Hunting for your next apartment can be a pain, especially when reading through messy craigslist listings or newspaper classifieds. Using interactive online maps that show available rentals in your area can make your search a lot more speedy and efficient.
- PadMapper - PadMapper takes listings for Apartment.com and Craigslist. Its interface has easy sliding filters so you don't have to manually type in your search criteria. It has a crime layer that actually shows you the crime rate of certain areas if you're not familiar with a particular neighborhood. PadMapper also has a walk score to see if you can get around without having to rely on your car and a useful "Commute Time Overlay" that allows you to set how long you want your commute to be.
- HousingMaps - This site uses Google Maps and takes its listings entirely from Craigslist. You can check for rooms for rent, homes for sale or sublets. Of the three sites HousingMaps is definitely the most stripped down, however less layers and a bare bones interface allow for a fast and easy search experience.
- HotPads - Of the three sites on our list, HousePads is the most impressive and has a fun, playful interface. After clicking on a house (rather than a plain bulletpoint) a split panel pulls up instead of opening a new page. The filters and layers are quite comprehensive and can be color coded by price. The map can show you schools nearby and has a layer of heat maps that show population, income and median age. You can also use a lasso tool to group an area, name it and create a short link that you can share or save for yourself. Unlike PadMapper and HousingMaps which use Google Maps, HotPads uses its own interactive map which works well but may not feel as familiar.