Types of housing
|Apartment||Five stories or more are used for residential space.|
|Buildings of which the second to fourth stories are used as commercial space while the fifth and higher stories are used as residential space.|
|Tenement house||When the total floor area of a building used for housing is over 660㎡ and has less than four stories.|
|Multi-family house||When the total floor area of a building used for housing is less than 660㎡ and has less than four stories.|
|Villa||Low-rise residential buildings that are similar to Western condominiums and have a spacious interior, although the entire compound size is smaller than that of most apartments.|
|Officetel||A relatively small residential establishment that can be used as an office and living space and has essential furniture and convenience facilities.|
|One-room||A housing unit consisting of one large room designed for use as a bedroom, living room, kitchen and dining room, etc. with a separate space for a bathroom. Popular in areas near universities, because rent is lower than for officetels.|
|Single, detached houses||Residential buildings in which each dwelling is surrounded by freestanding walls and built on a separate lot.|
|Serviced residence||Rental facilities which provide hotel-style services for long-term business residents.
This type of rental housing has recently become popular among foreigners reluctant to buy furniture for a relatively short stay.
Purchase of House
- Practices of real property transaction in Korea: Land and buildings are not purchased or sold separately.
- Applicable laws for a foreigner’s purchase of real property are decided depending on “under what status” the foreigner wishing to transact real property resides in Korea and “for what purpose” he/she purchases the real property.
Purchasing residential house
- Before hiring a licensed realtor, check his/her credit and experience.
- When hiring a licensed realtor, all procedures including title transfer registration will be handled by the licensed realtor’s office.
- A contract can be entered into in English.
- Before entering into a contract, one must check the real estate register (certified copy).
(When visiting the relevant registry office, one has to carry his/her alien registration card and passport.)
Jeonse (lease by security deposit)
Jeonse is a real property lease system unique to Korea. Instead of monthly rent paid to the landlord, a significant amount (usually 30% to 60% of the price of a house) is entrusted to the landlord as a security deposit during the term of the lease contract. The security deposit will be returned in full at the end of the lease contract.
- After signing a 1–2-year lease contract (generally 2 years), jeonse money will be paid in advance.
- After end of the contract, jeonse money will be returned in full.
- At the time of the contract, 10% of the jeonse money will be paid as down payment.
(Balance payment is to be made at the time of move-in.)
- The tenant will maintain the state of the house as at move-in.
- After signing a 1–2-year lease contract, the agreed-to security deposit and monthly rent will be paid.
- The amount of security deposit is about 10 to 20 times that of the monthly rent.
- The higher the amount of security deposit, the lower that of the monthly rent.
- At the time of the contract, 10% of the security deposit will be paid as down payment.
- At the time of move-in, the balance payment and onemonth’s rent will be paid in advance.
- The security deposit will be returned in full after contract expiry, in principle; however, in special circumstances
(e.g., tenant failing to pay rent), such amount will be subtracted from the security deposit and the balance will be returned.