Apartment Hunting? These Sites WILL Help.

Every couple of weeks, a friend approaches me asking me to help them find a new apartment.  Sadly, I am completely worthless in that department.  There just isn’t enough time in the day to be good at everything, so I gave up years ago trying to keep up with the rental market.

The good news is that there are several GREAT resources for finding a new rental in Seattle.

1) Craigslist

Craigslist is a really powerful tool.  It’s reputation has been damaged due to all the scammers and spammers that like to be the bad apple of the bunch.  But if you keep in mind that if it seems to good to be true, it likely is, this is your best engine for finding your new place.  Craigslist can now let you add more search criteria (and even use a mapping feature) that makes it easier to use than in years past.  The best value rentals seem to appear on Craigslist more often than the next few sites, so I always recommend you start with Craigslist.

2) HotPads

This website is powered by Zillow and has options that don’t always show up on Craigslist.  HotPads offers powerful search options and defaults to a map of results (when using Craigslist, you have to choose this option after you get initial search results).  HotPads also has more complete info on the properties and often has more photos.  And we all know, photos are the best tool for deciding to view a place or not.

3) Apartments.com

This one is not my favorite.  If you are looking to live in a large apartment building then this is a great resource.  A few years ago, this was the best way to find a place to live, especially from far away.  If Craigslist and HotPads aren’t giving you what you want, this is a decent third place to search.

4) Ask your Friends

This may seem silly, but your friends may know of a unit in their building or neighborhood that is vacant (or about to be).  My dear friend Kiris posted on her Facebook page asking if anyone knew of any rentals in her beloved neighborhood of Ballard.  She got several responses and ended up getting an adorable duplex in a great part of Ballard for under market rent.  It never hurts to ask for a little help from your friends. 🙂