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Finding the Perfect Place: 6 Craigslist Alternatives

Oct 4 2012 - 3:25pm

An apartment hunter's heroic quest typically begins with Craigslist, where dreams of the perfect pad in the perfect location with the perfect roommate are quickly put to rest after days of endless search. It's a long and winding road [1] to finding the right place, but Craigslist is trying to make that search a little easier with its new map view [2], a feature that lets room seekers skip having to sift through vague listing titles altogether by presenting vacancies on an interactive map (which, we'd like to note, uses data from the same company [3] as the iOS 6 Maps app).

Craigslist's new built-in map sure is pretty to look at, but if you're still not finding a dream home, try one of these six alternatives. We break down the pros and cons so you can start your search with little delay.

Source: Instagram user claudiano78 [4]


Pros: Lovely [5] is a powerful search engine for apartment listings with a beautiful user interface. Set specific financial, geographical, and listing parameters, then get search results delivered to your inbox as soon as they're available. The map on the site's homepage is auto-refreshed as new listings are posted and also clearly shows the geographical boundaries of all of the selected city's neighborhoods. We also love the bookmarking feature, which lets you keep tabs on the apartments you've contacted, all in one place.

Cons: The zoom function on the map is a little buggy, and zooming in too far will yield no results if there are five or fewer listings in the designated area. It's also not entirely Firefox-friendly but will work just fine on the Google Chrome browser. The site doesn't include any search parameters for those looking to rent a room or share a room. While Lovely doesn't have a mobile app currently, it's planning one with a Fall 2012 release.


Pros: Trulia [6] is all about insider information — agents, neighborhoods, schools, an amazingly useful crime map [7], and community forums. The mobile app lets you take your Trulia listing on the go and receive push notifications that inform you when houses are sold or prices are cut.

Cons: It's great to rent an entire apartment or buy a home, but if you're looking for a room or share, this isn't the site for you.


Pros: Nestio [8] is a great site for people who are looking to live with others. The site is more of a Craigslist supplement than an alternative, since it helps apartment seekers save and organize their listings from all over the web. The standout feature is the collaboration tool, which lets you invite others via Facebook or email to add to your apartment wish list. Nestio also plots your favorite listings on a map and calculates commute times to and from a custom location. The iPhone app is great as well, and the notes and photos you take from your mobile account are automatically synced with your account online.

Cons: The mobile app isn't available for Android users, but according to the site, support for additional devices is on its way. As mentioned, Nestio doesn't provide apartment listings, but it will accept URLS from Craigslist, Trulia, and eBay Classifieds, among others.


Pros: MapLiv [9] combines Craigslist's new map view, the powerful search engine of Lovely, and the ability to look for rooms, shares, sublets, and temporary housing all in one. The site pulls results from apartment listings all over the web, but a majority of them come right from Craigslist. Our favorite feature is the "Nearby" search functionality, which shows public transit stops and school icons on the map.

Cons: This site can be a little overwhelming. Rather than displaying the number of listings in the area when panned out, like Lovely or Trulia, MapLiv shows a dot for every result. Users need to zoom in quite a bit to click on individual listings as the dots just end up on top of each other if you're panned out too far.

Place of Mine

Pros: Place of Mine [10] combines the collaboration tools of a Nestio with the insider information of a Trulia to help you compare listings based on rent, amenities, transit, and safety. Filter listings based on a number of features, like neighborhood, type, pets, washer, dryer, etc., and mark your favorites. Place of Mine's unique "Heatmap" tool shows the concentration of sports and recreational facilities, crime, nightlife, restaurants, and more.

Cons: Place of Mine's user interface is jam-packed with tools and information, making it not the easiest site to navigate. Search for rooms and shares is not included, and sometimes the site lists unavailable rentals since it relies on automatic crawling to gather results. There's also no mobile app to take your favorite listings on the go.

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