Priscilla Tan  |  Singapore
Published 2015-09-22 11:13:29

Nicolas Baldacci is a self-described problem solver, hacker and techie. He works in a startup in India. After moving houses more than five times in the past decade, he decided to develop a website that “scratches the surface of [a] very huge problem.” Namely, the frustration behind finding a suitable apartment.

“I have used pretty much every real estate portal. They are useful in showing you properties for rent and sale. But nobody seems to [be able to] solve the problem of finding the right apartment. Since I have been living in the same city for a very long time, I can easily figure out which locality is best for me. But this is not an easy task for any person who is relatively new to the city or not very socially active.”

Called Where to Live In, Baldacci’s website hunts for flats based on the data entered by each home buyer/renter. He says, “When I look for a house, the primary focus is on the proximity to certain landmarks, such as [the] workplace. This is exactly what my website does.”

Image Credit: Where to Live In

Bringing House Hunting Online

Where to Live In outperforms Classified ads and many apartment hunting apps, by virtue of its easy-to-use interface. All users need to do is type in their personal particulars (age, marital status), budget and preferred housing type, as well as up to three locations they want to be in the vicinity of. After that, click on the ‘Search’ tab, and a map showing a list of available properties will be generated.

By clicking on the tab ‘Click To See Matching Properties’, home hunters will be directed to PropertyGuru, one of Singapore’s largest property sites. Once there, users can further refine their searches and view more details of each home listing to help them decide on the best housing for their needs.

The website operates with a fuss-free design, and according to Baldacci, took only a few hours to set up. When I asked him if there were any struggles he faced during the process, he said there weren’t any. “Thanks to amazing work done by the guys who build Turf, the initial hack was done in a matter of hours. And AWS [Amazon Web Services] has made [the] life of problem solvers a whole lot easier in the last few years.”

Image Credit: Where to Live In

With the number of users of the platform slowly increasing, I asked Baldacci about his plans for the future of Where to Live In. He shared, “I would love to see major players in the domain work on this problem. Also, I’m thinking of more user preferences like the availability of hospitals or restaurants to be added to the filters.”

Take that, newspaper Classifieds.

Verdict: 4/5 

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Where to Live In is the website no one thought they needed. Not only does it eliminate wasted time, it’s also an innovative approach to finding the perfect pad. It may be plain to look at, but a simple and user-friendly design certainly makes up for it. This website’s hit the mark.

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