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.
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Open house: Sun., June 24 Price: $14.9 million Property details: This magnificent Mediterranean is fit to be a celebrity's hideaway home! It's located on a quiet lane and sits on more than 2 acres of park-like, grassy lawn. Relax by your tropical pool with cabana, soaking up that glorious California summer sun while nursing a mojito (cabana boy not included). The stunning home is sprawled across 10,000 square feet and features nine bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and an outdoor gym. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., June 24 Price: $4.65 million Property details: Clearly, we love the Mediterraneans! This Mediterranean in idyllic Pinecrest boasts marble and wood floors, as well as stunning Chicago brick. Mixing old-world charm with modern luxury features, the 13,157-square-foot home boasts a 12-seat theater, a wine cellar and a custom bar. The luxurious house features 10 spacious bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and expansive terraces with incredible nature views. And don't even get us started on that pool.... See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., June 24 Price: $2.6 million Property details: This charming home nestled in Chevy Chase's West Village is perfect for those who love nature. Flanked by trees, bushes and greenery, this flawless Victorian feels more like a country getaway. Close to a golf course and great schools, the six-bedroom home is perfect for sports lovers and growing families alike. Plus, it just got a $200,000 price reduction! What are you waiting for?
Open house: Sat.-Sun., June 23-24 Price: $1.175 million Property details: Now this home is something else. With polished walnut wood flooring, 16-foot coffered ceilings, wood beams and stone accents, this place is easy on the eyes. Plus, there are luxury features to boot: a wet bar with wine fridge, a theater room with surround sound, and a marble-and-limestone bath retreat. Throw in five huge bedrooms, a pool and spa, and a 600-square-foot guesthouse, and you couldn't possibly want for anything else. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., June 24 Price: $1.399 million Property details: This Colonial, according to the listing, "combines the best of traditional design with contemporary flair." And we couldn't agree more. With massive multiple windows flooding each level with light, gorgeous wood floors, soaring ceilings and flawless details, we'd say it's one of the finest homes in Great Falls. The home features five bedrooms, five bathrooms and is set on more than 2 acres.
Open house: Sun., June 24 Price: $1.225 million Property details: Nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac dappled with mature trees, this majestic six-bedroom home is wonderfully private, yet close to shops and the neighborhood park. Inside, you'll find a media and game room, ample living spaces and a spacious gourmet kitchen. We love the abundance of entertaining areas, particularly that gorgeous pool area with custom veranda -- perfect for summer parties!
Open house: Sun., June 24 Price: $3.395 million Property details: We love this classically beautiful home boasting stunning private gardens on more than 2 acres -- perfect for those green thumbs! The gorgeous five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home features an oversize living room with fireplace, panelled library with wet bar and the most elegantly marbled entrance hall you'll ever see! In the backyard, you get a luxurious in-ground pool with natural stone waterfall and diving board. Heavenly. 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.