Zillow has data on more than 100 million homes, but there are even more stories out there that tickle our fancy and keep us informed about real estate. From foreclosures in Detroit to inventing a new toilet for the underdeveloped nations, here’s a sampling of things we learned this week.

What’s Shaking on the Foreclosure Front?

Bill McCachen snatched up 650 foreclosed homes. SOURCE: Fox News Detroit










Fox News in Detroit had the scoop on a millionaire former yacht dealer who scooped up 650 tax foreclosed properties in Macomb County with one single bid of $4.8 million. Other investors were irritated, but expediency got Bill McCachen a good deal.


Really Deep Water Fight

One of three reservoirs that holds enough water for 20 Olympic swimming pools. SOURCE: AOL Real Estate









AOL Real Estate let us know that an Eagle Point, OR man had begun serving a 30-day jail sentence over his rainwater-collecting reservoirs. He had been issued permits, but those were rescinded after Gary Harrington collected 13 million gallons.


Apple Heist

The Palo Alto home of Steve Jobs, who died in July 2011. SOURCE: AP









Yahoo! Finance reported on what police called a “run-of-the-mill” burglary, only it was $60,000 worth of computers and valuables from the Palo Alto home of Steve Jobs, who died a year ago. The house, where Jobs settled down with his wife and children, was undergoing renovations.

Sinkhole Grows in Louisiana

A sinkhole in Louisiana is 300 ft wide and 350 ft deep. SOURCE: WBRZ









Yahoo! News carried a news item about a massive 400-foot sinkhole in Assumption Parish, LA that has caused the evacuation of 150 residences. While it was called a “mysterious” sinkhole, the culprit could be an underground salt dome that was recently filled.

“Strawberry Fields Forever” Was Born Here?

John Lennon and son Julian in the Surrey home where songs for "Sgt. Pepper's ..." were penned. SOURCE: Getty Images









BBC News weighed in on the British version of celebrity real estate with a 15 million-pound listing of John Lennon’s home in Surrey. Likewise, the homes of other British stars, like Adele, are getting tons of attention.

Harmless Junk — NOT!

SOURCE: Thinkstock









Shine had a post about the dangers of that junk drawer! Turns out starting a fire with an errant battery and all that stuff is a real threat. So start cleaning!


Flush With Ideas on Toilets



Poke fun all you want, but Yahoo! News brought us the winners of the Gates Foundation effort to create a toilet for the 40 percent of the world’s population that does not have access to this dignified way of seeking relief. Bill & Melinda Gates continue to think big.


About the Author

Laura Vecsey is a former sports columnist, news reporter and politics writer and has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Sun, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Harrisburg Patriot-News. She was also a regional editor with She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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