Friday, May 1, 2009

Where Should I Live in Seoul?

We're getting the boot from our apartment at the end of June because the apartment was sold and the new owners want to live here. There are other empty units but the owners don't want to rent, they want to sell. Some of the places have been empty for three years (since the building was constructed) and the economy is in the tank, but whatever. The real estate agent is going to talk to them. Who knows what the real deal on that is, either, because the agents try to steer you towards properties they represent so they can get a bigger cut.

I like the place that we are in for the following reasons:

-Big (82 pyong) with a good layout
-Buildings in this complex only have 14 or 15 floors. I don't like the super-tall highrises
-Great view of the river and the 63 Building and all the fireworks that happen
-Easy to drive to (except that no one knows where it is). There is no point where you have to pull over to the side of the road to wait for someone to pass
-Has an indoor pool, sauna and gym (though we never used them much), and playground behind it (used it a lot)
-It is not right on a busy street, so it is safer with kids and quieter

Things I don't like:

-No one knows where it is and I can't get anyone to tell me what to say to tell people where it is
-The service is terrible--they don't post signs in English (there are enough Americans to justify posting signs in English)
-There are no community activities so it hard to meet people. Last summer I hung out with the Americans' nannies because most of the Americans that lived here both work. They were nice but they called me m'am even after I told them to call me by my name and you can't really be friends with someone who doesn't feel comfortable calling you by your name.
-The neighborhood isn't that great because there's just not that much around

If we can find a place in the same complex, I think we will stay because it is less stressful than looking for a new place.

If we moved, I'd like to live in a similar place or a place with more SAHM foreigners. It would be great to have friends for Ian and I that live close enough that we could hang out on a regular basis. I was thinking that Hannam might be a good place to look.

Any suggestions for buildings, neighborhoods or real estate agents?


Sarah said...

I'm coming to see you if I can this week. I gotta see this place!
I think I have to write a blog post called "Where should I live outside Seoul?" because we're thinking of moving out to be able to afford a bigger place. Housing in this city is crraaazy. Not looking forward to November when our lease is up... :(

Mama Seoul said...

I saw the Bucheon coalition has already made its pitch!

Sarah said...

I had lunch with Amanada today and she was trying to convince me.... she may be successful because I'm sick of living in a tiny place...

Mama Seoul said...

Will they get you jobs at their school as well? If so, go for it!

packfamily said...

Hey there- my husband is in the 8th Army band and we've been in Korea since December!

We live in a brand new high rise complex called Park Tower. It is right outside Gate 17 and we have easy access to the Ichon station for subway and train. Our complex has a 711, a Paris Baguette, a couple of restaurants and we are getting a small grocery store this month too. I love how nice it is here and how close we are to Post. Lots of other SAHM (American, Korean, Other) live here too!

Mama Seoul said...

We probably will look at Park Towers but I don't like the Gate 17 area. Still, they do fit a lot of the other requirements. Glad to know you are happy there