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