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4 Sites for Apartment Hunting Online
By: Tiana Tucker
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Searching for a new place can be pretty stressful from coordinating multiple open houses or apartment visits to finding the right neighborhood. If you are living in or moving to a major metropolitan area, competition for the perfect apartment at just the right price can sometimes be fierce. Compared to 10 years ago, apartment hunting online has improved dramatically. So if you are looking to minimize or eliminate the amount of time you spend on Craigslist, then you are in luck, because there are several more visually appealing options available.   

Close to half of Americans move to a new address between the month of May and Labor Day, which makes the summer one of the most common seasons for moving. Like a number of Internet-savvy Americans, I have been trolling the web in search of the perfect new place to call home for the past couple months.

Below, I’ve listed four of the best sites for apartment hunting this summer or any other time of the year for those who decide to avoid the summer moving frenzy.

1. Lovely – Lovely allows users to filter their apartment search according to the usual search parameters like zip code, price, and bedrooms. You can also keyword search to include other features or amenities you desire in an apartment such as laundry or pet-friendly. Lovely also allows renters to connect to LinkedIn to give their profiles additional authority when reaching out to potential landlords or property management professionals. Users can even set up alerts for specific searches so that they get an email as soon as a new listing in an area they are watching goes live.

2. RentSocial – As one might guess you can connect one of your major social network accounts to this site to create an account that builds a slightly social profile. A search for apartments will return results in a neat collection of images similar to Pinterest in style or via a Google map display.

3. Zillow – This site is one of the veterans of the list, having been around for more than five years. Rentals properties and properties for sale are also listed here. Properties are neatly organized in a split screen view that displays results in a list and map view. Zillow also pulls data for comparing the average rental or sale prices for properties in the specific area of most listings.    

4. Apartment List – Apartment List features a beautiful map and list combination for displaying search results. The usual search parameters exist, like budget and number of bedrooms, but renters can also include characteristics such as in-unit laundry, patio, or verified listing. Last year, the site won a Webby award in Real Estate. The site also recently launched a roommate-finder application on both iOS and Android, but for the moment it’s only available in the San Francisco area.
Local real estate and neighborhood blogs or news sites are also great alternatives that can help reveal the hottest properties and any current trends or developments in the works. Apartment hunting and home buying tools have come a long way since the days when people relied primarily on a realtor or newspaper advertisements.

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About the Author
Tiana Tucker is an online marketing professional working as the Inbound Marketer for Nursing@Simmons, which is an online master's in nursing offered by Simmons College. Keep up with Tiana on Twitter @TianaMTucker or Google+.


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