Moving on Up (in Gangnam)

As I wrote earlier, I was relatively satisfied with my little Goshiwon here in the Yeoksam neighborhood of Gangnam.  Moving to the big city here without depending on anyone could of cost an arm and a leg if I decided to book a month in any hotel in this area.  I guess I could of rented or stayed elsewhere in the city, but it would of taken a good 40 mins to an hour each way from more affordable parts of the city.  I also knew I would of had time constraints really needing me to be close to this neighborhood.  So, the goshiwon served it’s purpose.  I could of lived there for more months, but I decided to take a plunge into the Korean real estate market.  

Avoiding the Wol-seh Deposit

Normally, you need to deposit about 5,000,000 to 20,000,000 won to rent a decent officetel or one room here in the Gangnam area.  I only brought with me about $5000 and spent a good 1,000,000+ this past month while living here.  Gangnam Style isn’t that cheap, but it’s definitely cheaper than many other places in the world.  So, I didn’t have the minimum deposit available, but decided to check out a few one room websites anyway.  To my surprise, I found a handful of units that didn’t have the 5 million won deposit minimum.  I found several with just one month’s rent.

What’s the lowest rent available in these parts?

I found one or two at 650,000 won a month, but most of them started at 700,000-900,000 won.  I noticed a number of the lower priced ones being advertised by one agent nearby.  I gave him a call and we made an appointment for the next day.  We went and checked out 3 of them at 700,000 won and 1 at 650,000 won.  It took no more than 20 minutes to see all 4 and I knew my due date for the goshiwon rent was only a day away.  So, I decided to go with the most modern of the 4, but it turned out to be the smallest too.  It was 8 pyung.  Even though the other ones were a 50% larger (12 pyung), I didn’t want to deal with the headaches of older appliances and possible cockroaches.  They were run down looking as well which can also affect the mindset being in it for a good 50% or more of your waking life.

Here’s a few photos of them before I moved in.

A view from the door:

A view of the small kitchen area:

The bathroom:

The TV & Air Conditioner:

The bed:

As you can see, the bed is quite a bit bigger than my goshiwon.  It’s a full sized bed and frankly, if it was a twin or smaller, I might have a bit more room.  The TV, air conditioner, washing machine and refrigerator were all much newer than the other 3 units.

The cons of moving to the new space: 

Despite the larger space, this neighborhood’s lacking in terms of food options and transportation.  The good news though is that I don’t have to walk “up hill” to work every morning.  So, I’m not sweating when I get to work.  However, there are hills still here and there.  I also noticed if you live northeast of the gangnam station in the immediate larger area, there’s a HUGE hill to some of the housing.  it might be considered the “gangnam hills.”

I haven’t found too many convenient places nearby for food options.  I’ll have to report back if I do.  I may have to start relying on ordering “take out.”  I’ve definitely got my share of take out menus – another chance for me to improve my Korean!

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About spicytiger

Living the dream in South Korea

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