We didn't go on a house hunting trip to find a new place to live, so we will be temporarily homeless. We are hoping that we can find a place in a week, which may seem like very little time to some. Actually the key is to do research a head of time, so you just go down looking at places. If you have a list of places available and it is just picking from a list, it is a lot less stressful. We have searched many apartment websites like:
Although the best thing to do is search "Apartments in (---Area---)"
Another good search would be for property managers in the area. They are in charge of renting houses and condos. Typically a person who rents out a place would either put an ad in the paper or go through a property manager. When you find a few in the area you are looking at, go ahead and email them. Let them know when you are moving to the area and what you are looking for. Make sure to include location of your work and time you'd be willing to commute, minimum size requirements your family needs, and budget. You can tell them things you are willing to pay extra for as well. I usually email them so they have my wording on what I want, and I will follow up with a call a day or two before I leave. Then when I get there they should have a good listing for me to look at.
So far we have about a dozen different places in our really interested pile, so then we just drive by and check out the home and location. Be sure to drive around the neighborhood so you get an idea of the area. Be aware that some places look completely different on the internet than in person, so an actual visit is important.