Renewing apartment contract in Seoul & concerns

There's a lot of things to consider in 2013 for us - one of them is,

decide whether to 

Renew our apartment contract(2 year contract) or Move...

where most Seoulers live - apartments

we're waiting on our landlord to inform us whether they want to raise the rent (two months before contract ends) and we also have to let them know whether we want to move (one month before our contract ends).  If they want to raise the price - we're not likely going to renew.   And if I find a "good value" apartment (to be able to save more), we will move.

It's like a little silent game we're both playing...  But I can say that, living in Seoul is getting expensive - in many ways.  Rent(wolse/jeonse) is rising when apartment prices are falling in Seoul.  It's expensive to buy a "house"(apartments) - so people often rent for 2 years.  It's a vicious cycle of moving/saving/hoping to get your own home one day.  It's the reality in Seoul (Korea).

Grocery prices are also rising.  I haven't seen such a steep increase in price like this since 1000won kimbap became 1500won couple years ago.  Things aren't getting cheaper. 

Electricity is also rising about 4% this year.  It's tough, even for us, and we call ourselves very fortunate...

That's my two cents about "reality" here in Seoul.  

There's the glamourous life of the neon lights, fancy cafes and coffee shops... but there's also the hard reality that Seoul is getting to be a tougher place to live... more Seoulers moved out of the city last year - while the neighboring Kyunggi saw an increase in residents - you can guess where they moved to...not a bad idea really.

It's also a concern of mine when "luxury items" (bags, cars..etc) are supposedly the "it" items sought after many young Korean professionals here.  It's a concern.  I hope more people will see that "trying to fit in" with everyone is going to catch up eventually.   Korea grew up fast, I think it's time to slow down a bit and smell the kimchi.

I hope Koreans will realize that having a certain bag or car doesn't define them.. at least I won't be judging them and hope they won't judge me by my DIY haircut and "free" canvas bag. 

photo credit: perZpective via photopin cc 
photo credit: Wen Cheng Liu via photopin cc
photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

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