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Safeguard your home improvement project: create a snagging list

If you employ a tradesman to carry out work on your property, then you should check for defects and document them in a list around two weeks before the work is due to be completed. This is when the tradesman serves notice and it will give him/her time to correct any flaws before the job is complete. Most importantly, this will happen before you part with the full sum of money.

Sales are predicted to rise further as spring approaches

Signs of optimism? House sales rise for fourth successive month

Sales are predicted to rise further as spring approaches

Dr Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth's Department of Psychology with her dog

Dogs 'see things from a human point of view' - at least when it comes to stealing food

Pet dogs may understand a human’s point of view, according to new research which suggests they are more likely to steal food when they think that nobody can see them.

Average London house £½m by end of decade

The price of an average London home will rise to at least £500,000 by the end of the decade – an increase of more than 30 per cent on today's £383,000 average – according to research published today.

Safe escapes from the timeshare snare

Conmen and fraudsters will undoubtedly circle if you try to sell your holiday deal. But you can get out with care, reports Esther Shaw

How the energy Green Deal can help you stay in the black

There's good news for people who lack the money to install renewable energy systems

McCarthy mulls debt

The board of retirement homes builder McCarthy & Stone will examine plans to pay off a big chunk of its debt this week.

The Holland Park house

Calm down, dear. It's only a £60m mansion

At least, that's what Michael Winner hoped it would be worth. That now looks unlikely

The interior design trends for 2013 – the Maison & Objet report

For anyone looking for the next big thing in the home fashion sphere, the exhibitors at the Parisian Maison & Objet, can give you a glimpse of what’s hot or not right now. The fair is the first and biggest design trade show of the year, which means that this is the place to spot new patterns, colours and styles. For the spring collection, however, there weren’t any shocking revelations. Pantone’s 2013 Emerald Green was nowhere to be seen, instead, pastels dominated.

Conserve heat: insulate your home

There are many ways to make your home more energy-efficient and reduce your heating bill. Insulated homes are comfortable homes. In an adequately insulated home, the temperature is constant throughout each room and walls, ceilings and flooring remain warm in the winter and cooler in the summer months.

Residential planning approvals graphic

Are we heading for a new housing bubble?

With ultra-cheap financing for mortgages but severely constricted supply, property prices could be on the rise again. Russell Lynch reports

A woman walks with her dog during a blizzard in Stockholm

Part-time pooches for time-poor dog lovers

There are few things nicer than walking a dog and I'll happily borrow a friend's canine for a stomp around the park. Sadly like many nine-to-five officer workers, renters and cramped townies it wouldn't be fair of me to own a dog. This is a shame. I grew up with dogs (a mutt called Ziggy, then a Jack Russell called Mini) but haven't had the joy of walking my own since leaving home 10 years ago.

Landlords add to buy-to-let portfolios thanks to Bank of England's lending scheme

Landlords are looking to take advantage of slightly looser bank lending to add to their property portfolios according to a raft of research from the rental market.

Only 34 per cent of first-time buyers in the UK were able to buy their home without any extra help last year

Lenders get innovative to give first-time buyers a boost

A new line of products have been launched for house hunters who have only a limited deposit. Chiara Cavaglieri sees how they compare

The average 5-year fixed mortgage has gone down from 5.41% to 4.55% since 2010

House prices rise at highest rate seen in seven months

Two-thirds of homeowners are predicting that house prices will increase in the first half of this year, as official figures show that prices have risen at the highest rate seen in seven months.

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US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines