Padmapper: Apartment Hunt Like A Pro #tipsandtricks

Apartment hunting is one of my least favorite things in the entire world, along with team building exercises and dancing under duress at social functions. As you may be aware, I just moved across the nation in a car to stake out a little territory in the bay area. And turns out there’s just not a whole lot of unclaimed land here, what with the gold rush, so we’ll be renting an apartment from The Man, just like everyone else.

While no apartment search is painless, unless outsourced somehow to overzealous friends or people on a subcontinent somewhere, there is one glorious tool that kept me going through it all. Meet Padmapper.

Have you ever noticed how Craigslist is the shittiest website you’ve ever interacted with? I mean, Craigslist provides invaluable services (for free!), but the site itself an eyesore and a brainsore too. That’s where Padmapper comes in. Padmapper is a “front end” tool that filters Craigslist property listings through Google Maps, creating a clean, organized interface for your apartment hunting needs.

Select your preferred block/neighborhood/5 mile radius on Padmapper and watch as apartment listings meeting your specifications pop up as red dots on the oh-so-familiar Google Maps interface. You can save favorites, sort listings in a number of ways, hide them at will and even annotate them. Favorites satisfyingly appear as green dots on the map so you can keep it all straight.

You’ll have that cat-friendly two bedroom with indirect sunlight and a clawfoot tub before you know it.

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Taylor has written 136 articles for us.


  1. We’re planning on moving shortly after Christmas so this will no doubt be an invaluable tool.


  2. Damn. I work at an apartment community and I had this idea a few months back to make an apartment search engine where you draw a circle around where you want to live on a map and everything inside that area will pop up. This is like a million times better than that idea. It’s pretty much the most brilliant thing ever.

    Oh, and btw, you’re not alone. Everyone hates apartment hunting. Trust me, I know.

    • Oh, I don’t hate apartment-hunting at all. Sometimes I’ll start looking through Craigslist like 5 months before I need to move. It’s exciting to think about all the different places you could live! Hey everybody! I will be your overzealous apartment-finding friend!

  3. Dear God, you’re fabulous.

    Can we have a post like this on the regular? Some little hidden treasure no one knows about? I know generally we don’t like to share these things because we feel like if the world gets ahold of it, it won’t be ours anymore, but I feel like Autostraddle is a deserving community.

    • sometimes i also wish employers were kinda like colleges and would provide dorms next to the cafeteria. ya know. cuz then i wouldn’t have to look for an apartment to begin with!

  4. I am also in need of a place where tenants can write up reviews of landlords, properties, etc. That would be truly outstanding. Something clunky, mediocre and non-user-friendly exists, but it should be sexier, sleeker and easier to use.


    I am FOR a Grindr for lesbians, except ew, won’t gross creeps get on it?

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