How I found an amazing apartment near San Francisco with only my phone -- and without using Craigslist

Last month, I moved out of my apartment in San Francisco to a place in Burlingame, a suburban area 30 minutes south of the city.

Finding a place in the suburbs is no easy deal: public transportation is limited and the apartments are far apart. I didn’t even have a car back then.

But it was surprisingly easy to find a new place. I relied on just 3 apps — and didn’t have to use Craigslist at all. Here’s how I did it.

I lived in an area called Japantown/Lower Pac Heights, 15 minutes west of downtown San Francisco.

Google Maps

It's a nice neighbourhood with a bunch of shops nearby. But I wanted to move out of the city, to somewhere warmer and quieter: the suburbs.

Google Maps

So I started looking online. Like most people, I started on Craigslist.

But for apartment seekers, it's kind of a nightmare. It's cluttered, hard to use, and doesn't show much information.

So I downloaded an app called instead.

The app solved a lot of the problems I had with Craigslist immediately. All the listings were shown in an actual map, so it was easy to see in where the listings were located.

You can zoom in to see a more detailed view of the map.

I made sure to narrow down the search to one or two bedrooms. You can also set your rent price range, or the pet-friendliness of the building.

If you tap the numbers, it'll show you a list of apartments available in that specific area.

This one was a little out of my range, but it looked really nice.

Each listing has its own page, with all the information about the place: building description, floor plans, rent range, amenities, office hours, and the map. There's also a direct contact button at the bottom.

If you'd like to see the exact location of the place, you simply have to hit the 'Get Directions' tab below the map. It takes you to Google Maps.

I made a shortlist of the places I wanted to see, but they were all far apart, making it almost impossible to get around without a car. Public transportation out of the city is terrible and taxis take a long time to call.


To move around, I used Uber. Even though I wasn't in the city, there were plenty of Uber drivers in the area, including Uber Pool.


Finally, I settled on this place. It was near the train station, close to a nice downtown area, and has a great outdoor pool!

Google Maps

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