When it comes to renting or buying an apartment in New York City, you generally have two choices: trawl the no man's land of craigslist hoping that you don't get screwed, or use StreetEasy, the go-to destination to find a place to live in New York. Today, real estate listing giant Zillow announced that it is purchasing the seven-year-old startup for $50 million in cash.

StreetEasy rose to the lead in NYC's intensely competitive real estate market by offering shoppers an easy-to-use tool to find listings without the help of an expensive broker. The site claims to have 1.2 million monthly active users and offers information for renters, buyers, and real-estate professionals. The purchase gives Zillow a foothold in the New York market, but more importantly, gives StreetEasy the potential to expand out to more markets. Currently, StreetEasy offers information for Philadelphia, Washington DC, South Florida, parts of New Jersey, and the Hamptons outside of New York City, but it's easy to see how those looking for a place to live in Chicago or San Francisco would appreciate its services as well.

In a press release announcing the acquisition, Zillow says that the buy gives StreetEasy "the resources to further invest in product development and grow its audience." Zillow expects the purchase to close in the next few weeks.