Apartment hunt in an English country or a state that does not speak your language is a complete nightmare. But there is nothing to fear because all you need is a little preparation to understand and rightly convey the message. When you start looking for an apartment, the first person you approach is a real estate agent, who helps people with the rentals and purchases of houses and apartments in exchange for money.
Being the tenant, the person who rents an apartment, you should have a set of questions ready for the real estate agent. Before moving on to the questions, you have to greet the other person and communicate your requirements.
Here is an example conversation
John: Hey, I am John. I am looking for a studio apartment in the downtown/upscale area.
(Studio apartment – A single room with living space, kitchen, bed space, and bathing space. Downtown – the commercial or center part of the city. Upscale area – rich, chic, fancy)
Real Estate Agent: Hey there. I am Jack. Nice to meet you. What is the price range you are looking in?
John: $1000 to $1500.
So, this is how the conversation with a real estate agent begins. Sometimes, they might even ask just to be certain, “Are you also looking for 1 BR apartment?” If you are not looking for a single bedroom apartment, respond politely, “No, I am not looking for a single bedroom apartment. A studio will do. Do you have any?”
Then, the real estate agents will show the prospective tenants (prospective – likely to be or do something) all the studio apartments downtown.
How to Politely Reject the Offers, Which do not Suit Your Budget or Style?
- I cannot afford it. Can you please show me an apartment that falls within my budget?
- That’s outside my price range.
- I’m looking for something a little more affordable. (Affordable – inexpensive; price that you can pay.)
- I like this but I would like to explore more.
- This apartment is lovely but it is not my style. Can you please show me more?
Here are a Few Questions That You Must Ask the Real Estate Agent
- How much is the rent?
- Does the rent include utilities? (water, electricity, TV, internet)
- What are the other facilities available?
- Which floor the apartment is on? Is there an elevator?
- Is it close to a subway station or a bus stop?
- Am I allowed to have a pet?
- Does the apartment have air conditioning?
- Is there a security deposit?
- When can I look around the apartment and move in?
If the real estate agent does not know the answer to any of the questions, he/she might say, “I will have to check with the landlord/landlady about that.” A landlord or a landlady is the person who owns the apartment.
After moving in, a housewarming party is a great idea to get to know your neighbours and also show your English friends where you live in.
How to Invite Your English Friends to Your Housewarming Party?
When you call your friends, some might know the address and others might not. You should be able to explain the location clearly to them so that they do not lose their way in search of your apartment.
Here is a phone conversation with a friend.
John: Hey Lisa, it’s John. This is my new number.
Lisa: Hey John, how is the apartment hunt going?
John: I just signed the lease on an apartment that is in downtown Chicago.
Lisa: Awesome. How is the neighborhood? (Neighborhood is the locality or community you live in)
John: Lovely and near to all the big supermarkets. I called to invite you to the housewarming party this Sunday at 6 pm.
Lisa: Will be there. Send me your address. Is there any landmark nearby?
John: Sure. The building is a 5-minute walk from the subway station.
And the call between friends never ends despite language barriers.
If someone asks you about your apartment, speak to them about how spacious the studio apartment is, the ventilation, the appliances, and furniture if it is a furnished apartment, windows, lights, and the overall stay in the apartment. You can also include details about the building – whether it is a high rise (very tall building) or two or three-story building (the building has two or three floors).
And, if you are looking for a roommate (a person who shares your room and pays half of the rent), including all the answers that you received from your real estate agent while creating the poster and never forget to include the commute time if you are looking for someone in your college or at work. (commute time – the time taken for the trip from home to work/college).
After moving in, if you don’t like the apartment for reasons that you found out later, here are a few sentences you can use to talk to your friends (Hope that does not happen)
Sometimes, our judgment might not be right and it could be too late to realize but at least talking about it to your friends might help to cope.
Here are more phrases for problems with your living area
- “The apartment is dark and dingy.” (dingy = dirty and discolored)
- “There’s very little ventilation.”
- “My neighbors are noisy and inconsiderate.” (noisy = opposite of quiet) (inconsiderate = don’t think about the effects of their actions on other people)
- The dogs never stop barking.
- The nights are too dark without street lights. It is a bit scary.
Use the sentences and vocabulary used in the blog to sound like a native speaker. Practice them before you reach the place where your English speaking skills are required. Once you learn basic English, you will gain the confidence to socially interact and eventually learn more from those practical live sessions. If you want to become an advanced English speaker, check out the courses on www.englishwithsutanu.com