CELPIP Reading for Viewpoints Buy or Rent
This Reading Module has 12 questions similar to the kinds of questions that you can expect to find on an actual CELPIP Test. Practice Celpip Test Reading for Reading for Viewpoints Buy or Rent
Directions: Read the following passage.
There has long been a debate over whether it is better to buy a house or to simply rent. There are good arguments for both sides, granted, but it is probably a wiser idea to rent a house, in the long run. The reasons have much more to do with economics than anything.
First, there are expenses associated with the buying of a house that renters never need to deal with. Start with the mere purchase of a house. These days, in most urban areas of Canada, a moderately-sized single detached bungalow can run in the neighborhood of $400,000, and that is a low estimate. In cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, that price skyrockets to around $1,000,000; coming up with that amount of money is impossible for many people hoping to own their own homes in those cities. Even coming up with a 10% down payment can be a huge obstacle for some people. The only alternative, if we insist on purchasing, is to apply for a mortgage. That can also be a challenge if we have not established a respectable credit rating. Conversely, renters have it much easier. They never have to worry about coming up with a big down payment, or carrying a mortgage.
In addition, homeowners typically need to pay for mortgage interest and insurance, as well as for home insurance, property tax, utility bills, and sometimes condo fees. First-time homeowners are often surprised at how many expenses they incur as a consequence of owning a home. Renters, in contrast, only need to pay the rent and utility bills.
Lastly, owning a home means having to maintain it. Over time, due to damage and wear and tear, houses will require major repairs. Siding can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, as can a decent roof. Driveways, fences, decks, windows, and doors will all need repairs over time. A homeowner can literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. Renters do not worry about such costs. They simply pay the basic costs of occupying someone else’s home from one month to the next, while contentedly socking away savings for their future retirement.
All in all, it is obvious that renting a home is a much cheaper alternative to buying a home. It makes much more sense to save a large portion of your hard-earned money, rather than spending it on such a costly prospect.
Directions: Answer the questions by choosing the best word or phrase to complete the sentence, referring to the opinion piece when necessary.
1. The writer initially admits that _____.
a. it is better to buy a house.
b. both buying and renting have their merits.
c. renting a house does not cost money.
d. he rents a house.
2. The main reason the writer gives for renting as opposed to buying is related to _____.
a. the economy.
3. The writer says that Vancouver and Toronto _____.
b. are $1,000,000.
c. are more expensive housing markets than the national average.
d. are difficult to come up with $1,000,000.
4. The writer says that it is not possible for a great number of people to _____.
a. come up with $400,000.
b. come up with $1,000,000.
c. afford a down payment.
d. buy a house.
5. According to the writer, $400,000 is _____.
a. an expensive neighbourhood.
b. the cost of a cheaper neighbourhood.
c. not a very high guess.
d. the price of a bigger two-story house.
6. According to the writer, first-time homeowners _____.
a. are not used to some expenses.
b. surprise their expenses.
c. should be surprised at their expenses.
d. often have consequences of their surprises.
7. According to the writer, there are costs incurred with buying a house that _____.
a. homeowners must buy.
b. renters can afford.
c. no homeowner can afford.
d. renters do not experience.
8. The writer says that maintaining a home is _____.
a. a renter’s consequence.
b. a consequence of buying a home.
c. paid for by renters.
d. not expensive.
Directions: Read someone’s comment about the above opinion piece. Answer the questions by choosing the best word or phrase to complete the sentence, referring to the above opinion piece when necessary.
I wish to (9. differ / agree / make an argue / give my opinion) with your view that renting a house is a better idea in the long run. From the way you
generalize, it would seem that renting is a better alternative for everyone. However, if all of us (10. want to take / decide on taking / are taking / were to take) your advice, then there would be no more buying or selling of real estate. That would basically cause the economy to grind to a halt. Call me paranoid, but I believe that we should use extreme (11. careful / danger / caution / hazard) when advising people on such major decisions. Especially in this kind of situation, where a writer is in such a position of authority and trust, it is of (12. very / paramount / most / extremely) importance to give advice that is balanced and objective; renting a house is not the only option, and it certainly is not always the best option for everyone.
CELPIP Reading for Viewpoints Buy or Rent
10) were to take
1) b: In the second sentence of the introduction, the writer says that “There are good arguments for both sides, granted,…”, which means “I admit that there are good points for both sides.”
2) c: The last sentence of the introduction discusses “economics” (which means “money” here) as a reason why renting a house is better than buying.
3) c: Paragraph 2 discusses Vancouver and Toronto as being more expensive cities for buying a house.
4) b: Paragraph 2 says “In cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, that price skyrockets to around $1,000,000; coming up with that amount of money is mpossible for many people hoping to own their own home in those cities.”
5) c: Paragraph 2 says that “…$400,000…is a low estimate.”
6) a: Paragraph 3 says that “First-time homeowners are often surprised at how many expenses they incur…” (=they are not used to such expenses).
7) d: The last sentence of Paragraph 3 says that renters only pay the rent and utility bills (and no other expenses like homeowners).
8) b: The first sentence of Paragraph 4 says that “…owning a home means having to maintain it.”
9) differ: To “differ with” someone means that you disagree with them.
10) were to take: This grammar point is called the 2nd Conditional, where we use the past tense (“were”) of a verb (“be”) after “If” to express a situation that is impossible, or almost impossible.
11) caution: The expression “use extreme caution” is used to mean “be very careful”.
12) paramount: “Paramount importance” means “extreme importance” or “highest importance”.