Weekly Blend: November 20, 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:

Two Vancouver real estate developers, in partnership with Blake Mycoskie (founder of Toms Shoes), have applied Toms’ “buy-one-give-one model” to home ownership. Buy a new luxury condo in San Diego and you can help build a home for a family living in a slum in Manila.

Micro units: sixty one units no bigger than a parking spot are scheduled to open by 2019 on the UBC campus.

While micro units are going up at UBC, private developers are redefining how some Ottawa-area university students are living.

Not only did a new “story pod” pop-up in Newmarket, Ontario … it can also pop open.

Airbnb is running another “stadium stay” promotion. This time you can win a night at the ACC in Toronto (the downside is that you have to watch the Leafs).

You may not believe the development plan for under the Gardiner Expressway.

Cat lovers in the GTA, you’ve waited long enough! Toronto’s first Cat Café has opened near College and Spadina.

Haligonian’s will be happy to see that an iconic Christmas display from the window of the Mills Brother’s Store has found a new home at the Museum of Natural History.

Meet Doug Laugher from Machias Seal Island, New Brunswick: the keeper of the lighthouse on an island of one. (VIDEO)

From an island of one to a town of one (or two). Welcome to Gross, Nebraska … come see what’s left of it. (VIDEO)

How coastal real estate is being impacted by climate change. (with VIDEO)

Sydney, Australia is the next place to have a Hello Kitty-themed café. Wanna go?

In less than one month, The Force Awakens hits theatres and you can bet this super fan, who created a Star Wars B&B, will be one of the first in line.

For those of you interested in neat wall art, Popchartlab.com offers a pretty detailed poster of “The Architecture of American Houses.”

REALTOR.com has put together a list of eight of the creepiest, craziest things people have found in their homes.

Mmuseumm is the smallest museum in the world, tucked away in an elevator shaft in a Manhattan alley. (VIDEO)

Pre-order now! The BEEcosystem is an indoor beehive that literally brings your living room to life or an outdoor beehive to set your garden abuzz with activity.

Welcome to Pocahontas County, West Virginia: an entire county living entirely off the grid.

From the Star Trek room in Sao Paulo to the Eloise suite at the Plaza Hotel, Mental Floss takes us to 15 elaborate pop culture-themed hotel rooms.

Meet the couple who converted their 1990 Blue Bird bus into their home on wheels.

For just over $8 million USD, you can own a property once owned by Michelangelo. No word on whether or not the ceiling needs painting.

The historic Chinese home of a former Taiwan president has become a McDonald’s café.

The T-axis in downtown Tainan, Taiwan is being transformed from an old mall to a lagoon.

These six aerial GIFs show the rapid transformation of Australian places.

Chinese nationals are using an app to buy multi-million dollar U.S. homes … could Canada be next?

Nestled across the U.S. are 12 cozy inns to visit this autumn and winter (or summer and spring too).

This Cushman & Wakefield report tracks over 500 of the top retail streets around the globe.

Here’s what the London version of Monopoly would look like if the property prices were accurate.

I love Devour.com, especially when they post cool videos of a British guy who built an underground bunker (with a secret passage).

Deep under a valley in the Czech Republic lies the Oppidumthe ultimate post apocalypse hideaway (apologies to the story above).

Taco Bell’s first-ever location (affectionately referred to as “Numero Uno”) will be saved from demolition and relocated to the company’s Irvine headquarters.

Congratulations go out to Minturn, Colorado – this year’s winner of America’s Best Bathroom Contest.

The neighbours complained about their leaves so the homeowner responded with a passive/aggressive sign.

Doors, mirrors, and chandeliers (plus seven other things) make up this list of 10 small paint projects to transform your home.

Business Insider offers up 10 things you need to stop worrying about at work (they may help you make it through the day).

Waste is only one of the two things that power this house in rural Spain.

Copenhagen’s new bike lanes will be suspended between two high-rise towers and be more “bike-bridge” than bike lane.

The popular PBS program “This Old House” is currently calling for entries from homeowners ready to restore and remodel their properties.

For just $12 million, fans of Tom Clancy can get their hands on his gorgeous Baltimore penthouse.

Finally, REALTOR.com gives us 9 open house hacks that sell homes before buyers even knock.

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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