(Closed) Rant – frustration with the apartment search

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 3
1580 posts
Bumble bee

Yeah, you never know what you’re going to get with craigslist. I’ve found a couple rentals on craigslist, but I’ve also used apartments.com and rent.com.

Post # 5
329 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Regulation on CL would mean the end of it. I am staunchly opposed to that. 

That said, here is my CL apartment hunting method.

  1. Start with cribq (http://philadelphia.cribq.com/) or housingmaps.com to search Craigslist and narrow down potentials.
  2. Check the http://www.crimereports.com/ website for crime levels near the potentials to whittle some more.
  3. Check zillow.com and trulia.com for information about the remaining propertys and neighborhoods. This is also useful to see if neighboring properties look anything like what is displayed on CL and also checking to see whether or not the place is in foreclosure.
  4. Check apartmentratings.com to see if the place/landlord has bad reviews.
  5. Check the street view of the place on Google Maps. You can tell a lot about a neighborhood from street view.

After all the above are checked and found to be non-reprehensible, I’ll contact a landlord for a showing. It’s time consuming, yes, but it gives you all you need know before you agree to look at a place.

I hope that helps and good luck in your search! 🙂

Post # 6
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We just moved into our new place on Saturday and that was after 3 months of perusing Craigslist and finding apartments that advertise fantastically but are actually little hell holes!

In the end we took one night and drove through the neighborhoods we wanted to live in looking for any “For Rent” signs.  Turns out we found a great place with new appliances and a marble entry way with water and trash paid for and a balcony over looking the BEST and most famous part of our city with a park down the road.

Some really great places won’t advertise on Craigslist, and since our place doesn’t we were able to talk them down on the rent price (we end up with essentially one month free rent in total savings) and two days before we were moving the owner called to say that they were giving us our first month for half off too!


Don’t forget about just looking in the areas you would want to live.


Post # 7
1580 posts
Bumble bee

If you want a privately owned rental, you should check on real estate company websites. Sometimes you can search by “rental”, price range, and location. The owners of these units are paying for the real estate agents, and are more likely to have their property professionally managed too.

Post # 8
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I feel you on that. Several years ago, I had the same experience looking for a place in Philly. Everything I was shown was either too high end or complete crack shack, there was no middle ground. It was really frustrating and I didn’t have a lot of time to find a place, so I ended up living just outside the city. 

What area are you looking to live in? My friend used to have a really cute place in Queens Village, but I’m not sure what she was paying.

Jacqui offered a great suggestion I didn’t even think about- real estate websites have “rental” sections- I would definitely check them out.   I also like MissTopsiders idea of driving around the neighborhoods you would like to live in.

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