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IELTS houses and apartments essay

This is one of my model IELTS essays lessons where you can

  • read the essay
  • do a vocabulary exercise
  • get a full lesson on how to write the essay

Read the IELTS houses and apartments essay

Some people prefer to live in a house, while others think that there are more advantages living in an apartment.

Are there more advantages than disadvantages to living in a house rather than in an apartment?

Many people nowadays face a difficult decision when they buy their own home. The question is whether they should buy a house or an apartment. There would seem to be clear benefits and drawbacks to both options.

Perhaps the major advantage of living in a house is the issue of privacy. Typically, there is more opportunity for peace and quiet, if you live in a house. This is particularly the case if it is a detached house. Other significant advantages are that houses are generally more spacious and on the whole have gardens. This is especially important if there is a family so that the children can have a safe environment to play in. If, however, you live in a tower block, then the children may have to play outside on the pavement.

There are, of course, negative aspects to living in houses. The greatest of these is that they tend to be more expensive to purchase and to maintain. Indeed, a large majority of people choose to live in apartments because they cannot afford the mortgage to buy a house. Another possible problem is that there are fewer houses in cities than the countryside. So if you like urban life, it may be preferable to live in an apartment. A second reason to avoid living in a house is that there is a greater sense of community to life in an apartment.

My conclusion would be that this is a well-balanced issue. There are probably an equal number of pros and cons to making either choice. Ultimately, whether you decide to live in a cottage in the countryside or a duplex in the city depends on your own personality, family and financial circumstances.

(285 words)

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The question needs to be answered

Some people prefer to live in a house, while others think that there are more advantages living in an apartment. Are there more advantages than disadvantages to living in a house rather than in an apartment?

Note the question is “Are there more advantages…”. This means that it is not enough just to talk about advantages and disadvantages generally, you have a specific question to answer.

Vocabulary problem – repetition

While the topic of the essay looks quite easy, there are a few vocabulary problems that need to be faced. The question uses these words:

  • advantages
  • disadvantages
  • house
  • apartment
  • prefer

If you are not careful, you will find yourself repeating these words a lot in your essay. Have a look at some of the variations I offer you:

advantage and disadvantage

Tip: make sure you don’t repeat words from the question too often.

house and apartment

This one is not so easy. There aren’t so many choices and it is certainly better to repeat the correct word “house” than to try something odd like “place of habitation”!

What I did do though was try and think of some related words or detail words. This helps not just to vary my vocabulary, but to give me more ideas.

Tip: think of vocabulary before you start to write, it will give you better language and better ideas.


This is another tricky one where you can find yourself repeating a word from the question without realising it. In fact, there are lots of options here. Some of my choices include:

Tip: when you check your writing, check for repetition. It’s normally easy to see and correct. You may never recognise your grammar mistakes.


I have deliberately kept my sentence structure very simple here. The one complex structure I do use is “if”. Note how often I use it to develop my points or to give examples. It is a very useful structure.

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13 Responses to IELTS houses and apartments essay

  1. GEET KAUR August 19, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    THANKS, I got great help.

  2. rashed April 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Dear Sir,you are really grate…

  3. MOF May 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I would like to ask you one thing. That is in proposal and argument question types, Can I show my point of view about that issue. I mean when the questions like “do you agree/ disagree?” “to what extent do you agree?” or the question of the topic below “are there more advantages than disadvantages..?”, can I put my point of view somewhere between two opinions/ two situations?

    I have a stronger sense of answering this type of proposal question, but I don’t know what should I do in argument question. Whether I have to choose a specific side?

    • Dominic Cole July 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

      This answer may come too late but, yes. you will be showing your opinion. In almost any IELTS essay you are giving opinions. What you need to do is make sure that you express those opinions in a way that answers the question as it is asked,

  4. Abnish February 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I think this is an argument essay more than a discussion essay.

    • Dominic Cole February 13, 2013 at 4:12 am #

      You could be right. This is a personal view, but for me the real question is whether the essay answers the question. How you categorise the essay itself seems a secondary issue.

  5. Neha March 23, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    You wrote a good essay but you have used the “if” word a lot

    • Dominic Cole March 23, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      If is a good word to use! There are more advanced variations of course such as “Should” “Provided” etc.

  6. Leah August 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Dear Sir,
    I am really glad that I found your website. I’m preparing for IELTS exam and your site actually helps me a lot with my study. Your essays are simple and easy to understand. I am too bad at Academic writing and I always forget new Vocabs. But after I have read your sample essays, I become to understand that although it’s necessary to use good vocabs to get a higher band score, there’s no point in using vocabs which I dont really understand or use it well, the best essay can be written with good grammar structure which is simple and make the reader clearly understands your point of view. So, thanks a lot

  7. Divya October 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    Dear Sir,

    My exam is on 22 November. I am week in my writing module. Do you have any site for correcting my essay. I don’t know what is wrong and how to improve my essay. Last time I got 6.5 for writing and for all the other I got 7 & above. Could you please help me?

    Thanks & Regards,


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