Place of Mine is a search engine specifically designed to help renters find apartments. It allows filtering of results by the user's specifications and aggregates results into one list for the user's review.Show more screenshots »
Place of Mine is a creation of Cazoodle, a search engine specialist. Cazoodle was founded by Dr. Kevin C.C. Chang in December of 2006, but Place of Mine is a recent endeavor. The only statistic available during review is 1,382 unique visitors in February 2012.
Place of Mine is completely dedicated to rental properties. Rather than having to search craigslist or similarly overwhelming listings, Place of Mine allows users to filter results by location, rent, and other needs. This enables a focused search and yields results based on the identified needs of the user.
To begin a search, the user must simply enter the address, city, zipcode, or a landmark on the homepage of the website. The results are displayed on a Google map. Unfortunately, an invasive advertisement for a contest is dominant on the screen and one must play or indicate "I don't like fun" to eliminate it from the page.
On this results page, various options are offered to filter results. Users may indicate the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they require, as well as price range, apartment type (apartment, condo, house, townhouse), how long the apartment has been listed, whether there is an image of the rental, features (whether pets are allowed, air conditioning, ceiling fans, cable, tile floors, fireplaces, dishwasher, internet, furnished, storage, wood floors, appliances, clubhouse, elevator, laundry facilities, parking, spa, pool, fitness center, and more). The last filter indicates neighborhoods identified in the area. The user may indicate if they wish to choose a particular neighborhood.
Once filters are set, users may click on the map to view the listings that meet the criteria they have chosen. In some instances, adjustments may need to be made to filters to find results. The basic listing on the map indicates bedrooms, baths, size, and rent. Users may then expand the results to view more details.
The Detail page has a basic description of the property, more images if provided, and the annoying ad in the corner yet again. CaPinion (Cazoodle's opinion) regarding rent - is it close to the average for apartments in the area? - and amenities - are provided on a scale of "yes, no, and sort of" with a 1-5 scale that is slightly vague. Clicking on the tabs for rent and amenities provides the median rent in comparison to the property being viewed as well as other apartment suggestions and the extra features and/or missing features in comparison. Similarly, the amenities tab provides recommendations as well as the amenities within one mile of the property (health/medical, grocery, shopping, restaurants, school, sports venues, nightlife, art/theater). A Google map shows the amenities in relation to the rental.
Each suggested rental on these pages may be compared to the one the user is viewing. The comparison indicates the rent difference, distance from the selected rental, and amenities. Users may also see similar listings from the detail page.
Apartment complexes are also listed and each available unit is described by number of beds and baths, as well as rent. Links to the source and a telephone number are provided.
Each apartment may be added to a list of Favorites or to a user-created list. Lists may then be customized, filtered by floorplans, and have comments added. Users may also share the list with others via Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, or Google bookmark.
Overall, the site is intuitive and easy to use. The information was clear and easily filtered. Aside from the intrusive contest advertisement, the site was appealing to view. One notable drawback is that the suggested properties on the detail pages were often not in line with what the user indicated - in fact they were, in some cases, much less acceptable.
Users may login with Facebook or create an individual account. To create an account, an email, password, and name are required. A verification email is sent to the provided address. The verification link leads to a profile page.
Place of Mine is free to use.
Anyone seeking an apartment, condo, townhouse, or house to rent may benefit by using Place of Mine. It is a good starting point and the ability to make lists so that properties may be compared side by side is very useful. It is suggested that potential renters contact the properties to clarify amenities and distances to various places, as the one mile that is defined by the site is really mostly applicable to city living.