Craigslist Apartment Searches on Google Maps Mashups
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':
Step 2: Click the little ‘+’ box in the lower right corner to start filtering:
Step 3: Filter however you like to narrow down your options.
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.
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?