There's nothing quite like the lure of an open house sign. 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.
From coast to coast, and everything in-between, we lay down the welcome mat at some of the most enticing open houses in the nation. So wipe your feet at the door and scroll right on through.
Open house: Sun., April 15 Price: $2.975 million Property details: This gracious, Southern-style Colonial is located on a beautifully landscaped corner lot (over an acre and a half!) in the prestigious Virginia community that is The Reserve. The five-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion boasts a striking central foyer, a dual-curved staircase and enormous, two-story windows overlooking the private backyard and waterfall. But wait, there's more: The stunning Colonial also boasts a full bar with cozy fireside seating, recreation room with billiard area; home gym with sauna; theater; and bedroom suite. The perfect blend of beauty, luxury and functionality, in gorgeously leafy McLean. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., April 15 Price: $7.995 million Property details: This one's for the glamazons and the A-listers, naturally, because it was once home to a "legendary TV and film director." It's unabashedly luxurious in a way only Beverly Hills homes can be, and we're not complaining. Soaring vaulted ceilings; an in-home glass elevator; stacked-stone fireplaces; double-glazed UV windows with motorized room-darkening shades; heated porcelain floors; canyon and ocean views; a media room with a full wet bar -- must we go on? But you can breathe easy (literally) because this manse is also very eco-friendly. Photo-voltaic panels are connected to the Southern California Edison grid, the fireplaces are fueled by eco-friendly bio-ethanol, and the pool is solar-heated.
Open house: Sun., April 15 Price: $5.45 million Property details: This palatial estate looks like it should be somewhere like Austin or Atlanta, but alas, the stunning 8,800-square-foot brick Colonial is located in New York -- just 25 miles from Manhattan, in fact. It's in Old Brookville's exclusive Estates at Green Fields and is just minutes away from Manhasset. It boasts five bedrooms; six bathrooms; marble and wood detailing; a spiral staircase; and a sprawling front lawn. It's the perfect home for those who want to stay near the city and enjoy (luxurious) suburban life, too. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., April 15 Price: $2.295 million Property details: This French-style, stone-and-stucco home is anything but a cookie-cutter Maryland mansion. From its antique stone fireplaces to its reclaimed wood details and exceptional vintage decor, this home is one of a kind. With six bedrooms, six bathrooms, built on a one-acre lot, this perpetually sun-drenched custom home is perfect for big families. We love the large tree-flanked backyard (great for pets!) and that huge outdoor pool and spa.
Open house: Sat., April 14 Price: $650,000 Property details: This spectacularly bright home in Scottsdale is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. With splendid views of the green fairway of the Legend Trail golf course, to 360 degree vistas of the mountains (and those jaw-dropping Arizona sunsets!), nature lovers will feel right at home. The house features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a stunning pool with a view. Grill up some steaks in that outdoor kitchen and bask in that warm desert sun, beer in hand.
Open House: Sat., April 14 Price: $299,000 Property details: Another one for nature-lovers! This cozy, charming, 1,296-square-foot home is minutes from hiking trails and ski slopes. Perfect for families, it's close to Meadow Mountain Elementary School and other community amenities. The earthy, three-bedroom home is flanked by trees and boasts mountain views from every angle. A perfect Colorado home and at this price? A steal.
See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., April 15 Price: $3.15 million Property details: If Colonials don't tickle your fancy, then how about this stunning Mediterranean? Located in the heart of Dallas' Old Highland Park, this majestic mansion boasts classic Mediterranean architectural details such as dramatic arched windows, gables, terra-cotta roof tiles, and carved pattern stonework. The home features five bedrooms; eight bathrooms; a gourmet kitchen; gym; media room; paneled study; and a sprawling outdoor entertaining area.
See inside this property.
This home dates back to the pre-Revolutionary era, but still remains a popular architectural choice for many Americans.
Can you guess the style of this house?
One of the country's most prevalent home styles, the term "Colonial" covers a broad spectrum of homes that typically share the following characteristics, according to "This Old House": large entryway, symmetrical facade, six-over-six windows, and a gable or gambrel roof. Colonials also often have dormers, or a protruding space on the slope of the roof.
Sort of evocative of a castle isn't it? Its name has a similar association.
Guess this home's style.
Queen Annes are characterized by their stark, asymmetrical shapes, bay windows and jutting turrets. They typically have decorative trim and a first-floor porch. Sometimes referred to as "Victorian," the Queen Anne style emerged as a popular design after the Civil War, when munitions factories began mass producing metal house parts and wood trim, according to "This Old House".
Created by preeminent American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, prairie style reflects the larger-than-life architect's fondness for low horizontal lines and airy interiors. The homes usually have low-pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, a central chimney and open floor plan.
This style of home had its heyday in the 1950s and '60s.
Can you guess the design?
Midcentury moderns feature flat roofs and are often constructed of brick, stucco and stone. The homes usually offer open-floor plans that feature an airy center area that functions as a living and dining-kitchen space. Built to welcome in natural light, the homes often have floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
The Cape Cod style is a type of Colonial that came into its own in the 1920s. The classic Cape Cod is a one-story symmetrical cottage with a steep pitched roof and dormers. Their exteriors are typically clapboard, stucco or brick. While this home wears the trappings of Cape Cod style, it dwarfs its ancestors in size.
This style of home shares its name with a Southern state.
Do you know what it is?
Georgians have symmetrical facades with double-hung windows. Their front doors are generally paneled with transom lights, and sometimes have pedimented crowns. Georgian exteriors are generally brick in the South -- as with this lavish mansion in Georgia -- and clapboard in the North.
Price: $8 million
Sq. Ft.: N/A
This ivy-covered mansion boasts a grand portico and two symmetrical wings. The home sits on a five-acre estate that has gardens, waterfalls and two ponds. Highlights include two guesthouses, a nine-car garage, 12-seat theater, elevator and billiard room.
This style of home, influenced by native American architecture, is common in the Southwest.
Can you name the style?
The pueblo house was the home of choice for many Spanish settlers and Native Americans who lived in the southwest in the colonial era. The homes usually have flat roofs, adobe exteriors with rounded edges and exposed wood beams.
This style of home covers a wide range of modern-day domiciles.
Take a guess.
"Contemporary" is a bit of an umbrella term that encompasses a wide array of modern styles. They are generally minimalist and emphasize functionality, often featuring clean lines and abundant natural light.
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Price: $2.9 million
Sq. Ft.: 8,100
This giant contemporary has sweeping marble-tiled floors along with floor-to-ceiling windows, out of which you can take in picturesque views of Salt Lake City and the mountains beyond it. Amenities include a hot tub, swimming pool and "meditation area."