On the hunt for an apartment? Try these 9 Craigslist alternatives (2024)

Let’s get real: Craigslist is the best way to find an apartment in the Bay Area. Replete with loads of listings and images, it’s where most people score a home in the city. But it’s not the only place to look. If you’re looking for a pad in San Francisco, give these alternative outlets a shot. While they can’t promise you a sweet deal on a living space—the median rent in San Francisco hovers around the $3,700 mark for a one-bedroom apartment—they can offer you a slew of apartments to peruse.

Besides, no one should have to sleep in a bunkbed for $1,200 per month.


This site, which is one of our favorite alternatives, has some exclusive features. It lets you draw your own neighborhood rather than sticking to the boundaries of a neighborhood that has been defined for you. (Ideal for large neighborhoods like SoMa and the Richmond.) There are property videos, 3-D tours, and more than 1,600 rentals currently available in San Francisco. There's also an option to plan your commute for each listing.


Zumper has been making a big effort in the San Francisco market with an outdoor advertising campaign. The interface is easy to use, and you can check availability of apartments and apply to most through the site itself. It also vets all of its listings, meaning that you won't get scammed. Like many other Craigslist competitors, Zumper can suffer from low inventory, and many of its listings are from the city's bigger, newer buildings.

Apartment List

Apartment List starts the rental search process with an interactive questionnaire that asks you about your ideal apartment, from size and price to pets and amenities. It even double-checks your income to make sure you are qualified for the price range you are looking at. Apartment List will email you new matches to make sure that you see all of the latest apartments that come on the market, but the downside is that you're not allowed to see your matches until you pony up your contact details.


It will only be useful if you want to move within your own neighborhood, but this local posting board often has ads from people looking for roommates. You can only sign up for the neighborhood that you currently live in, so it works as a great resource if you need to move but want to stay in the same area. Postings are irregular and there's no search tool, but you just might come across something here that doesn't show up anywhere else.


This site is based around a map search tool. It pulls data from several other sources, including Craigslist and Airbnb, to show listings. You can add filters to narrow down data both by normal search criteria like size and price and also what sites you want to pull from. There's also the option to add commute time. There are a lot of listings, but the interface isn't quite as slick as those on other sites.


Hotpads started out as a rental website but was acquired by Zillow last year and now shows properties available both to rent and buy. You can see how many people have recently looked at the listing and how often the listing's owner has been contacted lately, along with lots of stats about the neighborhood. It's easy to send the landlord a message through the site, but unfortunately many of the listings are weeks old.


The slogan of this roommate-finding website is "We take out the trash for you," meaning that humans review all roommate profiles to weed out the "scam, spam, or scum red flags." The site uses IP addresses to determine a potential roommate's exact location and has "roommate behavior ratings" that delete anyone who sounds "insincere, completely off base, or completely unwell."


This site allows people to look both for roommates and for entire places, something that many of the Craigslist competitors are missing. You can connect with other site members using social networks like Facebook to verify that people are who they say they are. Roomster has been around since 2003 and operates in 192 countries but still doesn't seem to have dethroned Craigslist as the place to go to look for a new roommate.

Facebook’s Marketplace

Facebook’s MarketPlace now comes with housing listings, including rentals. While the offerings are not as bountiful as the other sites listed above, it might have a home or two that’s not found anywhere else.

On the hunt for an apartment? Try these 9 Craigslist alternatives (2024)


How much should rent be of income? ›

It is recommended that you spend 30% of your monthly income on rent at maximum, and to consider all the factors involved in your budget, including additional rental costs like renters insurance or your initial security deposit.

What is the best website to look for apartments in NYC? ›

Several trusted websites offer comprehensive listings to help you navigate this journey, including Zillow, Apartments.com, June Homes, uhomes, and StreetEasy.

How to find an apartment in Boston? ›

Utilize online resources like Apartments.com, Zillow.com and Boston Pads for detailed listings. Set a realistic budget that includes rent, utilities, groceries, and other monthly expenses. Consider renting a room instead of an entire apartment as a budget-friendly option. Weigh the pros and cons of using a broker.

What is the 50 20 30 rule? ›

The 50/30/20 budget rule states that you should spend up to 50% of your after-tax income on needs and obligations that you must have or must do. The remaining half should be split between savings and debt repayment (20%) and everything else that you might want (30%).

Is 30 of income on rent too much? ›

Generally, experts recommend spending no more than 30% of monthly pre-tax income on housing. However, it's not always that simple. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2017 and 2021, over 40% of renter households (19 million) spent more than 30% of their income on rent.

How to get an apartment in New York right now? ›

Finding an Apartment
  1. Online. Both brokers and landlords post their available apartments in online databases (such as StreetEasy or Craigslist), sometimes with a fee and sometimes without. ...
  2. Brokers. ...
  3. Networking/Word of Mouth. ...
  4. Walking Around. ...
  5. Housing Offices. ...
  6. Apartment Referral Services. ...
  7. Waiting Lists. ...
  8. Community Groups.

Is it hard to find an apartment in New York? ›

The report, by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, found just 1.4% of apartments in the city were available to rent in 2023, the lowest since 1968. Less than 1% of vacant apartments were available for less than $2,400 a month, while just 0.39% of apartments under $1,100 were vacant.

How to find affordable housing in New York? ›

NYC Housing Connect is New Yorkers' portal to find and apply for affordable rental and homeownership opportunities across the five boroughs of New York City. Visit NYC Housing Connect now to register, then find and apply for affordable housing opportunities!

What part of Boston has the cheapest rent? ›

  • Hyde Park – Cheapest Place to Live in Boston Is a “Small Town in a Big City”
  • West End – One of the Cheapest Places to Live in Boston Near Downtown.
  • Dorchester – Diverse, Accessible, and One of the Most Affordable Boston Neighborhoods.
  • Brighton – Cheapest Place to Live in Boston for Students, Millennials & Young Families.
Oct 31, 2023

Why is Boston so expensive to rent? ›

Rent control and stabilization would make rent hikes like these impossible, keeping tenants from being evicted on short notice or for profit, McCann added. Demetrios Salpoglou, CEO of Boston Pads, said high rents are due to a triple-whammy of low supply, low turnover, and high costs for landlords.

When the rent is the lowest in Boston? ›

Renting an apartment is cheapest if you move in January or February.

Is 40% of my income too much for rent? ›

One popular guideline is the 30% rent rule, which says to spend around 30% of your gross income on rent. So if you earn $3,200 per month before taxes, you could spend about $960 per month on rent.

Is 50% of your income too much for rent? ›

Spending more than 50% of your income on rent isn't recommended, as you'll be living paycheck to paycheck. You won't be able to save or invest money for the future. If you're currently overspending on rent, solutions include raising your income, finding more affordable housing, or getting a place with a roommate.

Is 20% of income on rent good? ›

The 30% rule says no more than 30% of your gross monthly income. The 50/30/20 rule says to allocate 50% of your income to necessary expenses, including rent. But you may need to apply a more holistic approach to reach a number you are comfortable with.

Should rent be 10 percent of income? ›

A common rule of thumb says that roughly one-third of your monthly gross income can go to rent. But if you have substantial savings and no debt, you may be OK with spending a larger percentage of income on rent.

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