Tired of the countless hours wasted searching on Craigslist for a place to rent, only to find the listing has expired, looks nothing like it did in the pictures, or worse…is a total and complete scam?! The Rental Girl decided it was time to save you from those lost hours that could be spent at the beach or binge-Netflixing, and put together our Top 10 Search Sites for Renting in Los Angeles. You might, perhaps, maybe notice a familiar site amongst them…
Zillow is a free real estate database or “marketplace”, created by former Microsoft execs and founders of Expedia, Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink. You can search for places to rent, buy or sell, as well as get advice on financing, remodeling and home design from their blog! They have a bit of everything on their site, and it’s super user-friendly! We even have a few Zillow Guest Blog posts on RentinginLA!
Imagine submitting one rental application, one credit report, and applying to all the rentals you like within one click? Zumper has an “Apply Instantly” feature that does exactly that: you can fill out all your information just once, then search and apply immediately upon finding a Zumper rental you love! In the competitive Los Angeles rental market, you always want to be prepared and early. Zumper allows you to beat the crowd efficiently and stress-free. Yay technology!
Lovely is a small, passionate start-up in San Francisco whose mission is to “change the process of renting from daunting and uncertain to simple and transparent.” Wait renting doesn’t have to cause 5 premature grey hairs and 2 liters of tears? Lovely allows you to plug in your criteria and explore rentals via a simple map of the city. To make things super easy, you can save your favorites and sign up for free alerts to get notified every time a new listing becomes available. Download their app and never miss a property! Sounds quite Lovely, doesn’t it?
Radpad is best known for its user-friendly mobile app, but also functions as a full-service rental site too! Radpad guarantees legitimate and quality listings by requiring landlords to post at least 3 high definition images, as well as featuring “PadTank”–an algorithm that weeds out inaccurate, expired and illegitimate listings from their site. Radpad is also doing something revolutionary: allowing you to pay rent ONLINE with your debit or credit card! Your landlord doesn’t even have to be on Radpad…they’ll send the check for you.
This rental site has one of the best tag lines: “making apartment hunting suck less”. Padmapper sources listings from multiple rental services and packages them into a super simple, Google Maps search format that most of us are familiar using. They have a mobile app too, so you can search for your next apartment on the go!
Hotpads has an easy to navigate, map-based search that lets you visually search by what you (most likely) care about most: location. Have a quick question about an apartment that seems to be just what you’re looking for? Want to make sure the property is still available? Just fill out the blue contact box under the listing and your question will instantly be whisked away to the property’s owner or agent!
7. Rent Jungle
This one lets you choose your “Must Have” features like a dishwasher, pet-friendly building, washer/dryer etc, and displays listings that meet your specific criteria, in your desired ‘hood. Rent Jungle also has a “Rent Trends” and”Compare Rent” tool, so you can find out the average rent in your desired ‘hood, and plug in a listing’s rent to compare and make sure you’re getting a good deal. It’s like Glass Door for jobs, but for rentals!
This is probably the best known apartment-search tool in LA/SoCal—they have 10,000+ listings so you can explore a ton of options that best fit what you’re looking for! You can guest preview listings for free, but to get the listing specifics as well as email/text alerts when new vacancies fit your criteria, a minimum 2 month membership is required ($60 total). Worth it if you and a friend/roommate can go halfsies!
We’ve probably all heard or used Walkscore before–the feature that allows you to check the walkability/safety of a rental you’re interested in. However, many people aren’t aware that you can search for rentals on their actual site, with all the Walkscore ratings built-in to each listing! Not only can you search by price and number of bedrooms—you can also search by your commute to work, proximity to your favorite coffee shop or grocery store, or accessibility to public transit. Super nifty site!
10. The Rental Girl
Okay we may be biased on this one, but we couldn’t resist! The Rental Girl is a boutique agency that lets you search quality listings by neighborhood, with a specific rental agent or “neighborhood expert” assigned to each area. The Rental Girl has an awesome Virtual Tour tool that allows you to explore the property in 3D, like a first-person video game! Don’t see what you’re looking for in our current listings? Sign up for our free V.I.P Listings email where you can fill out your search requirements, get notified as soon as a rental meeting your criteria becomes available, and be the first submit your application!
Because picking 10 is just too difficult…
Air BnB is a great rental alternative if you’re looking for something temporary; you can rent a room or house from a local host in 190 countries, and feel right at home while you visit or transition to a new city. The Rental Girl actually highly recommend using Air BnB if you’re moving to LA from a different city/state—that way you can have a comfortable place to stay while you scope out apartments and neighborhoods before committing to a long-term lease. For more home-hunting tips like this, check out a previous article: http://bit.ly/1EsAXrp
Trulia was recently acquired by Zillow and together they are the two largest real estate portals in the U.S. While both have a vast array of listings, Trulia specializes in helping consumers get a feel for where to live, with a “Local Info” breakdown of the area they’re searching. “Trulia Maps” gives you a visual layout of the schools, crime, amenities, commute, demographics, affordability and hazards in the given search area. Super helpful, check it out!
“Top 10 Tips” is a series of helpful tips brought to you by the real estate agents at The Rental Girl . The Rental Girl is a leasing agency with branches throughout Los Angeles. Each branch is operated by a unique agent who specializes in her area. All agents at The Rental Girl are California licensed Real Estate agents who specialize in helping renters and home buyers with all their real estate needs.
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