September 18, 2014
Here, ladies and gentlemen, is our first video in our new apartment! Tada! You can’t see all of it in this video, but we’ve also posted a tour of our new apartment in Seoul, so check that out!
Anyhow, for those of you who follow us on social media you might have read how our move was rather unpleasant. We didn’t make it seem that way in this video because what happened to us was rather particular, and not something I’d want to say for a general video about moving in Korea. I’ll share it here though as part of story telling time. Gather round, children, and let us tell you a story!
For starters, our moving people were pretty screwed. Basically, our old apartment had a weird rule: they couldn’t bring their big moving truck down into the garage by the elevator. What that meant then is that once they moved our stuff downstairs to the basement floor from the elevator, they had to pack that stuff into a smaller truck, then drive that truck out to the bigger truck, and transfer it from the small truck to the big truck. They couldn’t bring it from the elevator to the big truck because the two were so far apart. Altogether, then, they basically almost had to double their packing time, with that whole unnecessary smaller truck.
On top of that, we didn’t emphasize strongly enough how difficult it was to get our couch out of our apartment. Really, we have no idea how people got it into our apartment to begin with, but getting it out took probably an extra 45 minutes of severe frustration. They tried almost every angle. It was too tall for the door, too wide for it as well. Basically they just had to take off the door and take off the shelves as well, and then take out the couch, and then put the door and shelves back on. Once they got it on we cheered for them, and sang Psy’s “Champion” for them as well.
Our new apartment had a few issues, too. We have fancy keys to open our front door. The keys are just swipe cards, like what you use to get on the subways in Korea. Great! We got three of them. Great! Only one of them worked. Not great! We had to buy new keys, which seemed silly. We shouldn’t have to pay for broken keys, right? We couldn’t argue it because we were so tired, and we literally didn’t eat from 8AM until 5:30PM.
Then we found that our new place came with one small thing as an “option.” If you don’t know what an option is when it comes to apartments, it’s basically an appliance that comes with the place. Some apartments come with washing machines or fridges or air conditioners as options, for example. Our new place had no options but one: a dehumidifier. Great! We were excited about that. But the dehumidifier is broken. Ok, then, we told the realtor. If it’s broken we don’t want it. No, but we have to keep it, they said. Put it in storage. Keep the broken dehumidifier in our place until the end of our contract. Why? Hell if I know. Again, we were too tired to argue. We just went with it.
Here’s something else interesting that we learned about: we had to get an alien certificate form. I was very confused by it, because I wondered what my being an alien to Korea had anything to do with my moving. I have a legal visa, and I paid the deposit. What’s the issue? Well, it turns out that it’s the same for Korean people, supposedly. Soo Zee told us the same thing: when people move to a new place, they have to register in that district office, to show their moving history. Why? I’m not sure. It’s some government something or other. Why it needs to be printed up and brought back to the real estate agent I also don’t know. If anyone does know, I’d love to know.
And then, at the end of it, came the worst part: we had to pay the real estate agent as well. On top of our rent and deposit, the real estate agent gets a one time fee for finding the place for us. It’s 0.9% of our key deposit, plus the total rent we’re going to pay. It was awkward, because the realtor just said to us “ok, you pay me now. Here’s my bank account. Transfer the money,” to which we asked him for some kind of official receipt or something, rather than his bank info scribbled on a napkin. We didn’t have that the last time we moved. It’s probably because a friend helped us move, and they were a realtor, so we didn’t have to worry about the fee, but we didn’t even know about it. So when we heard about it this time we were a bit shocked.
So, all in all, the move was a bit frustrating, but it was a learning experience. And, really, we like our place a lot more than our previous place. A lot more. The area is a lot nicer, and the layout of our new place actually makes a lot more sense.
Anyhow, we’d love to hear what your moving experiences are like in your area. Do you have moving people that come in and pack everything up and move everything for you? Do you also have a tradition of not cleaning up your old place? We’d love to know in the comments below!