Two years ago, my husband and I bought a "blank canvas" property, i.e. a shell. Apart from the addition of a couple of electrical sockets, the house had not been updated since it was built in 1934. You name it, it needed it. And more. In the last two years, I have learned many things - here are eight of them.
By providing secure homes for all we build a foundation on which anyone and everyone can build a better life for themselves. To hark back to Mr Cameron's comments that I referenced at the start, I can think of no better 'one nation' goal than that.
Social cleansing is an emotive word that is completely inappropriate for this regeneration scheme, which will benefit our existing residents and improve homes to ensure they meet the needs of our future generations.
The letter was swiftly followed by a visit from a council official, who spouted jargon about decanting, phasing and acquisition. She coldly talked about "units" rather than homes and seemed genuinely astonished that we were unhappy about their proposal to knock down our affordable, lovely home in order to build far less affordable ones.
There is a way to stop the harmful impact on young people of unaffordable rents and house prices, but it's a going to a take a big, bold plan from politicians to make it happen.
We're waiting for this government to show that they're serious.
There used to be a fair number of certainties for people in their 20s - it was assumed you'd get a job (maybe even straight out of school), get marrie...
The advice we give to sellers is to really shout about everything that you love about your property - chances are someone else will love it too. It's a bit like online dating. If someone posts a profile that lists simply their age, height, weight, number of kids and profession then you only get a one dimensional view of them. It's the same with property.
I love looking at and often "investing in" the new ideas and ingenuity that flow out of Kickstarter and I love the way that it can genuinely empower (and often bring a healthy dose of harsh reality) to entrepreneurs and inventors.
The Queen confirmed proposals to remove housing benefit from many young people and reduce the overall benefit cap by £58 a week. Shelter has long campaigned against the removal of housing benefit from young people unable to live with their families, as this would inevitably drive more people into homelessness.
Small business needs continuing support from the government and I believe that the outcome of the election gives small to medium businesses the best chance at increasing their positions as the employers of tomorrow.
Has there ever been an election where housing (or the lack of it) has been so high on the agenda? There can be no questioning of the fact that the current young generations are having things much more difficult when it comes to affording homes whether it be owning them or renting them and whilst this is in general a national problem the issue is highly acute in London.
The government needs to re-evaluate the Right to Buy scheme and establish a new way for citizens to live comfortably. If they focused on creating long-term options such as rent-only neighborhoods, or providing more funds to citizens with a low-income, the housing crisis could soon become a thing of the past.
Many pubs are important parts of the communities they serve, and every pub is different. If a pub closes its doors forever then its distinctiveness, atmosphere and character are lost forever. Just because there may be another pub down the road doesn't mean it will be an adequate replacement.
When the subletting legislature makes its way to parliament, the Chancellor must take care to ensure that tenants remain safe, landlords hold less liability for subtenants, and the housing supply isn't diminished by mass rent-to-rent schemes.
Establishing a definitive strategy with regards to property and estate agency legislation is no straightforward matter. The fact that house prices are influenced by market forces will always mean that tinkering with the system is inherently complex and, indeed, risky.
Despite the relative success of the Help to Buy scheme and the hope surrounding the recent announcement of a Help to Buy ISA, finance still remains a significant barrier facing prospective homeowners hoping to step on to the ladder, with many finding themselves pushed to their financial limits in their attempts to purchase a home