5 Apartment Hunting Tools to Start Using Today

Classifieds are a thing of the past. You’re on the hunt for your new home and you want as many choices as you can get your hands on. Missing out just isn’t an option.

Luckily for you, just about anything can be found online — including your perfect apartment.

Using these 5 apartment hunting tools you can broaden your horizons and narrow your search results to your heart’s content.

It’s time to start the search!

1. Padmapper

As one of the most popular apartment hunting tools out there, Padmapper comes highly recommended by renters everywhere.

This map-oriented site draws listings from all over the web and packs them into one place to simplify your hunt. It’s easy to find available rentals in the areas you want and narrow them by using as many filters as you please.

Padmapper even lets you in on how close each listing is to the things that matter most. It’s “live near” feature will show you apartments within a certain distance of the grocery store, public transportation, or your place of work.


  • Switch from regular map view to street view to take a closer look at any address.
  • Turn on alerts for new listings that meet your criteria so you never miss anything.
  • Favorite listings that appeal to you the most and hide the ones you don’t want to see again.


  • Because Padmapper draws from sites, some of the listings may be outdated and no longer available.
  • AirBnB listings on the site aren’t permanent rentals, so make sure you turn them off during your search.

2. Hotpads

With Hotpads, you get a full set of listings. They draw from smaller sites with individually posted listings as well as larger commercial real estate sites. It’s full of features to help you discover the right apartment in a snap.

The map view on Hotpads is similar to Padmapper, allowing you to see everything available in an area. It lets you narrow your search by the common filters like price and allows you to add keywords for specific amenities like a pool.

There’s also the option to overlay bike and transit routes along with your listing search so you can see how easy it is to commute!


  • Praised for being incredibly easy to use.
  • Includes a feature to only show listings with multiple pictures.
  • Save your favorite listings for later.


  • It doesn’t include as many filters as some other sites.

3. Craigslist

Without a doubt, Craigslist is one of the most used tools for finding a new place to live. The ability to post directly to the site without needing approval means you’re likely to find listings here you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

The key to using Craigslist is to check it every day for new listings.

Always be careful when you find a listing on Craigslist. Use your best judgment about whether or not it seems legitimate and know how to easily spot a scam when you see one.


  • New listings are posted all day every day.
  • The best way to find hidden gems that give you more for your money.


  • Higher risk of scams than on other sites.

4. Zillow

As one of the largest property listing sites on the web, Zillow is a frequently used and loved property listing site.

Zillow is comprehensive with a bunch of helpful built-in features. You can set up alerts for new listings and even apply to apartments you like directly from the platform.

If you’re curious about the average rent in an area, just pop the zip code into the handy Zestimate tool. You will receive an estimate on how much you can expect to pay in rent while living there.


  • The Zestimate tool shows you estimated rent prices in any area.
  • Drawing tool to select an exact area.


Most commonly used for buying houses rather than renting apartments.

5. Rent.com

Rent.com is packed with filters to find you exactly what you need.

This site is perfect for finding empty apartments in bigger complexes that have space to spare. You can switch between list and map view to easily see where each listing is located.

One of the coolest features of Rent.com is the Moving Center tool. Just put in the size of your current home, your location, and where you’re hoping to move to receive a free quote for your moving expenses.


  • Specific filters for rent that includes utilities and income-restricted housing.
  • Virtual tours of apartments for a closer look.
  • The Moving Center tool provides free moving quotes.


  • A more limited listing selection than other sites.

Honorable Mentions

And now for some really great tools that just missed out on making the list!


Lovely aims to simplify apartment hunting. Enter your preferred location and get access to comprehensive listings in the area. They also let you apply to rentals through the site.


Trulia is a well-established site that offers everything you hope for in a search engine. It even includes information on crime in any given area.


Walkscore lets you know if the area you’re moving to is easy to get around on foot. A lot of rental sites already incorporate Walkscore in their listings.

When you’re looking for a place to call home, it takes all the help you can get. Use one of these apartment hunting tools to aid in your search.

Better yet — use them all!

Don’t miss out on that perfect place. Take some of the stress out of your search and put these tools to good use today.

Author Bio:

Carolina Creek is a great townhouse-style community located about a mile from Eastern Carolina University’s campus. The community consists of 2×3 and 3×3 apartments and contains a full amenity suite including a fitness center, pool, business center, and game room. The community is the best value in the Greenville NC student housing market.