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Five Best Apartment Search Tools #cheap #apartments #in #amsterdam


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Looking for a new apartment or rental used to mean combing neighborhoods looking for for… Read more Read more

HotPads approaches apartment search in a novel way. In addition to offering the basic city/price searches found in any apartment search engine, HotPads has heat maps. When you search for apartments with HotPads, you can overlay heat maps of various data onto the map like population density, household income, median age, median rent, and foreclosure data. The heat maps give you a view of your future neighborhood that a simple apartment listing can t. In addition to the heat maps, each listing has a breakdown of how the price of the listing you re looking at compares to others in the zip code, city, county, and state. You can search HotPads for apartments as well as use it to search for a room to sublet or a roommate to sublet a room from you.

Craigslist is a popular destination among Lifehacker readers searching for apartment listings, but it isn t the most feature packed apartment listing tool. Fortunately PadMapper takes the spartan listings on Craigslist and aggregates them into a Google Maps mashup. You can search PadMapper just like you would Google Maps, and every pushpin in the map is an apartment listing. PadMapper results can be filtered by price, bedrooms, bathrooms, and pets. If you re already using Craigslist to do your apartment searching, PadMapper will put an extra zing to your search.

Apartments.com is a veteran of the apartment search field. Their color-coded neighborhood maps will jog a few memories even if you haven t been apartment searching for some time. They don t have the flashiest site in the market, but thanks to being one of the original players in the online apartment-search field, they ve got an absolutely enormous pool of listings. Nearly every listing has a photo tour and a significant number of them have 360° virtual tours. The color-coded maps are quite useful if you re unfamiliar with the layout of the city you re browsing in and help you quickly drill down from region to individual neighborhood. Apartments.com also has an iPhone app which combines the listings at Apartments.com with the GPS chip in the iPhone to create a location-aware apartment search tool. Love the neighborhood you re driving through? Hit a button in the iPhone app and see if anything is available.

MyApartmentMap has quite a slew of features beyond simply indexing apartment listings. You can jump to Google Streetview to check out your new neighborhood, browse an interactive map of local businesses and social spots, and get rental data for your new city and neighborhood to compare the prices of the apartments you re looking at to the city averages—a rather handy feature if you re moving to a city with a market you re unfamiliar with. You can also search by colleges to see listings for off-campus housing surrounding that college in addition to searching by city and neighborhood. If you don t find anything you like, you can set up email and RSS alerts to be notified when listings that fit your requirements appear. MyApartmentMap pulls listings from Craigslist (like PadMapper) as well as a variety of other online resources.

Pounding the Pavement

As awesome as scouring the internet for a new pad can be, the whole world hasn t been digitized. That cool little apartment over a garage in a scenic Victorian neighborhood you just love probably won t ever make an appearance on a huge apartment aggregation site. Sometimes you just have to hit the streets, ask questions, and see what turns up. As we pointed out in our guide to apartment hunting. the greatest apartments often never advertise beyond putting out a For Rent sign because they don t have to; people flock to the best neighborhoods looking for them. Photo by Rodrigo Cayo .

Now that you ve had a chance to look over the contenders for the title of best apartment search tool, it s time to cast your vote to see which tool will be crowned king of the pad-finding-castle.

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Have a tool we didn t list? Shocked that scouting-via-airplane wasn t considered? Sound off in the comments with your apartment finding tips, tricks, and tools.

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