Moving to Korea > Housing

Before Choosing Your New Home

Following are some suggestions that may help as you make your final selection among all the places you will be shown:


  • Make sure that your housing is in an area that will meet the needs of your lifestyle. Some expats prefer a location close to the working spouse’s workplace, however this may cause hardship for other members of the family, especially the house spouse. Networking, which allows one to learn from the experiences of other expats, can be extremely important in Korea.

  • Ask your realtor to take you to the bus/subway stops nearest the unit he/she is showing you. You want to know how to get there on foot if you don’t have a car.

  • Do not take for granted that things you can do in your home country in a rental unit are also allowed in Korea. Ask questions.

  • Ask whether or not the key money is negotiable. You can sometimes put down more key money and then pay less rent and vice-versa.

  • You should also ask whether or not there are monthly building maintenance fees that you will have to pay on top the rent. 

  • Be clear in your own mind as to what you absolutely must have to survive (air conditioning, indoor parking, a full bath, dishwasher, lots of lights, a garden, security, etc.) and communicate that to your realtor. If you find you’re being taken to places without those necessities, clarify with the realtor (put them in writing if necessary) and go over the list before visiting the next unit. You have the right to refuse to go and waste everyone’s time if the place doesn’t have the amenity/ties you cannot live without.

  • Find out which appliances are included. If you need to, you can buy affordable used appliances from recycling centers. Unless you're going to be in Korea for a very long time, you may no want to buy new.

  • Finally, if you are interested in a place, be sure to meet the landlord. Having a kind landlord, even if he/she cannot speak English well, can be very important.

    K4E Editor's Note: wants to provide the most accurate and complete information possible so if you noticed any errors or omissions on this page, please let us know at

    Last Updated on 2010-08-24

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