IELTS Speaking Part 1 – Home – Band 9

TIP 1 – answer the question directly – do not go off-topic or be philosophical

Let’s talk about home.

What are the most important points to consider when buying a new home?

When house hunting, buyers should consider a few important ideas, such as their budget, the size the home, its location and the quality of building materials. All of these will have a major impact on the inhabitants’ quality of life and happiness. I know that I’m really glad that my home is just minutes walk from my office as this gives me time with friends and family.  

One way to remember that you should usually give an answer, explanation and example, is to say one sentence for each, as in the above example. 

Why are these important?

Well, in order to explain these considerations in greater detail, the amount of money spent on the home is important as spending too much can put a lot of financial pressure on the breadwinners. Also, making sure that the home is built with quality construction, such as the windows, bricks, pipes and other requirements can ensure that maintenance costs are kept down as well as unexpected surprises such as a leaky roof. This can also create stress.

What factors determine the cost of a house or apartment?

The key determinants for the value of residence is mostly the location because people want to be conveniently in near proximity to amenities, work and schools, so this drives up the house prices in highly demanded locations such as Beverly Hills. Also, the size of the home matter a lot when it comes to house costs, because clearly larger homes require more materials and effort to build as well as more land. A house in downtown Vancouver is 2 million dollars but an apartment is around 800K dollars. 

Which one has the most impact?

As I had mentioned, location is key. People may pay ten times as much for the same size of home within the same city depending on its location. If the home is in an upper-class neighborhood that is safe, has fresh air, and high quality educational and medical services, people will pay a premium, in some cases over a million dollars for a two-bedroom apartment – like downtown New York. 

How have people’s house preferences changed compared to one generation before? 

Well, that’s a tough question, homebuyers’ needs have certainly changed since my parents time, some people have come to appreciate smaller homes with more amenities, while other desire even bigger homes with a games room and a yoga studio. Certainly one aspect that has become of critical importance is the availability of technology. Some buyers refuse to purchase a home if it is not serviced by fiber optic internet. 

Why is this?

Aside from the reasons I had already mentioned, people have downsized their living needs because families tend to be smaller than a generation back. I have three brothers and I grew up in a large house. However, a two-bedroom apartment is enough for myself, my wife and daughter. Also, the cost of real estate has soared over the last 30 years and homes now are on average seven times more expensive than when my parents’ purchased. 

Let’s talk about modern buildings.

What kinds of materials are popular to use in the construction of new buildings these days? What are the reasons for this?

How has technology been used in modern construction to make the buildings more comfortable and safer for residence? What else may be used in the future?

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