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 EPIK Housing to Self Housing, Tips & Tricks For Housing Options in ROK
Queenie
 Posted: Oct 18 2017, 03:01 PM
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“ Life is short, make sure to eat dessert first~ ”


Hi all~

I'm contemplating moving from EPIK (school) provided housing to housing I find on my own for the next contract year, for my own reasons. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with moving from EPIK (school) provided housing to one that they find on their own.

Are there any tips you wish you had known in your search that you could pass on?

I live in the Daegu area now if this helps.

Thank you in advance! //files.jcink.net/html/emoticons/biggrin.gif

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thisneverworks
 Posted: Oct 18 2017, 03:48 PM
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Go house shopping with a Korean. When owners see a foreigner they're known to jack up the price.

In fact, my wife always insisted on meeting the owner first herself, because she said if they saw me they'd ask for more money. She was able to haggle the 보증금 (security deposit) in half too.
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kbakeskorea
 Posted: Oct 18 2017, 08:51 PM
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I did this from the second year of my Epik contract and following (8 years later now). I would recommend you use a real estate agent. Mine was extremely helpful. She is a good friend of mine, and speaks perfect English. Im in Pohang and could give you her number, its highly likely she knows someone in Daegu that could do the same. Key money will always be an issue. Expect to pay between 2 million and 5 million depending on what youre looking for. I paid 5 million key money on a very nice 2 bedroom apartment. Never had any hassle while living there, and the real estate agent was able to handle most minor problems.
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Onnut81
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 02:59 PM
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Definitely use a real estate agent. When I was moving out of my officetel into an apartment the owner of the offictel figured he could just keep my key money. It was a long ordeal that got me back my deposit and left him furious at the real estate agent for helping me. Also, ask the real estate agent if the person whose place you are renting owns it outright or is paying off a mortgage. It's safer if they own it outright in case there is a problem with your key money. I learned that from the real estate guy who volunteers for the Global Help Center in Seoul.
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kriztee
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 04:26 PM
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I did it and I brought my Korean friend with me. You can typically find a much better place than what EPIK gives you really easily. Just make sure you have enough money kickin' around for key money. Also ask about it before re-signing because I found out after that if I wanted it I had to move to a diff city cuz mine were being cheap and wouldn't let me have the money regardless of what the contract says.
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KoreaGal
 Posted: Oct 25 2017, 09:38 AM
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I have been living in housing of my own since 2015. I couldn't advocate more for it!

As long as your school is willing to allow you to take the school owned items with you to your next housing, it won't be as bad.

In my first school, my co-teacher told me that if I moved, I would have to buy ALL the furnishings for myself as well. My current school is fine with me keeping the school's furnishings as well as my own as I have a 3 room house and the space to move their stuff and my own.

I used the app Zigbang - It's in Korean, but it's easy enough to navigate. Work out how much key money you want to put down and how much you want to pay a month, what kind of home you are looking for and then search. Once you've found some you like, ask a Korean friend to help you contact the landlord/s and inspect the houses in person. Get a feel for them and then decide the one you like.
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eelwin
 Posted: Nov 3 2017, 03:41 PM
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I decided against using the EPIK housing and took the school's housing allowance straight from the beginning, so this may not be exactly the type of advice you are looking for.

I used the Zigbang app in order to get an idea of what type of space I could afford with my budget, and would have used the app to actually get the place, but ended up going with a real estate agent recommended by a Korean friend.

I advise you to take a Korean friend with you, if possible, because I have heard that sometimes the owners will either refuse to deal with you because you are a foreigner (and in their minds, not a guaranteed long-term tenant), and like someone else mentioned, they may sometimes try to raise the prise of the key money, rent or maintenance fees.

Having a real estate agent, and Korean native speaker, with you can solve most of those issues, though.

And, depending on what type of housing you are looking for, be prepared to spend upwards of 3man won (approx. $3000) for key money (if you are in Seoul).

I would also ask the real estate agent to only show you newer places, as this will solve any issues with heating/ water/ appliances, etc.

My apartment came furnished with the necessities (bed, full kitchen, desk, closets), and was brand new for a deposit of 5man won, but of course, I had to get my own bedding, cookware, dishware, etc. It is really tiny, what I would call an Officetel-meets-Dormroom, but all things considered, it was the best in my price range.

Hope this helps!

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momo
 Posted: Jan 29 2018, 02:25 PM
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About to start looking for a new place under my school's recommendation due to the room condition.

For those who have moved (Seoul especially): about how much do you spend on monthly rent? my school said i wouldn't have to worry about the deposit money...but just in case, for those of you who paid lower key deposit how much are you spending monthly?

Is the provided 500,000 enough or do you pay more?

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egg
 Posted: Jan 30 2018, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (momo @ Jan 29 2018, 02:25 PM)
About to start looking for a new place under my school's recommendation due to the room condition.

For those who have moved (Seoul especially): about how much do you spend on monthly rent? my school said i wouldn't have to worry about the deposit money...but just in case, for those of you who paid lower key deposit how much are you spending monthly?

Is the provided 500,000 enough or do you pay more?


I pay quite a bit more because the area I live in is becoming gentrified quickly and is on two major subway lines and next to a tourist area. I probably could find something for 500,000 but it'd be a total sh*t hole like my room last year.

I pay 720,000 a month rent (관리비 is extra ofc) for a room in a brand new officetel. It's probably on the pricier end of things but to me it's totally worth it for a clean, nice apartment in a good location. Actually I suppose 720 is not bad, the officetel a block from mine has loft style rooms and they start at 900,000.

To me 500,000 is a joke if you're living in central Seoul, but my school-provided room last year was so so so bad I just desperately wanted something safe, clean and quiet. My health suffered from being in that place, so I haven't looked back.

Take a look on 직방 or 다방 apps, they will help you get an idea of the average prices in your area. Even without much Korean you'd probably be able to figure it out.

Good luck!

*edited to add:

I also figured moving further from my school would be cheaper, but commuting costs + time didn't seem worth it to possibly save a bit each month. I'm a homebody so willing to spend more for convenience and comfort where others probably wouldn't care so much.
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sian
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 04:23 PM
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I transferred schools (EPIK) and the new house the school was going to provide me was shit, so I asked if I could find my own house and the school just sign the contract with the landlord. I found places on Dabang, which got me real estate agents numbers. I then texted them (reading is muuuuch easier than speaking Korean) and explained the situation about my school signing the contract (400 000 won a month with no deposit) and if they could show me places that the landlord is OK with that arrangement. I also walked around with a Korean person and wandered into real estate agents offices (부동산) in the area I wanted to move into, and the Korean person explained the school situation to them and they showed me places there and then. I filmed every place I looked at to compare them, and when I decided on one I liked I contacted that realtor to see it again to check thoroughly. Then I decided on one and let my school know the number of the real estate agent so they could make arrangements. I had to organise a moving truck myself too. You can ask the real estate agent for some phone numbers. Also, you'll have to cut off your electricity and gas and open it in your new place. Best to get a Korean friend to help with that.
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Queenie
 Posted: Mar 13 2018, 10:07 AM
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“ Life is short, make sure to eat dessert first~ ”


Just wanted to give an update about my situation with housing for those in the future that check this thread! I ended up relying on my main coteacher quite a lot in this situation. I went into it with her telling me I'd be on my own in this process then suddenly the front office manager (the person in charge of paying me on time) said that if I intended to get the Housing Allowance of 400,000 won a month that he wouldn't mind having the school sign the new housing contract. He originally thought I wanted to find a place over the Housing Allowance amount which is why he backed away from the school signing the new lease.

The school arranged a realtor for me and my coteacher and I went and toured several apartments over the course of a week. They use different terminology than we would in the West for what we'd call a "studio" or a "one-bedroom apartment". My original apartment I'd consider to be a "one-bedroom apartment" by Western standards because there was the main room then there was one door to another room; the bedroom. According to Korean real estate it was considered a "mini-two room" apartment because there were two rooms in the apartment itself. Definitely use ZigBang to help you in this process. My realtor said to not fully trust the website's information, however. In my case, some apartments I'd seen online had already been sold or the pictures did not match reality. Prices are always negotiable as well but sometimes the price online is nowhere near the actual running price of the apartment. The majority of the apartments I had seen were on the website, though.

After that confusion, looking at apartments became a lot easier (they weren't showing me what I was asking for which was a "one-bedroom apartment" in the West but a "mini-two room" here). I found an apartment I was pretty happy with but wanted to sleep on it. I got a call from my coteacher that night to clarify that I wanted the apartment but that I'd transfer the money the next day at work. Got to work and called the real estate agent and in the time period of us viewing the apartment at 6pm the day prior to 10am the next day, the apartment sold. So when looking for apartments, even if you're still thinking about it, put some money down. My real estate agent said any amount down was OK but that he recommended at least 50,000 won down to hold the apartment. Then it was up to the real estate agent/landlord agreement if I got the 50,000 won back if I decided to go with a different apartment (in my case, I would have gotten it back but that's just the area I live in).

At the end of it all I got an apartment I'm not very happy to live in and it is under the 400,000 won Housing Allowance. My coteacher arranged a moving company to move all of my things and that cost me 275,000 won because I had to get rid of my double sized bed instead of moving it to my new, smaller apartment. They charged me 25,000 won to dispose of it and then 25,000 won tax (so original cost was 225,000 won plus these added costs). They arrived at my apartment at 9am and took my things and were done unloading them at my new apartment by 11:30am.

In my situation I had a lot of confusion due to communication errors so I was very stressed throughout the process of moving. Would I do it again? Probably not because I love where my new apartment is~ But I definitely recommend asking your school about the potential of moving apartments because it is more possible than it seems to be on the face of it.

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DolliLlama
 Posted: Mar 13 2018, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE (sian @ Mar 12 2018, 07:23 AM)
I transferred schools (EPIK) and the new house the school was going to provide me was shit


This was our exact situation. We found out late that we were going to move schools - like 2 weeks before the end of school. We had already decided that we were going to try to find a new place anyway because a jail cell sized room isn't gonna cut it for two American size people.

I went and saw the "apartment" that my school was going to offer, which was about the same. We said "Nah, we'll look on our own."

Pirate Bae's school said that he would have to live at their housing (WHICH WAS EVEN SMALLER!!!). After his old co called and exchanged words with her, they decided we could look on our own.

We used 직방 and marked a few favorites. Then, we sent those to our Korean friend who had agreed to help us. She called the realtors and arranged for us to look at them. We found a place we ~loved~ that was within our range, so she called him back and we went to sign.

Here are a few things that we have encountered:
  • Make sure your bank will allow a transfer of that amount! The deposit was over the transfer limit for my account, so we had to take the contract to the bank to have them okay it. While you're at it, make sure that you can transfer at least the rent amount.
  • If you are married, the person whose name is not on the contract will need a special form for immigration and your school. My school also required our marriage certificate, and a copy of Bae's ARC.
  • I will add more as they arise or I remember them.
Also, if you aren't familiar with 평, it seems important. Korean apartments use two different measurements square meters and pyeong. I learned how many pyeong our apartment was (10p for the old one) and used it as a basis of measurement. The one they wanted Bae to take was 4p. The one we took was 12 or 14p.
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