Good Online Websites for Searching Rentals?
February 3, 2004 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Big changes coming for me and my family - a big move is involved (from Seattle to Boston). Seeking advice from those who have tried online sites to locate apartments/rental houses in faraway locations. Any sites stand out over others? I plan to gather as many potential listings as I can online, since I'll only have one week to actually look in person. I'm trying the obvious ones first (, want ads, etc.)
posted by kokogiak to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
Do you have a town or neighborhood in mind?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:19 PM on February 3, 2004

Definitely try craigslist.
posted by staggernation at 1:21 PM on February 3, 2004

Response by poster: Not knowing the area very well is part of the problem - definitely looking in the burbs north and/or west of Boston
posted by kokogiak at 1:23 PM on February 3, 2004

I moved from Detroit to Seattle in 2000 and chose my apartment over the Internet using I did have a friend in the area who verified that the area I was considering wasn't a total ghetto. If I were doing it today, I'd definitely be taking advantage of Ask.MeFi and Craigslist.

I don't really understand how people ever moved across the country without the Internet.
posted by kindall at 1:46 PM on February 3, 2004

I'm from the area, and I've been condo-shopping, so I know the towns pretty well. Do you have a job out here yet? If so, where? What price range are you thinking? How close to the city do you want to be? What kind of personality are you looking for in a town (socially liberal? sleepy middle-class? gated communities?) Drop me an email with the answers and I can help point you in the right area.

As to which sources to search? and craigslist would be my numbers one and two choices.
posted by jpoulos at 2:04 PM on February 3, 2004

Craigslist Boston, both for the ads and the forums where people chat informally and you can ask questions about specific neighborhoods. I'm from that area also and my sister still lives there [plus I lived in Seattle for nearly forever]. I'd recommend getting an accomplice in Boston to bounce questions off of or give you some straight answers on locations/parking/transportation. If you need a real estate agent to rent you a place, I have a good friend in that area [Jamaica Plain specifically] who is worth talking to, even just to ask questions. Remember too that Boston is a huge college town and some of the schools may have housing boards or blogs that are worthwhile if you're planning to live near one of the big schools. Also, off-topic, if you are driving out or renting a van, I have some boxes that I've been dying to get to this coast and would chip in to get them out here, drop me an email if this is the case.
posted by jessamyn at 2:34 PM on February 3, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the feedback so far - I will drop a couple emails. Just for clarity, I do have a job there already (at, it's in Maynard, and we're just looking for temp housing (6-12 months) for now - will be looking to buy a place later, once we've acclimated and gotten to know the place. And yes - I will be driving from one end of I-90 to the other. 3000 miles. Twice. In February. Whee! [ask mefi rules]
posted by kokogiak at 2:59 PM on February 3, 2004

I couldn't uproot now, but I do miss the cross-country drives (6 trips). Hopefully it's not a complete rush and you can catch a site or two.

Anyway, a friend of mine works at Monster (and lives in Framingham). Drop me a line if you'd like (email in my profile) and I can put you in touch with him.
posted by jalexei at 4:58 PM on February 3, 2004

kokogiak: we'll be neighbors. I just had my offer accepted on a condo in Boxborough. That's a stone's throw away from Maynard.
posted by jpoulos at 5:20 PM on February 3, 2004

Write and ask my friend Eric at Penceland. I'm sure he will be of some help.
posted by y2karl at 7:37 PM on February 3, 2004

Usenet - ne.housing in particular.

Or, here. I'm leaving a great apartment in Belmont (just west of Cambridge) in a few weeks to move to Denver. If you're looking for a nice ~1100 sq ft, 3 br, 1 bath, the upper level of a duplex, send me an email at . I can hook you up with the landlord. Belmont is one of the nicer immediate suburbs.
posted by warhol at 8:01 PM on February 3, 2004

kokogiak - My wife and I bought a house just South of Worcester two years ago. Houses are much cheaper in this region, but going up quickly ( in the outer concentric ring, of course, outside route 495, including to the north of Worcester ). If homes further in are too expensive for you, look out here. Further, if you got a place very soon, you'd still catch some of the the usual winter 5-15% price dip. But it sounds as if that's a bit premature to your needs. Good luck with the drive.
posted by troutfishing at 9:23 PM on February 3, 2004

Also - for what it's worth - the Merrimack Valley is one of the top Mercury (airborne) "hotspots" in the US.
posted by troutfishing at 8:18 AM on February 4, 2004 along with Boston-Craigslist when I moved up to Boston from New Jersey. Not sure about home buying, but the Metro paper runs real estate features every now and then. Move outside the city since prices in the area are pretty high.
posted by brent at 10:13 AM on February 4, 2004

Response by poster: So far, Craigslist is a big help - especially for the listings with a link to a Mapquest Map - that really helps. But I think I still have a lot of footwork ahead of me.
posted by kokogiak at 10:16 AM on February 4, 2004

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