TOEIC lesson 18: Buying a House

Directions

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over a type-6 question from TOEIC speaking test. Your tutor will read the question to you, and you have 60 seconds to answer on your own.

Test Question

Directions: In this part of the test, you will give your opinion about a specific topic. Be sure to say as much as you can in the time allowed. You will have 15 seconds to prepare. Then you will have 60 seconds to speak.

Question 11

What are the most important things you look for when you buy a house?

Brainstorm

How did you do? Use the following pointers as a guideline to refine your answer.

  1. Brainstorm your opinion on the topic
    • Location of the house (e.g. neighborhood, access to public transportation)
    • Condition of the property (e.g. when it was built)
    • Price
  2. Come up with 3 reasons to back up your argument
    There are some key factors to consider when I buy a house.

    • Reason #1: Location is very important. For example, I think a moderate property in a good neighborhood is better than really good property in a bad neighborhood. Also access to public transportation is very important because I don’t want to drive all the time.
    • Reason #2: I also look at when the condition of the property, such as when it was built. If the house is more than 50 years old, I will probably have maintenance problem and may have to spend extra money to renovate the old structure.
    • Reason #3: Last but not least, I have to consider price. If the property is too expensive, then I can’t afford to buy it.
  3. Conclude with your argument
    • In conclusion, location, condition of the property, and price are the most important things to consider when I buy a house.

Sample Answer

Reading great sample answers is one way to improve. Go over the sample answer with your tutor. Ask questions if you have any.

Sample Answer

There are some key factors to consider when I buy a house. First of all, location is very important. For example, I think a moderate property in a good neighborhood is better than really good property in a bad neighborhood. Also access to public transportation is very important because I don’t want to drive all the time. Secondly, I also look at when the condition of the property, such as when it was built. If the house is more than 50 years old, I will probably have maintenance problem and may have to spend extra money to renovate the old structure. Last but not least, I have to consider price. If the property is too expensive, then I can’t afford to buy it. In conclusion, location, condition of the property, and price are the most important things to consider when I buy a house.

Further Study

Got more time? Here is a list of common vocab words related to the text you studied today. Go over each one with your tutor.

Additional Expressions

property (n) house; things belonging to someone
e.g. He was caught trespassing on private property.
access to~ (n) a way of being able to use or get something
e.g. We have access to the Internet at the library.
neighborhood (n) a community within a town or city
e.g. The whole neighborhood heard about it.
moderate (adj) neither too much nor too little
e.g. There were moderate levels of chemicals in the lake.
maintenance (n) the work needed to keep a building in good condition
e.g. The building has suffered from years of poor maintenance.
renovate (v) to make changes and repairs to an old house, building, room, etc.
e.g. renovate an old farmhouse
structure (n) something that is built by putting parts together and that usually stands on its own
e.g. The structure was damaged by fire.
afford to~ (v) be able to pay for
e.g. They couldn’t afford to buy new coats for the children.
proximity (n) nearness in space or time
e.g. I like the proximity of the bus stop to my home.
gentrification (n) the process of wealthier residents moving to an area, and the changes that occur due to the influx of wealth
e.g. a neighborhood undergoing gentrification
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