Off-Post Housing, K16: West Pangyo

CONTRIBUTED BY CECELIA BERNUY HANEY

kitchen 1

What’s the name of the city/village where you reside? I live in Pangyo-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam City also known as West Pangyo

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?
15 minute drive to K16 Air Base

What DoDDS school district is your home zoned for?  Is there a school bus system available?
I do not have school age children but I know the kids around here are assigned to Yongsan schools and there is a school bus that picks them up and drops them off daily.

What is the nearest highway or main road to your home?
I live on Unjung-ro but the closest highways are Highway 23, Interstate 171 and Interstate 1

 

Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, spaciousness, predominantly “Korean” or “American”, urban, rural, etc.):
I have a cat so my apartment is pet friendly.  The neighborhood is definitely child friendly, safe, spacious, more suburban and predominantly Korean families, though there is one military family in our building and 2 other military families in the apartment building next to us.  It is a partially gated community, made up of several high rise apartment buildings with a courtyard/playground in the middle.  There is a gate with a guard at the entrance of the complex where cars must check in but I say partially gated because someone could technically just walk in.  There are cameras all over the apartment complex and a guard that monitors them.  There are a lot of walkways where kids can ride their tricycles and bicycles inside the apartment complex without fear of cars.  And lots of playgrounds.

Are there places of service in your neighborhood within walking distance such as restaurants, convenience stores, laundromats, bakeries, coffee shops, parks, etc.?
This is probably my favorite part about my apartment, there are tons of places walking distance.  There are lots of restaurants, western as well as Korean.  There are two kid’s cafes at walking distance.  A library that has a large English book section.  A community center that has an indoor swimming pool (but you have to pay for a membership and I don’t have one).  Lots of coffee shops and bakeries (Dunkin Donuts, Paris Baguette, Holly’s Coffee, Cafe Bene, etc).  I have seen a pharmacy, banks, hagwons, Pizza School, a small Home Plus and Emart everyday and a large church. And Baskin Robbins!  There are so many restaurants and little shops that I have not explored them all yet.

1 entrance         2 hallway

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)?
I am on the 11th floor of a high rise apartment.  It is a modern Korean style apartment with lots of buttons and keyless entry.  Outlets are 220V but realtor provided us with 5 step down transformers which are enough for us.  At the entrance there is a large closet for shoes and an area for you to leave your shoes.  Wooden floor with ondol heating, two AC units (one in the bedroom and one in the living room).  Bedrooms have wallpaper, kitchen has tile walls and wooden floors.  Bathrooms have tile and Korean style drains with very deep tubs.

master bedroom1 6 spare bedroom master bedroom 2

Please provide general information about your home such as the rent, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, special amenities, etc.):
Our rent is 2.8 million won which is below what our housing allowance is but you are not allowed to keep the difference so we just get that reduced housing allowance monthly.  Our apartment is about 1700 square feet, 4 bedroom, 2 bath.  We have a small storage room in the apartment but a lot of cabinet space, so much that we have lots of empty cabinets right now.

kitchen 1         kitchen2

Are there any special accommodations or tasks that you’ve had to complete to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc.?
Transformers were provided by realtor.  We bought a microwave because we didn’t have one in the states.  My apartment did not come with an oven so the realtor gave us an electric countertop oven which works fine once I figured out the celsius and how it works.  It is smaller than an American oven but I have gotten used to it.  The walls are either tile or cement so I have not been able to nail into them.  Everything that I have “hanging” has been placed with command strips.  I had to purchase LOTS of those.

What costs are there associated with living off a military installation and how do you pay for those costs?
The military gives us a utility allowance and that is how we pay for our utilities.  There are no other costs that I can think of.

How is parking provided for your home?
We have two levels of underground parking in our building so plenty of parking for everyone.

Are there any outdoor spaces or yards provided for your home?
There are courtyards in between the buildings and several playgrounds, pretty landscaping with trees, bushes and flowers. The place is cleaned frequently and the best part is that in the winter they shovel the snow for you to make pathways.  There is a hiking trail right next to our apartment complex that you can take up a little mountain right behind it and a little park with machines to work out.

8 livingroom       7 livingroom

How did you find your home (i.e. AHRN, agency, classifieds, word of mouth, etc)?
Military approved realtor but we saw at least 10 other places we didn’t like. In my opinion, they tend to save the best ones for last.

Are you satisfied with the maintenance services that are provided for your home?
We have not needed any maintenance yet, knock on wood.

office 2 office 1

Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel has been your experience living off-post here in Korea?
I really like where I live, I am 15 minutes from post.  K16 only has on post housing for single soldiers so families have to live off post.

view day view at night

Please feel free to add any additional COMMENTS that you feel would be helpful to others about living off-post.

 

4 thoughts on “Off-Post Housing, K16: West Pangyo

  1. Janice says:

    We just have assigned to Korea tour to YongSan.
    Please advise me if it is a good idea to bring a car or minivan.

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  2. Christine says:

    HI there – there are people here with minivans and they do just fine. If you will be living on post, parking won’t be an issue with it, but off post, you’ll just need to work with a realtor to find a place that works for your family and has parking you feel comfortable using with a minivan.

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  3. Katelyn says:

    Janice,

    Parking and driving is definitely a whole new game here. The main streets are similar to the U.S. in size, but there are many more cars on them. Also, sometimes you have to take side streets to get to your destination. What I call side streets are comparable to alleys in the U.S. with parked cars and pedestrians walking. As for parking, in Korea you seem to be able to park anywhere your car will barely fit! The spaces are smaller. We usually try to park in the back of garages or somewhere now one wants to park to make sure our kids have enough room to open their doors. KoreaYe actually has an article about parking. http://koreaye.com/parking-in-korea/

    Parking and driving in general are different here, but I would say it’s probably comparable to a big city in the States. It takes some time to get used to but it’s manageable!

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