Theme 10: Accommodation

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you live in a house or an apartment?
Callum: Actually I live on campus … in a single room in halls of residence … all first year students are encouraged to do that as they’re close to the university … next year I plan to move into student digs in town …

Examiner: Tell me about where you live?
Julia: I live with my parents in the suburbs of Madrid … we only moved in recently … in fact we had a house-warming party just a few weeks ago …

Examiner: What kind of accommodation do most people live in in your city?
Maria: In the city itself the majority of people live in apartment blocks … that’s what surprised me about England … most people seem to live in terraced houses with lovely back gardens

Part 2-style task

Describe a house or an apartment you would like to live in. You should say

·        what kind of accommodation it would be

·        where it would be

·        who would live there with you

and say why you would enjoy living in this place.

Paolo:  I think most people when answering this question would say they’d like to live in a big detached house with spacious rooms … views of the countryside and so on … but actually my ideal home would be a lot different … I’ve always loved the idea of having a mobile home … a really expensive one with all the mod cons … so I could live wherever I wanted or at least have lots of holidays and be able to take all my home comforts with me whenever I travelled … I realise this would have to be a second home as I’d need a base … a permanent address … but the mobile home would be the accommodation I’d find it exciting to live in … I suppose once I settle down and have children I’ll want to get on the property ladder … I’ll be like everyone else … saving up to put down a deposit on a house or an apartment … I don’t think my family would want to live in a mobile home … but I like to think I’ll still keep that dream home in mind ….

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Is it better to own your own home or to rent?
Ana: I think both have their advantages … living in rented accommodation isn’t necessarily a bad thing … you don’t have a huge debt like you do when you take out a mortgage but I suppose the property market offers you an investment for the future … I’m sure that’s why most people prefer to own their own home

Examiner: What options are available to young couples looking for accommodation in your country?
Toni: If they want to buy their own home it isn’t easy for first-time buyers … mortgages are hard to get so most people live with their parents or in rented accommodation … but that can also be very expensive … you often have to pay rent in advance … and if the accommodation isn’t fully furnished you have the expense of buying furniture …

Examiner: What are some of the pleasures involved in making a home for ourselves?
Suki: I suppose it starts with house-hunting … finding your ideal home … some people enjoy doing up an old property … giving a property that’s old and tired a new lease of life … others like making wherever they live feel like home with some home comforts

Definitions

·        (all the) mod cons: technology at home that makes jobs easier such as a washing machine, dishwasher etc.

·        apartment block: a large building made up of smaller units of apartments

·        back garden: a garden at the rear of the house

·        detached house: a house that is not physically connected to another property

·        to do up a property: to repair an old building

·        dream home: a home you regard as perfect

·        first-time buyer: someone buying a property for the first time, especially when taking out a loan (mortgage)

·        fully-furnished: a rented property with all furniture included

·        to get on the property ladder: to buy a property with the aim of buying another bigger or more expensive one later in life

·        hall of residence: a college or university building where students live

·        home comforts: things that make a home feel comfortable to live in

·        house-hunting: looking for a property to live in

·        house-warming party: a party to celebrate moving into a new home

·        ideal home: a perfect home

·        to live on campus: to live on the university or college grounds

·        mobile home: a home that can be moved by a vehicle or one that has its own engine

·        to move into: to begin to live in a property

·        to own your own home: to have bought the property you live in

·        to pay rent in advance: weekly or monthly rent paid at the beginning of the week or month

·        permanent address: a fixed address

·        property market: the buying and selling of land or buildings

·        to put down a deposit: to pay an amount of money as the first in a series of future payments

·        rented accommodation: property owned by someone else and for which a person pays a fixed amount to live in

·        single room: a room for one person

·        spacious room: a large room

·        student digs: student accommodation

·        the suburbs: a residential area on the edge of towns or cities

·        to take out a mortgage: to borrow a large amount of money, paid back over several years, in order to buy a house

terraced house: a house connected on both sides by other properties