The English language has two words for the place where people live: “house” and “home”. House refers to the physical structure while home refers to the domestic enviroment. This stresses the importance of the house and is strictly connected with the love of privacy in British culture.
Half of the families in Britain own their own homes, be they country manor estates, quaint old cottages, comfortable suburban houses or modern city flats in the high-rises. In town rows of terraced houses are a common sight, while in the suburbs and residential areas home owners can choose between a detached or a semi-detached house. Many of these are similar with a sitting-room. dining room and kitchen downstairs and two or three bedrooms and a bathtoom upstairs. Usually the only different thing is the colour of the garden gate and the front door which can be red, green, yellow, pink or purple.
The British homes have two gardens: the front garden is public with plants and flowers, the back garden is used only by the family.
In the bigger cities blocks of flats are typical with hundreds of families living in the same building. Althought large blocks of flats have been built, English people prefer to live in private houses.
A part of English people lives in rented state-owned accommodation called council houses. These are usually flats but occasionally are single family houses with even a small garden.
There are a great many different kinds of homes in Britain but there aren’t enough for all people. It can often be difficult and very expansive for a young couple waiting to settle down and start a family.