According to Business Insider, Boston is one of the best places to live in the USA, and for good reason. Boston is an amazing city that brings together old-world charm with a dynamic and modern atmosphere to create a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in the USA!
Walk around Boston, and you’ll find historical buildings from the 1600s side-by-side with chic buildings designed by some of the most influential architects in the world such as I.M. Pei and Frank Gehry. After exploring the sights and sounds of the city, you’re sure to be hungry, so why not grab a bowl of Boston’s famous clam chowder or a heaping lobster roll? Of course, it’s also easy to get swept up by the thrill and excitement of Boston’s sports scene, where the locals are passionate fans of iconic teams such as the Celtics and the Red Sox.
However, the popularity of Boston does have one drawback: finding an apartment can be difficult especially if you’re new to the city and don’t know where to start your search.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled a list of the best websites for apartment hunting in the Boston area.
What are the Best Websites to Find an Apartment for Rent in Boston?
After scouring through dozens of websites, we’ve identified six of the best websites where you can find great deals on apartment rentals in Boston. Here is what we found:
A Breakdown of the Best Boston Rental Websites
Alex the Alpacabot
In 2018, four friends came together and createdAlpaca Technology, Inc., an MIT startup aimed to help renters find apartments quickly and easily. Today, it is based in New York City and Berlin, and it has partnered with hundreds of property owners in Boston to create a virtual apartment directory. The directory is updated in real-time and contains hundreds of listings of available apartments in Boston.
Alpaca Technology, Inc. is proud of Alex the Alpacabot, a virtual real estate agent. It is free of charge, easy to use, and can make finding the perfect apartment as easy as opening an app -- in this case, Facebook Messenger!
Can you imagine having your own virtual real-estate agent at your fingertips, ready to go whenever you are?
Say goodbye to the tedious process of digging through dozens of rental websites, contacting agents or property managers one by one, and scheduling endless apartment viewings. With Alex, you’ll be able to search for listings, check the availability, and even have a virtual viewing while sitting in the comfort of your own home.
After starting a conversation with Alex on Messenger, simply input your desired search criteria and let Alex do the hard work of sifting and finding the right apartments. The result is a curated list of apartments that match your needs. What’s more, Alex will also help connect you with the property manager or owner.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to find an apartment in Boston, chatting with Alex is definitely one of the best options to find an apartment in Boston!
At present, Alex the Alpacabot is only available on Facebook Messenger. However, the Alpaca team is hard at work to expand the service to other channels, such as WhatsApp and SMS.
Another drawback to using Alex is that the service is only available for New York and Boston, although the team is also working to cover other major US cities as well. (San Francisco is next on our list!)
Facebook Housing Groups
Using Facebook housing groups to find available apartments in Boston is perfect for people who are not familiar with the city. Not only will you get tons of recommendations for vacant apartments, but you can also get information about different neighborhoods, places of interest, and other tidbits that you can only get from locals.
Alpaca’s housing community is a great place to begin your Boston apartment search. It is the biggest global network of Facebook housing groups in the world, so you’re sure to find lots of options that fit your search criteria.
Our team of moderators checks the groups daily to weed out spammers and scammers. We want to offer the best quality posts for our users.
Being part of the Alpaca Facebook housing group gives you a sense of community that you won’t feel when you use a listings app. Not only will you get information about the rentals, but you will also get useful information about the local scene, transportation, and other issues that will make living in Boston much more enjoyable.
Unlike using Alex the Alpacabot, you won’t have a filter that will help you narrow down your search or identify properties that are relevant to your needs. This means that you’ll have to manually scroll through every listing to find which ones will fit your search.
Boston Pads is the largest Boston-only apartment search website, and it shows available lists in real-time. It has partnered with hundreds of real estate agents and property owners across the city to give you one of the most comprehensive databases for open apartments in Boston.
Boston Pads has an information portal that site visitors can use to easily find apartments that fit their search criteria. This portal is open for both renters and property managers/owners. It includes detailed information about the listings, as well as photos, videos, virtual tours, and other relevant information.
The website boasts more than 150,000 active listings, and renters can customize their search to fit specific needs.
Boston Pads is limited only to the Boston area. What’s more, it does not have a mobile version, so you will need a desktop or laptop.
With a name like Boston Apartments, you know that this site does one thing, and it does it well! Boston Apartments is one of the best options for no-fee rentals in Boston, so you have a good chance of finding an affordable listing.
Boston Apartments makes it easy for both property owners and renters to connect with their comprehensive search portal. Property owners can list available properties for free, and renters can use the prominent search engine with drop-down bars to quickly find their desired apartments.
Compared to other apartment hunting sites on this list, Boston Apartments does not offer a comprehensive list of search parameters. If you have specific needs such as pet-friendly apartments or a limited budget range, you might find it difficult to use their search engine.
Their website design is also outdated, and they do not provide a map where you can see the actual location of the listings. This service does not have a mobile version.
Apartments.com is one of the most well-known apartment search websites online. It offers all the basic information that you would need to find units that fit your search criteria, as well as a filter menu to help you with a more targeted search.
The search function is easy to use, and a recent update on the website provides information on amenities near your identified listings. This will help you know more about the neighborhood and decide whether it fits your needs.
The tool does not update in real-time, so you might be looking at a listing that’s active on the website, but has already been rented out. Many of the listings are for large apartment complexes, so it might be difficult to find individual listings.
The filters do not always work, so you might not end up with a high-quality curated list. The company is also slow with updating its service. Lastly, they don’t verify their listings, which leads to duplicate listings.
The last on our list of best rental websites in Boston is Trulia. It belongs to the Zillow group, and it is ranked by Statista to be the second most popular real estate website. It offers visitors a unique experience by showing a map of the area where the listings are located, as well as detailed information about the neighborhood.
Users are provided with a detailed breakdown of the monthly costs for the listings, including rental prices, insurance, and home association fees. This gives prospective renters a better idea of the costs associated with a particular listing.
The listings are not updated in real-time, and users have complained that the agents are slow in replying to property viewing requests. The site also charges a realtor fee for every successful listing that you book through their service.
You also need to sign up on their website to save your search criteria in case you want to come back to your listings at a later date. The website does not have a blog or any “how-to” articles to help you navigate through their service.
Are you looking for an apartment in another city?
Check our other lists of best apartment rental websites: