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Home » Home Buying, Home Ownership

Craigslist Apartment Searches on Google Maps Mashups

Last updated by on 4 Comments

First there was Mapskrieg

I had previously highlighted Mapskrieg as one of the 4 best real estate search tools. Mapskrieg essentially overlays all Craigslist apartment listings over a Google Map, so that you can visually see the location of all the listings. Craigslist is very inefficient in that way on its own. You have to find the apartment address, then jump over to a map service and look it up. It can be very time consuming and not that helpful if you are honed in on a particular area.

Mapskrieg was the first of its kind to offer this service, which seemed amazing at the time. However, it hasn’t improved at all since it launched.

And then they got a cease and desist from Craigslist.

But now a similar mashup tool has come along and taken its place – PadMapper

PadMapper is Superior to MapsKrieg

In my experience with Mapskrieg, searches for your city or zip only worked half the time. That was problem #1. Problem #2 is that once you completed a successful search, you didn’t have any way of filtering it down further. You basically have to click on each listing to find what you’re looking for.

In both areas where Mapskrieg fails, PadMapper succeeds. Every search I completed gave me results (note that for both tools you need to search in an area that has Craigslist apartment listings). It also works in listings from apartments.com and forrent.com (you can filter out both if you want to stick to Craigslist listings) so that you can have a complete apartment search without having to go to any other website or tool.

But it’s the filtering options is where PadMapper really succeeds. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Search for the area you are looking for. And click ‘go’:

PadMapper_Search

Step 2: Click the little ‘+’ box in the lower right corner to start filtering:

Craigslist_Google_Maps

Step 3: Filter however you like to narrow down your options.

real_estate_search_tool
Filter Away: In the above example, you can see that I’ve decided to narrow my search down to apartments that cost more than $400/month, but less than $1,000 per month (trying to stay away from a crappy one and a real expensive one). I’ve also decided I want between 2 and 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. This narrowed my options down from hundreds to about 30.

If I wanted to, I could also have chosen whether or not cats or dogs were welcome, if it was a sublet or not, if there were pictures in the Craigslist post, and where the source is from. Pretty awesome!

Final Step: Super-Secret Advanced Features.

google_maps_mashup
PadMapper takes things to the next level by letting you filter in quality-of-life components:

  • Walking distance to work address
  • Crime rate
  • Walk Score
  • A list of Yelp bars, groceries, restaurant, and gyms

Did I mention that PadMapper is free and you don’t even have to create an account? Good stuff. And for those wondering – no, I’m not moving to Provo.

Craigslist & Padmapper Discussion:

  • Have you used Craigslist to find an apartment?
  • Have you tried Padmapper? What did you think?

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About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


4 Comments »
  • Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    I really wish this was around 5 years ago when we got out of college! We ended up wasting a bunch of time looking at all kinds of crappy places before we found a 550 sq. ft. 1 bedroom for $399 a month. It took weeks…

  • PadMapper says:

    Hey, I’m the author of PadMapper, thanks for the great writeup!

    Just wanted to add that you can set up email alerts for new listings that match what you’re looking for in the area you’re looking at by hitting the “Subscribe to this View/Filter Search” button, and that HousingMaps.com was actually the first map mashup out there (and was the inspiration for PadMapper).

  • John says:

    Craigslist shut down one and nearly the second with cease and desist letters in last few days.

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