CONTRIBUTED BY SIBO LUNGU
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.
Sibo has given us a glimpse into her lovely home. Thank you so much!
1. What’s the name of the city/village where you reside?
I live in Songtan. Dangjeung-ri area or “outside the ROK gate” as many military people call it.
2. What is the nearest military installation and accompanying entrance (a.k.a. Gate) to your home and what is the approximate driving time to that installation/gate?
Osan AB is the closest base. I live about 1 mile from the ROK gate.
3. What DoDDS school district is your home zoned for? Is there a school bus system available?
Elementary: Osan AB
Middle: Osan AB
High: Osan AB
4. What is the nearest highway or main road to your home? Highway 1 Gyeonggi-daero and Subway Line 1 (Songtan Station).
5. Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, spaciousness, predominantly “Korean” or “American”, urban, rural, etc.).
I would call it the “country-side” even though it is only 3 miles or so from town. The area is hilly; there is a lot of green from trees, bushes and agriculture. The tallest structures are only about 5-stories high so there is nothing too high. It is a quiet residential and farming area with low traffic. I’d say the mix of people is half Korean and half America military.
6. Are there places of service in your neighborhood within walking distance such as restaurants, convenience stores, laundromats, bakeries, coffee shops, parks, etc.?
A CU convenience store and a mom ‘n pop convenience store are within walking distance of our house. Other than that there isn’t too much around in terms of shops. We have to go into town for that. It’s definitely the country-side!
7. Please describe the style of your home (i.e. Westernized, traditional Korean, detached family home, townhome, etc.) What voltage is available in the outlets (110/220)?
Our home is a 3-storey triplex/villa. It is westernized with an open style kitchen and living room, large bedrooms, modern bath/shower/toilets, and a separate laundry room. It has imitation hardwood floor instead of carpet, and wallpaper. It has both 110V and 220V outlets in each room.
8. Please provide general information about your home such as the rent, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, special amenities, etc.).
It is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa of about 2000 sq ft. It came furnished; it has lots of closet space, AC and floor heating.
9. Are there any special accommodations or tasks that you’ve had to complete to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc.?
With the exception of a dryer, the place was move-in ready. We were told that the Korean dryers take very long to dry clothes, so we bought an American dryer.
10. What costs are there associated with living off a military installation and how do you pay for those costs?
I have never lived on a military installation so I cannot accurately compare. Our costs are similar to what we paid when we lived in the US: We pay rent and utilities. My husband and I both work.
11. How is parking provided for your home?
The villa has covered parking for three cars.
12. Are there any outdoor spaces or yards provided for your home?
We have a large patio and a shared outdoor patio area where there is a pool.
13. How did you find your home (i.e. AHRN, agency, classifieds, word of mouth, etc)?
We used a local realtor: Sissy Han Castillo @ K55 Realty in Songtan.
14. Are you satisfied with the maintenance services that are provided for your home?
Our realtor and landlord are always available if we need anything. But we really haven’t had any maintenance issues. It has mostly been questions about how appliances work because the remotes and buttons are in Korean.
15. Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel has been your experience living off-post here in Korea?
I have never lived on a military installation, so I cannot really compare. However, I feel like I get to enjoy Korean culture more by living off base because I have to interact with the locals just to do all the basic things like commuting, shopping, and having to stop and ask for help, directions etc..
Please feel free to add any additional COMMENTS that you feel would be helpful to others about living off-post.
I feel very safe living off-post. Safety is always my concern when looking for a home anywhere. Transportation is cheap and convenient so that shouldn’t be a deterrent to living off-post. Also, some villas off-post have yards which is nice if one has large dogs.
For on base housing info check here: http://koreaye.com/osan-base-housing/