If you're moving and want to rent an apartment or home and are searching for your next home, the good news is there are lots of online tools to help make that search easier. The bad news is, there are lots of online tools to help make that search easier. With so many sites that promise to help you find the perfect place, it's hard to know which sites are the best to explore. So, to help you find your next home and to make the search easier, we are providing you with our top 5 picks of... the best apartment search tools you can find online (and for free!).
01 of 04
Zillow gets my vote for the most flexible search tool around for both people who want to buy a new house and for people looking for their next rental. Plus it's easy to use and has a large number of apartments listed that are often updated which puts this site at the top of my list. You can also save searches, check out neighborhoods and learn more about each rental. With both a map and list view, you can easily see what type of apartment is available, regarding size and price. Check it... out to see what I mean.
02 of 04
PadMapper Maps Your Potential New Pad (ties with no. 4 on the list)
Unlike Zillow that provides housing that you can either rent or buy, Padmapper enables you to look at rentals, so it doesn't cloud your view with homes for sale. With an easy to use layout and interface, Padmapper ties with HotPads for the third-place ranking. It's a great little tool that enables you to find rentals other tools seem to miss. Check out its features, including pros and cons to see if it'll work for you.
03 of 04
Between Hot Pads and Padmapper (#4 on the list), it's pretty much a tie, with Hot Pads possibly edging out Padmapper just because it's fun to use. I love its colors, its ease-of-use and the number of listings it provides. With everything from private homeowners to apartment complexes, at one glance you can get all the information you need. Plus, the map icons tell you instantly what kind of rental you're looking at. Gotta' love that.
04 of 04
Back when I first reviewed the site, Walkscore was a tool you could use to find out just how walkable your neighborhood is; I'd interviewed the president and creator, and at the time, the site was great if you wanted to find a great community. But now, Walkscore also has an apartment rental search function, which means you can combine the best of both worlds - find the perfect apartment in the perfect walkable community. And over the years, it's added some great features like a heat map... and provides an overall walk score and score for transit for your entire hometown. Walkscore is still one of my favorite neighborhood tools.
Find Your Perfect Neighborhood in Your New City or Town
Whenever I'm moving to a new city or town, I rely on search tools to help me find my next home, including locating the best neighborhood to live in. Often we're moving to a city or town that we don't know very well and can't visit very often before the move. To help, I use these online tools to compare neighborhoods before searching for apartments or homes in the area.