The top position on our list goes to ApartmentFinder. The landing page of ApartmentFinder contains no frills and allows the user to input basic information like city, how many bedrooms desired, and the target price point. It is immediately clear that ApartmentFinder’s sole purpose is to connect users easily to the apartment of their dreams. The site has a brightly colored map that highlights apartments available within the given budget and projected location allowing for ease of visibility and a clear ranking structure. One special feature included in the ApartmentFinder platform is the “Deal” feature that displays all the offering discounts, promotions or slashed prices due to availability. This is a minimalist platform where you won’t find many bells and whistles but it’s perfect for a serious apartment hunter ready to discover deals and steals and sign a lease.
Founded in 2006, Zillow is an online veteran real estate database that allows the user to buy, sell, and rent real estate ranging from apartments to townhomes and more. The online platform at Zillow is easy-to-use and has every detail covered. Whether you want to minimize housing costs or add specific keywords like “pool” or “pet grooming” that you must have in your home or apartment, Zillow has these customizable options for you on its website. One downside to Zillow is it can sometimes feel a bit chaotic with the amount of platform space dedicated for homeowners or those seeking home loans peppered throughout the web page. If a rental apartment hunter can look past these small inconveniences, Zillow is a fantastic platform that offers ease-of-use, customizable options, and an automatic save search feature. If you have special requirements for your rental, Zillow is the site for you.
Zumper, a similar platform in scope and usability to Zillow was formed in 2011, and is a subsidiary of PadMapper, another useful apartment hunting site. Zumper has pretty much all the features of Zillow, and, as an extra perk, even has a section where you can input exactly which neighborhood you would like to rent in. This feature allows the user to pinpoint the optimal geographic location. Zumper’s platform is fast, user-friendly, and even lets the apartment renter to contact the leasing agent/office directly with a custom message that will not require employment or salary information. Zumper is a direct, reliable option containing all the filters an apartment hunter needs in order to score the apartment of their dreams!
Craigslist is the granddaddy of apartment hunting sites, although it is technically a classified advertisement website, with sections also highlighting many other categories from jobs, services, discussion forums and more. Craigslist is a space that allows users to browse apartments and homes, in addition to contacting individuals who may desire to rent a room or who are looking for a roommate. This contact feature can be found under the “rooms/shared”, “rooms wanted” and “sublets/temporary” tabs on the Craigslist platform. Another perk that sets Craigslist apart is that many of the individuals renting or selling real estate photograph their respective units allowing for a level of authenticity and transparency that is not regularly shown on the larger platforms like Zillow or ApartmentFinder. Though Craigslist may not have the largest selection of apartment rental options compared to the other featured sites, Craigslist is absolutely a wonderful option if you are an apartment hunter seeking visual transparency and you are also looking to snag a roommate all in one go!
5. Rent Jungle
The fifth apartment rental website on our list is Rent Jungle. It is a platform specifically geared for apartment hunters who want to a lot of customization to find the perfect apartment rental spot for them and even their furry friend. Though Rent Jungle is an accessible platform there are some areas of the user experience that could be improved. Photos of the available units appear on the bottom of the search listing creating a kind of “hunt and peck” scenario that the user must go through to match the photo to the available unit. On the plus side, the platform allows the user to view all available transportation options specifically tailored to the location of the unit, like ride sharing and even scooter sharing!
As you start your rental apartment search, take all of these sites for a “test drive” and see which one is best for your needs. Happy hunting!
Our contributor, Faith Krech, is an avid apartment-hunter and writer of all things intriguing. When not eating copious amount of chocolate or writing in her many notebooks you can find her exploring the mountains of Denver, Colorado where she currently resides.