Weekly Blend: December 18, 2015

The Weekly Blend is your ‘weekly’ source covering real estate news that you just may have missed. Our hard at work Weekly Blend crew scours the web, newsgroups and forums looking for obscure, bizarre, interesting and informative real estate (or real estate related) stories. If you have one you’d like to share please feel free to share it in our comments section or tweet about it using the hashtag #WeeklyBlend. So brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy these stories…maybe even share them with friends or colleagues. Happy reading!

Here are my weekly picks:

I’ve actually been to one of these 10 towns that look like they were taken right out of a storybook. Have you been to any?

If you have 30 minutes to spare, take a trip back in time and watch this Winnipeg tourism video from 1964.

Forgoing a REATLOR®, a woman in Newfoundland is selling her house on Facebook and, if you share her story and that “share” leads to the sale, she’ll give you $1,000.

Shipping containers are serving as models for a Toronto urban infill.

RioCan aims to build high rises at three Ottawa area shopping centres.

Winnipeggers step up to help an elderly couple after city orders them to paint house. (VIDEO)

The White House’s Pastry Chef discusses how she built a 475 pound Gingerbread House.  And Eater.com adds to that story with 10 colossal Gingerbread creations from around the world (including the above-mentioned house).

Micro apartments (like these ones in New York City) are coming to the U.S. (and Canada too). Can you see yourself living in one? (VIDEO)

Gondolas are gaining in popularity among Hamilton transportation options.

Mitchell Stark, who was born with cerebral palsy, raises nearly $30K to make his home accessible.

Zootly is a startup that hopes to do for moving companies what Uber did for transportation – and they are one of four Canadian tech companies to watch in 2016.

BC Business has ranked the 36 best cities in B.C. to work and live in in 2016.

A father and son converted a 1990 school bus into a tiny dream home and drove it 10,000 miles through 30 states.

Closer to home, a Saskatoon woman did the same thing – converting a school bus into a motor home – so she and her dogs can take a road trip to surf and mountain climb. (VIDEO)

In Nova Scotia, a group of young designers are making it their mission to help those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s enjoy life safely. (VIDEO)

Seinfeld: The Apartment has made its way to Los Angeles. It’s real and it’s spectacular!

The Australian town of Coober Pedy has everything you could want: hotels, nail salons, and restaurants. The catch? It’s located completely underground.  (VIDEO)

Sudbury has the nickel, Wawa has the goose, Colborne has the Big Apple and Bowen, Australia has the Big Mango.

Vote for your favourite “House of the Year” in the Wall Street Journal’s annual poll.

A Wall Street Journal story leads with the line: “This holiday season, some real estate agents get the gift of overtime.” Sound familiar?

This lengthy article from the New York Times chronicles the tale of hidden ownership: exploring the people behind these opaque deals. 

If you’re planning your next vacation, put these on your list of high-end properties available for rent. You’ll be glad you did.

This year’s most-clicked homes on REALTOR.com sum up the themes that dominated the crazy, dynamic, sometimes unpredictable and altogether awesome real estate market in 2015.

For millions of renters with limited mobility and other physical challenges, there are few homes and apartments on the market that work for them.

Another one from The Atlantic, this one highlights “Earthships: off-grid homes made from garbage.”  (VIDEO)

Here are 19 crazy facts about Bill Gates’ $123 million mansion. Would you believe there’s a trampoline room?

Forbes magazine has compiled a video of America’s most expensive zip codes of 2015.

Fastcompany.com (another new favourite of mine) asks the question, “should we save mid-century modern icons that hurt the environment?

Airbnb has more than 2 million listings, including 1,400 castles and at least a handful of them are rooms listed inside of student housing.

Where are you spending New Year’s Eve? Here are the five most expensive Airbnb rentals available. Act fast, supplies are limited.

Airbnb is the app that keeps on giving … and here’s another one, this time it’s a story about a woman who is suing Airbnb over an alleged hidden camera.

Did you know these iconic buildings can be made out of LEGO … with more to come in the New Year.

Here are 18 U.S. housing markets where you’re likely to live near a “manmade environmental hazard.”

REALTOR.com gives us five real estate trends that will shape 2016.

There’s still time left to visit the most Christmassy towns in the U.S.

Jonathan Baker, our former Speech Writer, contributed to the development of speeches, advertisements, and communications to our membership. Our staff knew him as the go-to guy at 200 Catherine for some comic relief. Prior to joining CREA, Jon worked in the radio industry in Ottawa. If you meet Jon, be sure to ask him to tell you about his encounters with many famous musicians while volunteering at a local music festival for more than 10 years.

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