Apartment hunting can be a challenge. That’s why it’s SO important to know about the best apartment hunting sites. This post will walk you through all apartment search websites that will help you find the perfect apartment.
Hunting for a new apartment can be a difficult time. You need to find a place that will meet all your needs. Depending on where you live, you may have more options than others. When you live in a big city, there are hundreds of apartment buildings to choose from that all offer different advantages and disadvantages. When you live in a smaller city or town, you may have less options and the market may be more competitive for the few that are available.
Whichever side of the spectrum your city is, the best tool to help you find your perfect apartment is apartment hunting sites. Apartment hunting sites will allow you to set out your parameters on what you need in an apartment. Most will also allow you to create a list of favorites and get alerts when there is new availability. Plus, learning about the apartment before you go and tour can save you TONS of time!
By the end of this post, you will know all about the best apartment hunting websites that will help you find your perfect apartment. You will understand the differences between the many apartment hunting sites out there.
This post is all about the best apartment hunting sites that will help you find your dream apartment.
Best Apartment Hunting Sites:
1. Best User Friendly Apartment Hunting Site
When it comes to apartment hunting websites, user friendliness is an important feature. No one wants to spend hours trying to figure out how to use an apartment search website. You have better ways to spend your time, so I recommend going with a website that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Apartment List is one of my favorite apartment search websites. When you get on Apartment List, you will take a quiz about what you’re looking for. The quiz is VERY comprehensive! It will ask you questions on everything from the size of the apartment you’re looking for to the neighborhoods you’re interested in to where you’re work is and how you plan to get there. The result? A perfectly curated list of apartments that meet all your needs.
2. Best Apartment Hunting Site for Neighborhood Information
When it comes to finding your perfect apartment, LOCATION IS EVERYTHING! Where you are located influences how easy it is to access amenities like parks, grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Plus, depending on the stage of your life that your in, you may be looking for different things.
That’s where Trulia’s neighborhood assessment comes into play. Trulia has a feature where existing residents of a neighborhood can give input on a whole suite of neighborhood features. From walkability to safety to how friendly the neighbors are, you can get a good snap shot of what the neighborhood is like before you even visit. Plus, Trulia will show you pictures of the surrounding area, so you can get a feel of the sense of place of the neighborhood.
3. Best Apartment Hunting Site for Moving Long Distance
Moving from out of state is a stressful process, especially if you have very limited knowledge of the area you’re moving too. While you could spend hours and hours searching for the best neighborhoods, the easiest way to find the information you want to know is if your apartment hunting website has already done the work for you.
Zumper has a cool feature known as “City Guide.” The City Guide feature will show you the most affordable, most expensive, and most popular neighborhoods in whatever city you are searching in. Plus, it will give you data on rent trends, demographics, and tips for living in the city. With all this information, you will know just about everything you need to get started in your new city!
4. Best for Affordable Finds
Next to location, the price of the apartment is one of the most important factors in your search. Some search engines only focus on large professionally managed apartments. While that can be great if you prefer a larger complex, a lot of the larger complexes also charge more for rent.
Hot Pads includes a great combination of larger professionally managed properties and smaller, more affordable apartment complexes. Since Hot Pads includes a variety of listings, you can find some great affordable options! Using hot pads, I was able to find an apartment for $800/month in downtown Phoenix (which is pretty much unheard of). While it can be a hit or a miss depending on when and where you are looking, it’s definitely worth checking regularly to see what you can find.
5. Best for Single Family Rentals
While this post is mostly focused on apartments, I wanted to include an option for someone searching for a single-family home. Single-family homes are often overlooked in the rental space, and they are typically more expensive than an apartment. However, Loftium aims to make renting a single-family home affordable.
Loftium is a company that allows you to rent a home at a discounted price. In exchange, you will manage an Airbnb on the property for them. This arrangement isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to commit to running to Airbnb, you can save LOTS of money on rent while getting to live in a single-family home.
Plus, Loftium recently rolled out their Host to Own program which allows you work with them to find a house. They will buy the house for you, and you will rent from them for three years. During that time, income from the Airbnb will go towards your down payment, and then you can buy the home from Loftium. It’s a great option if you want to work towards buying a home!
6. Best Apartment Hunting Site for Professionally Managed Apartments
If you’ve ever searched for an apartment before, you’ve probably heard of Apartments.com. As one of the OG apartment hunting websites out there, it’s a popular choice amongst apartment hunters everywhere. In my experience, Apartments.com provides the best information on professionally managed apartments.
Apartments.com has a very comprehensive inventory of mid- to large-sized apartment complexes. It allows you to filter your apartment results by price, size, amenities, and affordability. One of my favorite features that it offers is your ability to select “Lifestyle.” Lifestyle refers to if you’re looking for any specific types of housing, such as student, military, and senior. If you fall into any of these categories, this feature can really help you find what you’re looking for.
7. Best for Creative Housing Solutions
One of the best ways to save money on your housing is to look for creative housing solutions. Creative housing solutions could range from renting a room in someone’s home, living in a tiny house in someone’s backyard, or living in a basement that has been converted to an apartment. These solutions are all great ways to find an affordable living option. However, it can be challenging to find creative housing solutions.
That’s where Craigslist comes in. Craigslist gets a bad rap. Yes, there are scammers, and yes, you should be careful when you find a place to rent on Craigslist. However, when you do your due diligence, you can find some great affordable options. There are all types of creative housing solutions on Craigslist, so you’ll likely be able to find something that will work for you!
8. Best for Information on Schools
If you have kids, you know the importance of finding a home that is zoned for good schools. Obviously, you want your kids to get a good education, and not all schools will provide the quality of education as others. That’s why it’s nice to have an apartment search site that has information on schools readily available for you.
When most people think of Zillow, they think of house hunting. However, Zillow is also a great platform for apartment hunting. It provides all the information it does on homes for rent as it does for homes for sale. That means you get a great breakdown on the the schools in the area. On every single listing, Zillow shows the GreatSchools rating on the schools in the area, so you can get an idea of the the quality of school your child would be zoned for at a particular apartment.
9. Best for Assessing the Surrounding Area
As I mentioned earlier in this post, location is everything when it comes to apartment hunting. That’s why it’s so important to use an apartment search platform that has detailed information on the location of the apartment.
ForRent.com goes above and beyond to give you details on the area surrounding each listing. When you click on a listing, you will get TONS of information on the neighborhood. Each listing has an interactive map where you can toggle on restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, banks, shopping, and fitness centers, so you can see what amenities the area around the apartment has. Plus, it includes data on the walk score, transit score, and bike score of the area, so you will know how easy it is to get around!
10. Best Apartment Hunting Site for Tracking Deals
Everyone likes to get a deal! Your apartment will likely be your most costly expense, so if you can get a deal on your apartment, you should definitely take advantage of it! While lots of apartments offer move-in specials, to know what they are and compare them, you would usually have to go to every single apartment’s website to find out what they are.
Enter Apartment Guide. Apartment Guide researches the best deals on apartments and puts them all in one place! With the Hot Deals feature, Apartment Guide shows you all the special offers that apartments are currently offering. This feature allows you to see where you can get the best deals without hours and hours of research. So, if you love getting a discount, Apartment Guide is definitely worth checking out!
11. Best Apartment Hunting Site for Reviews
When it comes to apartment hunting, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to look at reviews of an apartment. While reviews are not the end all be all, it is still good to look at what current and former residents say about the apartment. There are certain things that you can’t tell from the tour and pictures. For example, it can be hard to gauge whether the property management company is good or not just based on a tour.
That’s where reviews come in. Rent Café has insightful reviews on its listings that can help you spot red flags at certain apartments. From bug problems to noise issues to poor property managers, reading the reviews can save you a lot of headaches.
12. Best for Tracking Price Drops
Apartment prices fluctuate. While it is inconvenient, it is a reality all apartment hunters face. To make matters more confusing, the fluctuations may vary by season and will be influences by the city you live in. While some apartments have more stable pricing, some cities may have more frequent changes.
One of the best sites for helping you track price changes it Apartment Finder. Similar to Apartment Guide, Apartment Finder tracks the various deals that apartments offer that would lower your rent. However, what makes Apartment Funder special is that is makes it very clear how much you could save. Plus, it has options for you to view the apartments with the best values, so you know you’re getting as much as you can for your money!
13. Best for Comparing Listings
When you’re searching for an apartment, it’s almost inevitable for you to be torn between two different options. In this situation, it can be really helpful to compare the two apartments side by side. That’s why PadMapper’s comparison feature can be an absolute life saver!
The comparison feature allows you to select two apartments to compare, and then PadMapper will generate a side by side report for you. That way you can see the cost, amenities, features, and pictures all right next to each other. This feature is perfect for helping you make your final decision on which apartment to lease!
14. Best for Tracking Price Trends
As I mentioned earlier in this post, rental prices change. If you have some flexibility on when you sign your next lease, you may want to track the market trends in your city to find the best price. One of the best websites for tracking the fluctuations in the rental market is rent.com.
Rent.com features an option where you can view your city’s market trends. With lots of insightful tables and graphs, you’ll be able to assess whether it is a good time to sign your lease. It includes information on monthly rate changes and average rents for different neighborhoods based on apartment size. With all that information, you will be able to make an informed decision when you sign your lease.
15. Best for Condos and Townhomes
One way to find unique places to rent is to search for condos and townhomes that people are renting out. A lot of people will rent out their condos and townhomes. These listings may be less expensive than professionally managed properties while offering a lor of the same amenities.
Similar to Zillow, Realtor.com is primarily for buying a home; however, it does have rental property listings that are powered by Apartments.com. What makes it worthwhile to go on Realtor.com is that it has a feature for you to sort the listings by property types. That means you can easily view all the condos and townhomes that are on the market in one place!
16. Best for Affordable Housing
Affordable housing is a HUGE issue in many cities within the US. While I’ll spare you the rant on rent and home prices, I do know that finding designated affordable housing units can be REALLY challenging. I have two sisters with developmental disabilities that qualify for Section 8 housing, so I’ve seen their struggle with trying to find a place they can afford.
Affordablehousing.com is the best resource I’ve found for finding Section 8 housing. It has TONS of listings, and it is by far the best site for finding affordable rentals. Plus, there are lots of listings that have availability now as opposed to a year long wait. With Section 8 housing, it’s not uncommon for there to be really long waiting lists to get into an apartment, so being able to find affordable properties that you can move into quickly is a HUGE benefit of this site.
17. Best for Membership Option
If you live in a city with a competitive rental market, you need to know about listings as soon as they go live if you want a shot at getting the apartment. A lot of the apartment search websites on this list offer notification options, but if you want to know about the listing the minute it comes out, you may want to consider getting a membership with Dwellsy.
Dwellsy has both a free platform and a membership based platform. The membership (which currently costs $20 for a year) offers you instant alerts when new listings come online and an ad free experience. The best part about the membership is that it won’t just spam your phone with random listings. Dwellsy will specifically tailor each listing it sends you to your preferences, so each notification could be your new apartment.
18. Best for New York City Apartment Hunting
New York City is notorious for being a hard place to find an affordable apartment. It’s a totally different ballgame than if you were apartment hunting in a different city. To help you navigate the challenging market, you may want to consider using an apartment hunting site that is specifically geared toward New York City.
That’s where StreetEasy comes in. StreetEasy is a search site that is specifically for New York City. It will help you find LOTS of great listings in NYC! Plus, StreetEasy publishes helpful content on fair housing, market trends, and tips that are all geared towards living in the city. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to move to NYC!
19. Best for Long Term International Rentals
If you’re looking into moving internationally, you are literally living the dream. I mean who doesn’t want to live abroad for a year? However, searching for an apartment internationally has other complexities. It may be hard to tour places beforehand and navigating paying rent in a new country can be challenging.
RentBerry aims to change all that! RentBerry has developed the ultimate platform for anyone looking to move internationally. Almost all the listings on the site have 3D virtual tours, so you can rent with confidence even if you aren’t able to tour in person. Plus, if you rent through the site, RentBerry will be the property manager and offers a great online platform for paying rent and maintenance requests.
20. Best for Apartment Ratings
For those of you that like seeing an easy-to-read scorecard, Apartment Ratings might be the search site for you! Apartment ratings uses reviews to develop scores for different apartment complexes. Plus, you can have peace of mind that the reviews you are reading a genuine. Apartment Ratings verifies residents, so you’ll know whether you are reading information from someone that has had a first hand experience or not.
21. Best for Unique Features
If you’re someone that wants a very specific feature in your apartment, you need a search website that will help you find exactly what you’re looking for. AptAmigo will allow you to find just about anything you want in an apartment. From floor-to-ceiling windows to roof decks to fireplaces, AptAmigo will help you find all the apartments in your city that have the features you want.