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Lovely simplifies your apartment hunt (pictures)

This rental listings app searches for apartments on your behalf.

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sarahmitroff.jpg

Sarah Mitroff

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1 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Find a new place

Lovely is a useful app that helps you find a new apartment, condo, home, or room to rent. The app uses your location to find nearby listings on a map, but you can search in any of the areas nationwide where Lovely has listings -- including most major cities and suburbs across the country.

Above is the main screen in the app, which shows a high-level of available rentals. You zoom in to see individual listings.

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2 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Apartments mapped out

You browse listings by dragging around a map and zooming into specific neighborhoods. The map has dots with numbers that indicate how many properties are available in that area. Orange dots are for hot, new listings, blue are older listings, yellow indicates rentals you've favorited, and gray dots are for places you've already viewed. If you prefer a list of places, you can toggle to the list view from the map.
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3 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Scope out a new place

Tap a dot on the map to bring up a full listing. You'll see a photo gallery at the top, followed by details on the amount of rent, amenities, and a description of the property. You can view photos full-screen, add the apartment to your favorites to view later, and share the listing with your roommates. From that page you can also directly call or e-mail the landlord to set up a viewing.
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4 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Favorites

If you want to save a property for later, tap the Favorite button on the listing page.
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5 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Get updates on new places

Arguably the most useful tool in Lovely is the option to set alerts for apartments that meet your specific needs. You set the location, minimum and maximum rent cost, number of bedrooms, whether the apartment allows cats or dogs (or both), whether the listing has photos, and specify any keywords you want to see in the description, such as laundry, parking, or beach views.
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6 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Define your search area

To finish your alert, you must pick a particular area on the map to contain your results. You can't zoom out to larger than roughly a 4-by-5 mile search area.
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7 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Start talking

If a listing has an e-mail address, you can send a prewritten e-mail response to landlord or property manager. The e-mail is a canned response created by Lovely, but you can tweak each message to reflect your writing style or ask specific questions. Unfortunately, you cannot change the canned response and save it in the app.
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8 of 8 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Renter Card

Lovely helps you create a Renter Card, or a digital dossier with your income, job title, move-in date, number of cohabitants, and pet information. You can connect your LinkedIn profile to verify your employment information. Whenever you send an e-mail, you can choose to include your Renter Card, which Lovely says can triple the response rate.

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