A building that functions as a shelter or habitat for humans and other creatures. It can range from a rudimentary hut to a complex structure with many systems. It usually includes bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, living and dining spaces, and a garage. The term house may also refer to the entire dwelling or a portion of it, such as a room or apartment. A house may be inhabited by one family or by several families or individuals who share it. A single-unit house is usually referred to as a home, while a large multi-unit residence is commonly known as a condominium or townhouse. Houses are typically built with wood, masonry, or concrete and outfitted with plumbing, electricity, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.

Historically, buying a house was often seen as a milestone in an individual’s life, symbolizing stability and wealth. It was a major financial investment, but it offered long-term financial security as property values rose over time, rewarding homeowners with equity. It was also a way to build a family, host friends, and create memories. However, new mortgage rates have slowed the market, and purchasing a house is now less affordable than in the past. If you are thinking about making a major investment in your future, think carefully before signing on the dotted line.

If you are writing a story set in the past, details of the house and its furnishings can help readers to immerse themselves in the period. Using sensory descriptions and emotive language can convey the feeling of the house, from warmth and comfort to a sense of grandeur and luxury.

The ambiance and decor of the house can tell readers much about its inhabitants. For example, a house with many windows and doors may hint at a larger family, while a house with an extensive home office might indicate that the residents work from home. The arrangement of rooms can also reveal a lot about the inhabitants: a house with lots of bedrooms might suggest that they have children, while a house with an open floor plan might indicate that the residents are young and single.

The word house is also used to describe a social gathering or meeting place, especially for a group of people who share a common interest or hobby: a book club; a quilting circle; a sorority house; a house of worship; a dance studio; and a sports team. The term is also used to refer to one of the two bodies of the United States Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Finally, the word house can also be used as a synonym for the term home, and to mean the home of someone you love: I will always consider your house my home. You are the love of my life. I will never leave you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you in your house. I promise. I can’t wait to marry you.