Whether you’re moving to the Boston area or a resident looking for a new place, finding the right apartment can be tough. You almost certainly know about Craigslist; without a doubt the site containing the highest volume of apartments available. But if you’re looking for some better ways to find Boston apartments (though not always as many), you have some options:
PadMapper.com – This Google Maps mashup lets you search specific areas, set price ranges (or cost per bedroom), and other useful features. It actually gets the listings from Craigslist, so this is a nice way to make it easier to search without sacrificing options. Also available as an apartment search smartphone app.
MyApartmentMap.com – Provides a very nice list of apartments available based on city or zip code. MyApartmentMap includes availability at large apartment buildings that don’t often post on Craigslist. You can view listings on a map, filter by price, etc. This tool aggregates listings from HotPads, ApartmentFinder, Apartments.com, and a bunch of other services (but not Craigslist it doesn’t seem), so you should be able to find a lot of options.
Trulia – Primarily a home-buying site, Trulia also aggregates rental listings from real estate agents. Expect most of these apartments to be nicer, but include a broker fee. Trulia competitor Zillow also has a rentals search, but some quick testing showed that (for now) Trulia has more listings in most areas around Boston.
College students, check your university site – Harvard, Northeastern, Tufts, and others have community-only classified sites and/or Off-Campus Housing departments that often list apartments not advertised anywhere else.
Post in Housing Wanted on Craigslist – Finally, one of the best ways to find apartments you wouldn’t otherwise hear about is to post in Craigslist’s “Housing Wanted” section. Listing exactly what you’re looking for and some information about yourself can bring leads to you.