Searching for an apartment can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re looking for one within your budget and in the area you want. While it is possible to do it yourself, it does take a bit of work. Luckily, there’s plenty of technology to help you find what you’re looking for online.

Whether it’s an apartment you want to rent or to purchase as an investment property, these six websites let you browse different apartments available to rent. Some even give you contact information or a way to directly contact the owner or landlord online. For investors, this can serve as a goldmine of information as you’re figuring out how to price your rental.

Save time (and hopefully money) by using these websites you may even be able to tour the apartment virtually and make an offer all from your couch.

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Overview of the Best Apartment Rental Websites

Website Best for
Walkscore Renters who want to live in a highly walkable area or have public transport
PadMapper Renters who want to see available amenities Renters who want a reliable website to view complexes and private listings
Craigslist Renters who want budget-friendly options
Trulia Renters who like looking at larger, more reputable websites
Lovely Renters who want to easily pay their rent online

Walk Score

Walk Score is one of the best apartment websites because it offers details about the area you want to live in. Searching this way can save you money or time by skipping over areas that don’t have the features you want.

More specifically, Walk Score can show a map of your desired area. You’ll get a score based on factors such as access to amenities like grocery stores, parks, hospitals, and even how walkable the area will be.

When you’re browsing the map, you’ll be able to see areas highlighted in different colors to see its walkability. The more the map is green, the more walkable it is. It goes from grey (extremely poor walkability) to orange, yellow, then green. Apartment listings are indicated using pinpoints to show you areas in an area you want to live in.

As for how you can save money, you can choose more walkable areas to save you money from driving everywhere. Even if you drive, you can look for areas with a lot of amenities or close to your work so you can save money on commuting.

To help you save time, you can even narrow down your search filters which include:

  • Number of bedrooms
  • Price
  • Listings with photos
  • Apartments that allow pets
  • Amenities you consider must-haves (including how close of a walk you want them to be)
  • Walkscore
  • Particular neighborhoods
  • Commute to a specific address with varying modes of transportation such as driving, cycling, walking, or by public transportation
  • Public transit routes that are within a specific distance of your potential apartment


What’s great about PadMapper is you can also see immediately what’s in your chosen area. Plus, you can see where different properties are in relation to your new workplace and even public transit.

PadMapper takes apartment listings from different rental websites (yes, even Craigslist) and places them on a map so you can see what’s available in your desired neighborhood. You can also set filters for criteria you want such as short- or long-term leases, minimum and maximum rental prices, and whether you want a pet-friendly apartment.

One potential downside is there may be outdated listings that have been left on websites where old ads haven’t been taken down. This is a common issue with other types of aggregator websites. Avoiding them is as simple as seeing whether the listing is outdated.

Another thing to watch out for is the short-term listings. There is a chance you’ll see listings from websites like Airbnb with this option. So if you’re looking for a place to rent for the long term, make sure to uncheck the short-term listings box when conducting your search.

Other search filters you can select when using PadMapper include:

  • Square footage
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Type of building, such as a room, house, condo, or apartment
  • If the apartment has conditions such as it being a senior living, student housing, or restricted income housing
  • Listings that have items such as photos, video tours, online life tours, or 3D tours offers plenty of listings, whether you’re interested in private listings or complexes. You can search for houses, condos, and townhouses. What we really like is you can use the map function to search for properties or simply scroll through listings.

When searching for apartments, you can filter out features including:

  • Pet-friendly listings
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Price
  • Type of housing
  • Various amenities including outdoor space, elevator, laundry, pool, controlled access, air conditioning, appliances, and more
  • Type of community such as income-restricted


Craigslist is one of the most popular listings websites out there. Yes, it does have somewhat of a shady reputation, but you can find some budget-friendly listings. As long as you’re willing to dig around, you can find private owners who want to sublet their homes, or are renting out properties or large apartment complexes on the website.

The big draw for Craigslist is landlords and property owners can create free listings. One word of warning though: There may be plenty of outdated listings (aka someone has already rented the listed apartment) because owners tend to forget to take them down. That’s what happens when you’re not being charged for them. Simply search for listings that were posted within recent dates and you should be fine.

Because there are more private listings on Craigslist, you may be able to find properties that offer more room and other features like a backyard that cost less than what you would get with a larger apartment complex.

There are plenty of ways to customize your search, including these filters:

  • Price
  • Distance from a specific ZIP code
  • When the listing was posted
  • If amenities like laundry and parking are available
  • Type of housing
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • No smoking rentals
  • Wheelchair accessible rentals
  • Furnished rentals
  • Pet-friendly properties
  • Images in the listing
  • Properties with application or broker fees

If you decide to move forward with a rental on Craigslist, make sure to meet the landlord in a public area and with someone else. That’s because Craigslist won’t verify the content of listings. It can result in some listings that may be created by people who don’t have the best intentions.

Plus, Craigslist won’t verify items like whether the listing is from the actual owner of the property. Make sure that you’re able to tour the property and verify the property is rented out by the owner or the management company. It’s easy to do so by checking places like county records.


Trulia isn’t only a website for homeowners to purchase or sell their homes. It can be very useful for renters when searching for suitable apartments. Trulia is very similar to other websites on this list in that you can search using a map or view by listing.

What stands out about Trulia is you can search within neighborhoods instead of the city itself. That way, you may be able to find lesser-known listings. Plus, if you create a Trulia account, you can save your searches. Doing so also allows you to set alerts to view new listings as they come up.

Trulia offers the following search and filter options when you’re looking for apartments:

  • Neighborhood or location
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Price
  • Pet-friendly properties
  • Square footage
  • Type of rental
  • Furnished properties
  • By keyword
  • Various amenities like a pool, balcony, gym, and appliances
  • Income-restricted housing


This website is another great one that offers property listings from many sources and features housing such as rental houses and apartment complexes. If you find a rental you like, you can even pay rent through Lovely. Even better, set up automatic deductions so you don’t miss a payment.

Although the website may not have as many features as the other websites on our list, it’s still worth checking out. Here are some of the filters you can use:

  • Keywords
  • Pet-friendly housing
  • Listings with photos
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Price
  • Location

Summary of the Best Apartment Search Sites

Website Standout Feature Search price Search bedroom/bathrooms Photos Search pet-friend
Walkscore See how walkable your desired area is Yes Yes Yes Yes
PadMapper View amenities easily Yes Yes Yes Yes Offers a map to search apartments Yes Yes Yes Yes
Craigslist Budget-friendly rentals Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trulia Can look for homes to rent and buy Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lovely Pay rent through the platform Yes Yes Yes Yes

Make Sure You Get Renters Insurance

If you end up finding the perfect apartment or rental home, make sure you’re protected by purchasing renters insurance. Some property management companies or landlords will make this a requirement. Even still, it’s a smart idea to take out a policy. They’re inexpensive and you can protect your personal belongings in the event of theft or a covered disaster.

We recommend Lemonade, a company offering renters insurance policies as low as $5 per month. You can also easily access Lemonade via their app to make claims and receive reimbursements.

Young Alfred is another great contender because you can use their website to compare prices on multiple insurance companies in your area. I’ll send you personalized results and can answer any questions you may have about the policies before you sign up for one.

Purchasing a Rental Property?

If you want to become a landlord, getting a great deal on a mortgage is important. That way, you can save as much as possible on interest, and pocket more of what your renters pay.

Comparing policies can be a tedious process, which is why we love Credible. All you have to do is enter details such as the home’s purchase price and your personal information. It’ll then populate results from top lenders for you to see on one page. If you see one that you like, Credible will direct you to the lender website for more details.

Final Thoughts

Your time is precious and gone are the days when you have to drive from apartment to apartment to get a look. With these websites, you can browse hundreds of properties from the comfort of your home or office and get all of the details you need to narrow down your choices. By the time you set up in-person visits, you’ll be closer to making your decision.

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  • Sarah Li Cain

    Sarah Li-Cain is a finance writer and Accredited Financial Counselor candidate whose work has appeared in places like Bankrate, Business Insider, Redbook, Financial Planning Association and Kiplinger. She's also the host of Beyond The Dollar, a podcast where she and her guests have deep and honest conversations on how money affects our well-being.