ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Way to Find an Apartment in a Competitive Market

Updated on April 24, 2014

What is the best way to find a rental in this market?

Here are a few places to take a look at when you begin your search to find a new place to live.

  • Craigslist – A bit of everything in this online classified ad website, however users should tread with caution as many postings are often fraudulent or have misleading information about the listings.
  • Zillow – While originally a home buyer focused site, Zillow has many rentals listed and the panning map feature offers one of the best user experiences you can have if you’re not familiar with an area, or looking for a place near a specific location.
  • Trulia – Similar to Zillow, but with a more traditional property list view for easy printing if you’re going to hop in the car and drive around.
  • – One of the first apartment search websites, the real value here is that users can submit reviews of properties they have lived in, so you can get firsthand experience to learn if a place is going to have a lacking management or a noisy party neighborhood.
  • RedFin – similar user design to Zillow and Trulia, but with a focus on owning your own home rather than renting.

But using the right online service isn’t the only challenge awaiting potential renters out there.

Below are some of the top items to consider when you need to look at beating out the competition.

Don’t Wait Till The Weekend

Get a jump on the listing! Many units rent immediately, so don’t fool yourself by thinking you can wait to preview a place when you’re free on Sunday afternoon. Chances are, it will be gone by then. So carve out the time in your schedule, and take that long lunch during the week to meet with the landlord.

Use Technology!

All of the listed webstes above have mobile apps you can use n both iPhone and Android phones for when you’re on the go. Not only can you customize your search and browse on the go, in many cases you can sign up to receive real-time notifications as soon as something new hits the market.

References Aren’t Just for Jobs

Many places, especially luxury locations, will require a minimum of three references, if not at least one from a current residence, so have your list ready. Make sure to include complete names, addresses, phone numbers, and even emails for your references.

Have Money Ready

Most popular living locations will want first and last month’s rent on top of the security deposit (which can be up to 1 ½ months’ rent in some markets). In San Francisco, for example, the move-in amount for a 1 bedroom at 2,800/ month would be close to $7,000 up front!

Go On Credit Patrol

Make sure to check your credit before you go apartment hunting. Now is the time to try and get any mistakes taken care of and that any delinquencies are at least 3-6 months in the past.

Ask Questions

You don’t want to move into a new apartment only to find out it doesn’t have laundry facilities on site. Ask about the building, other tenants, the management company, and who pays for utilities like: sewage, water, gas and electric? How many parking stalls or spaces are assigned to units?

Tell us what you think!

Which of of the above websites or apps do you use the most?

See results

Got additional tips?

Sound off below on what has really helped you land a past or current rental!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)