Looking for a fun way to explore your neighborhood or city this weekend, find inspiration for your own home and do it all for free? There's a fun activity you can do even if you're not in the market for new digs.
Find an open house in your area! Not only is seeing the inside of a house for sale an easy way to get a feel for other homes (and what they're going for) in your area, but it can really make you think about your own home. How the furniture is laid out, how the curb appeal feels. Seeing how someone else lives can give you a different perspective that might change how you design something in your own home.
How to find open houses
Keep your eyes peeled for any open house signs and check in with your neighbors and friends on social media to see if they've spotted any. The real estate section of your local newspaper or local news station website may have open houses listed. Visiting the website of a few realtors in your area will usually yield some open house results. And you can check Craigslist.
Though there are a number of websites out there that purport to offer listings of open houses, use them with caution — and don't give them your email address just to find results (they usually won't have any good ones).
How to be respectful
There aren't many rules to this weekend exploring activity, but if you ask us there are a few. One, don't misrepresent yourself to a realtor and tell them you're looking for a place if you're not — don't waste their time. Try not to take any marketing materials unless you're genuinely serious about using the realtor's services one day, either. We'd also advise asking before you take any photos — someone might still be living in the home and may not want their furniture Instagramed.
Do you ever visit open houses even if you aren't in the market for a new home? Share in the comments below any resources for finding open houses or if you've spotted any open houses in your area recently!