A house is a building where people live, usually a family. It may also refer to a group of students at school who compete against other groups in sports and other activities, each being given a name like Hartley House. The earliest houses were probably huts or small stone shelters built by primitive humans. Today most people live in houses made of wood or brick, with roofs that are flat or pitched. Houses are often bigger than huts, and they have rooms for sleeping, eating and working. People can live alone or in groups, and they can decorate their houses to fit their personalities.

The word house is a noun, but it can also be used as a verb. To “house” something means to store it, or to provide a place for it to live in. To “paper the house” means to seat many people who have been given free tickets or passes in a theater or club, so that it seems fuller than it actually is.

In the US, the term house usually refers to the entire structure enclosed by walls and a roof, but it can also be used to refer to the rooms within the house. In the UK, a house can be any kind of building where people live, and it may refer to a single room or a large apartment. The term can also be used for a group of buildings, as in the London house project.

To make a house a home, people often fill it with things that remind them of themselves, rather than trying to impress visitors. For example, some people keep collections of photos, postcards and memorabilia in their houses. Others might display paintings or sculptures.

When someone is in the process of buying a house, they might be advised by mortgage lenders to try to limit their housing payments to 28% of their gross monthly income and 36% of their total monthly debt payments. This is called the 28/36 rule. However, a lot of factors go into calculating what you can afford to pay for a house, and it is important to work with a real estate agent who can help you figure these things out.

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make. To avoid regrets later, it is important to choose carefully. Be sure to understand all the terms and conditions of a loan, including fees and interest rates. It is also helpful to use a mortgage calculator to see what different mortgage options might be available to you. Another advantage of owning a house is that you build equity each month as you make your mortgage payment, which can open doors to financial opportunities that might not be available to renters. For more information, read our article about How to Buy a House.