“Dream House”



Pre-Listening Question

What is your image of the ideal living arrangement? What are the benefits of each of these options?

  1. an apartment
  2. a condominium
  3. a house
  4. a townhome
  5. a mobile home
  6. mobile home
  7. mountain cottage
  8. tent

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

zoning regulations (noun): rules on how a piece of land can be used, for example, for housing or business
– I wanted to build a house in this area, but zoning regulations don’t allow for that.

practical (adjective): useful or suitable
– Building a house in the mountains is not very practical for our family because the nearest schools and stores are so far away.

storage (noun): a place where things can be kept
– I love this apartment because there is a large amount of storage.

landscaping (noun): making a garden area or piece of land more attractive
– Many people enjoy living in these apartments because residents don’t have to worry about taking care of landscaping.

drought-tolerant (adjective): needing little water
– We are saving a lot of money by planning drought-tolerant plants and trees.

zeroscaping (noun): low-water landscaping, often with gravel and a few plans (xeriscaping often includes more design and native plants)
Zeroscaping is becoming very popular in our area because of the extended drought over the past few years.

customize (verb): change something to suit a different purpose
– We had to customize our bathroom so we could care for our aging parents.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, let’s talk, Aubrey, about a dream house. And I think for many people, it is only a dream, I think, with economic situations and so forth, it just can be very, very difficult for people to purchase a home of their dreams. But if … if money were not a problem, I want you to describe your dream house in terms of where that house would be, what materials would you use, what it would look like, the design inside and outside, what landscaping, and so forth. Your dream house.

Aubrey: Yeah, I guess if money was no object and like I could design it, I mean, some of the problems might be like zoning regulations because I want to live small. Like part of me really wants to live in a tiny house, but uh, they’re illegal in a lot of places. But then another option would be, you know, maybe something that’s like 750ft², right? I don’t want to go over a thousand. That’s just like that house you showed. That’s way too big. I’d like to live somewhere where having solar energy would be practical. [Okay.] Right. So I’d. I’d like to cover my roof with solar panels, buy a couple of those Tesla power walls. Yeah, I mean, definitely a lot of lot of vertical storage because I’ve noticed that sometimes, like, that is something that people just forget, right? Because you can put shelves in and get a lot more storage space than just having empty walls. [Right] Bookcases. I love bookcases. That would be great. Like hanging storage. You know, it would be nice because projectors don’t have great video quality, but if the technology existed to have like a screen that rolled up, it’d be nice to be able to just pull down a screen [Okay] and have like a great big screen on demand and then put it away.

Randall: And what about landscaping?

Aubrey: So I kind of don’t agree with the United States standard, you know, grass, right? [Okay] Because it takes so much water and it doesn’t do anything, so I’d want, you know, more plants that are more local, suited for the environment, something easy to maintain. Uh, ideally, I’d have someone else do it because that sounds way easier than doing it myself. [Right] But like where we live in Utah, having grass doesn’t make sense to me because it’s a desert.

Randall: So you’re talking about outside maybe having drought-tolerant plants and so forth, maybe some xeriscaping of some degree, something like that.

Aubrey: Okay. Yeah, exactly.

Randall: And you mentioned about a tiny house. For those that are not aware of that concept, what is that?

Aubrey: Yeah. So a tiny house there . . . it can come in a couple of different forms. Uh, the one that you see most often is like on wheels. So we’re talking like 250ft² max, maybe a little bit more, but it’s small. It’s about the size of an RV (recreational vehicle). And the architecture can be amazing, like ’cause you can customize it to be whatever works best for you because you’re in this small space. And if you’re someone who doesn’t like to cook like you don’t like to bake, just don’t put an oven in there. You’re not going to take up space with an oven if you don’t want to bake, whereas you move into a normal house, Yeah, you’re going to have an oven in there. You’re never going to touch it, right? I saw a video of this couple. They moved into a tiny house, and, you know, initially, they’re like, Yeah, you know, our dog will just live downstairs, right? She’s not going to come up the stairs with us because she’s too old. So they installed a doggie elevator. So many things you can do with a tiny house, nd you know it’s mobile, right? If you’ve got one on wheels, and you decide to take a new job, you just take your house with you. You have a new kid, and you need maybe need a little bit more support, you take your house and park it in your parent’s backyard. Give you a little bit more support with your kid.

Randall: Well, thanks for sharing that. I think a lot of people will be very interested in those concepts of a tiny house.

Conversation Questions

What are your opinions on Aubrey’s dream house preferences? In what ways do your own preferences compare to her living tastes? Explain.

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

Try More Free Listening at