Part 1
Estate Agent: Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Banana? You’re here to see the house?
Mr. Banana: That’s right. Sorry to have kept you waiting.
Estate Agent: Oh, not at all, I’ve only been here for 5 minutes. Anyway, let me show you around. This is the main entrance. I’m afraid there is no private parking, but it’s a pretty quiet street so finding a space usually isn’t difficult, and there are a lot of shops and amenities within walking distance. There’s also a communal garden out back, which we’ll look at later.
Mrs. Banana: How many properties share the garden?
Estate Agent: It would be just you and one of the neighbours. Ok, let’s have a look inside. (inside) This is the main hallway, with the dining room and kitchen to the left, a sitting room to the right, and a bathroom at the end, under the stairs. What I like about this property is that it uses the space well: it’s not too big, but it feels spacious. The decor is also very light, so it doesn’t feel cramped.
Mrs. Banana: So all the bedrooms are upstairs?
Estate Agent: That’s right. Upstairs is the master bedroom with en suite bathroom, a second bedroom, and a small office. We’ll go have a look in a minute, but first let’s head on in to the living room. (in living room) As you can see, it gets a lot of light and air. The window is south-facing, making it very comfortable in the afternoon. It has floorboards too, which I think looks better.
Mr. Banana: Very nice. Can I ask if the furniture is included?
Estate Agent: Most of it. The current owners will be taking some. I have an inventory here. I think they are leaving the sofa, the chairs, the beds, and the table.
Mrs. Banana: How about the fittings and fixtures? Are they all OK?
Estate Agent: Oh, yes. The fixtures – the sockets, heating, lights, etcetera – were all checked recently, while the fittings – carpets, lampshades, curtains and whatnot – are all very recent.
Mr. Banana: So, are there any problems with the property?
Estate Agent: Err, umm, let’s now go look at the kitchen…

Part 2
Spacious, modern 2-bedroom apartment in fantastic downtown location for sale:
• superb condition
fully furnished
• includes kitchen/living room, bathroom, and balcony with excellent views
• 150m² inside, and communal garden
• parking permits
• plenty of storage space
• ₤150 000 o.n.o.
Call Estafar Estate Agents to arrange a viewing.

Part 3
As more people move into crowded cities, young people increasingly live by themselves, and house prices become unaffordable to many, apartment-life has become the norm for many people in the 21st century. However, there are still different lifestyles available for people, if they look.
Living in a shipping container seems an odd thing to do, but with some imagination these can be turned into interesting houses. Rents tend to be cheaper, and the homes are even portable (making them good for temporary housing). Moreover, with over 300m empty containers in the world, it is better for the environment than building a new house.
Cave houses are an old idea – a very, very old idea – but technology has now made them far more comfortable. Like container homes, they are better for the environment than building new homes (living in caves means external nature isn’t hurt, and caves are cheaper to heat and cool).
Europe has thousands of castles, and some of them can be bought for the same price as a normal house. Finding a cheap castle can be difficult, but large old castles in need of repair can be a good investment, whilst small castles in isolated locations cost less than those near towns. Eastern Europe tends to be cheaper than Western Europe, so if one can understand the rules and language, there may be better deals there.
Finally, a look into the future: although mostly hotels and restaurants now, underwater buildings are beginning to be designed. The few houses are very expensive – for millionaires only – but perhaps global warming and population growth will force people to return to the sea.