Looking for an apartment is easier today compared to a couple of decades ago. With the ease of internet technology, you can find an apartment in your city, on the other side of your country or the world right under your fingertips. What is more appealing is the additional information, photos, maps, directions and reviews about the apartment and location you are considering to rent. Although technology has made it easier for people to look for places to stay, it has also paved the way to information overload to the user. Thousands, if not millions, of websites, offer similar information, tips, and recommendations about available apartments in a certain place. How will you know which one is credible?

The popular site, Lifehacker asked its readers to recommend their most trusted websites in finding the right apartment or space rentals that are ready for occupancy within their country or for some sites, the world. So here are the top search sites to visit when looking for an apartment to rent:

Craigslist / Padmapper

Padmapper is usually the first stop for apartment seekers. This site collaborates with the listings from Craigslist and presents it in a simple manner. Craigslist has its own list of apartments so do other sites, but with Padmapper you get an efficient mobile app that allows you to filter the settings, so you get only what you prefer. You can save your leads to view later. The site also uses Google Map interface where you can view the streets, Walk Score and look at photos without being routed to other sites.

Padmapper is essential in today’s hectic apartment seekers. The app will also send you alerts for new listings as it is being published real time. It is important that you get the info ahead of the others to have the advantage of checking it out early. The app partners with big companies as well as solo landlords looking to publish their spaces, bedrooms, and apartments. It could also work in places where no other sites may be the main driver for studio and apartment data.

Trulia

Trulia is famous for its real estate listings. It presents calculations of values of the specific residential properties. It is also a great resource to use when considering an apartment to rent. The site allows you to filter your search by price range, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, specific amenities such as air conditioning, washer, dryer; property space, property type such as a house, condo, managed community.

It can also show you available whole house rental if you are looking for an entire house to rent. It also gives you an estimate commute time going to work and shows you the establishments present in that particular area. You can also choose your preferred zip code, neighborhood, and many more. Trulia generates its own leads so you will encounter some listings that are not in other apartment resource tools.

This app is greatly beneficial for apartment hunters considering to rent a space in a large city because it allows you to filter according to your preferred neighborhood.

WalkScore

If you are the kind of person who wants your apartment in a location with everything within walking distance, the best apartment resource for you is the WalkScore. This app interface displays apartments available for rent in different locations. You can filter your search by the time it takes for you to reach your workplace, price range, number of bedrooms, distinct community amenities you want to have like grocery stores, bus stops, schools, subways, and even cafes.

It collects data from other sites and combines them to the app’s own data about existing communities with the amenities nearby.

A “walk score” for each location is defined by the walking distance from your apartment to your preferred amenities such as mass transit options, restaurants, schools, parks, stores, shopping, nightlife and many more.

Live Lovely

Lovely started to like the usual apartment searching tool. It used to be another app that sourced its listings from Craigslist with map-based and top-down user interface. However, app developers added more effective and efficient features to make the search easier and savvier. The team incorporated a feature that allows the user to enter a zip code and shows a map that they can circumnavigate.

You can click on the listings that take you to a more detailed display of certain groups present in the specific neighborhoods. The site displays recent listings highlighted in red markers. You can further adjust your search based on the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, pet friendliness and of course, price.

What differentiates Lovely apart from other apartment search engines is that you can see a full page display of all the photos and necessary info of that particular listing you clicked on. You can even apply for rental right on the spot without leaving the page. This site will contact the landlord and pass your application form immediately, so you get ahead from others who are also considering the listing. It is not recommended that you apply for an apartment without visiting it first, but it is convenient on your part that Lovely manages the internal work for you. If the apartment you have chosen supports payment through Lovely, you can directly pay your rent through the site once your application is acknowledged.

Lovely sourced its rich and varied listings not only from Craigslist but also from other major apartment groups even those who are not well represented somewhere else. Applying for the rental property right then and there saves you time and effort in going back and forth to meet with the landlord. You can also activate notifications for new listings in your preferred neighborhood.

How to make apartment hunting less stressful?

Apartment hunting can be exhausting especially when you visit each location presented on your search site. However, there are ways to ease out the stress in finding for the perfect place for you to rent. Find out more below:

1. Get some help. If you have the budget, work with a realtor in the area. He/she is the right person to turn to when looking for the apartment of your dreams. You can specify your preferences, and the realtor will do the legwork for you.

2. Plan ahead. Start searching for the apartment about 4-6 weeks ahead of your scheduled lease time. That’s the average period that landlords publish their property for rent. Be clear on where you want to live, what are the amenities you want to close by, among many other things to consider

3. Draft your budget and be certain on your apartment needs. Knowing what you want and how much you are willing to spend are the two toughest decisions to reconcile. Oftentimes, what you have in your budget cannot meet the desires you have for your apartment vision. You have to list the priorities over the “wants” and reconcile with how much you can actually afford.

4. Move fast. The market moves fast so you must also be decisive if you have found the apartment you like to have. Get a feel of the neighborhood and see if it works for you. You have to act fast when you have found the apartment that meets all or almost all your requirements.