There are several different ways to find a place to live in Korea. It’s possible to do so by referring to local free newspapers such as the Byeoruksijang (Flea Market). But in general, real estate agencies are used. Real estate agencies provide such services as preparation of documents for a contract and confirmation of procedural checklists for moving into a home. When a client uses a real estate agency, he or she needs to pay a fee or commission. Instead of buying a house or condo, it’s also possible to lease. Leases are divided into two types; one is called jeonse, requiring a large one-time deposit and the other is wolse, monthly rent.
The large amount of money for jeonse is given to the unit owner for the right to live there; it is returned to the tenant after the contract expires. Wolse is monthly rent paid to the unit owner, who oft en also requires a sizable deposit but smaller than the jeonse deposit.
Generally, real estate agencies are reliable in Korea.
Things to be careful of :
1. First of all, visit the unit you wish to live in and check the appliances and surroundings.
2. Be sure to identify the landlord and make the contract with the landlord. If you make a contract with someone other than the landlord, and the landlord doesn’t acknowledge the contract, you may not get your deposit back (usually a significant sum).
3. You can see a certified copy of the property register to identify the landlord. You will see the name of the landlord, the address, size and structure of the unit and the status of any debt on the unit. You can get a certified copy of the property register by visiting registry offices or on their website.
4. At the time of contract, 10 percent of the total deposit is paid, with the remainder paid on the day you move in. Be sure to get a receipt.
5. Check the list below before signing any contract.
– Check if the address of the property in the contract is identical to that of the certified copy of the property register;
– Make sure the amount of deposit is correct;
– Check that the dates for the down payment, any interim payments and payment of the remainder are correctly recorded;
– Make sure you understand the terms of the contract and everything else in the contract;
– Make sure the landlord has signed or stamped the contract him- or herself;
– There should be three copies of the contract made: one for you, one for the landlord and one for the real estate agency. All should be stamped or signed.
6. After you move in, make sure to fill in the proper documentation to notify the dong office that you have moved in, and get a stamp saying “Date confirmed” on the contract, otherwise you might not get your money back if there are any problems.