Weekly Blend: May 7, 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:

If you’re a celebrity, what do you get Mom for Mother’s Day? Well, Ashton Kutcher surprised his mom with a complete home remodel.

If you happen to be in America over Mother’s Day here are a few places where Moms eat for free (most of them are max. $10.00).

In Washington D.C. people can take part in the annual Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour.

Merry Maids, America’s leading home cleaning company, discovered what Moms really want for Mother’s Day: the gift of a clean home.

The best part of this Airbnb rental isn’t that it’s an amazing tree house, it’s that you’re just a few minutes from the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont.

Toronto was recently ranked as the world’s “hottest” luxury home market.

A little NYC is coming to Ottawa, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Vaughan as the first three Saks Off Fifth stores are scheduled to open in spring 2015.

If collecting “legal” memorabilia is your hobby then you might be interested in purchasing Cape Breton’s historic Arichat courthouse.

Detailed article here about Millennials and whether or not they prefer city or suburban living. The debate between city/suburb isn’t a new one and, according to the NAR, people 34 and younger have accounted for 32 percent of homebuyers since June 2014.

Pardon me, I have to go see a man about a horse. If you know what that means, then you may want to have a peek at the world’s weirdest urinals.

Take a tour of Twitter Canada’s new office (complete with branded toaster and gumball machine).  (VIDEO)

Need another reason to love chocolate? Quebec City’s Chocolats Favoris plans big expansion.

If owning a European property is on your list, try Amsterdam – a city where the luxury real-estate market is in full bloom.

Wondering how to slash business expenses in half? Relocate 100 feet underground.

It turns out that Instagram, the preferred social media tool for many New York residential real estate brokers, is beginning to show up more in commercial real estate as well.

Last week it was the story about the Calgary Airbnb that was trashed and this week, a Montreal rental home was left with $38,000 in damages.

Warren Buffett’s neighbours are not above using his celebrity to sell their home … as indicated by their website www.livenexttowarrenbuffet.com.

Or, if you don’t want to live next to Warren Buffet, you can always buy the Mayor of Vancouver’s house.

Or, if you don’t want the Mayor of Vancouver’s house you can always look at buying the home Justin Trudeau and his family have been renting for the past few years.

“First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women, then you put your 10-acre property on the market and it doesn’t sell so, a year later, you slash the price by 49%..” (Not all of that was a direct quote from the movie “Scarface”).

Moving from the sprawling 10-acre mansion in California to B.C., where a North Vancouver company is planning on building micro laneway houses.

Last week in Las Vegas 358 acres of land was sold for $19.2 million and there’s still another 250 acres available.

Keeping things a little closer to home, City of Saskatoon land sales have topped $124 million.

The deadline for the “win an inn in Maine” essay contest may have passed but there’s still time to enter the “win an Alabama goat farm” essay contest.

Google has officially announced that more searches are now coming from smartphones and tablets than from laptops and desktops.

Another piece of old Las Vegas is gone. CNN’s Mike Downey writes a fitting tribute (with photographs) to The Riviera Hotel – one of The Strip’s original casinos – which shut down earlier this month.

Green roofs, 3-D printed homes, shipping containers, passive houses … all those and more as we look at 10 fascinating housing trends from around the world.

A three-storey development in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood uses just 12 of the millions of shipping containers decommissioned after a life on the sea of five to 10 years.

Tonight on CSI: Burnaby – after a pet leaves an anonymous “sample” in a building’s stairwell, the landlord demands doggy stool samples to determine who the offending mutt (and its owner) is.

IKEA bins, custom shelves, drawers, and a basement full of (easily 250,000 pieces of) LEGO. See how this homeowner/architect remodels his basement to fit his LEGO collection. (VIDEO)

I think this Dutch commercial is an ad for home insurance. I’m not 100% sure because I don’t speak Danish, but it’s kinda funny. (VIDEO)

Tesla’s Powerwall in-home battery pack is coming to Canada but will it save homeowners money or just look really, really nice?

What’s your opinion on a new Vancouver building having segregated entrances for condo residents and those living in social housing units?

Some people build houses for pleasure, some for profit, and some just for fun. But, here are nine homes that were built for nothing more than spite.

And going from spite to defiance: here are 11 homes painted in protest.

Walking through these miniature cities will no doubt make you feel either like a giant or Godzilla.

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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