Looking to rent an apartment in the city? A locally-created website can help you make the best decision, and it's not Craigslist Philadelphia.
RentScoper, created by Jeremy Elser, a young local real estate investor, bioengineer and techie - who probably has the most impressive resume ever - shows all available rental properties in a given area AND assesses if they are above, at or below fair market prices for their exact location.
Users can narrow down rentals by their price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, pet-friendliness, maximum price per bedroom and / or value. Next to the search criteria is a Google-powered map that shows the rentals' locations, as well as nearby schools. Live traffic, local photos, street views and a land value legend are also available, making it even easier to visualize the properties - and the city's real estate landscape in general.
When you click on a mapped rental, a window pops up showing the place's details, as well as its rent, suggested rent and the percent that it is over-or underpriced. You can also click a button to email a real estate agent and ask them, cost-free, if you should rent the place.
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Elser is himself a real estate investor, flipping his first property at the
age of 19 and realizing that he spent a huge chunk of time figuring out what properties constituted the best investments by comparing their price to their location-based value, according to AGBeat.
While doing research during his bioengineer duties (this guy sure won the genetic lottery), he developed a heat-mapping algorithm to measure heart cells and applied it to
his own investments, eventually using it to assess projected versus actual apartment prices and create RentScoper, AGBeat reports.
which uses data from classified sites like Craigslist, Postlets and
other public sources, started in beta mode in Philadelphia but expanded last summer to New York City, Pittsburgh, Boston, Miami, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Chicago.