Most foreigners end up migrating to urban areas in South Korea like Seoul or Busan, which are highly-populated, industrialized cities. Therefore, the most common property types available in those areas are apartments (high-rises) and town homes (villas).
Houses are more common the further you get from downtown, in the more rural areas. If you are not planning on staying in Korea for a long period of time, there are plenty of hotels, hostels, & suites (serviced residences) available for short-term lease.
Normally, for those who are traveling to Korea on a contract to teach English, your housing is arranged and paid for in advance. Other expenses such as utilities, phone, and Internet bills will be your own responsibility.
A short-term lease usually implies a minimum of 6 months to about a year. These leases are available for high-rises and some villas. If you are planning to stay for a shorter period of time, serviced residences can normally host you for up to 3 or 4 months.
Monthly rent for high-rises will normally cost you between USD 650-5,000 - depending on the size and location of the property. The amount you pay for the initial deposit generally depends on the amount of your monthly rent.
Villas are normally bigger and shared among various people; prices start at about USD 2,000 and prices can reach as high as USD 10,000. Serviced residences can be charged on a daily basis or you can pay a monthly fee (the level of which usually depends on how long you will be staying there).
Hotels are more expensive than renting property, but they’re safe and comfortable. The quality of the accommodation and care offered in serviced residences is usually unbeatable; for the same reasons they can be very costly. If you want to go another route, there are also a number of cheap but quality hostels located in many cities in Korea including Incheon, Kangwon-do, and Daejeon.
However, if you are planning to stay for a longer period of time, all types of residences should offer long-term contracts (usually 2 years).
Depending on the type of contract you sign, you may pay a small deposit and pay monthly fees ( wolsei) or pay everything upfront without monthly fees ( jeonsei). Generally, the bigger your initial deposit, the less your monthly rent will be.