Reading is a commuter haven due to its 30 minute train journey into London. But this south east city offers more than just cheaper house prices than the capital. There is a vibrant River Thames scene, an established shopping centre and excellent schools. It has also become a tech hub outside of London.
Would you live on a £1million luxury houseboat? Homes come with multiple bathrooms, terraces and top sound systems... but you still have to empty the toilets
The floating homes boast sleek interiors, such as 28 ft reception rooms, the latest designer bathrooms and, of course, roof terraces with spectacular views. They also boast Sonos sound systems and blue tooth remote controlled heating. However living on a boat requires plenty of maintenance such as filling up with water, emptying your toilets and moving your boat if you don't have a permanent mooring.
Do you live in one of the happiest places in the UK? Leigh-on-Sea on the Essex coast is named top spot for contentment
Leigh-on Sea won the accolade after scoring highly on a range of issues, including community spirit and a strong sense of belonging. It's homes, such as the one pictured above, have attracted London commuters looking for a slice on the coast. It wasn't the only seaside resort in the top ten compiled by property website Rightmove, with Troon, on the west coast of Scotland, taking second place.
Is this the most expensive home on the planet? Opulent French villa on the Côte d'Azur is valued at an astonishing £250m
Villa Les Cedres is in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, a refuge between Nice and Monaco for some of the world's richest people. Built in 1830, the villa was sold in 1924 to Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, owner of the Grand Marnier liquor brand. It is now up for sale by its owner, drinks maker Campari and could fetch a believed world record £250m.
Can I have a pint of Two Cocks please? Grand Designs couple are selling £2M flint farmhouse they built for £1.15M after success with on-site brewery
Phil Palmer and his partner Michael Butcher appeared on Grand Designs in October 2013 with a bold design for a contemporary farm home just outside of Newbury in Berkshire. They gave up their jobs in the capital to oversee the house build and start a new business, deciding on the new name of the Two Cocks Brewery and farmhouse.
How much would it cost you to Escape to the Chateau? Six stunning properties to follow the TV couple who swapped a two-bed Essex flat for a 45-room French fairytale
For those brave enough to take the plunge, or just curious as to what they could get for the cost of a semi in the South East, here is our pick of six chateaux each with a price of less than £500,000. They include (clockwise from top left) an eight bedroom 20th century chateau for £374,676, a seven bed chateau in Upper Normandy for £333,424, and a twelve bedroom chateau in Normandy for £455,684. A five bedroom chateau between Toulouse and Bordeaux also costs £455,684, where as a seven bedroom chateau north east of La Rcohelle costs £410,41, and a five bedroom chateau east of La Rochelle costs £309,284.
Best places to live by the sea: Our interactive map reveals the hotspots from exclusive Salcombe to up-and-coming Peacehaven
Britain's most prized places to live by the sea have been named in our exclusive research by estate agents Savills - along with the up-and-coming coastal hotspots. They range from the most expensive locations - including top spot Salcombe, in Devon, pictured, - to more traditional seaside resorts full of nostalgic charm, such as Broadstairs, in Kent.
The Grand Designs that drove their owners to despair... and are now up for sale: Homes featured on TV makeover show set to make a small fortune for the 'exhausted' families
Everyone loves a good Grand Design - something that has helped to make it one of the most popular property shows on TV. Yet after pouring everything into designing and building their perfect homes, some owners have decided to move on, with three Grand Designs currently on the market. The owners of a seven-bedroom castle in Yorkshire (left), left the owners 'exhausted and scarily remortgaged up to the hilt', according to the show's presenter Kevin McCloud (inset). The purchase and redesign cost around £900,000 and the house is on sale for £1,650,000. A four-bedroom 'doughnut-shaped' property in Milton Keynes (top right), which was built in a couple's back garden for £400,000, is currently on the market for £1million. The couple behind the build, Peter Berkin and his wife Chard, were at odds at the end of the project. 'Peter is going to be happy here,' said Mrs Berkin, before adding: 'It has been positive because I am still here with him.' Meanwhile a six-bedroom house in Newport (bottom right) is on sale for £1,795,000 with the owners refusing to be drawn on how much they had spent on the build.