Apartment Hunting: Craigslist Edition

By Allison Sass

Craigslist has become a one stop source for almost anything you could desire..old furniture, cheap electronics, jobs, classes, and even apartments. I found my current living situation through craigslist and would definitely recommend that others consider the option as well. Here are a few handy tips to remember when apartment hunting online.

  1. Ask about parking. Having never lived in a city setting before, I always assumed that parking would be included with rent for wherever I lived. It’s not. My current apartment thankfully offers off street parking, but many Craigslist advertisements conveniently forget to mention parking in their ads. That’s because there isn’t any.

  2. Do not visit an apartment alone if a landlord cannot be present for your tour. Grab a friend, parent, anyone and take them with you to check out the place. Besides having a second opinion, it’s important that you don’t enter a stranger’s home alone.

  3. Ask about on-site laundry or the closest laundromat. This is something else that is also left out of many Craigslist apartment ads.

  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. An online advertisement can make any apartment sound great. Make a list of questions and bring them with you when touring the place. Find out why the previous tenants are moving, if possible.

  5. If for some reason you are moving across country, have no friends in the area you are moving to, and cannot see the apartment in person, request pictures. Lots of pictures, of every room. Also be sure to Google map the address of the apartment to check how close it is to your necessities. Is your new job 45+ minutes away? Do you have to drive a half hour to get groceries? Learn about your surroundings before committing.


  1. Also, you don't have to be limited by the ads that you see on the "housing available" section of craigslist. I posted a request for housing and got a lot of responses from individual landlords and real estate agents, including the one who ultimately helped me find my apartment. Most real estate agents don't charge the renter, and get paid by the landlord, so you're basically getting free professional help.

  2. I would also suggest to slow down the process of apartment hunting. While it may put you at ease to lock away a housing option when the first person on CL gets back to you, it's a big decision. I made an impulsive move this summer and agreed before realizing what the whole roommate situation was and ended up with 3 young female professionals that were more akin to 3 nearly middle aged women including 2 that were culturally different (Chinese and Indian), while the American woman was insane. After living there off lease for 2 weeks and being on vacation for part of it, I heard 2 of them arguing about something pointless one morning and left the day I was supposed to sign the lease.