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An Englishman’s Home is His Castle

by Stephen Andrews (単語・表現リスト by Shigeri Nishide)

There’s no place like home* – and British people love buying houses, perhaps more than any other nation.

On average, people in the UK buy as many as four houses in their lifetime.

They’re prepared to get up to their necks in debt*, by taking out a loan, called a mortgage from a bank or building society* so that they can get a foot on the property ladder*. This may take them up to 25 years to repay, but once it’s paid off*, their property will probably be worth far more than they paid for it in the first place*. Children will have grown up and left the family nest*, so they might sell their house, downsize to a smaller, cheaper property and put the extra money in the bank.

And, in the UK, there’s no shortage of different types of houses to choose from.

You might live in a terraced house (attached on both sides to other similar houses, seen in large cities like London). A semi-detached, with a neighbouring house on one side. Or a detached house, which stands on its own, with no immediate neighbours.

Individual houses can also be divided into two, with one flat above and one below. If there’s a flat on the top level, large enough to have its own staircase, it’s called a maisonette. A bungalow is a house built on one level, popular with retired people.

Conversions of old buildings like farm barns* are also popular. Some very old houses in Britain are sometimes listed Grade 1, which means they’re of exceptional historical interest. Others may be listed Grade 2, which means they’re historically important. Britain has lots of old houses! But if a house is a new-build, it’s brand new and probably has never been lived in before.

The process of buying your house can be complicated.

First you have to find somewhere you like. A popular expression is location, location, location, meaning that where you live can sometimes be more important than the house itself. Then, you make an offer* to an estate agent who gets in touch with the vendor of the property to see if they want to sell at that price. You would also have to pay Stamp Duty, a tax levied* on the purchase price. Even when you’ve put in an offer*, you might be gazumped* by someone else.

And, once you’ve bought your house, you might want to do a bit of DIY to transform your house* into a comfortable home*. With a bit of hard graft*, it’ll become the castle you’ve always dreamed of!



An Englishman’s Home is His Castle


There’s no place like home

「Home, sweet home」という1820年代の古い歌の歌詞の一部。映画「オズの魔法使い」(1939年)の中でも呪文として使われていて、「自分の家が一番いい(落ち着く)」というような意味で使われる。

get up to their necks in debt


building society

銀行と同じサービスを提供している。銀行と違い、 商業的な会社ではなくお客さん達の為に運営している組織で、お客さん一人ひとりがそのbuilding societyの持ち主ということになり、 普通、銀行よりも利子などが高い場合が多い。

get a foot on the property ladder

若い時初めて買う家は小さめで、子供ができて家が狭くなったり、貯金や収入が増えたなどで、少し大きめの家に買いかえるという場合がよくあり、これをはしごを登るのにたとえて、the property ladderと表現。まずは最初の家を買う事で、このthe property ladderにget a foot onして(足をのせて)、上に向かって第一歩を踏み出します。この初めて家を買う人をfirst time buyerといい、first time buyerは家を買う時に払う税金(Stump Duty:本文にも出てくる)が免除されます。

pay off (Phrasal verb) 借りていたお金を全て返す

in the first place 最初に

the family next  自分が育った家族(親)の家 

barns 農場によくある納屋のような建物

make an offer/put in an offer


Make an offer, put in an offerのどちらでも使えます。

levied levy=税金などを課すの過去・過去分詞形

gazumped I was gazumpedで、家の売り手が自分より高額をオファーした人に売ってしまったという意味。

house/home houseは家という建物の事。homeは「自分が落ち着いて住める空間」というような感情が入って聞こえる事もある。

例:I don’t feel at home in this house.

hard graft =hard work イギリス英語


mortgage 家を買う時のローン

downsize 今住んでいる家を今より小さい家に買いかえる

terraced house 両隣の家と壁でしか仕切られていない家

semi-detached 2件の家がくっついている

detached house 一戸建て

maisonette 日本で言う2階以上の2つの階(2階と3階など)で1つのフラットになっていて、地上階(日本の1階)のフラットとは別に、専用の入り口がある。

Bungalow 平屋

listed Grade 1 /Grade 2


new-build 新築:UKでは新築を好まない人も多く、売り家サーチの条件には新築を含むかどうかのオプションがある場合がほとんど。

location, location, location

本文にある意味や、同じような家でも場所によって値段がかなり違うという意味もある。Estate agentに「この家、高いね」などと言うと、「Location, location, location」(=場所がいいですからね)と返ってきたりする。

Stamp Duty


新型コロナに対する経済対策の1つとして、2020年7月8日から2021年3月31日まで、500,000ポンド以上の家を買う場合のみ、Stamp Dutyが課せられることになりました。


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