5 Essential Apps for Renting an Apartment

Finding an an apartment to rent, applying for it, and moving are all horrible inconveniences that no one should ever have to experience. Unfortunately, sometimes we have no choice. So let’s vow to avoid the common mistakes and make them as painless as possible. One way to streamline the process is to use the many apps that are available to help you with just about every step of the renting process. Here are our favorite apps to help anyone in the market for a new place to call home.

1. Zillow Rentals

Most big real estate websites have apps now, and any of the ones you’ve heard of — Trulia, Realtor, Redfin, or Zillow — will probably get the job done. That said, our favorite is Zillow Rentals, both because of its regularly updated set of listings and its ease of use.

Zillow Rentals puts all of the basic information front and center, including an apartment’s price, square footage, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. It also has a collection of photos you can swipe through to see what the apartments look like both inside and out. To narrow your search, Zillow offers a slew of filters that let you set options like your maximum rent payment and minimum number of bedrooms. Throw in a helpful map and information about local schools, and you’ve got a great, reliable real estate app.

2. Evernote

“I forget, was that the one with the weird kitchen or the huge walk-in closet?” Questions like this are what you’ll find yourself asking if you look at potential apartments without taking notes. To make the best choice possible, every apartment hunter should maintain a list of comments about every apartment they see.

With a robust note-taking app like Evernote, you can snap pictures and jot down observations to your heart’s content. Because the app is on your phone, it’s always with you, and it lets you keep your notes in one convenient place. You can even clip websites into Evernote, so you can keep an apartment’s real estate listing right next to your notes. Evernote is a digital notebook that does a real notebook one better. Plus, it’s free to use.

3. Scanner Pro

Before they agree to let you rent a place, landlords like to know you’re good for the money. That means you’ll have to provide them with things like copies of recent pay stubs and possibly even bank statements.

Since you probably don’t have a copier at home, you can use Scanner Pro, an app that uses your phone’s camera to make documents that look just as good as traditional copies. Better yet, the app can auto-crop the pictures to the edges of the documents and creates a finished product in your choice of PDF or JPEG. Then just use the “Share” button to email the documents wherever they need to go.

4. PDF Expert 5

There’s no way around it: Renting a place means signing a whole heap of paperwork. Nowadays, that paperwork may come to you in digital format. If so, this essential app lets you sign and initial the file without ever having to print it out and scan it back in.

Just tap where you need to sign the document, and a signature window appears on your phone. Sign your name on the screen with your finger, and the signature appears right in the PDF. You can also use the app to annotate and highlight documents, making it a robust app for all of your PDF editing needs.

5. cPro

Craigslist basically obviated classified ads, so it’s a shame that the mobile site is so ugly and hard to use. Enter cPro, a Craigslist app that takes the site and whips it into the modern era of design.

Whether you want to find a roommate, fill a new apartment with furniture, or get rid of some of your old clutter before you move, Craigslist has you covered. And with an app as fully featured and nice looking as cPro, all your Craigslist needs are a cinch to accomplish right on your phone.

Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!

More from Gear & Style Cheat Sheet: