Multi Family/student Rentals in Providence, RI

1 Reply

Hi All,

My husband and I are looking to invest in the Providence market, wondering a few quick tips from those that have had success currently investing there or have in the past.  Specifically looking for average rent's these days (he went to college there years ago) as well as potential appreciation for the coming years.  

Thanks for your help!

@Melina Santos welcome to Bigger Pockets and Rhode Island!
Average rents can vary widely based on number of bedrooms and specific neighborhood. Can you be more specific about the area or number of bedrooms?

Some people recommend Rent-o-Meter for guesstimating rents but I’ve had mixed results with it. I usually just recommend using Craigslist and Zillow to get a sense of what the competition the area you’re considering investing is like, what their charging for what kind of units, etc.

If you’re in the area (or visiting) you can also attend a local real estate meetup such as RIREIG which meets monthly in Warwick to ask around there. A lot of us have properties/units in Providence and are happy to share our thoughts.

I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful but it really does vary by neighborhood. Some of the student rentals very close to colleges are renting out by the room so that’s more management intensive but obviously brings in higher income too.

Years ago when I lived in New York City, I thought it was unique in that values could change dramatically just by moving a few streets over and having the neighborhood change. But then when I came back to Rhode Island in 2003 I discovered that’s true in a lot of places, including Rhode Island :)

As far as potential appreciation, I do feel that we are nearing the top of the market cycle, so I would not recommend assuming any or much appreciation as part of your calculations for several years at least. In fact I generally wouldn’t assume any appreciation at all at this point.

Rhode Island is not exactly an area of thriving economic activity compared to other areas of the country, so if you can find a nice cash flowing investment the  that it’s great, particularly if you can find a  off market deal with some built-in equity. But I do not think the medium-term economic prospects for Rhode Island are that great so I would not assume much appreciation at all.

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