Hello everybody this is Jack from tofluency.com and we are back for another conversation. If this is your first time here then this is my wife Kate, Hi! And what we like to do is we like to have a conversation about specific topic so that you can follow along, improve your listening and learn new words and phrases. And as always I’ll leave some phrases or the phrases that we use in the video in the description. So, we are going to talk about housing today and houses in general. Now something that you might not know about Kate is that she is obsessed with real estate. It’s true. Just tell everyone what you do on a daily basis. In terms of real estate. In terms of real estate. Well really i’m just interested in all of the houses that are around us. The way that people live. The way that they sell houses. I don’t want to be a realtor but I love seeing what people do with their spaces and just you know especially in a place like Asheville which has so many neat old homes in the craftsman style and then city apartments. It’s just interesting to see kind of how people live and how they make places their homes. I’m a little bit obsessed. That’s cool. And you use an app called Zillow. I do use Zillow – yes. And Zillow is this app that you can have on your phone. You can access on your computer too and it just shows exactly what’s available now, what sold for what price, you know in the last couple of years. We are not affiliated with Zillow. No, we use it a lot. And we thought we’d talk about housing today and Kate mentioned you know craftsman style houses, maybe apartments. So we are going to talk about the different types of houses that people live in. In the U.K. , in America. We’re going to look at some of the differences with the language as well with British and American English. I thought good place to start would be talking about the places that we grew up in. Ok. So that the type of house that you grew up in. So, maybe you can just lead up with that. Well the house that I grew up in was kind of special because my father built it. So I grew up in a really small town and my grandparents had some land that they gave to my parents when they were young and starting a family. And my dad built us this house which was just a magical place to grow up. It was filled with light, it was quite large and tucked away back in the woods. And my mom recently sold it but it was, it was such a special home i’ve grown up in and very quiet and suburban which is really different than how you grew up right? Yeah, it was definitely different because your house was situated in the woods in a very quiet and small town. And you felt like you were, you know, out in the country. Yes. I mean you were out in the country. Absolutely. Even though it was close to the main center of the town you were in but there wasn’t anything going on. No. There was nothing going on. Literally nothing. But the house is beautiful. As you said it was filled with light, it was spacious and it had this area outside as well which was just incredible. Yeah. Yeah. By the way we have our baby along again today and she might be a little bit louder today so hopefully it won’t distract you too much. Poor little thing has a cold so she might sound a little bit stuffed up. Yeah. So, yeah, and you talked about how that was different to where I grew up. I grew up just outside the center of Preston. So it was like in a neighborhood called Fulwood which is a very nice neighborhood. And we had what we call the detached house because in the U.K. and we’re going to look at this in a second but we have housing such as terraced houses and semi-detached houses too. So a detached house means that it was there and not attached to a different house. Oh Ok. So it had its own like land and property. And it was a big house it was quite big. And I have so many fond memories growing up there but it was a very traditional brick style house. There were I think three, no there were four bedrooms upstairs. And then we had an extension put on there I think when I was about ten. And that became my bedroom when I was about 14 or 15. So I slept downstairs away from everyone else in this big bedroom because the two bedrooms we had we’re really small. But I have so many fond memories of that place and my parents sold it in, I think about 2001-2002. And then they moved to Blackburn which was a town very close by but I was at University then and then you know we met and I, you know, we moved to Spain. We’re going to talk about Spain and places that we lived. Just to say also I know that you mentioned a lot of vocabulary. The vocabulary for housing is completely different in America. Yes. So, I think that we don’t even say detached houses because we just assume that if you have a house you are not attached to anything else. It’s just a free standing house. And then if it is attached to another house on two floors that’s usually a townhouse. Yes, townhouse. And then did you mention flats? Well I think the equivalent of a townhouse in the U.K. will be a terrace house. Right. But the style is different. I feel like a townhouse here is more modern. Right. And you know it’s like city living. Whereas a terrace house in the U.K. means like an old brick style – we’ll leave links to pictures below too – but this was mainly done during the industrial revolution to house workers in a very efficient way. So they are quite historic. Yeah, yeah, a lot of them are old and I was reading about this before. They went out of favor during the beginning of the 20th century. Just around World War One I feel when semi-detached houses became the thing. And a semi-detached house is basically two houses in one structure. Ok. But yeah the terrace houses were there for a reason to put workers in close proximity to the factory. And i was thinking about when I was at University in Leeds. Leeds is full of terraced houses. And I stayed in a couple of those you know when I was at University there. We have lived in all sorts of places though. We have lived in so many places together. So when we were five years into our relationship. So we had been together for five years. Yeah. We calculated – do you remember doing this? Yes. And we realized that we had lived in ten different houses. Yeah. We had moved all of our belongings ten different times and our dog – all over the world. Yeah cuz there was – there was a house in Athens, Georgia. In Blackburn in England, in France. Three houses or three apartments in Valencia. Two in Bilbao. And we’ll talk about those in a second I just want to talk about the style of houses in the U.K., in America. So we talked about terraced houses and how they’re different. And they’re not as popular here. It’s more like a townhouse. But also the material that builders use and people have for the houses. Yeah. So, what what difference do you see? Well, one thing was when I went to visit you in the U.K., I was amazed by how many stone and stonework houses there were. Because they’re just most of the time people build out of wood here. So I guess stone and brick and it just looked incredibly fancy to me and I remember saying “Oh – this is amazing what a beautiful neighborhood!”. And you said it was actually one of the worst neighborhoods in your whole town. It was really rundown and dangerous. We would call it a rough neighborhood. A rough neighborhood? Yeah. We could say that too. So that was a really rough neighborhood. Yeah. But they had very fancy and traditional terrace houses didn’t they? Which were more Victorian style. Yeah. Do you remember? But I don’t know if the houses themselves were fancy or if it was just me just looking at it as an American and saying “oh it’s old and it’s made out of stone – it has to be so fancy”. Because the wood is probably the most common building material. And you know there’s that story of the three pigs and of course the best house is the one that’s made out of stone. Yeah. That will stand the test of time. I found it quite strange when I moved here to see so many wooden houses. And like you said you you didn’t realize, you couldn’t look an area and think oh this is an affluent area, this is a rough area, this is you know in between area. And I had that problem when we moved here too. Yeah. But I’ve got used to this now and I can I know areas you know I know if it’s a family-friendly area, an up and coming area. All those different styles of places that you come across. Yeah, that’s interesting. Let’s look at the difference now between apartment, condo, and flat. Okay, well we’ve talked about some of it. Well no the actual difference to what these words mean. Oh ok – I don’t know if I know this. Well I just did some research. Oh tell me. We call apartments flats. So apartment is American English and a flat is British English. Ok. But i was reading a condo the difference between an apartment and a condo is that the condo is owned by individual owners. So you buy a condo off someone but an apartment is part of housing authority or you know someone owns all these apartments and rents them out. Oh I didn’t know that. I know, I thought that was new information for you and for everyone. This just leads us into Bilbao. Do you remember looking for a place in Bilbao and how naive we were? Yeah. Yes we were. We just – I think any time that you move to another country figuring out the basic things like how to rent a house, how to get a cell phone. It’s really really challenging. Especially if you don’t speak the language. Exactly. Because nobody can really explain it to you in different words. No, and also….. And we were new at Spanish, you know at living in Spain and we didn’t know a lot of the housing vocabulary or what was standard practice. Yeah the standard practices where or basically we had just moved to Bilbao and we were staying in the Ibis. Yeah we were living in a hotel, living in a hotel, which is very expensive, yes, after a few days. Yeah. And we didn’t know how to look for an apartment. But we also we’re looking at the time when there were different holidays. So they had what they called the “puente”, the bridge. Where they had Friday and Monday is a holiday and the weekend. So you couldn’t get hold of anyone about housing. But we finally found somewhere, it was a studio which means like there’s no separate bedroom. Yes. And that’s something to think about. I don’t think that I could live in a studio again. Well no. I mean even if we didn’t have kids because we’ve gotten so used to having separate areas/spaces. Yeah. And I remember it was quite expensive and you have to pay a fee as well. Yes. Like a finder’s fee to the real estate agent. And we were staying in there but then we found somewhere else in Bilbao about three months later. Yes. Which was, it was different wasn’t it? Explain this apartment in Bilbao. It was very rustic – I guess. you could say. It was up in the loft in the top area of this building and it was in a way it was just amazing because it was up carved out into the roof and this woman who is an artist had taken this really old attic and just transformed it into a little apartment. Mostly with like IKEA furniture and curtains but it was just it was unbelievable and it was so neat and so uncomfortable to live in. Yeah. It was cold. So cold. There is no heating. Yeah there’s no heating. The electricity would go off if you if you are watching TV and taking a shower you couldn’t do that. You couldn’t vacuum especially remember? Yes! The electricity went off when we tried to vacuum and we had to start again and put it back on. But it was a really cool space, it was very cheap. Yes. It was right in the center of Bilbao – the old town. And there was a lot going on there. Yes. A lot going on there. And we really enjoyed it. Yeah we loved it. We really enjoyed that time. Yeah its kind of neat to live somewhere that’s a little bit different maybe a little bit uncomfortable when you’re younger. Yeah. And just get to experience it. I think that you know sometimes now I can take for granted that we have hot running water all the time and that we can have all of our appliances on with no problems. But then I remember, you know, that it really did teach us to be very frugal so not to to spend a lot of money and also to just to just live with a little bit less. Ok we are back after a quick interruption by Emma and we were talking about living in Bilbao and that amazing apartment. We then moved to Valencia. Yes. And what I just remembered we found that apartment in Valencia a long time before didn’t we? Like a year before when we were thinking about moving to Valencia. Yeah. So just to give some context we wanted to move to Valencia originally but the program you were on put us in Bilbao and then we moved to Valencia the year after but that same apartment was there wasn’t it? Yes. And it was such a cool place. It was so neat. But when we first saw it we thought this has to be some kind of a scam. Yeah. That you know somebody would just come and take our money and we would never rent an actual apartment. But then when we figured out that it had just worked out the right way it seemed like it was almost like fate like we had been meant to get that apartment. Yeah. Yeah. I just remembered that now cuz that is quite crazy that it was our dream apartment in Valencia and just came available when we moved there and we were like more or less signing the contract and she was on the phone to another guy or at least you know that’s what she said. Yes. She might have been trying to put pressure on us to sign the contract. But she just said you know someone else wants it, do you guys want it? And we said yeah we do. Yes. And one of the best things about that apartment was the location. Yes. What – although there was one problem with the location if you remember the music? I do. Yes. So we were right in the middle of everything, above amazing restaurants near bars right by one of the main squares. But we were also two floors above a hard rock bar. Yep. That would play really heavy metal rock and roll and then at two in the morning or three in the morning, maybe even later, because in Spain it was quite typical to have bars and clubs open really really late into the night if not the next morning All of these people would come out onto the street after the bar closed and they were rowdy and they’ve been listening to really heavy metal so they were very loud and they were just two feet are two storeys below our apartment. And of course we didn’t have any air conditioning so our doors would be wide open and we’d be trying to sleep and then Yeah. The noise just. It was so loud. So loud. And it just woke us both up instantly as soon as they start talking out there. But apart from that it was incredible. Do you remember standing out on the balcony at dusk and watching the swallows – yes – fly past the house? That was magical wasn’t it? Yeah. And you could hear the bells ringing. We’ve lived some pretty incredible places. Yeah. That was one of my favorite places because also we were so close to the three main squares but then also close to the city river park which used to be a river until they diverted it because of flooding in the fifties I think. And they turned this in – they were going to turn into a highway and then decided to turn it into a park and was just a great place. Yeah. And yeah that place in Valencia was great we really enjoyed our time there. Really enjoyed our time there. It was fantastic. And then I thought we could talk about dream houses. Yes. Because I’m sure you got something to say about what your dream house would look like. Yes. So do you want to tell everybody? Yeah and this is – i would love to live in a house where there was a bedroom for us and for each of our kids and for any family that might visit. Four bedrooms which is really a lot would be perfect. Going from a studio to a studio with no bedrooms to four bedrooms. And then what else like – what kind of style house, where would it be? What kind of things would – unless you say there’s no budget here. Oh – no budget. But we want to keep it – Yeah you could spend anything. Well my dream house is probably a farm house style because i love that kind of simple but nice style and i would love to be somewhere where you could just look out and there would be nature everywhere Yeah. So here in some places in Asheville you can get a mountain view that would be fantastic but that would just be a dream. But at the same time where we are now we’re in a really nice small neighborhood with a lot of families and you can walk to so many places. You can walk to restaurants. We walk our son to school. We have friends all the way around us that we can go and visit and that’s an amazing place to be to. So ideally you could get the best of both worlds and have a neighborhood that’s out of nature but still have all your friends close by and be able to walk places. And we’ve talked about this, haven’t we in terms of trade offs? Yeah. So for example the biggest trade off if i think is – is space but then proximity to great places. Or peace and quiet and proximity to the city. Yeah. So if you live in a neighborhood in the city you’re close to all the great things of bars and restaurants. You know neighbors are close by but its noisy. If you’re out in the country it’s lovely you get peace and quiet. You get those views potentially but you can’t walk anywhere. No. You can’t walk to bars and restaurants and you know anything that you might want to do. Yes, and now that we have kids too, the way that the school system works in America is that where you live determines what school you’ll go to and where you live determines what school you’ll go to and as terrible as it is the schools are really different depending on where you live. Yes. So generally if you live in a really nice area it will have a very nice school and if you live in an area that’s not that great the schools won’t be that great either so it’s and that’s something that I think is kind of terrible to think about but and…. And your priorities change . Ya. Don’t they? Totally. Ya. That’s cool. Question? Yes. Come to that part of this video where Kate asks you guys a question. Yay! So we haven’t planed this question no but i’ve got a question which is what’s your dream house? What’s important to you and are there any particular features in a house that would make it your dream house like a really big bath tub or a spectacular view? Yeah. We could talk about the location to. You know where this dream house would be and it’s a fun activity and you can use conditional sentences and things like that. And because we’re nice because I got an unlimited budget for my dream house to talk about you also have an unlimited budget. There you go! So we can’t give you real money. No – but maybe if you share this video and we grow bigger then maybe we could do this as a competition one day – win your dream house! No that’s not going to happen. We make no promises. No. Well thank you. Thank you everyone for watching. Thank you. And if you have enjoyed this video then please give it a thumbs up. Share it with your friends to do all that good stuff. Like I said there will be words and phrases in the description and information about how you can get some premium resources from this lesson too. So thank you for being here. Leave your comments below and if you new subscribe.