Apartment Hunting in Seoul, Korea VLOG
They’re taking the plants too. Dammit. Hi guys, I am in a new space and if you guys watched my big announcement video, you know that I am moving. I have upgraded from a basement to as you can see, there’s natural light on my face. But obviously in order to find this place we had to do quite a bit of searching. Going to include you in on a little bit of the process. I’m going to answer most of the questions or like give you the most information after the kind of “hunting” footage. But I just want to set the scene a little bit before we jump in. So first of all, this process took about a month. We started searching and listing up the apartments that we were interested in. Probably, we can say at the beginning of April. It wasn’t until April 13th that we actually started physically going and looking at these houses. And then I moved in. We finish absolutely everything. Officially moved out of my old place into this one May 1st. And now for what we were looking for. I don’t think that we were too insane with our demands. But basically we wanted two kind of separate spaces because Kurt and I have very different sleeping schedules. I’m an early bird. He’s a night owl. And he likes to work very late into the night. So we wanted to have kind of a separate area where if he wanted to work and I wanted to sleep we could have that separation. We also wanted natural light obviously and then we also wanted a big-ish kitchen. That was kind of the one that we were willing to budge the most on. Our budget was basically Preferably under 1.2 million. Ugh, I can’t, I can’t do it in my head. But this essentially you can think of it as $1,200 a month was our maximum. We would prefer to be under $1000. And we were a little bit more lenient with key deposit because we knew that it would be quite expensive and we were combining both of our savings. So yeah, we were willing to put more out there in order to get a lower rent. So that’s what we’re working with and we basically looked at places for I think three days total. And then we jumped on the place that we liked because we saw so many other places that we were interested in get sold. So once we found one we were happy with we went for it. If you guys are observant, you guys might figure out which house it was. I will see you guys on the other side. Here is the tour. So we’re now waiting outside of a building that looks very very old and the apartment that we were supposed to see looks very very new. So we’re really confused. And we’re waiting for the dude, but I think that he’s showing us the wrong place. So stay tuned. We shall see. Starting the day out strong. We walked into the building that was actually quite nice in front of a little park. He brought us into the wrong building and it was very different from what we wanted and we were like, “Eh.” And so then he realized, “Oh, my bad.” It’s on the second floor which we knew but then the people who were currently living in it like weren’t answering the door. So we couldn’t go in. So now we’re going to the one that we currently really like. Hopefully, everything works out. Okay, guys. Pray for me. So the place that we weren’t able to see in the morning It is now like around 4:00 p.m and we’re able to go see it. The real estate got the passcode So I’m going. Kurt has a meeting. So he’s not able to come. I’m very confident in my Korean in situations that I’m like comfortable in, I guess, like in which I have practiced my Korean, but like real estate, even in English like if I was in America right now looking at apartments, I would also be like very very nervous to do this alone. So Send me your strength, please. Talking to like real estate agents or salespeople of any kind is like the bane of my existence. So, let’s see. Also after this, I’m going to be heading back to that officetel that we looked at that we both really liked because the one on the floor that we were looking at the one that we saw already got sold in like the hour that we saw it. There are two other ones that I am able to see but they keep selling so they keep updating which ones are actually available. So, it is very frustrating and There are so many cute dogs. Yeah, a major selling point. Hopefully, we can decide by today because the other one that we were gonna see that’s in a different part of the city that also got sold. You gotta get them the second you see them. So, yeah. Hopefully, this one is nice my only concern, I don’t know if I said this already but my only concern is that the windows are a little frosted. The first few floors of most buildings here in Korea you either have bars on your window which I have because I’m in the basement basically. But you also get frosted glass so that people don’t look in I don’t really know if it’s a safety thing or whatever but it’s quite annoying. Because I like windows that you can see out of and enjoy the view. That’s the only real problem I foresee with this one. There isn’t a bathtub but I haven’t had a bathtub in my house for like a decade. So it’s fine. Fingers crossed that either this or the other floor that I’m looking at after this works and hasn’t been sold. Hopefully, I can find some Korean in some hidden part of my brain. And I can do this. So, fighting. The house in and of itself is really beautiful. But, unfortunately, because it’s like a villa. It’s an apartment kind of thing We will need to buy our refrigerator and we’ll need to buy our laundry machine and they’re taking, they have an oven. I was really eyeing it but they’re taking that as well Along with the listing price we also have to consider the price of the appliances. Whereas at the officetel, everything is combined. So, bummer. The front room was amazing. If they would just give me that fiddle leaf fig, I would be sold but they’re taking the plants too. Damn it. So on to the next place, which I can’t see quite yet, so I’m gonna go to a cafe and read. And then fight for my right for housing. Let’s go. Okay, so yeah. Those were all the places that we looked at and I just kind of want to give a little bit more information. First of all, where we started looking So as far as neighborhoods go we wanted to be somewhere where it was easy for both of us to go to our work place. So we looked up a lot of the bus routes because we’re both bus people so we had a lot of different places all over Seoul that we were willing to work with as long as it had the correct bus line. We narrowed it down to about four neighborhoods we were interested in and then we looked at a bunch of different real estate sites. So the one I’m most comfortable with is called Jik Bang and I’ve used that before. I made an English tutorial for it. I’ll either link it here or down below. That is a relatively friendly place to find things. As you saw, some places the pictures might be quite nice and then once you get there you’re kind of like, “Oh, God.” And I’ve heard other people say that they will go to a place and then the realtor will say that the price is wildly more expensive than what it was listed. So maybe keep that in mind, but I’ve honestly never had that happen to me or anyone I personally know. So, yeah. Jik Bang is pretty pretty good. And then there is Da Bang which it was just a hilarious thing. They basically have the exact same listings as Jik Bang maybe like plus or minus one or two listings. But it’s as if they gave someone a camera blindfolded them and put them into a room and said “You have three shots. Take photos.” because the photos on Da Bang are so hilariously bad. A weird corner of a room or like a sink. I don’t know. It was just very weird. So we ended up not actually finding anything on Da Bang. But like I said, there were a couple more listings on there. So if you do want to check it out, Da Bang is also there. But the one that we actually had the most success with which I had never used before is Naver Boo Dong San. Naver Real Estate. There were a ton more listings especially for officetels. It was a little clunky like everything with Naver. It’s like not the most user-friendly service but there’s just a lot of listings especially if you’re looking for an officetel. So that is what we used. Then we ended up making a spreadsheet. And you know you married the right man when he says “Let’s make a spreadsheet” because UGH. Yeah, we’re earth signs. And I ended up coming up with a list of about 20 places. Possibly more actually. And then I would text some people and ask if things were available. There were a lot of times where I would contact them and then they’d either never answer or it wasn’t available. There were a lot of places that were quite high on our list that we wanted to see but we couldn’t go see them because for various reasons so then we decided one Saturday Sunday and Monday that was going to be the time where we were going to really just knock these all out of the park. Go see as many as we possibly could. So we spent the entire weekend going to different places. I know that some people use one real estate agent and they like drive you around. We wanted places all over and we wanted places like in different buildings. It’s hard to explain but basically we would individually call each real estate agent that was in charge of each individual property that we were interested in. Like you saw sometimes they would show us the wrong place. Sometimes the people wouldn’t be home to open the door. So you have to be really patient and be sure of what you want. As for speaking in Korean, a lot of the things that I did setting up when I was talking to real estate agents. We did it mostly through messenger. So for me that was pretty fine, because I’m much more comfortable writing Korean than speaking it. But then once I had to physically go to the houses by myself because for some of them Kurt couldn’t come. It was okay. But I definitely felt a little intimidated because I don’t know a lot of vocabulary when it comes to like Korean housing and rent Oh my god, when you talk about big numbers like once you get past cheon or like ship man won I’m you know, I can’t talk about anything. So asking about key money and stuff was difficult. I would suggest having someone who speaks Korean come with you Or finding an English-speaking real estate agent. The real estate agent who is in charge of this place is actually really sweet because it’s an officetel there’s actually, the real estate office is in this building. So I actually see her all the time and she’s so nice. There are cases where real estate agents can be kind of scary and intimidating. Definitely if you’re using the one person to take you around all day because you are asking him or her to sacrifice their entire day. Like that lump of time that they’re spending with you they could be doing other things selling other houses working with other clients but if you go to a place and you just call up the real estate agent for the specific listing and all they have to do is come and like basically unlock the door and let you see it and then you’re gone within you know, 20 minutes and if you want it, you’ll call them. That’s a very short amount of time so they don’t they don’t really pressure you as much. There is still a pressure of like, “Yeah, please call me.” “These sell really quickly.” “This is a really hot place on the market.” All that salesman stuff. Typically, they won’t guilt trip you like other real estate agents tend to. I definitely suggest doing the individual route but it is much harder if you can’t speak Korean. So Yeah, we picked our place. We moved in. I’m so happy with it. It’s funny that we initially were looking at like two-bedroom places and we were really set on having like a door that we could close to separate our space but actually we love how open this is. So it might be a little while until I do an apartment tour because we don’t really have enough time to set this place up before we go to America for a month. And then when we come back, I want to get some plants. My friend Olivia back home is like a crazy plant lady and so she’s going to walk me through. We’re gonna go to a nursery and she’s gonna tell me what plants I should get for my home because we have a wonderful window. We get lots of indirect sunlight all day. Very excited. I’m very happy with this place but I’m also very happy that we looked at a lot of different spaces because we really were set. Like I said, we were set on a certain idea of what we wanted and then once we saw a lot of different spaces that really changed. And we ended up with a place that we really love. And so yeah, I hope that you enjoyed this video. And if you have any questions, please leave them down below. This is my, what, my second rodeo, I guess finding an apartment here? So yeah, I will see you guys next time. Thanks as always for watching and I hope you have a wonderful day. See you later. Bye.