Posted on October 26th, 2014
Finding an apartment in a new city can be an intimidating process. Figuring out what neighborhood to live in, how much a new place will cost you, whether or not you’ll need a roommate, and everything else can be overwhelming. Here are some useful resources to get yourself into an apartment you’ll love.
Apartment Finding Tools
There are a variety of websites out there to help apartment-seekers find the place they’re looking for. Here are a couple of good ones:
Maybe the best-known real estate website, Zillow.com, is a great place to start your apartment search. They have an effective, easy-to-use search feature that allows the user to search for just apartments in a given area, like a city or zip code. You can then narrow your search by things like number of bedrooms and price range. Zillow was founded in 2005 and has a database of over 110 million U.S. homes. It’s a great place to start you apartment search.
Trulia.com has it’s own data, so it’s a good place to check for listings that you won’t find anywhere else. Because it doesn’t take data from bigger sites such as Craigslist, you may not want to rely on it as your only apartment hunting tool, but it is definitely useful. It lets you sort listings by price as well as by location and type, bedrooms and bathrooms, and even by amenities such as air conditioners or on-site laundry. It has an option for you to set your maximum work commute, so that it will only send you listings within that range. It has more listings for whole-house rentals than many other sites, so if you’re looking for a house rather than an apartment it’s a good place to look.
While online resources are a great thing, checking the newspaper can also be helpful. It may show you listings that you wouldn’t have found otherwise, because the place wasn’t listed online. Even if you don’t like the particular apartment listed in the paper, it could get you in touch with a landlord who could have more apartments, or who could have connections that will.
Finding a Pet-Friendly Apartment
My Apartment Map is another site that allows you to search for apartments in certain neighborhoods and narrow the parameters to what you’re looking for. One parameter this site lets you pick that some others don’t is whether or not an apartment is pet friendly.
The Humane Society also has a page on their website to search for pet-friendly apartments.
Finding a Roommate
If you need a roommate, there are a few different ways to locate one. Start by asking your friends. A friend-of-a-friend is more likely to make an effort to make things work out, so you may want to make this your first option. Post on your social media asking if anyone knows someone needing a roommate in your new city. If you’re moving for school, many colleges have bulletin boards to help other students find roommates. And if you aren’t moving far, asking neighbors, coworkers, or people in any organizations you’re in if they know anyone looking for a roommate can also be useful.