Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

20 responses to “How To: Use Craigslist & RSS to Find a Great Rental”

  1. anamik

    Neat. Exactly what I needed. Ive been trying to find a large 2BR+ apt. in the Queen Anne area. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  2. Alan

    I watched Craigslist daily for nearly two months before I found my current rental. I had to double up on rent for one month to get it too, but that “loss” was made up in 1.5 months of savings on rent in my new place.

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  3. Ballard Boy

    I have posted this a few times here in the forums but this seems like a perfect place to post it again.
    http://www.rentometer.com/
    I am hoping it will help me not have to move next time my out of state landlord wants to jack my rent again. I am a perfect tenant but he isn’t very interested in negotiating.

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  4. softwarengineer

    I FOUND THE CHEAPEST RENTALS IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

    The big news papers are so expensive, the low budget landlords can’t afford them. Try the Little Nickel too.

    The cheapest rents are at small complexes too…although even the big ones come down during recessions though. Remember 2003′s rent decreases?

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  5. deejayoh

    wow – someone advertises for rentals in the paper still?

    probly the kind of person who says “what’s that?” when you mention craigslist

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  6. tforcram

    Awesome. I wish I had known about this 3 months ago. I have been using craigslist to search for a house to rent since January (and I finally found one last week), but this would have simplified everything.

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  7. george

    Excellent post Tim.

    Another approach is to rent from a guy who thinks a “for rent” sign is advanced technology and that a gallon of gas ought to cost 50 cents.

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  8. laxtosnoco

    “Another approach is to rent from a guy who thinks a “for rent” sign is advanced technology and that a gallon of gas ought to cost 50 cents.”

    Agreed. I’ve always found the non-advertised (sign only) places are the best deals.

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  9. dh

    Another site that “mashes” Google Maps with Craigslist.

    I’ve been using this site for a few years as it shows Craigslist listings with price point drop downs, overlaid on Google Maps (pinpoints).

    http://www.housingmaps.com

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  10. stephen

    I’m sorry but I think this belongs on the sidebar. I think very few folks here have a problem locating rental listings..

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  11. stephen

    Are you sure this does not belong on the sidebar. I think very few folks here have a problem locating rental listings..

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  12. Ken Mott

    Can we talk about real news.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2004201704_homesales26.html

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  13. Nathan

    I third george and laxtosnoco… There are a lot of inexperienced landlords on Craigslist who assume a more direct correlation between rents and their mortgage payments. I’ve found the equivalent of “wishing rents” on many Craigslist properties. Especially if you’re looking in-town, my advice is to go to the area in which you are interested, cell-phone in hand, and start looking for for rent signs. Call the number immediately. Sometimes, it’s an apartment manager who can show you the apartment on the spot. Not only do the unadvertised places tend to be more in line with median rents, you get a feel for the location before you even set up an appointment to look. I called about a house once, and the landlord told me where the spare key was and said he’d meet me there in 15 mins.

    One other tip… Vacancies are usually filled in my building without even posting a sign. My landlord will take someone with an internal reference, waive the application/credit check fee and even give them a slight discount. So ask friends in buildings you like be on the listen for upcoming vacancies. Of course, the average tenet has been in my building for 8 years… Another great question to ask while you’re looking at the place.

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  14. Ballard Boy

    I like the housing map but it is horribly out of date and none of the listings appear to be active. So not so useful.

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  15. Justin

    I use Google Reader and Craiglist to find the place that I’m at now. It’s certainly a good way to get an idea of what you can get for the price. I didn’t exactly get the cheapest place, but found something affordable that had a lot more space than I was looking for after spending 2.5 months browsing listing to get an idea of the market.

    When you don’t have the ability to drive around looking for “For Rent” signs, you can get a lot of info by starting the Craigs.

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  16. Thaxter

    Awesome tutorial! My job is moving to the UDistrict in the spring so I’m thinking of moving closer to work. I’ve set up my accouts — thanks again Tim!

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  17. Peter

    I use http://ListListener.com – it will filter Craigslist by city, category, keyword and price and email me (to my phone if I want) when a new post matches my criteria

    Waaaay easier than having to sit in front of an RSS feed reader all day hoping to catch the right match first.

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  18. Ask the Readers: Upgrading - Sell Now, or Wait it Out? | Seattle Bubble — News & discussion about real estate & the housing bubble in the Seattle area.

    [...] The consensus on the forum seems to be that option #3 is her best choice. I agree with that advice, assuming that she’s willing to price aggressively (see regular biliruben’s first-hand advice on that here) and can find a good deal to rent a place that her family will be happy in for a year or two (be sure to check out our how-to on watching Craigslist for rentals here). [...]

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  19. Subscribe to Craigslist search results to grab great deals - Smart Spending

    [...] This is an efficient way to grab great deals on cheap hedge trimmers or sports cars. But it can also be a handy tool for finding a job or apartment. Last February, Tim at the Seattle Bubble blog shared a great tip about how to use Craigslist and RSS to find a great rental. [...]

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  20. Where to Search for Rentals in Seattle | Seattle Bubble — News & discussion about real estate & the housing bubble in the Seattle area.

    [...] Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Seattle Bubble regular “perfectfire.” Thanks for taking the time to put together such a useful guide! Also be sure to check out this related post from February: How To: Use Craigslist & RSS to Find a Great Rental [...]

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