Looking to Move and Invest in Rhode Island

13 Replies

I figured it was time to just raise my hand and see who wants to connect.  My two biggest goals in the next 6 - 12 months are to a) move to the Westerly area of Rhode Island and b) find some multifamily properties in RI to invest in. I'd love to connect and exchange info with folks from the surrounding areas, obviously Westerly, Providence, and Pawtucket to name a few.  We started looking at houses a few months ago to live in, but I think we'll probably just rent for a little while before we buy.  I can pretty much work anywhere but my girlfriend is still trying to find a Finance job in that area.

Coming from the Metro DC/Maryland area, I'm amazed at how many multifamily properties are up there.   I'm mostly seeking something in the 3-4 unit range. I believe I have what I need for a downpayment but I'm concerned about putting all my eggs in one basket.  Because of that, if anyone is looking for a partner to potentially scale a little faster and perhaps diversify, please let me know.  I'd love to talk. Hopefully we'll be relative neighbors soon!  

One thing, for any realtors out there, I've engaged a couple of realtors over the past few months (not on here) but I'm not sure how binding my relationship is with them.  I didn't sign anything but I feel like that might not matter in Rhode Island. Anyway, I'd love to talk to you as well.

Eric, I'm not too familiar with Westerly/South County so maybe some folks down that way will have some thoughts.

Generally when I think of Finance jobs I'd think she'd be looking in Providence, Cranston, or Smithfield - or maybe going up to Mass somewhere along 128 or 495.

Also for you, if you're looking for 3-4 units you're going to find a lot more of those in the Providence-Pawtucket area than Westerly/South County.

(and when Rhode Islanders say "south county" they really mean "Washington County" - see all of the RI counties)

So I guess it's good if you guys are going to rent before you figure out where you want to put down roots - after you settle in and start to adopt the Rhode Island mentality (20 minutes away = TOO FAR), you might find Westerly starts to seem like a haul depending on where she gets work and you find properties.

Anyway, welcome to Rhode Island.

Oh and if it's cold and the sky is in any way cloudy, immediately go to the supermarket and stock up on bread and milk. You'll thank me someday :)

Hey @Anthony Thompson thanks for responding.  I've been following you on here for a little while and you're one of my favorite posters. You seem to always (from what I can tell) post intelligent stuff. If I'm ever up your way and you're free, I'd love to meetup. I don't have much to offer other than gratitude and a free meal at a good restaurant at this point but the offer is extended.

It's funny to think that 20 minutes could ever be considered too far but I guess it could happen.  Where I live, it takes 15 minutes to go anywhere ...and not because I live in the country, because there's a million GD people on the roads at every minute of the day!

I've looked at Providence.  I've even looked at commercial properties there but that's probably getting ahead of myself.  I think there's opportunity but without much knowledge or folks on the ground, I'm just speculating.  I gotta build that base! Hopefully I can make a trip there before the end of the year. Pawtucket is interesting as well but it seems to be more hit and miss than Providence but that's just what I know of the area, which is little.

Lastly, one of the things I've seen about Westerly is they get only about 10% more snow than we do here in Silver Spring, so I guess that's encouraging!

Hi Eric! I can confirm that your thoughts on Anthony are warranted. He's very knowledgable and has given me some great insight. I am an aspiring investor and investor focused agent. Let's talk soon about how we can help one another! I sent you a colleague request with my contact info. I look forward to hearing from you.

@Eric Smith Absolutely, let me know when you'll be in the area (send me a PM here on BP) and we'll figure something out; and thanks for the compliment, you too @Brett Read :)

Have family in Providence that lives in their duplex and rent out the first floor unit. They receive a nice size property tax break for being owner occupied.

Yeah well, from what I can tell Robert, that tax break comes from the skin of small-time investors who are looking to build income in small residential MF units in Providence.  :) As others have informed me, there's a significant property tax surcharge on landlords who do not owner occupy their properties. 

The tax assessment rate for non-owneroccupied rate for multifamilies in Providence is 3.196%, and 1.88% for owneroccupied. You can go here (http://gis.vgsi.com/providenceri/), look up the assessed value, and multiply by the appropriate %. The values were just re-assessed in Jan 2016.

Hope this helps!


@Joanne Chang great tip! (Though doing so for Providence usually produces shock at how high the taxes are, especially compared to other cities/towns.)

The Realtors used to have a good tax rates page with all the tax rates but then they reorganized their site and I think eliminated the page.

So now I use RIPropInfo.com for the assessor links and tax rates - there's a link at the bottom under "See Also" for "Property Tax Rates" that goes to the state Division of Municipal Revenue page listing the rates.

That's also a good page because it's a reminder that some cities and towns also have "fire district" taxes in addition to regular property taxes (and sometimes special water district taxes full under the fire district taxes rubric, e.g., Portsmouth Water & Fire).

@Eric Smith Yes, that is correct. As mentioned in my prior post, the tax break I mentioned is for an owner occupied MF. Therefore, it does not exist for non-owner occupied MF's.


I apologize for not replying sooner, but I must have missed your initial email.  If your girlfriend is looking for a Finance job in the Westerly area, have her check out Washington Trust, which is a full-service bank.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


Hey Eric, I live in Westerly and am pretty familiar with the different neighborhoods and businesses here. Happy to offer some advice on where you're looking to rent/invest etc. so feel free to reach out anytime.

As a heads up, Westerly is one of my favorite towns in RI and provides what I think to be an awesome quality of life. But the population is much less dense than cities and towns in central/northern RI, without correspondingly low property values, so finding worthwhile investments down here can be a bit more challenging.

Hey @Bryan Watts , thanks for reaching out.  I spent Columbus Day in the area and would move tomorrow if I could. Let's connect and have a conversation offline.  

@Stephen Renehan - Thanks for the job advice! My girlfriend is actually the Director of Finance for a non-profit org down here in Maryland and is looking for something similar up there, tho it doesn't have to be in the non-profit world.  

@Anthony Thompson - Absolutely!  I'm hoping to be up in the area during the latter part of December when we head North for the holidays.

@Joanne Chang - thanks for clarifying the info on the taxes and providing the link to that site.  I've already bookmarked it.

@Eric Smith Hey Eric, I am a Realtor and Active Investor if you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to me!

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