Weekly Blend: December 24, 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:

What could be more Canadian than a story about a “house that was made for Christmas” that showcases Christmas cards made by the Group of Seven?

If you (or someone you know) are thinking of renting in 2016, here is what it cost to rent across Canada in the fall of 2015.

And if you want to compare that rental range to other markets, here’s what £1K per month rent in London gets you compared to other global cities.

There are some pretty cool concepts for alternative housing and the Huffington Post breaks down six of them.

Meet the creative people and the company that brings holiday magic to New York City’s holiday windows.

This house in Utah has a special landing pad and entrance just for Santa.

Just in time for the holidays, interactive illuminated seesaws are on the streets of Montreal emitting lights and musical harmonies.

What could be more relevant to Christmas than learning that St. Nicolas’s real hometown is an ancient Turkish city entombed in mud?

It may be grey and gloomy in your part of the country (or maybe not) but to make it feel more wintery, here are 10 incredible ice skating rinks from around the world (with two from Canada).

The Carleton Place community rallied around a family by helping to finish their renovations so their sick child can return home.

After going on Reddit to see if someone would host him for Christmas, a lonely British traveller received more than 200 offers from Vancouverites opening their doors to him.

Thanks to Google, you can see inside the White House with this holiday virtual reality tour.

Created for a new generation of travelers, The Freehand is a “high-end hostel offering the same affordable price with a more innovative and comfortable design” and can be found in Miami and Chicago (L.A. is coming soon).

There’s a man running around Tokyo dressed as a lit-up Christmas tree. (VIDEO)

This video answers the question, “where do the bows in holiday car commercials come from?

Guelph’s “Red Brick Café” is up for grabs. All you need is $200 and an entrepreneurial spirit.

The woman who turned her parents’ home into a giant Tim Burton-esque Halloween creation is back turning the same home into a giant gingerbread house.

When you hit the slopes in Lindvallen, Sweden you can grab a quick bite (without removing your skis) by zipping through the McSki ski-thru.

In a New York apartment, the gifts are laid out for wish lists Santa missed a century ago.

Megan Willett, a writer for Business Insider, toured Dyker Heights – the neighbourhood with the best Christmas lights in America.

From Atlanta to Washington (with stops in Melbourne, Paris and Vancouver along the way), Travel and Leisure Magazine gives you 91 ways to have the best Christmas ever – anywhere in the world.

Late for a party? Forget someone on your list? Here are 20 last-minute ideas you can pick up at the gas station.

The Force is strong with YouTube user Tom BetGeorge who has programmed about 200,000 channels powering 70,000 lights for the ultimate Star Wars Christmas light show. (VIDEO)

On the streets of downtown Toronto, Hallmark Canada delivered joy this holiday season with a mobile greeting card pop-up.

How much should you give your elevator man? A guide for Christmas tipping.

And finally …

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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