Goshiwon - Get into the depths of experiencing a luxury and a pocket-friendly ideal place to live in South Korea for everyone!
What is it like living in South Korea?
As we all know, South Korea is a crowded country, with more than 50 million people.
Approximately 90% of that land is mountainous, meaning that people had to use the space available in the most creative way to fit everyone. One of the creative solutions is the Goshiwon.
A Goshiwon, also known as an “off-campus dormitory” is no more than a small room with everything you can find on a normal house, needed to live.
In these small rooms you can find a bed, fridge, TV, and not always but sometimes they also have a bathroom.
Rent prices in South Korea can be expensive so a Goshiwon is a solution to this, they can be small but so are their rent prices.
As an “off-campus dormitory” we can get an idea of what they were meant to do. Yes! They were meant for students, a place to be ready, do assignments or study for an exam. But as crowded as the country is, it became a common housing type for people. Goshiwons have become a great option for students and tourists.
We can find several types of Goshiwon: Goshitel, Livingtel, Hasukjip, Residence, One-room-tel, to name a few, they are the same thing and are all registered as a Goshiwon business type in South Korea.
What are types of Goshiwon?
It is a hybrid between a hotel and a Goshiwon, this type of accommodation in Korea usually offers better facilities and wider room size in comparison to a regular Goshiwon size.
They come with a TV and a small bathroom in most cases. You can find Goshitel prices ranging from 350k to 700k won per month without the deposit.
These are boarding houses with options of single or double rooms, they have shared common spaces (laundry, bathroom, living, and dining rooms).
Prices range from 300k to 500k won a month and in most cases, an old, aged lady takes care of the tenant’s housekeeping and meals, usually breakfast and dinner.
These rooms in Korea are meant mostly for working professionals, this type of room comes with a bathroom, laundry machine, and a mini-kitchen, and on the downside, one-room-tels may come without a bed, desk, or closet.
The rent for this type of accommodation ranges from 300k to 700k depending on the type, size, and furniture of the room.
How does South Korea’s rent system work?
The housing system in Korea has an option called “Jeonse” also known as “Chonsei”, “Key Money” or “Key Money Deposit” which is a type of lease or deposit common in the South Korean real estate market.
Instead of paying monthly rent, a large lump sum is deposited for the duration of the contract. It is usually anywhere between 50% to 80% of the market value.
This scheme sits between a monthly rent and ownership.
Jeonse has been advantageous for both, the tenant, and the landlord.
The tenant has the option to live rent-free for two years (by law, jeonse is a two-year contract), and on the other hand, the landlord has access to a large amount of interest-free money which can be used to make investments or deposit in a high-interest bank account.Seoul’s jeonse makes around 70% of lease/rental agreements.
Which city is with a high number of Goshiwon?
According to government data, the number of Goshiwon has increased steeply in the last years, with almost 80% located in Seoul, and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province. 5,940 for Seoul and 2,984 for Gyeonggi Province in 2017.
They have also appeared in upscale districts, such as Chungdamdong and Dokokdong in southern Seoul.
What are the best websites/apps to find Goshiwons?
A con about getting a Goshiwon booking or any other type of housing in Korea is that you are not able to get it in advance. Although you can pay, find, and move to a Goshiwon on the same day.
Thanks to technology and globalization (first they just offered Korean on their sites, now you can translate to different languages) it is now easier for students, tourists, and working professionals to find one.
Goshipages You can search and look between hundreds of Goshiwons listed, helping you with featured locations or just using the search bar for your preference. They show you basic information and pictures of the room.
DabangApp like goshipages, you can filter the search based on your preferences, you will get a preview of the place and basic information of the Goshiwon.
Airbnb the worldwide known app is also a good option to find your desired Goshiwon.
Naver is also a good way to find housing options if you have some basic knowledge of Korean.
All these are fair enough options to find a place to stay/live while in Korea, but you do have one more option: you can simply walk around the neighborhood and have a good chance of finding one.
We can say that a Goshiwon is a great option when traveling to South Korea for a couple of months, or if you have places to live there.
Pros: affordable, furnished (in most of the cases), location (enough location near points of interest for students, tourists, and professionals), safe, free food (kimchi and rice).
As in everything, there are always..
Cons: Tiny, Ventilation (not every room has access to a window), lack of storage space, shared bathroom, shared spaces (kitchen, living and dining rooms), no soundproof.
But we can conclude that there are more pros than cons. And for the amazing monthly rent price, it is an option to consider.
Before deciding to pay for a Goshiwon, you should check the room in person, don’t trust online pictures, most of the time they don’t look the same.
If you have a Korean friend, ask for his/her help when searching for one, they might know more Goshiwon options that the ones listed on the apps, or when dealing with a landlord to avoid a stressful situation or misunderstanding, this way you can have better communication and understanding.
I hope this information helps you get a clear view understanding the housing system in Korea and learning a little bit more about Goshiwon Seoul.
Knowing all the pros and cons, would you be adventurous enough to stay on a Goshiwon? Let us know your opinion in the comments!
Author - Aldo.