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Welcome to 2021 and our first Weekender of the new year! Who knows what this year has in store, but it can’t possibly be as bad as 2020, right? *knocks on wood*

Speaking of 2020, for this special edition of our newsletter I’ve thrown out the traditional format in favour of highlighting some of my favourite CREB®Now stories from last year – and there are a lot of them.

So, without further ado, here is my 100 per cent subjective list of the best CREB®Now stories from 2020.

Deep dives

Welcome to the “longreads” section! These in-depth features spanned a variety of topics, including the history of a fabled (but short-lived) Calgary waterpark, the ins and outs of “cash for homes” companies, and the growing appeal of a unique housing movement. What they all have in common is a compelling narrative that will hook you right from the start.

Courtesy of Prairie Sky Cohousing

Stronger together: the surging popularity of cohousing communities across Canada suggests isolation may define our current reality, but it won’t define our future

A photo of Bonzai in all its glory during the summer of 1985.
Courtesy of Wayne Henuset

Fleeting fun: remembering Calgary’s Bonzai waterslide park

Getty Images

Cashing out: “cash for homes” companies appeal to the quick-sale crowd, but the REALTOR® role remains key for majority of sellers

COVID-19 and housing

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted all aspects of our lives. Thanks to intermittent stay-at-home orders and the need for physical distancing outside the household, many of us became better acquainted with our living spaces – both their charms and shortcomings. Unsurprisingly, this led to a wealth of great stories. Here are just a few of them.

DIY home projects for self-isolation and social distancing

How to preserve your relationships, and sanity, during COVID-19 cohabitation

Horizon Housing’s 210-unit Horizon View in Glamorgan is Calgary’s largest affordable housing development built in the last decade.
Courtesy of Horizon Housing

COVID-19 pandemic highlights Calgary’s need for affordable housing

Odds and ends

Here’s the section for the miscellaneous stories I wanted to include that didn’t fit neatly into any of the other categories. Don’t let the unassuming title fool you, though – each story, whether it aims to inform or entertain, can stand on its own merits.

Getty Images

What were we thinking? The hater’s guide to carpeted bathrooms

Getty Images

Uninvited guests: five common household pests and how to show them the door

Flickr

How to navigate home insurance claims and repairs for hail damage

REALTOR® spotlight

In any given year, it’s easy to find several feel-good stories from the REALTOR® community in Calgary and surrounding areas, and 2020 was no exception. These were some of the highlights.

Kevin Niefer (right) reunited Chris Spronk with his gold ring nearly 30 years after it originally went missing at Sikome Lake.
Courtesy of Kevin Niefer

Ring reunion: local REALTOR® reunites man with long-lost family treasure

Ray Pfob (left) and Herb Styles are both celebrating 50 years as CREB® REALTORS® in 2020.
Terence Leung / CREB®Now

A beautiful ride: two local REALTORS® reflect on 50 years in real estate

Calgary REALTOR® Brian van Vliet, seen here skydiving in 2019, will be jumping once again on Sept. 17 to raise funds for Kids Cancer Care.
Courtesy of Brian van Vliet

Jump for a cure: Calgary REALTOR® takes to the skies for unique Kids Cancer Care fundraiser

My First Home

The experience of purchasing a home for the first time can be many things: stressful, emotional, joyful, or even humourous. These three stories run the gamut.

Courtesy of the Calgary Stampeders

My First Home: George Hopkins, Calgary Stampeders equipment manager

Photo illustration by Haley Steel

My First Home: Mike Vernon, Calgary Flames goaltender and Stanley Cup champion

Courtesy Curling Canada/Michael Burns

My First Home: Ben Hebert, Canadian curler and Olympic gold medallist

If there’s a 2020 story I missed that really stood out for you, please share it with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Happy New Year!