Long gone are the days when apartment hunters grabbed the classified from the newspaper and started to beat the pavement to find a reasonable apartment. First the listings moved to the Internet and now we can hold them in our hands with these 7 free apps to help your find a rental home.
And, compared to the dearth of information traditional classified ads offered, these apps give you everything you need to know to get the best deal and the ideal location.
Top 7 Free Apps to Find a Rental Home
This site was one of the first to serve potential renters and you get even more bells and whistles with its free iOS and Android apps. Imagine being on a bus rolling through town. You have your smartphone with this app fired up. It uses your phone's GPS to identify nearby apartments for rent. You can search by price, bedrooms, bathrooms, location and more. Video walkthroughs, photos and floor plans will save you a lot of wasted time with rental agents.
You've probably picked up the traditional "Apartments" magazine in a convenience store at least once or twice. Now you can have all that information, and a lot more, in your smartphone. After you've searched by location, price, distance—or used the GPS function—you can call or email properties directly to make an appointment. You also have access to photos and floor plans. Versions of the app are available for a wide variety of systems including iOS, Android and Kindle.
3. MyNewPlace Apartments and Homes for Rent
Not every renter wants an apartment. If you'd also like the option of renting a house, you'll find this free iOS app very handy. BusinessWeek has included this app in its "Best of the Web" honors—three times! As with the others, it's GPS enabled. You can also find homes and apartments that are pet friendly, have the perfect number of bedrooms and bathrooms, are furnished and more. One special feature is the ability to post a property to Facebook and see what all your BFFs have to say about it.
Now we're starting to broaden out more. This free app includes both rental properties and homes for sale. It features interactive neighborhood maps that you can zoom in on. When you find a property you want to check out you can instantly get turn-by-turn directions. There's a wide range of search and filtering features to help you focus on the properties that best suit your requirements. And, when you find a potential place, you can email the information to your spouse or roommates.
With this app you can search for both rentals and properties for sale. Even if you're renting, it's good to have some idea of the property values in your neighborhood. This is easy with the Trulia app. With just a click of the "heart" at the bottom of the screen you can save properties to your Trulia account. When you get home later and want to review them on your computer, it won't be a problem. This app also shows you businesses in the area so you can get a better feel for the neighborhood. Available for Android and Apple devices.
Here's the granddaddy of Internet real estate values in a mobile version and now it includes rentals. Zillow boasts estimated property values for every home in the U.S. And, if you're in the rental market, it will even give you an estimate of rental costs for a given property. You can also search specifically for homes on the rental market. There's good social media connectivity with this one. You can post to Facebook and Twitter, or send out emails about the properties you're looking at. There's a version of this free app for virtually every mobile device.
Just as important as the property that you're renting is the neighborhood you're living in. If you're new to the area, download this free iOS and Android app. Tap the screen to find the nearest restaurants, bars, banks, gas stations, ATMs or even the showtimes at the local multiplex. Think of it as speed dating for a neighborhood.
With these apps, you should have no trouble getting into the perfect rental. However, there's still no app to help you box up all your stuff and lug it across town.