In the last 7 years, I’ve lived in 3 different rentals that I found by searching online. It’s the easiest way to research neighborhoods and to also know what’s available from wherever you are located.
The internet gives us, military families, a chance to pick our perfect home even before we actually PCS. Why not get a head start by browsing on rental home search websites?
But, how do you know where to start with so many different rental home search websites out there?
I’ve wrangled together 9 helpful rental home search websites and resources to assist service members and military families trying to find the right rental home as well as some resources that can provide some relief when searching for housing.
One note: Stay safe and alert while searching online because there are scams out there! It’s very important to do your due diligence no matter what rental home search website you use.
9 Rental Home Search Websites and Resources to Help You Find Your Next Home
The Automated Housing Referral Network is a website designed to assist military members, from active duty, National Guard, Reserve to veterans, find the right home for them at any duty station location around the world.
It connects property managers, landlords and realtors in the area to interested military members. If you’re a military member looking to rent your home, AHRN.com offers free listing, so you’re able to offer your rental to the military community for no cost.
It’s a rental home search website designed to list for-sale or rental homes that are owned by other military members. The founders, a military family, saw the need to connect military homeowners to others that happen to be looking for housing in the area.
Since 1999, MilitaryByOwner (MBO) has stayed true to their mission by giving the opportunity for military members to link up to share housing information.
Real Estate professionals can also list with MBO, so there are a handful of different options for the home searcher. They also has a number of resources to help families move, so it is great site for PCS research.
Zillow is known for providing all kinds of resources for families looking to buy, but it also has information and resources for those looking to rent. Once you indicate you’re searching for rental listings, Zillow will ask for a location and plop all the appropriate housing info on a map. The interface is designed for you to see a map and listings side-by-side.
I wouldn’t include Craigslist if I didn’t have a good experience with it. Be careful and practice that due diligence I mentioned before when you’re searching particularly through Craigslist.
During my very first rental experience, I used Craigslist and found one in my ideal neighborhood and price point that fit my need. It was a listing posted by a real estate agent and by the time I reached out to her that particular home was rented. But, we were still able to find another place in the area that was perfect for us.
Rentals.com is a rental home search website tailored specifically for people looking for rental homes. Because Rentals.com is a part of RentPath, LLC, it includes RentalHouses.com, RentList.com and ApartmentGuide.com in its searches. You can filter your search by type of home, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. When you’re interested in a property, the website will direct you to the appropriate people.
This website I’ve found to be apartment-focused, but HotPads still offers other rentals like townhomes, condos and single family depending on the area.
I used this a lot because the interface reminded me of Zillow’s and they had a lot to offer in the metro D.C. area. We knew we were going to go for an apartment while stationed at Washington, D.C.
I had to share this resource because it’s an excellent way to scope out the area without actually being there. Scout can give you a chance to filter out the scams and allows you to get a firsthand account of the place by a trusted person, which will mostly likely be another military spouse like yourself! The program links you to someone in the area, so you don’t have to move into a place sight unseen.
8. Facebook Groups/Friends
You can’t beat word of mouth and direct referrals from people that you personally know. Utilize social media to put a call out on Facebook and see where that leads you. We are always looking out to help each other, so friends that have a resource or listing will most likely share it with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen helpful exchanges happen on my Facebook newsfeed.
Move.mil is the official DoD website to help military families with all aspects of the move process. From before your PCS to filing claims when you find broken items (let’s hope you don’t need to use this one and be sure you have an extensive home inventory!), Move.mil has the resources to walk you through the steps for a successful PCS. The website also has an educational component to it.
For example, if you’re unsure of all the different acronyms that pop up while moving like dHHG (Domestic Household Goods), JTR (Joint Travel Regulation) and USTRANSCOM (United States Transportation Command), they are all listed on the website.