This week’s open house picks are a study in contrasts: an old and charming yin set against a new and innovative yang. Which one is more appealing to you? Happy looking!3911 Juniper Road, Guilford

2 br/3 ba
Sunday, May 27, 1 – 2:30 p.m.I learned during the six-month renovation of my own home that architectural details don’t come cheap. This proved challenging because custom moldings ($), transom windows ($$), and built-in cabinetry ($$$) make my eye say “wow.”  With this in mind, I really appreciate homes like this Guilford classic. The house was built in 1923, a time when charming bells and whistles came standard. Check out the lovely Byzantine entrance, the bay windows, paneled sunroom and wainscoting in the kitchen. Even the window hardware is special. (Have you noticed that most new windows today have white plastic latches?) If you’re the type to care about such things, have a peek at this one. What they say is true: They don’t make ‘em like they used to. Visualize: Some maintenance. Did I mention that all this charm comes with a price?


13307 Brighton View Court, Pheonix

4 br/4.5 ba
Wednesday, May 30, 12 – 2 p.m.
So, about those white plastic window latches…But seriously, who isn’t attracted to the brand-spanking-new freshness of a just-built home? The beauty of these gigantic “dream houses” is that they are designed to fit the way we live today. In 2012 Phoenix, Maryland, that means “large open rooms,” “a wet bar,” “oversized customized closets” and “a generous outdoor living space.” I find this type of home always fun to visit. As I scale the double-height foyer, I often fantasize about giving-up all my aesthetic pickiness and succumbing to its easy-living appeal. Most of the time I leave just wanting a bigger kitchen. Visualize: A large landscaping bill. Nothing looks sadder than a huge house with a few puny shrubs.