Open Houses of the Week: May 12-13

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Though this weekend we're taking some time out to celebrate and honor the greatest women in our lives -- our mothers -- for many, the house hunt doesn't stop! Luckily, we've compiled a list of amazing open houses across the country that would make mom proud. As a bonus, some of these open houses will offer special treats for moms who attend this upcoming Sunday, May 13 (though it's our belief that moms should get special treatment every day).

Granted, you might not be in the neighborhood (or tax bracket) for many of these outstanding properties, but there's still plenty to admire -- even from the comfort of your swivel chair. So wipe your feet at the door and scroll right on through. Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all moms!

Bainbridge Island, Wash.


Open house: Sun., May 13
Price: $659,000
Property details: This home, flanked by verdant gardens and fruit trees, is an ode to the beauty of our collective mom -- Mother Earth. Nestled in gorgeous, forest-lush greenery on picturesque Little Manzanita Bay (we're talking stunning waterfront views), the exceptional home is perfect for those who love the great outdoors without wanting to sacrifice their creature comforts. Inside, you get over 4,000 square feet of expansive rooms, fireplaces, five updated bathrooms and a new kitchen -- though those perpetually green views from every window are what really steal the show here!

See inside this property.

See moreBainbridge Island homes for sale.

Arlington, Va.


Open house: Sun., May 13
Price: $1.35 million
Property details: A truly exceptional Colonial-style home that would make any mom proud -- from its polished hardwood floors and dramatic curved staircases, to its exquisite crown moldings and flawless classical, antique-style furnishings, this stunning mansion shows like a model home. It features four bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a gourmet chef's kitchen that would make Nigella Lawson drool. And this Mother's Day, they're slicing $50,000 off the original listing price! Also, free roses for any moms attending the open house this Sunday.

See inside this property.

See more Arlington homes for sale.

Beverly Hills, Calif.


Open house: Sun., May 13
Price: $3.199 million
Property details: This exceptional Midcentury renovation, originally designed by Neutra apprentice Donald P. Polsky and built in 1961, is perfect for moms who have the most refined architectural tastes (and who love to entertain!). The home features a sunlit living room that boasts a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass; it opens to an expansive outdoor entertaining deck with stunning views of the canyon, all the way to the ocean. Plus, there's a glistening luxury pool and spa. Inside, you get 3,791 square feet of space, four bedrooms, four bathrooms and soaring cathedral-style ceilings throughout. A classic Beverly Hills beauty.

See inside this property.

See more Beverly Hills homes for sale.

Santa Fe, N.M.


Open house: Sun., May 13
Price: $1.825 million
Property details: A rare and exquisite home that's the perfect blend of "classic Santa Fe," with all the modern touches. At 6,219 square feet, it's perfect for huge family gatherings, abundant with spacious living and dining spaces. There's even a huge guesthouse (or mother-in-law quarters, perhaps?) equipped with a full kitchen and two individual suites. Inside, you're blessed with spectacular east and west views, brilliant white plaster walls, antique beamed ceilings, and gorgeous brick floors.

See inside this property.


See more Santa Fe homes for sale.


Scottsdale, Ariz.


Open House: Sun., May 13
Price: $699,000
Property details: This beautifully remodeled desert home on aptly-named Gold Dust Avenue boasts gorgeous mountain views that every mom will love. Inside, the home boasts exquisite details -- vaulted ceilings, custom tile work, glass-block accents, hardwood floors, wet bars, fireplaces and bay windows. Moms (and dads!) can whip up gourmet meals in the sunny kitchen while the kids frolic on the sports court and grassy lawn. Afterward, the whole family can take lazy dips in the sparkling pool and soak up that warm Santa Fe sun.

See inside this property.


See moreScottsdale homes for sale.


Austin, Texas


Open house: Sun., May 13
Price: $1.85 million
Property details: Lake Travis main basin views? Check. Open floor plan and sprawling living spaces? Check. Luxury amenities to boot? Check. This home has been described as a "work of art," with its amazing curved, stone staircase, custom floor tile, incredible double-height ceilings, and endless water views from almost every angle. Plus, with energy efficient features, this 5,446-square-foot beauty is as green as it is glamorous.

See inside this property.


See moreAustin homes for sale
.

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30 PHOTOS
Homes With Great Outdoor Features
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Open Houses of the Week: May 12-13

Spring buying season is here, and it may not have come at a better time for Americans thinking about taking the real estate plunge. Call us sanguine, but market bellwethers seem to suggest that housing's five-year descent has finally come to an end.

With home affordability scraping record heights
, now may be the best time to buy in decades, with one caveat: You should look at a home purchase the old-fashioned way -- as an investment in a living space, not a high-performing stock. Home prices are not going to rocket upward, as in the "steroid years."

To celebrate the warm weather (and uptick in home construction and sales that usually accompany it), AOL Real Estate brings you homes on the market with some of the most mouth-watering outdoor entertaining spaces. Click through our galleries to see outdoor features of every stripe, ranging from free-form terraced pools to zen gardens. 

Location: Old Greenwich, Conn.
Price: $14.5 million
Beds/Baths: 5/6
Sq. Ft.: 8,100

This waterfront mansion in woodsy Greenwich, Conn., is set on the much-coveted Long Island Sound waterfront. Behind its mogul-worthy exterior awaits some stunning outdoor space. 

See the listing for more details

Flanked by a luscious pool is a semi-enclosed patio, circled by by a stone wall, bushes and columns.

See the listing for more details

The columns support a pergola laced with free-flowing vines. Taken with its otherwise-groomed features, the space offers a pitch-perfect blend of natural and man-made elements. 

See the listing for more details

Location: Sarasota, Fla.
Price: $12.9 million
Beds/Baths: 5/9
Sq Ft: 9,202 

This elegant villa sits behind gargoyle-lined walls, mixing "classic mediterranean architecture with Moorish flair." Amenities include a gourmet kitchen, media room, two-story office and exquisite murals. 

See the listing for more details

The luxury home is brimming with extravagant outdoor spaces, boasting eight open-air porches and patios that overlook a lagoon-like pool and the salty expanse beyond. 

See the listing for more details

The columned, curtain-draped cabana is "second to none," the listing says. It presides over a waterfall, spa, water slide, lounging area and the next logical conclusion for such lavish space: a stage for live entertainment. 

See the listing for more details

Location: Naples, Fla. 
Price: $12 million
Beds/Baths: 5/7
Sq. Ft.: 8,500

Florida has more that its share of luxurious "outdoor rooms" and spaces, and this 8,100-square-foot, palm-guarded mansion is among the best. For the deep-pocketed buyer, it also doesn't hurt that home prices, on average, have fallen 50 percent from their housing-boom peak. 

See the listing for more details

In addition to a wide range of amenities and finishes, the home features a roofed, outdoor kitchen that hugs the home's rear, and overlooks an intoxicating series of pools. 


See the listing for more details.  

The home's series of pools, at different depths, flow from one to the other. 

See the pools at the listing

Location: Santa Fe, N.M. 
Price: $4 million
Beds/Baths: 5/7
Sq. Ft.: 7,728

This pueblo-style hacienda commands 14 acres, a generous portion of which are devoted to a stunning network of naturalistic pools. 

See the listing for more details

Described as a "free-form pool" in the listing, it includes tiered waterfalls and a hot tub, surrounded by benches and exquisite landscaping. 

See the listing for more details

The home's covered porch overlooks a vast New Mexico landscape, including views of five mountain ranges. 

See the listing for more details

Location: Chattanooga, Tenn.
Price: $990,000
Beds/Baths: 6/5
Sq Ft: 5,900

A classic stone and brick home in the historic town of Chattanooga. Great for a large family, it has a master suite featuring a private sitting room, three large bedrooms that share a room with a fireplace and bathroom, and a guest room on each floor.

See the listing for more details

Outside, you’ll find a large yard, porches and stone patio with a fire pit.

See the listing for more details

Its interior, with plenty of hardwood flooring and marble surfaces, gives the house a polished look that contrasts with the outdoor entertaining area's embrace of the elements.  

See the listing for more details

Location: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Price: $1.395 million
Beds/Baths: 6/8
Sq Ft: 9,507

This custom-designed mansion
stretches nearly 9,507 square feet, and offers verdant landscaping -- from a lush, sweeping lawn to mature, encircling trees. 

See the listing for more details

What sets this entertaining space apart is its nuanced approach to landscaping, which strikes the perfect balance between laissez faire and hands-on. Well-kept garden plots are set against a backdrop of bushy trees. The rich expanse is anchored by a minimalist pool. The home also features a wrap-around patio, fireplace and hot tub. 

See the listing for more details

Location: Andover, Kan.
Price: $2.999 million
Beds/Baths: 5/9
Sq. Ft.: 7,998

Built in 2009, this solidly built luxury home delivers a lot of bang for its buck. Interior features include vaulted ceilings and doorways. There's elaborate stonework throughout. 

See the listing for more details

At its rear sits a large outdoor patio that stretches out from an open-air room. The paved expanse eventually reaches a hot tub. 

See the listing for more details

Encased in brick, stone and wood, the home's exquisite outdoor room features a kitchen and massive stone fireplace. 

See the listing for more details

Location: San Diego
Price: $595,000
Beds/Baths: 3/2
Sq. Ft.: 1,140

Though modest compared to our other picks, this Spanish-style home, which has stood since 1931, makes creative use of its outdoor space.

See the listing for more details

The home's tiled terrace features a lushly landscaped path, and overlooks a mix of California plant life. A "shade sail" adds some flair to the area, while providing refuge from the blazing San Diego sun.


See the listing for more details

Shade sails are trending in the world of outdoor decor, architecture and home design website Houzz says. In addition to providing, er, shade, the furnishings "lend a strong, artful, sculptural look," shade designer Tres Jones tells Houzz. We couldn't put it better! 

See the listing for more details

Location: Naples, Fla.
Price: $11.95 million
Beds/Baths: 6/11
Sq Ft: 11,113

This house is a water-lover’s dream; it's set right on Naples Bay, and has quick access to the Gulf. With a private boatlift and dock, a quick trip out to sea is only minutes away.

See the listing for more details

The castle-like home has an outdoor kitchen, a large pool and a hot tub, all with pristine views of the bay.

See the listing for more details

Inside you’ll find lots of marble throughout the large hallways and open spaces, and a place to dine for any occasion. There’s a breakfast bar, breakfast room and a formal dining room. 

See the listing for more details

Location: Houston
Price: $1,995,000
Beds/Baths: 2/4
Sq. Ft.: 3,600

This Texas mansion features exquisite landscaping and an outdoor pool that is surrounded by fragrant Asian plants, including a Chinese fringe tree, olive shrubs, and white star jasmine. Ivy weaves its way through the home's columned pergola. 

See the listing for more details

The carefully landscaped exterior features a zen garden with a remote-controlled mosquito system, "which sprays a natural chrysanthemum repellant." 

See the listing for more details

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