It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during the early stages of looking for a new apartment. You have to consider a handful of factors — neighborhood, amenities, roommates, fees – and after a while every apartment starts to look the same. Do you use a classified listing site like craigslist, drive around looking at for rent signs, or spend hours searching through facebook marketplace? How do you filter out vacation rental sites like VRBO, duplicate listings, student housing, or other irrelevant searches? Does it make sense to work with a real estate agent or broker, and risk paying a potentially high broker fee?
Well, we’re here to help all apartment seekers by putting together the top 6 apartment listing sites to help you narrow down your options, find the perfect apartment, and save time and money in the process. Good luck, and happy apartment hunting!
Available in both English- and Spanish-language versions, Apartments.com is one of the most extensive search engines out there for apartment listings. You can get highly specific by filtering rental price range, apartment type, and features like low income, is furnished, or has an elevator.
Though you can’t search for options by neighborhood, you can use the keyword search or draw out borders on the map view with the Polygon tool. Plus, the “Plan Commute” feature allows you to choose how long you want the commute (from your apartment complex to your job) to be, either by car, bike, or public transportation.
Zillow, founded in 2006, has data on more than 110 million homes across the country, making the brand the leading real estate research platform. Simply type in a neighborhood’s zip code, and the Zestimate tool will provide estimated prices for rents and purchases of properties within that area. With Zillow’s new tools, you can also apply to multiple apartments with one application and even pay rent. The Zillow rental manager speeds up the application process by providing the landlord with a potential tenants credit report, background check, and renter eviction history.
RentHop serves most major cities in the US and offers a good range of filters. In a list or drag-and-zoom map view interface, you can conduct a granular apartment search for any neighborhood. For every listing, RentHop calculates a “HopScore,” an assessment based on the rental property freshness, listing quality, and property manager reputation. If that’s not enough, you can opt for a “Price Comparison,” which compares the rent of that listing to median rents for property listings in the same area.
Hotpads may be one of the friendliest and most in-depth search engines for rentals across the country. You can set the basic filters, including price range, apartment size, and rental type (regular, sublet, room for rent). To dig deeper, you can use the keyword search or filter by amenities or the number of baths. There’s even a filter to view only listings with multiple photos.
All your options will show up on the interactive map and a list next to it. When you select a building icon, you can see details of the specific apartment — such as proximity to public transportation — as well as photos and a Google Street View.
Although Trulia is known as the leading site for buying or selling houses, the site also is a robust rental website. Especially if you’re drawn to a specific neighborhood or nook of a city, Trulia can help you find the little-known opportunities available there. You can narrow down your search and sorting options further based on the amenities, pricing, and square footage you need.
Additionally, Trulia partners with local crime reporting agencies, which means users can get location-specific information regarding crime, schools, and local non-discrimination housing laws, ensuring you are looking in safe areas. Similar to Apartments.com, you can set a maximum commute time or filter by options located “near transit.”
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