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 17 Price: $5.695 million Property details: This remarkable contemporary is said to have "the best promontory view in Los Angeles." With panoramic city and ocean views, the 6,600-square-foot home is L.A. luxury through and through. The home's sprawling entertainment areas are complemented by natural wood accents and stone surfaces. Glass-walled doors lead to a huge infinity pool and spa. The home features four bedrooms and five bathrooms. See inside this property.
Open house: Sat.-Sun., June 16-17 Price: $3.395 million Property details: This stunning home brings Arizona desert magic to a whole other level with its expansive views over Mummy Mountain and truly incredible natural detailing. Fine woodwork, travertine and marble flooring, custom walnut cabinetry and exquisite ceiling details only serve to complement an exceptionally luxurious 8,551-square-foot home. We're talking pool, spa, gourmet chef's kitchen, in-home movie theater and wet bar. The home features five bedrooms and seven bathrooms. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., June 17 Price: $3 million Property details: This gorgeous home built on a nearly 4-acre lot is the epitome of Old World English country charm -- except, it's packed to the gills with state-of-the-art modern features. It has a poolhouse and bar, an art studio and greenhouse, a 500-bottle wine cellar and an entire wing set aside for entertaining. It strikes the perfect balance between classic elegance and modern-day luxury. At 8,000 square feet, with six massive bedrooms and eight bathrooms, this stunning home is more like a tranquil retreat.
Open house: Sat., June 16 Price: $2.935 million Property details: This flawless all-brick Colonial boasts European flair and luxury features to boot. Exhibit A: the home's heated saltwater pool with spa and waterfall. Then there's the abundance of outdoor entertaining spaces with built-in barbecues and lush landscaping. Inside you'll find five bedrooms, eight bathrooms and majestic dining and living spaces, all sprawled across 8,824 square feet. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., June 17 Price: $2.2 million Property details: The broker calls this home "understated," but we see nothing understated about its stunning tropical location and luxurious island-style decor. From its spacious lanai to its marble and stone flooring and wild, verdant greenery, this home is nothing short of a private paradise. Plus, it's located in Honolulu, steps from the ocean and close to shopping and theaters. The home features three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Open house: Sun., June 17 Price: $1.659 million Property details: A classic Colonial that's sophisticated yet homey, this beautiful five-bedroom home is perfect for growing families. It has rolling lawns, a spacious backyard (with a rear patio, featuring a gas grill!) and ample living spaces. The home is also steps from the neighborhood playground and the Shops at Friendship Heights. It's a perfect balance of modern conveniences and traditional American beauty.
Open house: Sat., June 16 Price: $1.255 million Property details: This truly exceptional Austin mansion is more California-luxe than down-home Texan, but we're not complaining! With a heated pool, spa and waterfall, two-story stone fireplaces, an in-home theater with bar, a stone patio with Viking grill and even an air-conditioned doghouse (that matches the main house!), this home will leave you wanting for nothing! Plus, it's gorgeous: With travertine floors, granite details, coffered ceilings and LED custom lighting, you'll be living in A-list style. 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.