On the Hunt: 4 Great Sites for Finding an Apartment in a New City

Whether you're coming to New York, LA, Miami, San Francisco, or any other big city in the US, we've got you covered on the apartment hunt front. We've done our research on the best ways to find affordable spots in different cities, so you don't have to. Read on to learn more about the 4 most efficient sites we discovered.
Ross Sapir
By Ross Sapir
5 Min Read

Moving On, Moving In

If you're hunting for an apartment in a big city like New York, LA, San Francisco, Miami, or Philadelphia, this article is the perfect place to start. With rents at historic highs, we're here to make sure these cities don't take too big of a bite out of your bank account. The sites we mention below allow you to search for places in a price range that works for you, wherever you are in the country or on your career journey. Whether you're looking for a spot while you start graduate school, a new job, or a new relationship in a new city, check out these resources to get a lay of the land.

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Coming to the Big Apple? StreetEasy's Your Go-To:

New York is one of the most challenging places to land a spot, but StreetEasy is the best resource for apartment hunting in NYC by far. Unlike the other sites we discuss below, it's only for the New York area, so it has some of the best options out there. Scrolling through the site neighborhood by neighborhood is one of the easiest ways to figure out what prices pop up most often in certain areas of the city and where you'll be able to afford to live. StreetEasy lets you conduct your search with a lot of detail: number of rooms, price range, No Fee, and For Sale by Owner, just to name a few of the filters. Start here to learn about the nuances of the NYC real estate market, and you may even find your new home in the process.

Maybe you've already been living in New York, though, and are ready for a change. We're also available to help you move to LA, San Francisco, Miami, or Philly, and are experts on the real estate markets there.

Here are the 3 Best Sites to Use Beyond New York:

Apartments.com:

You probably know Apartments.com as the company that uses Jeff Goldblum as their spokesperson. We love those ads and agree that it's one of the best places to find a place. If you've never checked them out, you should! Their interface is very intuitive, and they give a great sense of warmth while you're searching. They list places all around the country, including all the cities we operate in, and have excellent customer service. Apartments.com's sense of humor makes the apartment hunt what it should be: fun!

Compass:

Compass has one of the sleekest and easiest-to-use websites we've come across. It offers great advice about specific buildings you might be interested in, just like StreetEasy. Compass has a large team of real estate agents too, that can help you out in your search, which can be a great option either right when you're starting out, or after you've toured a few places and know exactly what you're searching for in your new city.

Zillow:

Zillow has some of the best information about individual apartment buildings and neighborhoods out there. They share great information about local school districts and respond to lots of FAQs. Zillow also somehow seems to have more listings than any other site at any given time, too. It's especially useful for purchasing houses, so if you learn to love them while searching for an apartment, be sure to remember them when you're moving on to bigger and better things!

Our Tips for the Search:

Visit, Visit, Visit!

All these websites make it extremely easy to schedule tours of apartments you're interested in. Visiting the apartment before you sign on the dotted line is crucial because you want to make sure you know exactly what you're getting. This also helps you learn about the vibe you're searching for in a place. A place might look great, but if it doesn't feel great, it can be tough to settle in completely. On these visits, ask as many questions as you can. Is there laundry in the building? Is there a live-in super? Think of anything and everything and go ahead and ask! This is your chance to learn as much as possible about your potential new digs.

Keep the Finances in Mind

At the moment, it's common for landlords to require that a tenant, or their guarantor, makes at least 40x the monthly rent. Yes, you read that correctly. 40x! If you don't meet this requirement, you'll need a guarantor, who will need to apply with you as the person handling your rent. This might sound crazy expensive, and it is! But it's crucial to take your finances into account while you're making a big life decision like getting a new apartment.

Remember Sublets

Though these websites are some of the best ways to find an apartment we know of, it's important to remember that sublets are always an option. You can reach out on Facebook groups if that's your thing, or ask around in friend groups about possible openings in different cities. Most often, people sublet their apartments for just a few months at a time while they're out of town, but longer-term ones appear every now and then as well. Keep your eyes peeled, because subletting can be one of the most affordable options out there.

PRO TIP:

Start with the sites, and once you know what you're looking for, reach out with detailed questions about possible sublets!

Stay Strong

Hunting for an apartment can be a difficult, tiring process. No matter what happens, though, don't get discouraged! You'll find a place, we know you will, and even if it takes some time, it'll all be worth it on your first night in your new place. At some point in the process, you might feel like the perfect place doesn't exist, and that the search is becoming fruitless. We promise you, though, that everyone's gone through that moment. That place exists, and these resources are the ideal way to find it.

Reach Out

We're one of the best-ranked movers in the US and would love to help you start your new chapter. We pride ourselves on our local expertise and hope these websites come in handy... Moving day can be almost as stressful as finding a place, but like these websites, we're here to streamline the process and make it as enjoyable as possible for you. Once you've closed on a place and are ready for the big move, don't hesitate to reach out!

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