Korea Housing – Quick Guide to South Korea Housing!


In this article, we will share to you the different type and price of housing in seoul, korea. If you need to know this, make sure you reaad until the end to get the most benefit of this informations.

Housing is really important whether we plan to just travel in seoul, working or even attend college in South Korea. Lately the housing price in South korea is really high, which makes more locals prefer to rent or live outside of Seoul. 

Table of Contents

If you plan to stay in Seoul for more than one , six or even 12 months, then some of this type of housing will be really helpful for you to reduce your expenses as long as you stay in Seoul or another part in South Korea.

Some of the list of housing i wrote here is not the only options for you, you can find another list of type of housing like dormitory for workers and student. However I can’t list them because the price and benefit might be different, depends on each university and company.

There is a lot of advantages and disadvantages from using each of this housing in Seoul and we will share to you what we know about both the advantage and disadvantages for you to choose which one is the best suit for you based on your needs.

Terms in Korea Housing

Key Money Deposit 전세

Decades ago, there is a free rent with key money deposit renting style for korea housing. If you are so lucky, you can find the owner who will give you free monthly rent by giving a huge amount of deposit upfront.

However, you still need to pay the montly utilities and maintenance fee. The key money deposit will be refund after you finish your rent, yet you can almost never find this style of rent anymore during this modern days.


Monthly Rent + Deposit 월세 · Wolse

This is more common style of renting in south korea. For this style, you will pay a deposit, with less amount, but also you will pay monthly rent + utilities. You can negotiate the deposit and also the length of your stay with the owner.

Usually the higher deposit you give, the lower monthly rent you will pay. Otherwise, you can also lower the deposit and offer to pay a higher amount in monthly rent. This type of rent is very flexible, so just ask and negotiate.

For your information, you don’t need to worry about your deposit, for you will get your deposit back when you move out.

Monthly Maintenance Fee 관리비 · Gwanlibee

This is what you’ll pay each month to the building’s maintenance office. Maintenance fees differ by building and locations, some as low as 20,000 won and some as high as 250,000 won or more!

Internet, TV, electricity, heat, water, etc may or may not be included in the maintenance fee, so it’s crucial to triple check what the monthly maintenance fee includes.

Brokerage Fee 중개비 · Joonggaebee

This is a little bit complicated, you need to add your (deposit money) with (100 x your monthly rent) x 0.4%. For example, if you got 10.000.000 KRW deposit, and 600.000 KRW monthly rent, then do this:

Deposit + (100 x monthly deposit) x 0.4%
10.000.000 + (100 x 600.000) = 70.000.000 x 0.4% = 280.000.

This is the maximum amount you will give as brokerage fee, if your realtor ask more, then you can find another realtors.

Type of Korea Housing

Serviced Residence

These are furnished apartments geared for foreigners. They are available for short or long term visitors. Staying at a serviced residence is like staying in a bigger hotel room because of the amenity and service options.

Easiest option for foreigners in terms of not having to deal with figuring out wolse/jeonse, and language accessibility.


Credit to Goshiwon story

The first option of housing in south korea is Goshiwon. It’s quiet famous choice for budget expat or students, it’s not really looks like a housing but much more similar to dormitory with private room and located outside university, with shared kitchen.

What make this great is that all of goshiwon is all furnish, many of them provide free food and also with cheap price, so this one can be as cheap as 400 SGD per months (Depends on location, size, facilities and security with no extra bills for utilities. This one can help reduce your expenses for housing.

Benefit of Goshiwon

  • Full Furnish
  • Cheap
  • A lot of locations available
  • No deposit needed
  • Can be rent as short as under a month.
  • No extra bills for utilities like gas, electricity and internet
  • Some of them provide 1x free food (Not all)

Disadvantages of Goshiwon

  • Small
  • Be Quiet rules
  • You can’t have visitor.
  • No food in the room

How to find Goshiwon

You can search it on Goshipages, or Goshitel you can find a lot of goshiwon in the location you really want too. But if you prefer to do it alone without any help from search engine, then you can just search around the universities and find the keyword 고시원  Goshiwon, on the building, and talk to the owner at the lobby, usually they can speak english.

Hasuk Jib

Credit to Odieyo

Hasuk Jib is actually a really budget option because this one is usually taken by low class economy student. Hasuk jib is actually smaller and cheaper Goshiwon, however, it’s much harder to find Hasuk jib. Other than that, Hasuk Jib don’t have private facilities like private bathroom, so you need to use shared facilities.

Difference of Hasuk Jib and Goshiwon

Hasukjib provide 2x meal that Goshiwon might not provide for you, even tho some of them will give free 1x food, but it’s not a standard of goshiwon. Other than that, Hasukjib is the last option you want, because it’s not comfortable and not recommended unless you’re really tight on budget.

One Room

One room is much more like studio apartment in some other countries. One room apartment is really famous among korean and foreigner that come to Korea for either work or study. This option give you bigger space, privacy and freedom here.

However, when you looking for One room, you will find out that the price is actually not really different with Goshiwon which is around 400SGD, but don’t get cheated. Even though the rent price might look similar, but they’re excluded from utilities fee such as electricity, gas and internet, so don’t be surprised when they asked about it.

type and price of housing in korea

Benefit of one Room

  • Visitor allowed
  • Full furnished with washing machine
  • Private facility

Disadvantages of One Room

  • Deposit needed, as much as 10,000 SGD
  • Contract needed, usually around 6~12 months above
  • Utilities fee separated

How to find One Room

  • Student: Eden Realty
  • Family: Seoul Homes
  • Urseoul
  • Craiglist


Officetel is much more expensive compare to One room, because as it name suggest, it is Officetel, office and hotel. So it is usually located above business district, office areas and also higher prices.

The great thing about this option for housing in south korea is because it’s located on business building, you can expect to have cafe’s, coffeeshop and restaurants on the lower floor, and usually it comes fully furnished.

Benefit of Officetel

  • Visitor allowed
  • Full furnished with washing machine
  • Private facility
  • Spacious room size and style
  • Strategic locations
  • Above business building that have restaurant inside it

Disadvantages of Officetel

  • The price is high, start from 600 USD above

How to find Officetel

  • Student: Eden Realty
  • Family: Seoul Homes
  • Urseoul
  • Craiglist


There are a range of apartment types depending on locations and prices for apartments also vary on size, number of rooms, and location. Many come with facilities like fitness room, 24-hour security guards on site, study room, and more, driving up the monthly maintenance fee.

Apartment rentals are rare and tend to be a lot more expensive than renting one rooms or officetels. So you’ll see a lot more jeonse options available for this type of housing which are also quite expensive.


There are a range of villa types but the majority are multi-unit buildings that are about 2 to 4 storeys tall. Villas usually don’t come with the amenities that apartments have, so maintenance fees tend to be cheaper.

It’s rare you’ll find a 24-hour security guard on site, so it may not feel as safe as living in an apartment. However, resident buildings in Korea have cameras in every angle to make sure everyone is safe.

Resource to help you find Korea Housing

Zip Toss / Darae

Zip toss is really a good help for you to find korea housing you want depends on size, locations and price (both deposit and monthly rent). Do install and check out on Zip toss when you want to find your house in south korea.

Naver Land

As we know, Naver is south korea private google so to speak, it really does better in Korea than any other search engine. Not just it is famous for finding locations (maps) and informations, it is also good to help you find your housing in korea.

Naver Land is naver real estate search engine, even though this site is in Korean, but it is fairly easy to use. All you have to do is click on a district in Seoul and a list of open housing will appear on the left. Other than that, Naver Land is the most reliable source you can find.

Seoul Metropolitan Government

The Seoul Metropolitan Government put together some tips for foreigners to get housing in Seoul, the best part is that this site is in English and gives more information about the documents you would need, and a list of real estate agencies that can speak other languages.


Craiglist is a common site for people who want to sell unused items, job posting and also housing. You can just filter based on the preference you want and keep scrolling until you find one you like.

korea housing

Credit to Handout

Have you ever stay in one of this type of housing in seoul, south korea? How do you think about it? which one is the best suit for you? let us know in the comment below!

Every share and every ounce of your support brings my passion for Korea to life – Thank you for visit.

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