IELTS Model Essay: Owning a Home v Renting

In this post, I’m going to write a model essay in response to a task published in Cambridge IELTS 15 Academic. It’s a question about owning your own home as opposed to renting. As with my other IELTS model essays, I’m going to use my 5 Step Plan for writing an IELTS Writing Task 2 essay.

  • Step 1: Understand the Task
  • Step 2: Decide My Position
  • Step 3: Plan
  • Step 4: Write
  • Step 5: Check

Here is the task:

Task

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In some countries, owning a home rather than renting one is very important for people. 

Why might this be the case? 

Do you think this is a positive or negative situation? 

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own  knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Step 1: Understand The Task

The first step is to carefully read the task (that’s both the topic statement and the two questions) in order to understand it fully. This should be done carefully, not quickly.

So my task is to discuss why people might want to buy their own home rather than to rent. The task is asking me to compare the two things, not simply to give reasons why people want to buy their own home. In other words, why is owning better than renting, to some people? Then I need to say whether it’s a positive or negative thing, and give reasons why.

A great way to help you understand any task clearly, it to put the task into your own words. Here is my re-worded version of the task:

Why might people want to own their own home rather than rent? Is this positive or negative?

This is much easier to understand. It’s a good idea to go back and compare your re-worded question with the original question to make sure the 2 tasks match!

Step 2: Decide My Position

Ok, so I understand my task. Next…what’s my position on this? What’s my answer to this question? What do I think?

I think there are 2 main reasons why people want their own home: (1) stability and (2) as an investment.

Is it positive or negative? I think there are certainly some positives, but I think there are significant negatives, such as the risk of losing your home, and property price inflation.

Ok, so that’s my position, and it’s helped me to generate my main ideas. Next I need to plan out my ideas. This will help me do 2 more things: (1) develop these ideas (i.e. extend and support them), and (2) organise my ideas.

Step 3: Plan

Here’s my essay plan – the “Why?” part of the plan is my response to the first question, and “Positive or negative?” responds to the second question. After writing my plan, I decided which body paragraphs would discuss each part of my plan. It seemed logical to use two body paragraphs for the “Why?” part (the 2 ideas are quite detailed), and one body paragraph for the “Positive or Negative?” part as this would be shorter.

owning a home rather than renting one

Step 4: Write

So I’ve got a clear plan – I’ve got a map of my essay. My next step is to turn this plan into an essay. Here is my essay for this question:

Model Essay

Many countries around the world have seen a trend towards owning your own home instead of renting. This essay will consider why this is the case, and whether or not this is beneficial.

The first reason why people wish to buy their own home is because it provides them with a sense of stability. Rental contracts are temporary agreements, often just between 6 and 12 months in duration, at the end of which you may have to leave and find alternative accommodation. Owning a home means you get to live there permanently.

The second reason, and one which has grown in importance in recent years, is that owning your own home is seen as an investment. Property prices generally rise, so real estate can be a safe place to invest your surplus income. House prices in the UK, for example, rise by around 4%per annum whereas interest on bank deposits is close to zero.

For individuals, then, there seem to be clear positive benefits  to owning your home. But overall, I feel there are considerable downsides, both for individuals and for society as a whole. For most people, buying property requires taking out a mortgage, typically for a length of 25 years, and if at any time during this period borrowers are unable to maintain mortgage payments, they risk losing their property. For society as a whole there are also negatives. The demand for buying property leads to house price inflation, which can mean people on low incomes, such as young people, can find it impossible to buy their own home, forcing them to rent.

In conclusion, a desire for stability and seeing a return on your investments are key reasons behind the trend towards buying property, but despite these benefits, there are serious problems.

(295 words)

Step 5: Check Your Essay

Step 5 would be to check your essay. Because I’m writing a blog post, I checked and edited my essay before publishing!

Assessment

Task Response

The essay fully addresses the task, and ideas are well developed, with a clear position throughout. It addresses the task in a thoughtful way, not a rigid way (e.g. it acknowledges that there are both positives and negatives, rather than ONLY positives or ONLY negatives).

Coherence and Cohesion

Every sentence adds something new to the essay, so there is clear progression throughout. Ideas are well organised. Cohesion is natural and cohesive devices don’t get in the way of the writing – the writing flows well.

Lexical Resource

There is a wide range of clear, natural, concise vocabulary, which conveys meaning in a precise way, for example:

  • a sense of stability
  • rental contracts are temporary agreements
  • find alternative accommodation
  • owning your own home
  • house prices in the UK
  • interest on bank deposits is close to zero
  • taking out a mortgage
  • house price inflation

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

There is a wide range of grammatical structures, appropriately and flexibly used, with full control.

I am confident it would achieve a Band 8.5 or 9.0.

If you have any questions or thoughts about my essay, please add them in the comments below. And don’t forget to read my other IELTS model essays. Thanks for reading!

Further Reading

If you would like to read more about this topic, here are some interesting articles:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/083115/renting-vs-owning-home-pros-and-cons.asp

https://twocents.lifehacker.com/should-i-buy-a-home-or-just-keep-renting-1699277766

https://twocents.lifehacker.com/why-the-rent-vs-buy-debate-is-completely-pointless-1773179027

 

Posted in IELTS Model Essays, IELTS Writing Task 2.

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