On the hunt for an apartment in San Francisco? That comes as no surprise. It’s a sought-after city to live in for many reasons. With a thriving job market and a vibrant cultural scene, it’s clear why people dream of living here. Accommodation is also sought-after, so much so that the majority of properties in the city are renter-occupied. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. However, there are only so many apartments on the market to make a move on. That makes competition for securing rentals in San Fransico fierce. So how do you get a head start? We advise searching online before you move using the best apartment portals for San Francisco housing. Luckily for you, we’ve researched the best ones worth using to get you one step closer to move-in day.


Apartment search tips

It’s essential to research the various neighborhoods in San Francisco before you start searching on an apartment portal. The area you choose to live in can be just as important as the apartment. Everyday practicalities have to be taken into consideration. How convenient is the public transit for getting you where you need to go? Are there local amenities that fit in with your lifestyle? What are the crime rates like in the area? It’s important to check these things.

housing San Francisco San Francisco park with water fountain

Otherwise, you may have a nice enough apartment, but what if it’s in an area that you feel unsafe in? Or you find a lack of local gyms, grocery stores, good schools or green spaces? Make a list of features for an ideal neighborhood to point you in the right direction. Of course, it’s a bonus if the area has a cool local coffee shop or a hidden gem, but the day to day foundations of what makes a good neighborhood come first.  

The busiest season for rental searches is spring and summer, with fewer people looking during the winter months. Always be friendly and professional when viewing a property in person. If you find an apartment you’re interested in, don’t beat around the bush. Be prepared to act quickly to secure it by having your deposit, rental references, and employment paperwork ready to go.


Flexible leases

If you want flexibility on the length of stay and are interested in trying out different neighborhoods, look into coliving. This modern type of living arrangement has grown in popularity with location-independent professionals in cities with tech hubs like San Francisco. In a nutshell, the concept is a shared living space inspired by elements of coworking offices and apart-hotels. A ready-made community of international residents who work in similar industries attracts digital nomads who enjoy the freedom of not being tied into long term leasing.

a cozy blueground apartment in san francisco


Those who would rather live alone should look to Blueground for mid- to long-term stays in fully-furnished and completely equipped apartments. Discover rentals in the best areas in San Francisco for a minimum of one month. If you feel like changing neighborhoods, the flexible lease terms mean you have the option to move between Blueground apartments in around San Franciso and the South Bay. This is a great accommodation solution if you’re not ready to commit to a location until you’ve experienced it like a local.

Those trying to figure out how to find an apartment in SF quickly will be glad to learn that all of Blueground’s apartments can be reserved online. No in-person open houses or weeks of waiting to be approved as a tenant.


Best apartment portals

housing San Francisco young man sitting with a tablet outside

Now that you have some practical insights into rental searches in SF, start looking online at the best sites and apps for San Francisco housing.

Apartment List

The Apartment List portal takes a curated approach to help you search for an apartment.

They create personalized recommendations featuring listings that are exclusively researched and verified by their staff. Available rentals include accurate photos, property description and a list of amenities. Each listing is updated in real-time to reflect the current price and availability to avoid time-wasting.


If you’re looking for a house, room, condo, or apartment for rent, search on Zumper. You can take a deeper dive into specific neighborhoods by accessing rental trends and learning where to find local hidden gems. Once you’ve picked an area, you can filter the results by apartments that allow pets, lease length, amenities, and more. To be quick off the mark, you can store vital rental documentation like credit scores and references online using their ‘instant apply’ feature.


You may think Craigslist is old-school. But it’s still one of the best apartment portals for finding San Francisco housing today. It’s particularly useful when looking for budget accommodation or sublets. Their search tool allows for filtering listings that meet your criteria, such as zip code, price, and amenities. However, scam listings do appear on the portal unidentified. Always be cautious when looking at listings. Never transfer money or a deposit without viewing the property in person first.  


Try searching with Truila if you want to get more insights into what it’s like to live in one of San Francisco’s top neighborhoods. They provide comprehensive school ratings and crime rates which makes it a great resource for family-friendly rentals. Additionally, opinions are sourced from locals on everything from commuting to shopping and eating which are featured on map overlays. The portal also offers an ‘Advice’ section where you can post queries on everything real estate related to the Trulia community that includes advice from neighbors and local experts.

Facebook MarketPlace

Many people find rentals in San Francisco on Facebook MarketPlace. You can search through thousands of listings for free with custom filters like neighborhood, price and rental size. Facebook pools various rentals from property managers, independent landlords, and other partnering rental portals so you can cast a wide search net. The MarketPlace feature is accessible directly in the Facebook app.

Rate this article


Share article

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

I accept