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.
Open house: Sun., June 10 Price: $10.9 million Property details: Situated just above the famed Sunset Strip in the coveted "bird streets," this stunning 5,600-square-foot estate is nothing short of an A-list property. With luxury features such as an infinity pool and spa, stainless steel wet bar, outdoor fire pit and decks, and state-of-the-art iPad system to control the entire home, you'll be living the luxe life in this L.A. beauty. The home features Baltic Stone detailing and ceilings of cedar and ipe wood. It has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., June 10 Price: $3.995 million Property details: This elegant country mansion is perfect for those who love the great outdoors but still yearn for those necessary creature comforts! Built on more than 3 manicured acres boasting apple orchards and lush, wild greenery, this 10,000-square-foot home offers you endless views over upstate New York's inimitable natural surroundings. The home has five spacious bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Luxury features include an infinity pool, spa and wet bar. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., June 10 Price: $949,888 Property details: Located in the picturesque Northeast foothills, this truly beautiful split-level 4,800-square-foot house is anything but your average home. Sitting on a 1-acre, tree-covered lot within blocks of Santa Fe's historic plaza, this unique home boasts plaster walls, and other regional architectural details such as vigas (rough-hewn beams) and latillas (wood slats that accent the ceilings and walls). It even has a casita (guesthouse)! It's a five-bedroom home with character to boot!
Open house: Sun., June 10 Price: $3.575 million Property details: Got an eye for beauty? This exceptional stone-and-stucco Colonial pays "unsurpassed attention to detail." With a custom slate roof, exterior landscaping by Charles Owen, marble floors and wood detailing, this is simply one of the prettiest homes you'll ever lay eyes on. Curl up by the classic antique-style fireplace with your favorite read, or whip up your favorite meal in the chef's kitchen. This five-bedroom home has something for everyone. See inside this property.
Open house: Sat.-Sun., June 9-10 Price: $2.375 million Property details: Who says living in the middle of the Arizona desert can't be sheer luxury? With a Triangle negative-edge pool and spa, a U-shaped martini-and-wine bar, ample outdoor patio space for entertaining, and a yoga room, this Scottsdale home is L.A.-luxe through-and-through. Boasting an open floor plan by George Zajacek in collaboration with Aaron Jenks, the home features five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and airy, museum-like living spaces. With those unbeatable golden views, this home's a desert dream.
Open house: Sun., June 10 Price: $1.875 million Property details: This beautifully renovated, Mediterranean-style home sits on 2 lush green acres, steps away from the Congressional Country Club. Love entertaining? This home could be perfect for you, with grand spaces, a two-story foyer with curved staircase, a window-wrapped sunroom and even a wine-tasting room! The home features six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a massive chef's kitchen.
Open house: Sat., June 9 Price: $535,000 Property details: If you want fantastic city views in an idyllic suburban setting, then this home is definitely for you. Close to the foothills, botanical gardens and downtown Boise, you can't beat this home's convenient location. Inside you'll find glossy hardwood floors, expansive windows in every room and gas fireplaces for those chilly nights. The 2,705-square-foot home features four bedrooms and three bathrooms. See inside this property.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.