I'm from the Southcoast area in Massachusetts. My market is mainly New Bedford since that's where I'm most familiar. I've started taking a peek at multis in Providence, RI. Some of these properties are in great shape and right near colleges. They're cheaper than similar properties in New Bedford by about 30-40K and seem much nicer. Rents are also much higher in Providence. It's a 15 minute drive for me, but what am I missing? Do they have extraordinarily high taxes or insurance? I can't imagine crime is any worse than New Bedford. I'm just not familiar with Providence, and I just have to be missing something here....
Depends which part of Providence. Some parts have much worse crime than New Bedford, and are pretty run down.
This should help if you need detailed info about specific neighborhoods.
Thanks for that! I'm looking mainly in the Providence College/Smith St area which is the 3rd safest.
Hey @Jacob A. I've got a few multis in Providence and could help give some feedback on any of the neighborhoods you might have questions about.
The PC area is a good market for student rentals. The students are pretty aware of the good and bad streets so not everything in the area will attract the most students. Smith Street is a little hit and miss but for the most part the area that passes through Elmhurst is not too bad. The Elmhurst neighborhood in general is good but usually a limited supply of discounted multis due to a high owner occupied rate compared to other parts of the city.
Providence has a broad range of tenant classes so depending on your investment strategy there is a lot to choose from. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I've lived in a few parts of the city over the last 4 years.
@Christian Allen Thanks man. Much appreciated. I'll probably take you up on that offer.
I have purchased 5 multis in Providence over the past two years. Be careful on the locations when buying. Mine are all on Federal Hill. If you would like an intro to my agent/Managmemt company shoot me a DM
@Jacob A. Providence taxes are pretty high actually, and there is a special higher "landlord tax rate" for non-owner-occupied properties. It's billed as a special "reduced tax rate" for owner-occupied properties, but the effect is the same - landlords pay a lot more taxes. I'd recommend checking out the "Providence Apartment Association" if you're actually going to own property there.
It's not to say the #s won't work for properties in Providence but I know I personally have a higher bar to get involved in a property there, than other municipalities in RI. As a general rule, if property taxes are high in a city/town now, and they have a looming pension crisis coming in the future (many do), the trend is not in your/our favor.
I admit that I don't have a lot of Massachusetts experience/exposure however, so it may be that the price point and lower assessed value more than makes up for any higher tax rate.
I would have to agree with most of the responses. I own and manage a number of properties in the city. Taxes are quite high. As far as inventory and crime, it is neighborhood dependent, and even from there, there are pockets of good and bad in each neighborhood.
Thanks all. Very helpful.
@Jacob A. I don't think you're missing anything. Even with higher out-of-state taxes, you still can find very attractive yields in Providence. As soon as you cross the border from MA to RI, prices just drop 35%. Especially if you're open to a C-class neighborhood, there are still plenty of deals to be had. I actually think the best 5-year play is in Pawtucket, where they're building a stop for the MBTA to Boston. Add in the new PawSox stadium (if that ends up closing), there's a good amount of revitalization happening. But as @Anthony Thompson said, whether this ends up meaning more tax liabilities, time will tell.