In the metropolitan city of Seoul, you’ll mostly come across a lot of Apartments, Villas, Officetels, and Goshiwons. However if you happen to be an affluent business executive, a famous movie star or a high ranking diplomat, then you’ll be able to afford some of the most expensive housing in Korea — Houses.
Houses in Korea are the epitome of wealth, as they are very spacious when compared to other types of housing. In a small compact city with over 9 million residents, you can imagine why it would be difficult to have enough space for a house. They’re only available in certain areas in Seoul where the top 1% can afford them.
Its good to note that there are also houses located in the countryside of Korea, but they don’t measure up to the amount of value that houses in Seoul currently have. Real estate in Korea very much depends on location, and most people prefer to live in Seoul or around the outskirts of Seoul.
We’ll be taking a look at what houses are like in Korea and if they’re the right type of housing for you. Keep reading to see how you can rent your very own house in South Korea.
What types of houses are there in Korea?
There are several type of houses you’ll be able to spot in Korea. You may not be able to distinguish the difference between them but there are different types of styles and designs set them apart from each other.
First designed and built during the 14th century Joseon Dynasty, Hanok is a traditional house in Korea. The design, layout and interior of a house is planned accordingly based on a Korean principle called Bae-san-im-su (배산임수), which explains the most ideal location for a house. In Korea, people prefer that their house be built where the back-side of the house is facing a mountain and the front-side is facing the river. This is why, some of the most expensive houses in Korea are located between the mountains and the Han-river.
Private Multi-Family House (다세대 주택)
A Dansedae is a house that can have multiple families in one building and is privately owned by each respective family. In Korea, as real estate became more competitive, some families chose to live and share the same building. However, these houses are separated as different units, which have their own entrance, kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. They’re similar to a villa but only house a 2-6 families. They could be compared to a Duplex or Triplex found in western countries. If you plan to rent one of these houses, you’ll be dealing with the owner of the house unit.
Multi-Family House for Rent (다가구 주택)
Dakagu is a type of house where the building is owned by one person (or family) who leases the other units to other families. It’s similar to Dansedae, except the property is managed and privately owned by a single household. If you plan to rent one of these houses, you’ll be renting directly from the owner of the entire property.
Single Family House (단독 주택)
Dandok is a type of house made and privately owned by one family. There are many types of Dandok houses found all over Korea, with their own individual design. These houses are considered to be extremely expensive in Seoul due to the limited real estate. You’ll find that only the top 1% in Korea would own some of the biggest mansions in Korea.
Where can you find houses in Seoul?
There are houses located all over Seoul and the rest of South Korea, but there are certain affluent neighborhoods that are notable for having the most expensive houses in the entire country. UN Village in Hannam-dong, Seongbuk-dong and Pyeongchang-dong are well known among Koreans for having the most extravagant housings with exorbitant costs. So what is it like to live in these neighborhoods?
Houses in Pyeongchang-Dong
Pyeongchang-dong is a suburban area located in the most northern part of Seoul. It sits right at the base of Bukhansan National park, surrounded by almost all corners. This exclusive area is very high up in the list as the most expensive region of the entire South Korea.
The region is a popular location for many of Korea’s top famous celebrities and business elites. It’s much different from the other parts of Seoul as it has more of a suburban resort-like feeling compared to the concrete jungle of a metropolitan city as one might expect. The houses in Pyeongchang-dong are like multi-story American houses or mansions found in Beverly Hills or Irvine.
As Pyeongchang-dong is nestled in a mountainous region, many of the houses and roads are on a steep hill. From there, you’ll be able to have a great view of the entire city of Seoul without having to live in a high-rise building.
The neighborhood also boasts of having low crime rates as it is exclusive to only a very small affluent community. It is also a popular filming location for many Korean films and dramas.
However, one drawback of living in Pyeongchang-dong would be the lack of good transportation and its distance from the other parts of Seoul. There aren’t many buses that pass through this region, and you’ll need to have a car to get around with ease. Many of the families choose to own a car when living in this part of the city.
Houses in Hannam-Dong (UN Village)
Hannam-dong lies right at the center of Seoul, just above the Han-river. Like Pyeongchang-dong, it is among the most popular residential area for Korea’s top celebrities and elite business executives. Hannam is named after its location being right next to the Han River and Nam Mountain.
At the east side of Hannam-dong is the UN Village, a luxurious gated neighborhood that houses Korea’s wealthiest families. You’ll also find many high-ranking foreign diplomats that live in this region. The houses in UN Village are among the most expensive houses that go up to 9 billion won ($9 million USD)!
The best part of living in UN village is location. As it is situated in the center of Seoul, commuting to any part of Seoul would only take around 30 minutes. You can take a bus or taxi all the way to the fashion district in Apgujeong, Cheongdam or Gangnam station all within 5-10 minutes.
There are many international schools and some of the best private schools in Korea in Hannam-dong. You’ll find that the neighborhood is like a very small community on its own with many single family houses just like the ones found in the suburban parts of North America. Just outside the vicinity of UN village, you’ll be able to find many places to go shopping or fine dining.
Unlike Gangnam or the other bustling areas of Seoul, UN village is full of low-rise buildings located on a steep hill. You’ll be able to have a great view of the eastern part of Han river.
If you’re looking to rent or buy a house in Seoul, you’ll want to know everything there is in regards to housing in Korea. If you’re already confident about what type of housing you’re looking for, you’ll want to deal with a professional English speaking realtor to help you get started.