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Moving to Korea > seoul >

An Expat Talks about Moving to seoul, Korea

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

seoul

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

We should have brought a dining table and chairs. Koreans sleep on the floor (because of the warmth of floor heating during winter). We needed to buy the lot and ended up with an imported italian dining set. The other options were much too local or too rococo for our taste.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

We chose to live in Itaewon because the area is between yonhi-dong (where SFS is located) and samsung-dong (where my husband works). If we live near either, the other would suffer with the traffic during peak hours. There are other nice areas like Sumbok-dong or UN village in hannah-dong, but you need your car just to get out whilst Itaewon has the subway. It depends on the priorities of each family.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

There are 3 kinds of living accommodations in Korea. 1 - house. 2 - Villa (which is what they call a low-rise apartment so therefore less spacious than a house). 3 - apartments (or condos). We lived in a villa as that was what we could get for our budget. Not bad at all since to heat everything during those cold korean winters would be ridiculously expensive. Korean houses have floor heating and a villa and apartment could benefit from the floor heating of the upstairs.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

We used a real estate agent. We actually used 2 to have more choice.

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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Definitely pricier! Our villa in Itaewon cost $6,000 a month to be payable a year in advance.

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