Using your Housing Allowance

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Joined: 08/05/2013 - 17:57
Using your Housing Allowance

For those of you who have ever switched off school provided housing to housing allowance I have a few questions.


1- Do you actually save money?

2- Did your school help you find your new apartment?

3- Does your school direct deposit the allowance with your salary ever month?

4- How did you move out? (English Speaking movers?)

5- Do you wish you had stuck with school housing?



Joined: 03/03/2011 - 22:43
Re: Using your Housing Allowance

I suppose it depends on your school's housing situation, whether staying in their housing or getting your own apartment is better. Some schools have awful apartments, so it's worth switching even if the costs increase. Some schools have awesome apartments, so switching just to save money is a mistake. It really depends on your situation and your needs. But here are my answers, which may or may not apply to you:

1. No. I lose money living in my own apartment.

2. No. They didn't even help translate with the real esate agent.

3. Yes. It comes on the same day as my salary; one lump sum.

4. The real estate lady called movers for me. I communicated with them via my poor korean, Konglish, and body language.

5. Yes. I wanted to live in school housing, but since I was married, I was not allowed to live in the school housing, which is only for single teachers. I was really upset about it because I was switching to that job and they told me I could have school housing. I showed up and that's when they told me I couldn't live there. Thank goodness I had enough saved for key money. Too bad I actually wanted to use that money for something else.

Answer 6 (which you didn't ask): No, the school did not provide key money. They give me 300,000 won/month, no key money. Tell me one place in Korea where you can find a room for 300,000 a month with no key money. Maybe a goshitel.

Joined: 06/29/2013 - 20:30
Re: Using your Housing Allowance

I think teachers who take a housing allowance are teachers who already have a place to live. I'm married, and already have a place, so a school that offers an apartment doesn't do me any good. To make up for not taking their apartment, they give the apartment allowance.


Joined: 01/31/2010 - 16:43
Re: Using your Housing Allowance

1.  Yes, my housing allowance was $300,000, and I saved all of it every month.  I'm married and my wife and I only lived off of one paycheck.  

2.  No, I found my own apartment.  My wife speaks decent Korean, but we needed someone to help us that was fluent.  We used:

First, I  chose a neighborhood and found a couple of apartment  complexes I liked.   Then I went to a 부동산 with Chil and asked them if they had any apartments to rent in that particular complex.  It was very easy, but if you don't speak fluent Korean, make sure you bring someone who can.

Even though my school didn't help us look, they helped out with everything else (paid part of the key money, went to the gu office to get the key money registered and check for liens on the apartment, helped sign the rental agreement and met with the owners, etc.)

3.  Yes, they direct deposited it.

4.  We used Korean movers.

5.  We lived in the school housing for awhile, but only to save the extra money.  It wasn't a total dump, but it wasn't very nice, either. 

When we decided to move, I no longer received my housing allowance but it was worth every penny!  We lived at an SK Hub (Olive) on the 27th floor with a killer view of Oncheonjang and Geumjeong mountain.  We had two bedrooms rooms, a living room, and a loft and everything was super new and nice. 

Just for reference, for a nicer, newer place like the one we had it was 15 million key money and 750,000 Won a month for rent (my wife and I worked at the same school, so our rent was covered).  This was in Oncheonjang, one subway stop from PNU.

We almost rented from the SK HUB that is attached to the CGV, too.  It was going to be 20 million key money and the rent was the same.  You can negotiate with the owner and pay extra rent money and get the key money lowered sometimes.  We lucked out and our landlords spoke perfect English, so everything was very easy.

Good luck!