CONTRIBUTED BY TERESA FOWLER
Living overseas has its challenges, and a commonly agreed upon one is finding that perfect place to live. To help those of us who are curious about the different options for living in Korea, readers have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about on-base housing.
Teresa has given us a glimpse into her lovely home. Thank you so much!
What military base is your home located on?
Yongsan, South Post
What area of the country is your home located in?
Seoul, the heart of it.
What is the name of your neighborhood in which your home is located?
Generally speaking, most on-base homes are approved for occupancy based on military or government rank. If you would like, please provide the range of ranks that your home is approved for?
What DoDDS school district is your home attached to? Is there a schoolbus system available?
We are attached to SAES, SAMS, SAHS. We have bus pick up and drop off for SAES.
Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, level of safety, friendly neighbors, spacious, etc.)
Totally awesome! Friendly neighbors, completely safe for kids to run around freely, good neighbors. The neighborhood itself is in an oval shape with a wall around it. It is on the backside of post so most don’t even know it is there when they pass it.
Please describe the style of your home (i.e. detached home, duplex, apartment, age of the home, etc.)
Townhouse, I have no idea when they were built. Cinder-block walls, keeps out the noise very nicely. I live on the bottom floor, which means we have a small yard, no stairs, but sunlight is limited.
Please provide general information about your home such as square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, number of stories/levels, special amenities, etc.
About 1500 sq. ft. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 story, the patios at Itaewon Acres are enclosed (other neighborhoods are not guaranteed this) and some use that as an extra room. Because I am on the bottom floor, I also have an extra patio room (the two story only has 1 patio), we use this use as an extra Master Bedroom closet. Kitchen, Living area, dining room (which I use as a playroom). Lots of storage space.
Bring carpets for each room if possible. The floors are terrible and always feel dirty. The kitchen is small but functional, plenty of cabinet space but not a lot of drawers. Don’t be afraid to bring whatever makes your house feel like home. Bring your Christmas décor and bikes.
What places of services are available near your home such as restaurants, shops, commissary, playgrounds, parks, etc.?
We have 3 playgrounds in our neighborhood and a basketball court. We are the closest neighborhood to the Itaewon Gate, which is awesome because we go out into the city all the time. We are within walking distance to the commissary as well.
How is parking provided for your home?
Designated Parking for your one car is outside your door, with a few visitor parking spaces in the neighborhood.
Is there any yard space or outdoor spaces provided for your home?
Because we are on the first floor, we have a very small yard, which we fenced in. We also have a small garden out front that I use to grow flowers and vegetables.
What do you feel is special about your home or neighborhood – what makes it feel like “home” here in Korea?
I love being so close to Itaewon Gate. It is so convenient going to dinner or hopping on the subway. I love the freedom my daughter has to play outside, kids here run around freely and all the parents look out for the kids together. I love that not a lot of unnecessary people come into the neighborhood because it is hidden. It is a very nice, quiet neighborhood with great neighbors.
What housing expenses are included with on-base housing (i.e. utilities, rent, appliances, etc.)
Everything except phone and cable.
Are you satisfied with the maintenance services provided by your on-base housing organization?
There are no fees. I am very happy with the mainentance on-base. I have had a few issues with my washer/dryer/frig and they always come out the same day and fix it, no charge.
Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel have been your experience living on a military base here on Korea?
As much as I love the city, Seoul can be a bit overwhelming. Living on post gives you the experience of living in the 2nd largest city in the world, but also having the “small-town America” feel to it. I have never lived on post before this, but I do like not having to worry about utilities and maintenance. The location is prime, being in-between the river and the tower. Dis-advantages- I would LOVE to have the heated floors and some of the floor-to-ceiling city views that some places have.
PCSing to Yongsan? Here is some more information that might help!
(Geared toward PCSing to Yongsan, but much applicable here too!)
Moving off post? You can check out this “packing for off-base living” post here: http://koreaye.com/2013/06/yongsan-pcs-what-to-pack.html
Got questions? Feel free to ask away!