Newbie investor to the rhode island area

9 Replies

Good afternoon. My name is CJ and I'm currently in the military in Florida. I'm going to be relocating to the Newport, Rhode Island area to retire. I plan to start investing in this area. Having never been to Rhode Island are there any suggestions on good market areas to get started in and maybe some areas to avoid? I appreciate any advise. Thank you.

Hey CJ - I'm an investor and realtor here in RI. I live in South Kingstown, which is about 20 minutes from Newport. There's a lot of options for investing here, it just depends on your overall strategy and goals. There are vacation rentals, college rentals, regular blue collar rentals, etc. Is there anything in particular that you're looking for? Are you planning on using a VA loan for the investment? Tell us about your goals and we might be able to point you in a particular direction.


Good to meet you. I will be transferring to the Newport area for my last tour before I retire from the Navy. I'm working on getting my Real Estate investing business off the ground so I have something to walk into when I do retire. I'm planning on making real estate investing my full time business. My wife and I would like to start with single family rental properties to get passive income coming in. Not sure if we are going to use our VA loan just yet. we certainly have that option. It depends on the sale of our primary residence down here in Florida. I plan to get things going this time next year once we get moved and settled in. In the mean time I will be working on getting the business groundwork solid. we will be looking at both blue collar rentals and also play around with college rentals. I know they can be lucrative. I will also look into possibly getting my license while I'm at it. I appreciate your assistance an any advice you can provide. I would love to get together for coffee in about a year and introduce myself and talk business. Thanks again for the contact.



@Chad J Abel welcome to BP!

You asked about good and bad market areas. As @Lyndsey Daigneault said it really depends on your goals.

"Good" market areas such as the East Side of Providence tend to be lower risk and aggravation, but also much higher priced (lower returns).

"Bad" market areas, which a number of people might include South Providence and Olneyville in, tend to be much cheaper, so the returns are better - but properties in those areas also tend to be much more management intensive.

If you're going to be managing yourself, which is a very good way to get familiar with an area, I'd say stick within 1/2 hour (ideally 15-20 minutes) of wherever you're going to spend most of your time (home, if you'll be retired).

You'll find very quickly that before you know it, you'll probably develop the Rhode Island mindset of not wanting to drive too far, and it's just easier to stay on top of properties when they're closer by.

I'm much more familiar with properties in the Warwick/Coventry/West Warwick and north part of the state, so if you know you're going to be centered around Newport I'd suggest connecting with some people specifically around there.-

One I know of is @Alexander Zurn and I think @Hadi Bah is also in that area. And since you're already planning to connect with Lyndsey, she may know that area well or know people who do.

You could also attend a RIREIG meeting and ask around there - I know the founder of the group Rick got his start down in Newport.

You mentioned wanting to do real estate as your full time business. I don't know what kind of retirement income you'll have, but generally it's difficult to make a living from rental properties without really scaling up the number of units owned (well past the 20-30 unit mark).

I don't mean to dampen your enthusiasm, but I wouldn't assume a few single family rentals would provide enough income to live on, unless it's just extra money on top of a comfortable retirement income. In which case, I couldn't imagine a more enjoyable retirement hobby ;)

Prices in RI are certainly better than some other nearby markets (Boston :::ahem::: Boston), but some folks from Mass have realized that too and are also looking in our market. So prices have certainly risen and it's hard to find things in the 7%+ cap rate range, unless it's something off-market you find yourself. (I always say, the best deals are the ones you make yourself.)

Since you mentioned it, I'd definitely suggest planning to get your real estate salesperson's license as a good starting point. It will familiarize you with RI real estate laws, customs and transactions, and give you access to the MLS to do your own comps too of course. It will get you "out in the market" and possibly provide a little income as well.

That's not to say don't be an investor - I absolutely think you should pursue rentals once you develop a comfort level with the area - I just also think for your situation it might be a good synergy to also start off being an agent.

I hope this helps, and feel free to put me on your coffee list next year as well :)


Thank you very much for your advise and insight. I value your opinions and advise of the professionals such as yourself who have been doing this for a while. I absolutely plan to attend the RIREIG meetings when I get there. As a beginner I will probably look into finding a mentor in the area and learn as much as I can from them. I love the networking and meeting new people of like mind. I look forward to that coffee and conversation. Thanks again. your advise has been greatly helpful. I hope to meet you and your team in the following year. Thanks again.

Hi Chad - 

I recently started investing in the Newport / Middletown area.  We are doing primarily short term rentals on multi family properties.  Feel free to reach out with any specific questions.


@Chad J Abel I'm an agent and I live in Newport. Let me know when you are in town. I'd love to meet up and start showing you around Newport! I teach new investors in the area how to navigate through the Newport market. It's one of the areas in the state where you can still get a fantastic ROI! I look forward to hearing from you. Tina