4 Apps For Your Next Apartment Hunt

rentals

Once upon a time, finding a new place to call home involved sifting through the rental listings of a newspaper and circling the ones you found appealing. You called for an appointment, updated your schedule for some time later in the week, and had plenty of time to consider other possibilities.

These days—especially in urban areas—apartments are often leased out the same day their ad goes up, sometimes in a matter of hours. This forces modern tenants to be constantly aware of any potential deals, and to be fast on the draw when submitting an application. If you’re going to be hunting for a new place to live this weekend, here are 4 apps for your smartphone that will make your search faster and easier:

Craigslist Mobile

However many different resources you use for your apartment search, you’re almost always going to be led back to Craigslist. Even rental agencies with their own websites will often post their listings on the web’s most popular trading post, and with Craigslist you’re more likely to see photos of the specific unit for rent, rather than a glamorized model with CGI sunlight streaming through the windows. Their mobile app is a perfect fit for most smartphones, giving you a more comfortable and usable format for 5-inch touch screens.

MagicPlan

Getting the actual square footage of a unit can be a daunting task. If the place you’re checking out is privately owned, the landlord may be giving you some embellished—or downright dishonest—space measurements, assuming that you probably won’t be taking a measuring tape to every corner of the apartment on your initial walkthrough. Even larger scale, reputable complexes can sometimes get overly creative with their numbers, such as referring to the “total” space instead of the living space, which may include a slab of patio, a miniscule balcony, or even your assigned parking space in the carport.

MagicPlan is an app that, with a little bit of calibration, gives you a very accurate estimate of a room’s square footage. After you take some photos with your phone’s native camera and input a bit of data, MagicPlan does a few quick calculations and lets you know if the living room in your possible new home is really 300 square feet, or if you’re getting shorted a bit with a fraudulent listing.

Evernote

An increasingly popular cloud-based app, Evernote is used for a wide variety of word processing and storage needs. If you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of online rental listings, type a few notes about each one, copy and paste a few photos from the web, and keep them all in a convenient, easy-to-reference program, then Evernote is definitely for you.

Parking Meter Pro

Unless you’re willing to shell out $50-100 for the use of parking garages during your city-wide apartment search, you’ll probably be looking for a few alternatives. Most apartment complexes have spaces reserved for guest parking (and even have designated spots for prospective tenants, usually right upfront by the office), but the reality is that these spaces commonly fill up fast. If street parking isn’t an option, your last resort may be to use a nearby meter, which is where Parking Meter Pro comes in.

This app does a variety of things that will make your time at the meter easier, such as tagging the meter on your phone’s GPS, synching a timer with the meter’s clock, giving you a variety of alerts and alarms to let you know when you’re approaching a new pay interval, and more. If you’re worried about finding your way back to your car before you get a $60 ticket for an expired meter, or wondering if you need to cut your rental viewing short so you can sprint back and buy another 30 minutes, Parking Meter Pro can definitely be a big help.

These apps will make it easier for you to conduct your apartment search while on the go, which is an absolute necessity in these modern times, especially on the weekends. If you only have 2-4 hours before a new listing gets snatched up, you’ll want to give yourself every possible advantage in order to find the next greatest deal out there.

Author bio:

John is a blogger who once lost an apartment when he took a 40-minute detour to pick up a co-worker from the dentist. He writes for Internet insurer Protect Your Bubble, who can help protect your phone from theft, damage, defects, and all the hazards that can result from competing with hostile tenants.

 

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