Views #600 | Intermediate 5

Buying a House

Michael talks about buying a house in the U.S.
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Todd: Michael, this is a beautiful home.

Mike: Yeah, we've lived here for about twelve years and it's too big for us now.

Todd: Really. It's pretty big.

Mike: Well yeah, I mean, it's got four bedrooms and it's got this big living room area and dining room area, and I've got two kids and both of them are in college now, so they don't live here anymore. So my wife and I are thinking about, you know, moving to a smaller house.

Todd: Oh, that makes sense. Well, so where are you going to move?

Mike: Well, this area is called Walnut Creek, it's in the East Bay of San Francisco, and we want to move into an area that's in the Berkeley Hills. It's called Orinda.

Todd: Oh, yeah. That's nice.

Mike: Oh, it's very nice. I mean it's a little more inconvenient, and it's not as convenient as here but it's a little more, there's more privacy, and there's more nature, you know more like old established trees and hills, and a little quieter, and so all those things appeal to us, so we're looking. It's not easy to find a right place but we're, actually today we're gonna meet a realtor, and we're going to be looking at some houses that are available and see if you like any of them.

Todd: You know, actually, I've been thinking about getting a house. I'm kind of getting up there in age. What is the process of buying a house? Like how do you go about it?

Mike: Well the first step to find a place is you, generally you have to work with a realtor, somebody who has access to homes that are for sale, and then you sort of look through the listings and you find ones that you like, that you can afford, and then you visit with the realtor, and say you find a house that you like, like there is one that we're going to visit today that we think we like and we're going to check it out again. After we visit we make an offer sheet, we draw an offer sheet, that says how much we're willing to pay for the house, and the owner looks over the offer sheet. They never meet us directly, they meet only through their (the realtor) the realtors talk to each other. The buyer and the seller never actually talk to each other directly, and in this case, the house is going to have multiple offers. Many people will want this house.

Todd: OK

Mike: So they're not going to look at the offers until next week, and say five or ten people bid on it, they're probably going to take the one, the person who offers the most money for it, so it's competitive.

Todd: That is a tough situation.

Mike: Yeah, so sometimes you'll find a house that you love, and you can afford, but somebody outbids you. Somebody bids more for the house than you do and you lose it, and you have to keep looking so it can take weeks of months.

Todd: Wow, well

Mike: To find the house you want.

Todd: Sounds tough. Good luck.

Mike: Thanks a lot

Learn vocabulary from the lesson

That makes sense


Oh, that makes sense.

We use the phrase 'that makes sense' when something sounds practical or like a good idea. Notice the following:

  • I bought a smaller car to save on gas.
  • That makes sense.



there's more old established trees and hills

Something that is established has been present for a longer period of time and is very recognizable. Notice the following:

  1. I don't like startups. I prefer working for established companies.
  2. Once I get established at my job, I will buy a house.



We're gonna meet a realtor, and we're going to be looking at some houses.

A realtor is a person who helps people buy and sell homes. Notice the following:

  1. My mother is a realtor. She sells about three houses a month.
  2. If you want to sell your house, you need to find a realtor.

offer sheet


We make an offer sheet, we draw an offer sheet.

An offer sheet is a document that shows how much a buyer is willing to pay for something. Notice the following:

  1. They made an offer sheet, but it was too low.
  2. We got the house. They accpeted our offer sheet.

bid (on/for)


Five or ten people bid on it.

To bid is to offer a price for something. Notice the following:

  1. At art auctions, people bid of paintings.
  2. We made a bid, but it was too low, so we offered a higher bid.



somebody outbids you.

If you are outbid, that means you lose the change to buy something because another bidder or person offered a higher price. Notice the following:

  1. My dad wanted the used car, but he was outbid for it.
  2. I hate losing. If someone offers a higher bid, I will just outbid them.
Answer these questions about the interview.


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