Whether you’re a newcomer or have lived in South Korea for several years, you must not take it lightly when inspecting a house or apartment. Because this inspection worth a few minutes will affect the quality of living in the next one to two years. Therefore, it is very important to master various inspection skills during housing inspections. Our team at Ziptoss made a list of the things you should check before signing a contract for an apartment rental.
- Traffic location
Confirm the location of the house and see if any bus stations, subway stations, expressways, etc. are nearby to make it more convenient to commute. Transportation to schools or offices should take less than 30 minutes.
- Nearby commercial facilities
Check the area if there are convenience stores, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. nearby. Also check if there are many bars, karaoke bars, barbecue restaurants, popular restaurants, etc. around. Because some places may be quiet during the day, but it might be a city that never sleeps when night time comes. You can observe the environment of the area at night during the actual inspection to avoid noisy areas.
- Open or Separate type
In the South Korean apartments design, One-room apartments usually have two structures: open (오픈형) and separated (분리형). Simply put, the kitchen and bedroom are separated or connected.
A separate-type room separates the living room and the kitchen, so that the smell when cooking will not go into the bedroom, and the partition of the room will make the apartment look much neater. The space of the open-type room appears to be more spacious, and residents can flexibly divide the space according to their preferences.
This is essential when you’re doing a rental house inspection. On the first floor or semi-underground room of the building, because it is close to the main road and the gate, you may hear the footsteps of people passing by, the sound of people’s conversations, and the sound of vehicles coming and going. When choosing a room on a lower floor, you should observe if you can handle noise like this.
Is there an odd smell in the room? When you enter the room or apartment, try to pay attention to the smell of sewers in the house. If the windows of the room are open, go to the kitchen sink and bathroom drains to check whether it emits any peculiar smell.
Check if there are any insects in the house. If the corners are blocked, please open them gently. It is recommended to disinfect the whole apartment before moving in. It’s also a good idea to check for pesticides (stick-on insect repellents) in furniture or kitchen cabinets. If there is any, the house is more likely to be infested with insects.
Carefully check the ceiling, walls, wardrobe, flooring, and other places for mold or any signs of water leakage. If there are watermarks, it may indicate that there is leakage in the room. It is necessary to check if the floor is damp. If the ceiling or floor has any of these problems, it is better not to choose this apartment.
Check the water pressure in the bathroom, kitchen, and toilet. The water pressure in South Korea is quite weak, the higher the floor, the weaker the water pressure. Especially in high-rise residential buildings, be sure to check the water pressure.
Check for any problems with drain pipes and outlets in bathrooms, kitchen sinks, balconies, etc.
Check the amount of lighting. There should be more sunshine than the space of the house, this helps save heating costs and reduce the presence of mold. Also, some single rooms (원룸) and officetels (오피스텔) may have serious air leakage, so you must check the doors and windows.
*Lofts and Rooftop apartments
- Lofts in South Korea are used in commercial buildings, and officetels(오피스텔). You should pay attention to whether there is air leakage. The loft management fee is also higher in general. Also, check with the landlord and manager when viewing the house.
Some loft stairs do not have external guardrails, so be careful when going up and down the stairs. It is more dangerous when you get drunk or get up in a daze. This should also be taken into consideration.
- The rooftop apartment is on the top floor of the building. When viewing the house, ask and confirm the surrounding security and safety facilities, including whether outsiders can enter and exit the roof, if there are high-voltage wires around, and if the stairs for entering and exiting are too steep or too narrow.
In addition, water or air leakage is important to know. It is important to stick to the project and look at the ceiling and walls to see if there are any watermarks. If so, this may be a sign of water leakage, and the possibility of this house leaking during the rainy season is very high.