Apartment hunting is both an exciting and frustrating endevour...but mostly time consuming. We've been fortunate enough to find almost all of our apartments by either word of mouth or via Craigslist (load*refresh*read*repeat x 100), but remember how tough it can be finding the right one.
[photo: mgoldstein via Flickr]
Is the place within your price range? Is there enough room for your needs? Located in a neighborhood you like, pets allowed, garage, and a myriad of other variables often makes searching for an apartment a test of diligent searching and a process of cross-elimination. Fortunately, a number of sites now offer free services that provide the information of craiglist with better filtering options that simplify housing searches with integrated mapping systems:
MapsKrieg (shown above) is a mashup of Craigslist and Google Maps, providing a largely visual view of housing options available. It's a bit slow to load, thanks to the browser-wide interface.
Available in 33 cities, HousingMaps is simple to use, quick loading and easy to navigate, with information both available as a list on the right or by clicking by location. Our favourite.
About halfway inbetween in speed compared to MapsKrieg and HousingMaps, CribQ Rental Search is only available in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh. We give the site points for integrating a WalkScore tab.
Serving NYC and Jersey residents, StreetEasy not only serves up rental listings, but also open houses, sales and opening developments for those of you looking to move from renter to owner status.
MyNewPlace offers searches in 20 major cities, but was our least favourite because of the slow load times and the mostly large management operated listings.