Alternatives to Craigslist
Find an Apartment with These 7 Free Apps
Finding a new apartment is a lot like finding a girlfriend. It’s tough, they’re a lot of candidates out there, some say they’re available when they’re not, some are too expensive, and others are (frankly) out of our league. But finding a dream apartment, like a girlfriend, is now possible with your smartphone. Just like dating apps, there are a lot of apartment finding apps, and they’re all a bit different. Finding the right one for you just depends on your search preferences and what kind of smartphone you have. Below you’ll find seven of the best apartment hunting apps — all of them free to use.
This app works in thousands of cities across the US and is available for both Android and iOS devices. It’s best for people who want to find an apartment that’s in very close proximity to where they currently live (or they can simply enter the zip code, address or city of where they want to search). From there, they can filter listings by price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and if they’re looking for a shared, sublet, leased or pet-friendly apartment. Overall, the app is fast, simple to use, and will get you in contact with the current landlords quickly.
Lovely works in cities all over the US and is easy to use. After typing in a desired city, the app uses filters to zone in on the type of apartment a person’s looking for. What’s really nice is Lovely’s ‘Zoom’ feature. It allows users to zoom in and highlight a specific area they want to live in — all by touching a map. Also, after saving a search, alerts are sent to your phone if a new listing becomes available.
HotPads isn’t as easy to navigate as the above apps — but that might be a good thing because it’s definitely more detailed. It requires people to create a simple account (takes 10 seconds) and targets people who are trying to find longer-term apartments (although there’s a filter option for sublets).
Although MoveMent is only in a few cities (New York is their most popular) and doesn’t have a huge database of listings compared to other apps, you just might strike gold. That’s because the listings they do have aren’t scams. The app uses geotagging technology, so when brokers list a property, and post photos or videos of it, the app’s GPS tells when and where they were taken — so you know the listing is legit.
An iOS-only app, Compass works in New York, Washington DC and Miami. The app looks crisp and is easy to figure out for first-time users. You can type an address into the search feature and fill out numerous filters (rent or buy, number of square feet, price, neighborhood, etc.) to help target a specific apartment or home. Unique to this app is its “doorman” filter, which is nice for those who want extra security. Another side note: you have to create a quick profile to use the app.
This app is unique because it rates every apartment by how long it takes to get someplace else (the park, bus, train, grocery store, etc.). People can type in their work address and the app will search apartment listings by their estimated commute time. Admittedly, this app spits out a lot of metrics, so if you’re easily overwhelmed stay away. But Walk Score is a great tool for learning about the area surrounding your new apartment. Plus it has a lot of listings because it’s able to access the newest apartments from other apps and websites like ForRent, MyNewPlace, Realtor.com and Trulia.
Compared to the other apartment-hunting apps, MyNewPlace is a big one — it claims to have “over 6 million apartments and rental homes across the US.” The app targets neighborhoods to find points of interest, which it works with Foursquare to get. Another cool feature: it also provides 3D floor plans of the building and the apartment, so people can learn more about the apartment before they visit.