Looking for a new apartment is always exciting — until you realize that there’s loads of competition out there, where people are literally bringing blank checks and rental agreements to showings in hope of becoming the first to submit one. Why make it looking for an apartment so stressful on yourself, though?
For many, there’s nothing more excruciating than the apartment hunt. It’s hard not to feel jaded after touring a studio that’s essentially a closet with a toilet, or checking out a “quiet” neighborhood that’s home to the world’s most amateur DJ. Thankfully, there are more apartment search resources available to us than ever before.
That’s why we’re giving you some of the best apartment search sites to try out, which will surely take the pain out of searching for your next place to live. Get into the habit of checking all of these apartment sites during your search and you’ll find the dream spot in no time — without having to fight a crowd just to see it in real life.
Beloved by prospective homebuyers, Zillow is also one of the best apartment search sites because it’s so interactive. You’ll be able to draw around the area that you want to search in, giving you complete control over the options that you see. You can also sign up to receive alerts when a new home becomes available that fits your price range and size requirements.
Another popular feature that Zillow offers is its price estimation; called the Zestimate tool. By typing in a neighborhood’s zip code, you’ll be able to find an estimate on the cost of rent (or mortgages) in your chosen area. This will help you determine whether the property you’re eyeing is significantly overpriced or being offered for a steal.
This apartment site was actually acquired by Zillow in 2012, so it has a familiar feel when it comes to functionality. Renters can use Hotpads to tailor their search by the basics (such as price range and apartment type), as well as keywords like “pool” or “hardwood.”
One of the best features on Hotpads is a user-friendly map that highlights transit options by letting you toggle a bicycle or transit overlay. You can also type in the address of your workplace or school so you can figure out what your commute will be like — which is super helpful for all those people out there going green to help save ol’ Mother Nature.
Not sure whether that apartment you found is listed at a fair price? Rent Jungle takes the guesswork out of figuring out what the average rent is in your prospective neighborhood, using a sophisticated algorithm. The “Compare Rent” feature uses an innovative rent comparison tool that allows you to know what most of your neighbors are paying in rent each month. It’s also a great tool whenever it comes time to renegotiate your release.
Each listing also comes with a walk score, which helps you understand how easy a neighborhood is to navigate either on foot, while using public transit or when you need to rely on a car to run your errands.
Looking for a popular apartment search website that has deep knowledge of local rental markets? Zumper is a great resource for rental market reports and diving deep into the neighborhoods you have your eye on. After typing in your desired zip code, you’ll have access to information like culture spots, weather and rent trends in your neighborhood. If you’re not familiar with the area, you’ll also have access to information on neighborhoods that fit your interests.
Need a bit more help with your search? The Zumper Select feature connects apartment searchers with rental experts that will help you schedule and confirm rental tours. How’s that for being convenient?
Hear me out. Craigslist can be a sketchy place, but, still today, it remains one of the best apartment search sites. Plus, when looking to score a low-cost apartment, this is pretty much the most reliable — especially when on the hunt for a sublet. Ignore the listings for big apartment complexes, instead focusing on homes and apartments being leased out by the owner. If you know which neighborhood you want to live in, use the map feature to zero in on specific properties in your desired area.
Also, remember to always be safe, and never go alone to see an apartment that you find on Craigslist. Always bring a friend along, and make sure you actually tour the place. You should never put a deposit down on a rental that you have never personally seen. This is an easy way to get scammed. Another tip? If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
Lead image via Getty