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7 Reasons to Tour Homes in Your Area

Over the weekend, San and I toured ten houses which were part of the Minneapolis – St. Paul Home Tour.  It was a free event where anyone could go tour homes in the area to learn about decorating, remodeling, products, architects, landscaping, and any other home-related information.  As you have seen by the different neighborhood tours I’ve written about, the Twin Cities area is full of historic homes (both big and small).

I didn’t take any photos during the tours because I thought it would be very awkward to ask people to take pictures of their homes, I instead came up with a list of home tours such as this one are good for.  Obviously, I am no home owner and won’t even be thinking about the words mortgage or inspection for at least a couple years, however I found the tours useful even for people like me and for more than just a way to kill time during the weekend.

Here are seven reasons to tour home in your area:

1) Gather Inspiration – I’m sure if you have been reading my blog for a while, or even just a few days, you have seen that I love to collect inspiration from all sorts of avenues.  Touring other homes is almost better than collecting photos from magazines and online galleries because they offer what real people do to decorate real spaces.  Also, houses are 3D unlike the photos I usually collect, so I am able to see how people place furniture in a room and the real scale of everything right before my eyes.  Just collecting inspiration is a great reason for touring homes in your area.

2) Collect Ideas – This goes hand-in-hand with gathering inspiration, but is different as well.  Gathering inspiration can help a person determine what color schemes, layouts, etc. they like while collecting ideas may involve learning about new innovative kitchen products, lighting, doors, uses of rooms, and many other things that you had not heard of or thought about before.  For example, we toured a small home that integrated an office, laundry room, and mud room together for a very usable space within a small amount of square feet.  I loved the idea of putting a built-in desk in the mud room, as it is a high-traffic area where a family can stay organized and know what is going on at all times.

3) Scope Out Different Styles – If you are unsure what your decorating style is, what a better way to figure it out than to see real styles in person?  We saw many different styles ranging from modern to traditional, from country to cottage-inspired.  You will definitely find something you like on a home tour!

4) Meet Architects and Designers – The homes we visited all were remodeled, so most of the time the architects and designers who worked on the remodel were there ready to answer any questions we had.  Also, they brought brochures and pamphlets so you can easily reference them later on if you decide at a later date to remodel.  I don’t have a house now, but I may use some of the architects and/or designers at a later date if I ever decide to remodel a home, so you don’t have to be going through a remodel right now to obtain useful information.

5) Learn About Other Neighborhoods – If you are thinking of moving or just interested in a certain area, touring the homes can not only give you a good sense of what the other houses in the neighborhood are like, but touring the homes gets you into their neighborhood so you can easily check out the amenities.  I learned of some very nice and safe neighborhoods that I may think about when the time comes to buy a house.

6) Learn About Retaining A Home’s Character – All of the homes we visited were historic, so keeping the home’s character was key in all the remodels.  It was very helpful to see how homeowners and architects worked together to not only create a functional and beautiful space for the homeowners but also to preserve the integrity and character of the home so that the remodel does not seem out of place.  We learned so much about mixing the modern styles, appliances, fixtures, etc. with the 50 or more year old ones.

7) Free Fun – If all else fails, you will have a good time.  Some home tours cost money, but I’m sure if you live by or in a big enough city, you will find some sort of home tour that is free.  Seeing as I have little money to spend on entertainment, this was the best part about the whole day.  I was in a good mood for a few days after the tour because it was so much fun and because we didn’t have to spend a dime.

I hope this post has encouraged you to get out and tour some homes in your city or one nearby.  So much, even more than what was mentioned in this post, can be gained through this experience.  If you do go on a home tour, please email me and let me know what you thought!

Have you ever been on a home tour?  What did you gain from the experience?

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