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Confessions of a Real Estate Junkie (and a giveaway for the National Home Show!)

When I was a kid, I can distinctly remember being in the car on a weekend afternoon, usually in the spring, and asking my parents “What are we doing — why are we driving around like this?”

And the response of “Oh, we’re just looking around at these neighbourhoods” never ceased to perplex me. I’d ask “Are we moving?” But, no, we weren’t moving, we were just looking.

Now, I am following in my parents mother’s (let’s face it, my father was just appeasing her addiction) footsteps and have clearly become a real estate junkie. I confess to:

  • looking at the MLS listing at least once a week (oh, and Grapevine too, of course!)
  • picking up all those free real estate magazines and looking through every page
  • watching “Love it or List it” and endless varieties of HGTV shows
  • buying home renovation, home building and other home-related magazines

But unlike others of my ilk, I have no interest in actually doing these home projects or updating the decor of my house (if I wish hard enough, someone will do it for me, right?). In fact, my husband and I could be classified as neglectful in this regard. (We still have the same couch we bought when we got married 14 years ago!) And yet, this insatiable interest of mine in housing lives on.

So I took an interest in the 2011 National Home Show coming up in February. It’s taking place in Toronto and in addition to the bazillion feasts of the eye, there are some particularly cool highlights such as:

A model home called “A Glass House” built by Concept PolygHome: 

  • This home is a “bioclimatic” home, which unfortunately the company doesn’t seem to define on its website but which I understand to mean the integration of home with the environment. The designs and concepts of PolygHome are, to be understated, awesome.
  • The structure of a PolygHome is made with wood beams that are manufactured from the recovery of engineered wood and are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The interior is created with aluminum, energy-efficient glass for the windows, a soya-based polyurethane foam for the insulation and an  insulated framework for the foundation with cement.
  • Visitors at the National Home Show can visit one of these homes, which has been kitted out with interior designs by Debbie Travis.

What’s your design dilemma?

  • Here, you can attend renovation workshops as well as get one-on-one consultations with interior designers!

HGTV celebs!

  • You can meet & greet with designer celebrities including Debbie Travis, HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler, decor expert Janette Ewen, HGTV’s Colin & Justin, CityTV’s garden specialist Frank Ferragine and Jim Caruk of BIY Workshops.

Family Day

  • On February 21st, children 17 & under are free, there is complimentary daycare, and you can enter to win a family vacation for four.

And much, much more … as you can only imagine. So, wanna go??

I’m going to give away a 4-pack of tickets to 4 lucky readers! All you need to do to enter is this:

  • Be sure you can attend: It’s in Toronto and runs from February 18-27th, 2011 (details on logistics can be found on the National Home Show website).
  • Leave a comment telling us what you love most about your home or what you want to change most about your home.

I will then:

  • Select 4 winners using an computerized randomizer on January 21st, 2011
  • Send each winner a 4-pack via regular post mail

Good luck! :)

Bloggy disclosure: I was given these tickets from Tina Holmes (twitter handle @HomeShowsTO) who is a home show marketer and producer. Of the 20 tickets I was provided, I will be keeping 4 for myself.  


  1. I’m a total real estate junkie too!
    We’re currently house hunting so my addiction is worse than ever.
    What I love most about where we live right now is that it’s very cheap so we can save up for that perfect house of our dreams.

  2. I love everything about my house! That doesn’t stop me from watching all real estate and home reno shows. One of Debbie Travis’ rooms inspired me to update my laundry room (still to be completed).

  3. ACK, you mean I’m not the only one?? 😀 Just wish I could take some of those decorating and reno ideas and apply them to my house rather than living vicariously through others’ perfect homes. 😉 I’m house-hunting again but that’s a story for another time.

  4. Hey Julie,

    Totally relate to your real estate “snurfulling” (new word). Like a truffle pig, I’m constantly pushing my nose through all kinds of home-based listings, programs and events!

    So, what I love most about my home are the beings that inhabit it — my loving partner and my two adoring and adorable mini-schauzers, Monkey and Ollie.

    As far as what I don’t like in my home, it’s the beige carpet on the second floor, badly concealing the rockin’ and rollin’ floor underneath. It was to be a winter project: ripping out the carpet, levelling the floor and laying new hardwood. Tasks not for the faint of heart.

    Thankfully my partner’s superior views prevail, regarding what realistically constitutes DIY projects and which projects are best left to professionals.

  5. Geraldine Durant says:

    I love my home but I don’t love the fact that my living room furniture is stuck in the ’80’s.

  6. I love the current location of my home but we sacrificed space to get it. As a result I would like to change our storage options to try and free up some space. Thanks for the great contest!

  7. My partner and I currently rent an apartment so while it is my home, I can comfortably watch the HGTV shows (when I get near a TV – we don’t have one in our apartment. My graduate degree will not be finished if we were to have a TV) without feeling like I can or need to try those things out. I can be a couch critic without guilt.

    What I do love about our apartment is all the little things that we have built together – the sign on our door and our name signs that just scream us and all the little things that, if someone asks, will hear the story behind how it came to be in our lives.

    We may not be able to physically change the apartment but we make it our own by all the little things we have around the place.

  8. I love so many things about my home. It’s an old Edwardian era home with lots of character and quirks. What I’d like to change is to make more efficient use of the space, get organized, and particularly have a fully functioning workspace/studio.

  9. The thing I would most like to change about my home is the floors. I purchased a house with GREEN carpet throughout. Have you ever tried to coordinate with green carpet? YUK! My husband and I have been looking at flooring, and would love to continue that search at the Home Show.

  10. I am totally a real estate junkie too – though in fairness my husband’s job has us moving every 2 – 3 years – which means buying and selling houses more often than I would like…

  11. I have to say that I am not happy with my home at the moment, but as I am renting there is no upside for doing a lot of renovations. My dream is to build my own building with an enormous glasshouse portion. A few years ago I saw a great interior space with a lot of plants, water features and landscaping and since then owning a similar space has been my “dream house”.

    Being a contractor has certain advantages since I have access to the best designers and trades, but I am still not ready to embark on the house adventure. A project like this has to be planned in detail, so I will keep refining the ideas until I am ready. Questions such as location, function, solar energy, geothermal energy, green design etc have to be explored first.

    I am always interested in talking to like-minded people and explore synergies and possibilities in working together.

  12. I have an addiction to reno shows and things I dream of doing to my house. It’s a 50+ year old bungalow that wasn’t changed much by the original owners.

    The thing I’d like to do most though is open up a wall from the kitchen to the living room — it’s a supporting wall, of course — and then start anew and have one of those magazine-spread worthy kitchens.

  13. For the most part, I love my house, but now that we have kids, I would add an extra bedroom upstairs and make the mudroom 5x as big :)

  14. Colleen Curtis says:

    I desperately need to find a way to dress my windows which is near to impossible to do thanks to Tridel who designed the beautiful (but with impractical windows) Ovation towers, but more DESPERATELY I need to figure out strategies to create a practical & spectacular bedroom for my 24 yr old uni student daughter who came home from studying at Queens due to illness – -and whose room is approximately 8×10 — an almost impossible feat.

  15. Okay, no more entries … I’m going to do the draw now. Tune in shortly to see if you’ve won! :)

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