When I first moved to Billings in 2019, it was a learning experience in finding somewhere to live. Being from Miles City, and in my late 20's, I was used to grabbing the paper and checking the classifieds. These days, it's a whole new game. Between Zillow, Trulia, Apartments.com, Rent.com and the local options like Free Rental Finder, it's overwhelming. Here's how you can find your next place to live, and call home.

Start with Free Rental Finder (now Jasnia)

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Free Rental Finder, a resource my friend told me about in moving to Billings, truly is a nice resource. These days, Free Rental Finder now goes by "Jasnia" but functions the same as the legacy website. It has quick searches for all kinds of apartment needs. You can search by Zip Code here in Billings, to find one in your preferred neighborhood. And it hosts rentals from multiple management companies, so you don't need to waste time bouncing between their own websites.

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Trulia, Zillow, Apartments.com and others are nice, but don't rely on them.

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Having all these big-business-owned websites to search for an apartment is nice, however, I found the majority of the listings were outdated and already spoken for. They are handy to get a gauge on pricing and such, but I wouldn't spend too much time here. Plus, most listings require you to sign up with a separate website before you can even inquire. 🙄

The Classifieds (online) are still useful, especially for units without property management.

It's true! You don't need to go out and buy a paper with the internet these days, however, the classified section can still rock. The Gazette has gone above and beyond on theirs, with a boatload of functionality. Far better than browsing the paper with a highlighter.

Facebook Marketplace is KING.

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Ahhhh Facebook, the Zuck has bestowed upon this world a blessing and a curse. Blessing because people use Marketplace for everything, including rentals, and DO reply back quite quickly. They even have a handy search just like the big housing-focused sites, with the added benefit of ease of use. Curse... because Facebook.

Remember to keep at it, and if you have the luxury of this, don't take the first rental because it ticks all the boxes. Research into the property management company via reviews online. From experience, those reviews ARE accurate (mostly). Here's to your new place!

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