of track, connecting East Kapolei with the Honolulu International Airport and downtown Honolulu and will end at Ala Moana Center.
> Transit coverage: 89.6 percent (seventh highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 4.5 (the highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 36.6 percent (25th highest)
> Walk score: 85.3 (the highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.52 percent (32nd highest)
New York City and its surroundings rank first in the nation for total number of passenger trips and government spending per capita on public transit, according to U.S. News. It also has the highest rate of service frequency. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2010 operating budget was $13.4 billion. The average weekday ridership for the city is estimated to be over 8.4 million trips. The city also has the highest walk score on this list, thanks to the ability of city dwellers to reach just about any amenity on foot.
> Transit coverage: 83.5 percent (13th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 7.4 (eighth lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 39.9 percent (16th highest)
> Walk score: 66.3 (13th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 2.23 percent (second highest)
Portland is such a good place for people to live without a car due to both its public transit system and the ease of walking and biking around the city. The metropolitan area is served by TriMet, which in addition to other services offers a Free Rail Zone — a region that includes most of downtown Portland and where light rail and streetcar rides are always free. The city has a number of benefits for bike riders, including designated bike-only areas at traffic signals and free bike lights. It has the second highest rate of commuters who ride bikes to work in the country.
> Transit coverage: 91.7 percent (fifth highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.5 (12th highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 34.8 (30th highest)
> Walk score: 84.9 (second highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.65 percent (sixth highest)
San Francisco is held in high regard for its many successful transit systems, including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and the Bay Area Rapid Transit district. These systems cover nearly 92 percent of neighborhoods -- the fifth highest rate in the country. San Francisco also has the second highest walk score and is excellent for bicyclists. Commuter rails within the city allow bicyclists to mount with their bicycles, and there is a bike shuttle across the Bay Bridge to help cyclists during rush hour.