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Old 02-06-2016, 10:09 AM
 
44 posts, read 46,392 times
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Hi!

I currently live in chicago with husband and 2 little kids. We absolutely love living in the city but can't afford to continue to do so in areas with good schools. I grew up in the south shore of Mass and have lived/worked in Boston area and Seacoast of NH.

While we love living in the city, we can certainly do without (Boston not a financial possibility). what we really really don't like is cookie cutter style suburbs with just a sort of strip mall center with only chains). This is the type of suburb I grew up in and am trying so hard to avoid. Problem is, the Boston suburbs I am familiar with in a commutable distance to the city and with good schools are ridiculously expensive (Lexington, Concord, Sudbury, Hingham, etc) and not even close to possivle for us (our Max home budget would be 475k). So I started to feel like Mass just wasn't going to happen for us. We like NH a lot too and love that you can get a good home, in a good school district with a more distinct (less cookie cutter) identity (with strip malls of course but where that's not the only thing) in Exeter, Portsmouth, etc. But...my having grown up in the South Shore of Mass my heart still pulls that way and it suddenly occurred to me that the suburbs of providence may offer us exactly what we are looking for and with the added bonus of being in a city and the cultural benefits of that.

I have scoured these forums and it sounds like Barrington and Bristol both have great school districts- Bristol being a bit more affordable- and have a distinct New England charm to them. I can't believe I never thought of this before! I have spent some time in RI growing up but my late teen- early 20s eyes looked at things a lot differently and I don't have a sense of what life in these suburbs are like.

Hoping to get some insight from some people on here with experience. I am excited- sounds beautiful!
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
5,985 posts, read 9,220,608 times
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Barrington has good schools. My understanding is that Bristol does not. Cute town, though.
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Old 02-06-2016, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
5,290 posts, read 8,717,765 times
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Not all of the schools in Bristol have bad ratings. The Rockwell school shows a 9 for example. You can probably research these since school ratings are easily available on the internet. You might also check out the Touisset area of RI and Westport, Ma.

Keep your house expectation realistic and relatively modest since 475k will not be a lot for these areas.

RILiving.com
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:25 PM
 
44 posts, read 46,392 times
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Thank you to your replies!

Based on great schools- I see most neighborhoods in Bristol as having 9 elementary school, 7 middle school, and 9 high school- which aside from the middle school is pretty amazing! Trying to find a school district in a decently commutable distance to boston with a 9 rating is really really hard to come by- so I was pretty excited when I saw those ratings. Now, I know great school ratings aren't everything or even close to it...but the truth is, I don't have much else to go by (except parents on here who might be able to add some thoughts)....so best I can do at this stage is great schools.

I don't have crazy high expectations for homes under 500k....but I saw tons of what I would consider nice homes in the 400-499k range on Redfin and Zillow.

Do you guys think I am way off? I am l
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
8,491 posts, read 11,227,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marria77 View Post
Hi!

I currently live in chicago with husband and 2 little kids. We absolutely love living in the city but can't afford to continue to do so in areas with good schools. I grew up in the south shore of Mass and have lived/worked in Boston area and Seacoast of NH.

While we love living in the city, we can certainly do without (Boston not a financial possibility). what we really really don't like is cookie cutter style suburbs with just a sort of strip mall center with only chains). This is the type of suburb I grew up in and am trying so hard to avoid. Problem is, the Boston suburbs I am familiar with in a commutable distance to the city and with good schools are ridiculously expensive (Lexington, Concord, Sudbury, Hingham, etc) and not even close to possivle for us (our Max home budget would be 475k). So I started to feel like Mass just wasn't going to happen for us. We like NH a lot too and love that you can get a good home, in a good school district with a more distinct (less cookie cutter) identity (with strip malls of course but where that's not the only thing) in Exeter, Portsmouth, etc. But...my having grown up in the South Shore of Mass my heart still pulls that way and it suddenly occurred to me that the suburbs of providence may offer us exactly what we are looking for and with the added bonus of being in a city and the cultural benefits of that.

I have scoured these forums and it sounds like Barrington and Bristol both have great school districts- Bristol being a bit more affordable- and have a distinct New England charm to them. I can't believe I never thought of this before! I have spent some time in RI growing up but my late teen- early 20s eyes looked at things a lot differently and I don't have a sense of what life in these suburbs are like.

Hoping to get some insight from some people on here with experience. I am excited- sounds beautiful!

Look at northern Cumberland, Lincoln, parts of Barrington, and parts of East Greenwich, Cowesett or Western Cranston.
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:32 PM
 
44 posts, read 46,392 times
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Hi all! Thanks for the replies.

So on great schools the ratings on Bristol schools- well most areas- are fantastic: 9 for elementary school, 7 for middle and 9 for high school. Finding comparable rated schools for Boston suburbs (in a decent commute to the city) in that district under 500k was next to impossible. Now, I know greatschools is not everything or close to it...but let's face it, unless I have a parent in the school district willing to chime in...I don't have much else to go on.

If someone thinks I am way off- please please tell me.

I certainly don't have huge grand expectations for a home under 500k but when I looked at real estat listings on zollow and Redfin for homes in Bristol (even Barrington though not as many options) I saw TONS of homes that I considered pretty nice (I am in a clean/modern but small condo in the city now, so I am not looking for 4k square feet) between 400-500k.

Please let me know if anyone else has thoughts on Bristol (or can Rec other suburbs) or even generally relocating to RI in general. For reference I grew up in the Raynham/Bridgewater area and with no disrespect to those towns...I just really don't like that type of suburbs (nothing but houses and strip malls with chains).
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
8,491 posts, read 11,227,828 times
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Are you all set for employment? or do you need to find job(s)?
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:11 PM
 
44 posts, read 46,392 times
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Would definitely need to get a job- moving there is contingent on my husband and I getting jobs. Thing is- we won't look there and put the applications in unless we first decide it is a place we want to live. So sorry if this sounds premature but truly- we are trying to first assess if the community is what we are looking for and if it is- then we are ready to do the job search. So assume employment please.

Please let me know your thoughts. I am feeling excited about the area now but want to be realistic and get as much info as we can before we start moving towards there.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
5,290 posts, read 8,717,765 times
Reputation: 4620
Have you been to Bristol lately? First step would be to visit the area in person and then consider looking for jobs. Can't imagine doing anything else frankly.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:41 PM
 
1,372 posts, read 934,123 times
Reputation: 1956
I just got back from dinner in Bristol. It's 40 minutes away from my house but I go all the time -- it's that great. That area (I include Warren and lately even extending to Barrington) has become, in my opinion, pound for pound the state's best restaurant destination. On Saturday night the downtown was surprisingly hopping, very young and vibrant. And I'd contend that within Rhode Island, only Newport rivals it for New England charm.

People never seem to speak highly of the schools, but it's true that with some exceptions, the ratings are generally good. All I can say is that I'd live there if it were more commutable for me. Every time I visit I regret that I don't, if only just a little bit.
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