This Thursday, you'll be able to take a peek inside some of Birmingham's most impressive homes during the 25th annual Birmingham House Tour.
Eight homes from Birmingham will be featured in this year's tour, which takes curious real estate buffs on a tour of the city's most specutacular homes, ranging from traditional to the contemporary.
All proceeds from the event, sponsored by The Community House and Hall & Hunter Realtors, will benefit The Community House's wellness, leadership and art outreach programs for children in Pontiac and Detroit.
"The 2012 Birmingham House Tour marks the 25th anniversary year that this popular event has served to raise funds for The Community House," said Michelle Schwab, co-chair of the event, in a press release. "To celebrate this milestone, we are featuring eight beautiful and one-of-a-kind homes ranging from a charming and cheerful, pre-Civil War, historically-registered, in-town home, to a mid-century contemporary set in a spectacular wooded setting, to a cool gallery-like Rail District Loft."
"We think our guests are really going to enjoy this rare opportunity to look inside some of the area's most distinctive homes, knowing they are also helping to raise money for The Community House's children outreach programs," she added.
Ann Wilhite is one of the homeowners on the 2012 Birmingham House Tour, the proud owner of a contemporary new home on Ferndale that's "perfect," she said, "for empty nesters like me."
Wilhite and her husband Jim moved into the home in December after spending 35 years in a traditional colonial in Bloomfield Village, where they raised their family. With their children out of the house, the Wilhites brought on the Robertston Brothers and architect Alexander Bogaerts to help build and design their new dream home.
Wilhite said her favorite room in the house is definitely their combined living, dining and kitchen space, which is more open and airy than their previous house. It was also important that the home be energy-star rated, Wilhite said, with such features as a tankless water heater.
But after years of suburban living, Wilhite said she and her husband love living so close to downtown Birmingham. "It's fun to live so close to town," Wilhite said.
As for having hundreds of people walking through her home, Wilhite said it's nerve-wracking.
"We've had the cleaning lady come an extra day and we've cleaned the windows," Wilhite said. "You try to think of every corner where people can look."
If you go
- When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday
- Where: Participants should meet at The Community House
- Cost: Tickets are $35 per person in advance or $45 the day of the tour. To buy tickets, call 248-644-5832 or visit www.tchserves.org.
- What else: A salad buffet luncheon will be offered from 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. on the Van Dusen Terrace of The Community House. Purchased in advance, the cost to attend the tour and the luncheon is $50.