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Home and housing

PART 1

 

Let’s talk about your home

Do you live in a house or an apartment?

What do you like about the rooms in your home?

What would you like to change about your home?

Will you live in this home for a long time?

 

Now let’s talk about furniture

What sort of furniture do you have in your home?

Do you have any wooden furniture?

Do you have a favourite piece of furniture?

Are you planning to buy any furniture this year?

 

Let’s move on to the topic of gardens and plants?

Does your home have a garden?

Do you enjoy gardening?

Do you prefer a garden with vegetables or flowers?

Do most homes in your country have a garden?

 

PART 2: Model Answer

Describe a home that you lived in

You should say:

– what the home looks like
– what you like about this home
– where this home was located

and explain how you feel about living in this home

Alright, I’d like to talk about the home I lived in for most of my childhood.

It was a large single storey brick house on a large block of land near the centre of my hometown just outside of Brisbane. The house consisted of three sections. One section consisted of the bedroom, bathroom and living area. There were six bedrooms in all and a large living room. The kitchen, dining room and recreation room were located at one end of the bedroom and living area but could be accessed via a small courtyard with a beautiful lawn and garden and a brick path. The large living room was carpeted and consisted of a small drinks bar, an Italian leather couch and four reclining leather chairs and a state-of-the-art TV. It also had many windows to let the natural light in. Adjoining the kitchen was a large spacious dining room with several dining tables.

What I really loved about this house was the recreation room and our huge backyard. As a child me and my friends spent many long hours playing all kinds of games in the recreation room. The backyard had a sandpit, a big black bean tree and a brick barbeque and as a kid I remember spending many Sundays with my family having a barbeque, playing cricket in the backyard and climbing the black bean tree or building sand castles in the sandpit.

I feel I was lucky growing up in such a big house close to the centre of town with access to so many facilities. I have a lot of fond memories of many fun-filled days we had as kids. There really is no place like home.

 

PART 2: Vocabulary

 NOUNS

barbeque: an outdoor cooking apparatus.

brick: a small rectangular block made of fired or sun-dried clay used for building structures.

courtyard: an unroofed quadrangle, square or yard

leather couch: a leather settee or sofa.

natural light: light from outside

reclining chairs: an armchair or sofa that has a backrest that can be tilted back and a footrest that can be extended forward.

recreation room: a room in a building where people can relax and play games.

sand castles: a model of a castle built out of sand and often by children.

sandpit: a hole in the ground which is filled with sand for kids to play in.

single storey: a building with only a ground floor level.

ADJECTIVES

adjoining: next to or joined to

fond: having an affection for or liking something.

fun-filled: a happy, pleasing or satisfying place or situation.

spacious: roomy, sizable, large, vast, palatial

VERBS

access: the ability to approach or enter an area

was carpeted ( passive verb ): the house had carpet in it in some areas. Who put the carpet down doesn’t matter. In this case, we use a passive verb.

IDIOMS

have a roof over your head: have somewhere to live

there’s no place like home: an expression that means your home is a special place

PART 3: Model Answers

Let’s talk about owning your own home

Is it common to own your own home in your country?

In my country, it is still very common to dream of owning your own home but that dream is dying for more and more people because we are having a housing affordability crisis in my country at the moment.

Renting is making a comeback again as many people have realised that renting in the right areas is actually cheaper than buying a home and job security is not the same as it used to be for many people these days.

It is common to do both but living in rental accommodation comes with having to do without a lot of luxuries. However, you can attain these luxuries if you own your own home. Things such as living space and having your own backyard are a few examples.

It’s still a lot more common to own your own home and people are willing to take out huge mortgages to make their dream of owning a home possible. These people will be paying off their mortgages for many decades to come.

What are some advantages of owning your own home?

Owning your own home is you own piece of property that has a monetary value. There is a good chance the value of your home will increase over time so it is seen as a safe investment.

There are too many advantages to name but some advantages are if you own your own home you can have things like more living space, your own garage, a swimming pool, a garden and much more privacy. Also, your lifestyle is much better. You can do things like have a backyard barbeque with your family or friends or have house parties or have friends stay over in spare rooms in your house.

It’s much better to raise a family in a home, particularly a bigger home with a lot of land for kids to run around in.  You can’t have the same freedom, privacy and space raising kids in an apartment. Kids can have a much happier childhood growing up in a nice home.

If you decide to rent out your house or some rooms in your house you can charge much higher rent for Airbnb stays as there is a much greater demand for people to want to live in a house.

Do you think more people will own their own homes in the future?

That’s a hard question to answer but my own thinking is as long as the country continues to grow population-wise and the economy and standard of living keep improving then more and more people will want to own their own home.

I think more people will rent as housing affordability is only going to get worse. Owning your own home these days is increasingly becoming a luxury for the well-off.

I think more people will move out of the expensive cities and buy much cheaper homes in the country areas or opt for living in a mini home.

More people will live in rental accommodation as housing affordability has only gotten worse because of this unprecedented ten-year period of all-time-low interest rates. Once the interest rates start going up again which is inevitable less and less people will consider taking out a mortgage to buy a home.

 

Let’s move on to talk about renovating your home

What are some reasons why people renovate their homes?

It’s very common in my country because it increases the value of the home.

Another reason people renovate is to upgrade a home that is old.

Some professional builders buy old homes, renovate them then sell them for a quick profit.

It has become popular these days because of a home renovation reality TV program in my country.

Do you think more people will renovate their homes in the future in your country?

Yes, because it is seen as trendy to renovate your home these days and it will become trendier in the future.

No, because more and more young people can’t even afford a home to renovate in the first place.

Yes, as it’s cheaper to renovate a home than to buy your own.

No, because the government will make buying a new home much more affordable in the future so renovating won’t even be an option.

Why are smaller homes becoming popular these days?

I think it’s because housing affordability is at an all-time low these days and it is seen as a much more practical option.

People are starting to see the benefits of living a simple frugal life.

They are becoming more of an option because there are more permanently single people these days who don’t plan to ever get married or start a family.

People can enjoy a lot more peace and quiet in a mini home compared to living in a noisy suburb or an apartment in the city.

Common issues:

  1. Make sure you don’t confuse the words apartment and department
  2. Furniture is an uncountable noun
  3. The is used with rooms of a house when there is only expected to be one, such as: the kitchen, the bathroom.
  4. words which end in -room (such as bathroom) are stressed on the first part of the word

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