Finding a new home

    Spotlight 6/2019
    Frau sieht sich in Schaufenster Anzeigen für Häuser an
    © Alex Segre/
    Von Dagmar Taylor

    1. Our ideal location

    Phil is talking to his colleague Kirsty about his family’s search for a new home.

    Kirsty: How’s the house-hunting going, Phil? Have you found anything yet?
    Phil: I’m afraid not. There just doesn’t seem to be anything on the market at the moment — at least not in the area we want to move to and not in our price range.
    Kirsty: That’s tough. Which area would you like to move to?
    Phil: Anywhere in the West End. And we’d prefer a period property.
    Kirsty: So, you’re not fussy whether it’s a flat or a house then?
    Phil: Well, obviously, we’d prefer a house, but we’re willing to compromise in order to be close to the city centre. Where do you live?
    Kirsty: Randolph Crescent.
    Phil: Oh, very nice! That would be our ideal location.


    • If a property is on the market, it is available for sale.
    • Someone’s price range is the price they can afford to pay for something.
    • A period property is a house or building that was built before the First World War.
    • If you say you’re not fussy, then you would be satisfied with most choices that you are offered.
    • When someone says they’re willing to compromise, it usually means that they have realized they are unlikely to reach the standards that they have set.

    2. Are you interested?

    Kirsty calls Phil to tell him about a flat she thinks he might be interested in.

    Kirsty: Hi, Phil? This is Kirsty from work.
    Phil: Hi, Kirsty. How’s it going?
    Kirsty: Good, thanks. Listen, I might have a property for you. There’s a three-bed flat next door going on the market soon. It belonged to an elderly man and it’s been empty for a while now. I was speaking to Calum this morning — he’s one of his sons — and he said he and his brothers have decided to sell. The asking price sounded really reasonable and I know that they’d like a quick sale. Would you be interested?
    Phil: Yes! Of course. But I doubt that it’ll be within our budget.
    Kirsty: If I understood correctly, Calum said they were hoping for somewhere in the region of £450,000.
    Phil: Really? That sounds too good to be true for that area.


    • A three-bed flat is a flat (US apart­ment) with three bedrooms.
    • The asking price is the price that somebody wants to sell something for.
    • If something you want to buy is within your budget, it does not cost more than you are able or willing to spend.
    • Somewhere in the region of is used when you are giving a number or price that is not exact.
    • Something that is too good to be true is so good that it is hard to believe it exists.

    3. The viewing

    Phil and his wife, Rachel, are looking around the flat in Randolph Crescent.

    Rachel: I actually like the fact that this is a basement flat. You can open the door and have a coffee outside, or hang out the washing.
    Phil: Don’t you think it’s a bit dark?
    Rachel: Well, it is today, but it’s actually east-facing, so we’ll get the sun in the morning and most of the afternoon.
    Phil: We would have to redo the bathrooms and the kitchen. We’re going to have to get a quote from an architect, I think. If we’re going to make changes, we might as well do it properly. Jean’s an architect, isn’t she?
    Rachel:    Yes. I’ll give her a ring later. Can you take some more photos of the kitchen so that I can show her?
    Phil: Yes, OK. So, do you think we should go for it?
    Rachel: Absolutely!


    • A basement flat is a flat in a building, partly or completely below the level of the ground.
    • If you redo a room or a building, you paint it, put new furniture in it, etc. to make it more attractive or comfortable.
    • A quote (short for “quotation”) is a statement of how much money a particular piece of work will cost.
    • To give someone a ring (UK ifml.) is to make a telephone call to somebody.
    • When you want to encourage someone to do something, you can say, Go for it!

    4. How did it go?

    Kirsty bumps into Phil at work.

    Kirsty: Hi, Phil! So? Are we going to be neighbours?
    Phil: Yes! Our offer was accepted this morning.
    Kirsty: Wow! Congratulations! Are you excited?
    Phil: Excited? We’re over the moon! And it’s all thanks to you, Kirsty!
    Kirsty: Oh, I’m so happy for you. We’ll have to celebrate. When do you think you’ll be moving in?
    Phil: We’re hoping that we can start with renovations this month and, if all goes well, we should be able to move in at the end of next month already.
    Kirsty: What about your house? Won’t you have to sell that first?
    Phil: No, we were renting. We’ve already given notice. (laughing nervously) So, there is a chance that we might be homeless in a couple of months!


    • When you tell the owner the amount of money that you’re willing to pay for a property, you “make” or “put in” an offer. If the owners want to sell their property for that amount, they will accept your offer.
    • If someone is over the moon (UK ifml.), they are extremely happy and excited.
    • Another way of saying “if everything goes to plan” is if all goes well.
    • If you rent a property, you regularly pay money (rent) to somebody so that you can use the property that they own.
    • When you give notice, you give someone information in advance of something that is going to happen.

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