I am a huge fan of real estate. The whole process and how ego driven it can be amuses me. It can be a major power trip. I love looking at places on the mls. I like the mortgage calculations, the bank pre-approvals and signing on the dotted line.
Despite the current real estate crisis in the US and abroad, my enthusiasm has not wavered. I am not in a position to buy anything right now but it doesn't stop me from learning a lot about communities just on the basis of "I wonder what I can buy for $x?".
My aunt was the only person in my family who had a passion for real estate. By the time I was finishing high school, she had moved into her 5th house. Each transaction making a really decent amount of capital gains. (In Canada, you do not pay tax on capital gains from a primary residence.) She must have been a stronger influence on me than I had thought.