Looking for the best way to find an apartment? Need help, and wondering what to do next?
Well, have you heard of Expedia (yes, the hotel site)? Good! That will help you understand the best places to find an apartment. You know how Expedia lists multiple hotels on its website so you can pick one? The same thing is true of apartment listing websites. They list multiple apartment buildings so you can find the one that works best for you and your situation.
Now that we got the definition covered, let’s take a look at what the rest of this article is about.
Quick Summary Video (if you prefer)…and then keep reading…
Table of Contents:
- List of Apartment Finder Websites
- Best Way To Use Apartment Finder Websites
- Bonus Tips
Main Apartment Listing Websites
Some of the most popular apartment finder websites include apartments.com, apartmentguide.com, zillow.com, apartmentlist, and zumper. Whether you’re relocating to a different city or looking for something new in your own town, apartment finder websites help you find the right apartment quickly.
Apartments.com is one of the most comprehensive websites for rental apartments with a huge range of options to filter out your searches, including price ranges, apartment types, features, location, and more.
On the website, you’ll see a map as the default view. You can search by neighborhood or zoom in and out on the map. You can even draw a polygon around specific areas of interest. You can also search for video and 3D tour listings on the website, along with guides for different neighborhoods in different cities.
You can even filter searches based on commute time from an apartment to your workplace via different modes of transportation with the ‘plan commute’ feature on its website.
- A lot of listings
- Ability to draw a polygon of where you want to live on a map and see listings
- Great filtering by # of bedrooms and amenities
- Great to see options by commute time
Apartmentguide.com provides a range of listings with comprehensive floor plans and photos. The property listings feature in-built icons – helping you easily identify specific amenities and features.
There are plenty of filters on this website, including apartment searches, community features and much more. There’s also an Apple and Android app that makes your searches easier.
- Good inventory
- Good Focus on Amenities
- Phone Numbers Are Displayed In Search Results, Allowing You To Call Without Clicking Into Each Listing (Saving Time)
- Mobile App
Started in 2006, Zillow is one of the most established websites for rental property searches with more than 100 million listings available online. You may think of it as a for-sale tool, but Zillow.com has a robust rental search function as well. Simply type in the zip code or name of any neighborhood you are interested in, to get an estimate of the rental or purchase price of specific properties in the area.
Zillow also has a map view that allows you to define the region for your search.
- Good map view
- A lot of single-family housing listings
- A lot of smaller apartment building inventory (which otherwise can be difficult to find)
Hotpads has been part of Zillow since 2012 and provides in-depth search options for rental properties across the entire country. Set basic searches like price range, apartment type, size, and then use your own keywords to filter for more specific amenities.
A user-friendly map is your default view, along with an apartment list next to it. You’ll also see the apartment’s proximity to bike lanes, public transportation, and more. If you want, you can also use the filter that enables searches for listings ONLY with multiple photos, which is a great time saver.
- Good Filtering Options
- Ability to Find Independent Smaller Listings and Apartment Buildings
- Ability to Quickly Compare Pricing to Other Apartments in the Area
Zumper has comprehensive reports of rental markets in different regions, which makes it a great guide for renters who don’t know specifically what to look for. There are descriptions of weather, neighborhoods, landmark, culture, and more to help people get a more detailed breakdown of different areas they may be interested in.
The website also has local expertise in the search results with a ‘map view’ feature that lets you select individual neighborhoods to search for listings.
- Good user interface
- A lot of listings
- Price trend data
Apartmentlist started out the West coast. It provides a unique spin on apartment listings asking prospects a series of questions, before showing results.
- A lot of West coast inventory
- Good for people that aren’t sure where to start because it asks a lot of questions up front before showing listings
Finding the right apartment website boils down to personal preference. Fortunately, you can look at multiple websites before deciding. If you want to dig in deeper, you can read about the differences between apartment search websites on this site as well.
Best Way To Use Apartment Listing Websites
Step 1: Enter the specific neighborhood or zip code of the area you want to live in the search bar.
Step 2: You will be presented with a list of options in most of the listing websites. Now, look for a filter option (usually presented with a down arrow and the words ‘filter’. See if you can enter in the maximum dollar ($) amount you can afford.
Step 3: Then, begin looking at pictures and videos of various listings.
Step 4: Create a list of questions and begin calling to make sure each apartment meets your ‘must have’ checklist.
Step 5: Schedule Tours (ideally in-person)
Bonus Tip: Finding Local Community Apartment Websites
Apart from these, you can also type in specific keywords like ‘Apartments in …neighborhood’ to find direct local apartment community websites in the exact neighborhood you are looking for. There are often smaller buildings and other hidden gems that can be found when searching directly for apartments versus the mega apartment finder websites. Since searching online is free, perhaps you can try both the apartment finder websites and conduct a direct search online and compare results.
There are usually local property management companies that operate multiple apartments in the same area and can similarly let you review more than one apartment at a time. This is why, in addition to checking out apartment listing websites, running a search for ‘Apartments in ____ Neighborhood’ is a good idea.
If you’re looking for the best apartment finder in the country, take a look at these lists and begin your search today.
If you have a particular type of housing, you are looking for, you should consider checking out other websites as well.
Bonus Tip: Other Housing Types
House vs. Apartment
If you are looking for house to rent, it’s probably best to start with Zillow.com, Hotpads (as these focus more on single-family rentals) as opposed to the others mentioned here which focus generally more on apartment buildings. You might also try searching on Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace for single-family rentals (but on these two listing websites be careful of scams)
Short Term vs. Long Term Stay
If you are looking for short term rental, you can still look at the main listing websites, but you might also want to check out, Airbnb, and websites like National Corporate Housing, CorporateHousing.com, or even concierge-like services such as Common and The Blue Ground. Of course, do your own research and verification.
Student Housing vs. Regular Housing
If you are looking for specific student housing websites, you might also want to check out specific student housing websites such as ForRentUniversity, Student.com, and also your school’s off campus housing resource. Many schools have a listing portal for off campus housing.