Looking for a new apartment?
Moving happens for many reasons, but don’t make your apartment search a stressful experience. There are many sites online that make finding your next place easy and convenient.
Through these sites, you’ll be able to look at a huge amount of listings across the country from databases and search engines. However, without proper filtering of your search, you’ll be awash with options. Thankfully most of these sites have options for specific types of searches to get the perfect property for you including cost; bedrooms; bathrooms; location; and size. Most importantly when searching for an apartment is to shop around for the best possible deal for yourself as housing is for almost everyone, the biggest expense in our budgets.
Apartments.com is probably the largest of all apartment search engines we’ll cover. It’s also got specialized search features that can help many with unique needs such as those for military personnel, students, and income restricted properties.
There is the ability to search on a map as well as custom locations, a keyword search tool, and the means of focusing in on specific types of listings with features such as photos, 3d tours, and videos.
Craiglist is a quick and dirty apartment search site. It’s by far the most customizable for listing with the ability for landlords to post long property descriptions, but it doesn’t have much standardization across listings. Craigslist is also known for having the occasional scam listing, however, it usually has some great deals as small landlords post directly looking to fill vacancies quickly. There is one really nice feature that can help make or break an apartment search: being able to search by fee and no-fee apartments. In many markets, this can be a substantial cost of renting.
Hotpads is owned by Zillow (we’ll cover them later), but is purely focused on rentals and is a great search engine. You land on a map and can set up keyword searches as well as searches by price range, size, type, and amenities. There are additional searches for public transportation nearby. One nice feature is that photos are mandatory for all listings, so you won’t be able to sneak a peek before you go to the apartment to see for yourself. The search options are really advanced and nicely laid out on HotPads. There is the option to add in your commute destination so that you can add custom filters and see how far the property you’re interested in is to your work.
PadMapper is ultimately a rental search aggregator. It takes listings from all over the web such as Airbnb, PadLister, and ForRent to form a grand rental database. You land on a map and can then navigate to each apartment listing that looks interesting. There are also Google Street View options so you can take a look at the front of the property and surrounding neighborhood to give you a sense of the place.
Rent Jungle has a killer search tool to help you understand the most important thing for your budget, whether you’re paying too much or not. With seasonal fluctuations in rental prices, you can use the Rent Comparison Tool to understand if you’re paying the right amount or not to help you negotiate with your potential landlord if needed. The site also helps you search to see if you can rent by the room or not as well as whether the building you’re moving into has many apartments or not. Other than that, the site is daily straight forward as well as allowing searches for military housing.
Sublet.com has options for both fulltime rentals and partial rentals, such as rooms in shared apartments all over the world. You have options to search by bedrooms, bathrooms, duration of the rental (i.e. 3 or 6 months, etc.). There are also options to search by rental types such as apartments, houses, mobile homes, forms, and senior housing – allowing a great amount of detail that other search engines simply don’t have. In the advanced features, there are also settings to search amenities, handicap accessible buildings, and listings from verified landlords.
Trulia is typically known for its for-sale listings but it has many rentals available on its site. There are nice features to Trulia such as searching for public transportation options as well as simple features to search in the search bar making searches customizable and fast.
Additional data you can pull on your future rental include data from CrimeReports, EveryBlock, and SpotCrime.
Trulia, like Hotpads, is also owned by Zillow.
Zillow is the super tool of searches. It contains advanced features for finding a great apartment including providing rental estimate scores as well as a history of a listings rental prices over time (where available). You can also apply to apartments directly from the platform itself and pay rent directly on the platform with participating landlords.
One of the best features is the ability to search a specific area of a map or region that you draw or select, allowing you to cut across neighborhoods or exclude specific areas like highways in your search. For on the go searches, there are iOS and Android apps available.
Through Zumper, you can do great searches with an understanding of the local marketplace and neighborhoods you’re interested in. There are many resources providing detailed reports on neighborhoods as well the ability to use the map features to select individual locations to see many listings. There are also features to help you organize your apartment search such as the Zumper Select feature which allows for scheduled tours of listings you’re interested in.
These are the best apartment search sites from across the web and we’re happy to have helped you sift through the many options. However, there are some things to note when you’re on the hunt for a new apartment can include before you make the call on any apartment are ensuring there aren’t extra costs associated with moving in, understanding the utilities you’ll be charged, and what your transportation moving in will be like. Additionally, you’ll want your rental paperwork and financials in order before you move forward with a rental.