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Housing Options, Korea

Housing Options, Korea

The following types of housing (houses and apartments) are available for foreign residents.

HOUSES are generally the most expensive options and can be found in most areas of the city. Most will have a garden and stand alone behind a wall. The tenant is usually responsible for all maintenance in a house. However, you can specify areas of responsibility in the lease.

ROW HOUSES are not as common but can be found. They have smaller rooms than houses and are usually less expensive.

VILLAS refer to small 3-5 story buildings (not a beautiful rented holiday home on the Riviera). Some villas will have a small garden or play area for each unit while others are basically small apartment buildings. They may or may not provide security guards or maintenance personnel Villa/small apartments range in price and quality so that there are some to meet the lifestyle and needs of corporate expats to teachers to short-term visitors.

APARTMENTS are where most Koreans live. The 5-10 or more story buildings are generally part of a big apartment complex that includes other facilities such as a supermarket, pharmacy, pre-school, etc. Tenants share in the cost saving on utilities (gas, water, electricity) but also pay a maintenance fee that varies from complex to complex. Each of the units in the complex will have an elevator, parking space (sometimes indoors) and a security guard.

SERVICED APARTMENTS / RESIDENCES are another option for expats. They provide hotel-style service (room service, laundry, messaging, etc.) but are also equipped with the furniture and appliances of an apartment.

ONE ROOM/STUDIOS can be found around universities and in business districts. They usually come with a small stove (2 burners/no oven) and bar-sized refrigerator. Occasionally they are furnished, but not usually.

OFFICETELS are a combination of office and living space. More expensive than one room studios, they are often equipped with modern appliances. Security is tight and most have underground parking. Tenants are expected to pay the usual apartment maintenance fee along with an additional administrative commercial building fee.

HASUKS are buildings / homes owned by Koreans near universities that generally cater to students. It's similar to a co-op where tenants have their own room, but are responsible for taking care of their space and communal spaces.  Sometimes the owner will prepare meals, but often the students can prepare their own or choose to eat at their schools or at local restaurants. 

SHARED/SOCIAL HOUSING is similar in concept to the Hasuk in that tenants have their own room and share common space. However, it is open to a variety of tenants. Stays can be shorter term and less expensive, than an apartment or officetel. Some also emphasise language and cultural agents by placing international and local (Korean) tenants in the same unit. 

K4E Editor: tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at

Last Updated on 2020-09-01

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