Family Album USA 11 — A place of our own
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In this episode, you will study . . .
GRAMMAR AND EXPRESSIONS
nouns used as adjectives
stressing auxiliaries in questions
What is the American Dream?
Is it easy tor people in the United States to own a home?
- Which is more common in your country—owning a home or renting one?
- Is housing expensive in your city or town?
with a baby coming. Marilyn means that she is going to have a baby.
at this point: at this time
room: enough space
pregnant: going to have a baby
We couldn’t afford it. = We didn’t have enough money to buy it.
lend: to give something to someone with the understanding that the person will return it
borrow: to take something from someone with the understanding that you will return it
stubborn: refusing to change (a belief or condition)
when did you buy a house? Marilyn emphasizes (stresses) the auxiliary did. You stress the auxiliary in a question to show that you are curious to know more about something in a conversation. Otherwise, the auxiliary in a question is not stressed.
Times. This is a short name for the New York Times, a newspaper.
real-estate agent: someone who helps people find a house to buy
mortgage. To buy a house, most people borrow money from a bank or other institution that lends money. A mortgage an agreement to pay back the money, usually during a period of fifteen to thirty years.
train: the back part of a long dress that touches the ground
Since they got married, Marilyn and Richard have lived with Richard’s parents. Now Marilyn and Richard would like to buy a place of their own. To own a home is part of the American Dream. Housing often costs Americans about 1/3 of the money they earn. Recently, the cost of housing in the United States has gone up faster than personal earnings. Therefore, many Americans cannot afford to buy a home of their own.
- Do most people in your country own their homes or apartments?
- Is housing expensive in your city or town?
A PLACE OF OUR OWN
Richard and Marilyn are thinking about buying a house. What things about their situation and Ellen and Philip’s situation years ago are similar? Write four similar things on the blank lines. If necesary, you may look for the answers in the script for Act 1.
Ellen gives Marilyn some advice. Which of the following suggestions does she make to Marilyn? Check each of the ideas that Ellen gives her.
1. Look at some houses.
2. Save more money.
3. Find better jobs.
4. Look in the newspaper
5. Co to a bank.
6. Call a real-estate agent.
7. Do not rush to buy a house.
8. Move far from the city.
blond hair: yellow or yellow-brown hair
salaries. Your salary is the money that you earn for your job
savings: money that you keep in a bank
financial: referring to money
Mount Kisco: a town to the north ot New York City
two-bedroom house: a house with two bedrooms Do NOT use the plural s with nouns used as adjectives: two-bedroom house.
two-story home: a house with two stories, or floors
ranch: a house with one story
two-bath house: a house with two bathrooms
full basement. A basement is a part of the house below the ground, under the first story. A full basement is under the whole house.
half-acre: a measure of land. One acre = 43,560 square feet.
lot: an area of land to build on
The price is right. = It’s a good price.
a real buy; a bargain. These phrases mean «something with a good price.»
came on the market: became available, or ready to sell
brand new: made or bought very recently
twelve-foot ceiling: a ceiling that is twelve feet high.
two-car garage: a garage for two cars
a good investment. If you buy something and later you can sell it for more money than you paid, then it is a good investment.
Give my best to your parents. = Tell your parents that I give them my best wishes; say hello to your parents for me.
I’ll give them your regards. = I’ll give them your best wishes; I’ll say hello to them for you.
sheets: pieces of paper
A TWO-BEDROOM HOUSE
Here is the floor plan of a house. Study the example at the right. Then do the exercises.
A. Complete the following paragraph. Choose the correct word in parentheses. Write the correct words on the blank lines.
When Richard was born, Philip and Ellen bought a small, two ______ (story/stories) house with two- _____ (bedroom /bedrooms). Philip and Ellen were both working, and they were able to afford the house. They had a thirty-_____(year/years) mortgage. They lived in that house for thirteen _____ (year/years) ,until Robbie was born.
B. What do you see in each picture? Use the nouns in the box to form phrases. Then write the correct phrase on the line under each picture. The first answer is given.
loan officer. When you get a loan from a bank, the bank lends you money. If you want a loan, you speak to the bank’s loan officer.
Like wise: I feel the same way.
Refinancing: getting a new mortgage
freelance: working for yourself. Richard doesn’t work for a company. He sells his photographs to different buyers.
tax forms. Workers in the United States must pay a part of the money they earn to the United States government. This money is called income tax. The amount of this tax depends on the worker’s total salary for the year. By April 15 of each year, workers must complete fax forms to send to the Internal Revenue Service. This is the agency of the U.S. government that collects taxes. Some state and city governments collect additional income taxes.
down payment. When you get a mortgage for a house, you usually pay the bank part of the price of the home immediately. This is a down payment.
over (thirty years): during a period of (thirty years)
property: something you own, such as land or a house
stocks. If you buy stocks in a business, you own part of the company.
Bonds. A business or the government may sell bonds to get money. If you buy a bond, the seller must pay back your money plus interest, or extra money, on a specific date.
collateral: property that a lender can take from you if you can’t pay back a loan
guarantor: someone who agrees to pay back your loan if you cannot pay it
income: money that you earn
make the payments: to pay back the loan
Read (this) over. = Read (this) completely.
Take care. = Take care of yourself. This is a common way to say good-bye.
put up: to give. This two-word verb is usual with the word collateral.
handle: to deal with; be responsible for Here, Richard means that he wants to be able to pay for a house by himself.
an advance (noun): a payment by a publisher to an author before a book is published
put more money down: to give a larger down payment
purchase: something you buy
We’ll be there for you. = You can ask us for help.
tradition: a custom
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
The most expensive private house ever built is Hearst Castle, in San Simeon, California. This house was built between the years 1922 and 1939 and cost more than $30 million. Hearst Castle has more than a hundred rooms. It also has a garage for 25 limousines. Today, this house is a popular tourist attraction in California.
Complete only the shaded areas of Richard and Marilyn’s mortgage application. You may look at the script for Act 3 to find the information.
A. Use the clue in parentheses to arrange the letters to form a word. The first answer is given.
B. Now arrange the letters in the circles in Activity A to form two new words. Use the clue in parentheses. (Mrs. Martinelli thinks a lot about _______ ________. )