Just purchased my first rental property in RI!New in RI/MA Market

14 Replies

Hi Bigger Pockets community! I have been listening to podcasts and following along on forums for some time now and am ready to get into the mix of it all. I just turned 25 and I close on my first rental deal in North Providence, RI (right on the border of Lincoln, RI) July 30th. I am very excited to get started in this journey. The next goal is to use a hard money lender to do a flip to hopefully fund my next rental purchase. I live in Boston, MA, however, I am more so looking at the providence area market. 

Looking forward to making connections and learning from those who are a few steps ahead of me! 

@Alyssa Merkle welcome and congratulations.  I know a lot of people who have picked up deals in Providence area that live in and around Boston. Its not that far of a drive and worth it for what you can get.

Take advantage of all the info and connections here and get a jump on networking events. That second part is on my to-do list since I have yet to do so.

@Alyssa Merkle Congratulations on your first rental purchase! I hope this is a good start to a long and fruitful journey for you, as it has been for many of the folks here.

In case s/he doesn't mention it, be sure to ask your attorney about any requirements you have to register with the state and/or town as an out of state landlord.

There is the nonresident landlord form at the RI secretary of state but there may be town requirements as well, and how you take title to the real estate will affect how the SoS form should be filled out (if at all). So it's definitely something to ask your attorney about.

Congratulations again, and looking forward to hearing more about your RE journey!

@Eric Stafford thank you so much! I’m looking into the RIREI group and one in mass as well as a meet up to start networking a bit more! I’m thinking it’ll be my best way of sharing what I’m learning and also talking to others about what they’ve learned! 

@Anthony Thompson thank you so much for this advice!! I was not aware and will DEFINITELY be talking to my attorney about the topic of being an out of state landlord. I’m so excited about the process and ready to learn a lot along the way. Are you currently living in RI or also out of state and landlording in RI? 

@Alyssa Merkle I'm glad to have helped :) I live in RI but have lived out of state (MA, NYC) as well. I didn't own property in RI when I lived out of state though.

I usually encounter the out of state issue at closings when one or more of the sellers are out of state (since the sale is subject to non-resident withholding).

More rarely I encounter it when I run across tenant issues and the out of state owner has failed to file the nonresident landlord form with the RI secretary of state, since the consequence is "rent for the dwelling unit abates until designation of an agent is made and landlord shall be subject to a fine of up to five hundred ($500) per violation".

Unfortunately the first time some out of state owners find out about that requirement is in eviction court when they find out that not only can't they evict, but they actually owe the tenant any rent that was collected during the tenancy before the form was filed. That's what they call "not a good day in court".

(Another "bad day in court" is if a landlord/owner doesn't follow the correct eviction process and does something stupid like turn off any utilities, remove one of the unit doors, etc. - that falls under "self-help eviction" and can be punished sternly by the courts.)

If you're going to own property in Rhode Island it's definitely worth reading through the RI Landlord Tenant Handbook (pdf), which is a more human-readable description of the RI Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

Alyssa, let me know if I can be a resource for you.  WE have borrowers that actively buy and sell in RI and we actively fund and do deals there.  Our office is in Raynham and I live in Wretham (22 mins door to door from Atwels ave, amazing Italian food!).. Anyway let me know how / if I can help.  

@Alyssa Merkle overall I like it fine, especially since I'm already here :)

If I were starting over and could choose my area in the U.S., I don't know that I would choose RI or even the Northeast because I don't think the demographic and employment trends are super favorable for this part of the country, compared to others.

However I think if someone is already in RI or this part of the country for other reasons (e.g., family or job), it's a perfectly fine market and you can still make money.

I also think that if one is savvy and pursues a niche or two, that you can make money pretty much anywhere. The frustrating part about real estate is that you have to deal with people. But the amazing opportunity in real estate is that you get to deal with people. And people don't always make rational decisions, so that's where there's opportunity.

@Anthony Thompson I totally agree with that! If I could choose somewhere else I would as well, and may at some point if I get more comfortable in investing and feel I could do it long distance but for now, I’ll be looking for the deals in my area so I can be close to them! 

And I do love working with people so hopefully that’ll work to my advantage throughout the journey! 

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