There are all sorts of different houses that you can buy in Britain (if you have the money that is). We asked some British people to tell us about their houses.
Hello, I'm Tracey and I live in a terraced house in Glasgow, Scotland. A terraced house is a house joined to a row of other houses. It is not very big, only two bedrooms but my husband and I live on our own, so there is enough space for us and our dog, Spot. The only problem with a terraced house is the noise if you are unlucky enough to have noisy neighbours. Fortunately, we do not have that problem.
Hi, my name is Erik. I'm fifteen. I live with my parents in a small town in the South-East of England. We have a semi-detached house. This means that my house is joined to another house. It has a kitchen, lounge, bathroom with a toilet and three bedrooms. Oh, yes we also have a small garden. British people like having a garden, you know. It is quite a modern house, so we have central heating. I would really like an open fireplace but modern houses do not have them.
Hi there. I'm Paul from London. I live in a detached house with my wife, two kids and a cat. It is quite a large house with a nice back garden and five bedrooms. Having a detached house is more expensive than a semi-detached or terraced one. I like it because when you are sitting in the garden, nobody else can see you. I would like to buy a country cottage somewhere nice and quiet but how would I find a job there?
A BLOCK OF FLATS
Hello, my name is Yasmin. I'm fourteen and live in Liverpool, the hometown of the Beatles. My family comes from Bangladesh but I was born in England. We live in a council estate in a block of flats. This means that we did not have to buy our flat. It was given to us for free by the local government. This is because my father doesn't have a well-paid job, so we could not afford to buy or even rent even a small flat. My mum doesn't speak English, so there are very few jobs that she can do. Most British people would not want to live in a block of flats because quite often they are badly built and are associated with poverty and crime.
I'm Mark. Guess where I live - I live in a boat! Many people's dream would be to live in a large country mansion or picturesque country cottage, but I think that living in a houseboat is a lot more exciting. I do not have a regular job, so I can stay in one area for a few months and then move somewhere else. England is just perfect for that because it has lots of canals. There are other people like me who like living in a boat, so I never feel that I'm completely alone but at the same I feel completely independent. If you think I'm strange, I know somebody who lives in a caravan and another friend who lives in a lighthouse!
It was different in the old days. The rich were very rich and the poor were very poor. But is it really different now? Some of the aristocratic families of Britain still have a lot of money, and some still live in magnificent 'stately homes' built by their families hundreds of years ago.
Castles with strong walls and towers may be almost a thousand years old, but most stately homes date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and many are filled with wonderful collections of paintings and furniture. But even for the richest, life in these old houses is expensive. There are roofs to repair, hundreds of rooms to clean, and miles of parkland to look after. To make money, owners of stately homes often make their parks into playgrounds. They set up zoos, safari parks, model railways, small museums — anything that people will pay to see.
Not everyone is lucky enough to keep their old home. Many of the people who once owned the castles and palaces of Britain cannot afford to look after them now. But the buildings still stand, full of wonderful antiques and art treasures.
A large number of them now belong to the National Trust, a private organisation which buys historic buildings. The old owners still live there, and keep the atmosphere of a beautiful private home, but the houses are open to the public too. In this way everyone can enjoy the great cultural treasures of the past.