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DIY electrical work: an expert’s opinion

Carrying out your own electrical work can be tempting. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there regarding what we’re allowed to do ourselves and what has to be left to a professional. We spoke to electrician Darren Pennington, of Pennington's Electrical, and member of RatedPeople.com to give us the reality of the situation.

'No amount of packed lunches and Saturday nights in will fatten your piggy enough' to be able to have a mortgage in London

The Emperor's New Clothes (24/03/13)

Buy your property, don't waste money renting, we're told. But Matthew Bell finds life is much less stressful if you don't own your home

The once-hidden problems of a property will have to be revealed to buyers or renters

Estate agents forced to break code of silence on defects

New legislation demands prospective buyers and renters are given all the negative information when home-seeking. Graham Norwood reports

Asking prices rise as house market confidence grows

Home sellers are finally growing in confidence, judging by a survey by Rightmove of more than 100,000 asking prices across the country.

Spanish affair: Well-established, upmarket developments, such as PGA Catalunya are seeing something of a resurgence

Luxury rally could bring sunny days back to property in Spain

There may still be hundreds of ghost developments, but there are signs that high-end resorts are leading a comeback

Rising property prices enable homeowners to increase their options

There's a spring in the step for homebuyers

A buoyant housing market and a good supply of funds are driving down interest rates and boosting sales

What is your ideal home?

When 3,500 homeowners were asked to choose what would make up their ideal home if money was no object, they didn't pick a mansion or modern ecobuild. Instead most of us aspire to have a detached Victorian house in the country.

Haatchi: He might not be a cuddly puppy or a lovely labrador, but this Anatolian shepherd dog has a heart of gold (despite, sob, losing his leg and tail after being tied to train tracks). He’s the constant companion of seven-year-old Owen Hopkins, who suffers from a rare genetic condition. If Haatchi doesn’t sound angelic enough, he and Owen spend their spare time raising money for a number of charities. Give that dog a bone.

Cutest at Crufts and beyond: It's the dogs of awwwwww...

As three-legged hound Haatchi wins the  people’s prize at Crufts, how do these celebrated cute canines compare to our hairy hero?

Jilly beat more than 20,000 other dogs to take the coveted Crufts title

You little beauty: rare dog breed Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen wins Crufts Best in Show

A Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen called Jilly was tonight crowned Best in Show at Crufts.

Doors open for second steppers trapped in their homes

Chiara Cavaglieri takes a look at schemes to help the 'forgotten' property owners who want to move on

Alas, when I logged on to try and put my cat Onion on the map, it was having teething troubles

Cat lovers of the world unite and take co-ordinates

Do you love maps? Do you love cats? If so, check out the Zoological Society of London’s latest promotional wheeze, which combines the two. Catography, if you will. The idea is that in the run up to the opening of London Zoo’s new Tiger Territory area (a £3.6m enclosure where endangered  Sumatran tigers will be living) on the 22 March, cat fans can add the location and name of their moggy to an interactive map of the world.

You can earn up to £4,250 a year tax free by renting out a spare room

Renting out a room can open the door to extra cash

Making money from spare space could ease financial problems. But stick to the rules, reports Julian Knight

The self-build boom that failed to get past the foundations

The coaltion's pledge to revolutionise the construct-your-own market has had a slow start, but there are signs of change, reports Graham Norwood
Rotherham, Preston and Doncaster were named as the towns and cities with the highest proportion of price-reduced properties

An improving market? More house-sellers stick to the asking price

Revealed: the top and bottom areas for reductions across the country

House prices near peaks seen before recession

Property asking prices have neared their pre-crisis peaks, according to the latest RightMove House Price Survey, published today.

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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all