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Old 01-13-2007, 10:01 AM
 
12 posts, read 56,247 times
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Myself, husband and twin toddlers are thinking of moving to Providence from Massachusetts. I would be attending a certificate program at RISD. Part of the appeal is to be near a smaller city with more affordable housing. Where I'm located now, north shore of Boston is not an easy commute, so either going for work, school or just a day of fun is annoying.
I am now living in an expensive community, so unless I move to say, Barrington I suspect I'll get more for my money in RI.

Here's the questions:
-Is it possible to live in more outlying areas of Providence such as Lincoln, Bristol, Warren, Smithfield or Cumberland and not have a commuting he**?
-What are the following closer-in-to-Providence areas like:
Rumford area of Prov.
Edgewood or Pawtuxet area of Cranston
East Providence (which I may be mixing up with Eastside)
-Has anyone lived in So. Mass and commuted to Providence? Towns like Attleboro, Somerset, Seekonk, Swansea etc.?
-Are all the schools in Providence bad? I don't need Harvard prep like atmosphere, just halfway decent.
-Are the employment opportunities dismal in RI? My husband is involved in construction/kitchen design, so he wouldn't be looking for a corporate office job.
My concerns are safety and schools which although my kids are only 3 is not not an issue yet, will be soon.
I hear Barrington is nice with good schools but I suspect it may be like trading over for our current community (not much decent housing below $350k) and I wonder about the commute.
As an aside, I have also lived in the SF bay area (CA) so I know about high housing costs, crowding and crime. I also know about good weather and good food too!
Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 27,122,816 times
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I've commuted from Rehoboth (MA) to Providence on I-195, which can get crowded and windy - but never seemed like much of a problem for the luxury of living on a beautiful farm and enjoying those trees. It probably took me less than 1/2 hr.

I'm also familiar with Edgewood (Cranston) but never lived here. It too is an easy commute, but the two--lower MA and Cranston--are vastly different. One is rural, the other a suburb with side-by-side housing. I liked Edgewood, however, and it has a strong community feeling that you don't get in the same way as living in a more isolated rural town.

East Providence and the East Side (of Providence) are different. The East Side is in the City-limits; East Providence is a separate municipality and is accessed on/off I-195 and closer to the City than towns like Seekonk, Rehoboth, the Attleboros, etc. You'd have an easier commute to RISD from the East Side but housing is not cheap, and while it is generally upscale, you can also find some really run-down housing and pricey.

Jobs, however, are very scarce in RI--regardless of profession.

That's about all I can respond to as my children never went to school in RI, and I have no experience with the school system.
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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hw far boston from RI,is it a commutable distance for a job in boston?
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 27,122,816 times
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I did it for a year, first by car, later by bus. I changed my hours to avoid too much traffic up and back. It was exhausting--but do-able. It gets bad just before the 95/93 cut-off and I could write a book just about that split.

However, my partner did it for several years. Apparently some people have more patience, stamina and endurance.

BTW, it's not the mileage, it's the traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toms003 View Post
hw far boston from RI,is it a commutable distance for a job in boston?
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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Thanks On the Road, I hadn't thought of Rehoboth. That might be an option since I do like a little rural atmosphere.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:31 AM
 
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You can search on the Rhode Island MLS website to compare prices in various towns. Also on the top of their home page, is the information on RI property taxes in the various cities/towns.

As for living in MA and working in RI, you will pay state income tax in both states and then use the taxes you pay in RI as a deduction I believe. MA property taxes are a lot lower, but home prices are much higher.

When I was a broker in RI, most people who commuted to Boston for work and lived in RI, lived in the northeast corner of the state. Cumberland, Lincoln, etc. because of the Rt. 295 to Rt. 95 access. It is not an easy drive to and from work in Boston because of the traffic, and it's only getting worse. You can take the train from Attleboro MA of course, and many folks do that.

Living in North or South Attleboro, would be preferable because those towns are right over the state line.

I truly think that you need to check the MLS which is:

www.riliving.com

As for the Massachusetts MLS, you can go to most Realtor's websites in eastern MA to get access, or Realtor.com (but that is not up to date).

In RI, the most expensive towns are: East Greenwich, Barrington, Lincoln, Cumberland and the areas around the "East Side" of Prov. near the colleges; and, of course, the areas closest to the ocean.

If you need a referral to a good Realtor in RI or near the Attleboro area, just PM me.
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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Thank you Apple Annie for all the good real estate info. I am leaning toward north of Providence, Barrington area or possibly Attleboro. Not sure I want to be down by Cranston, which I thought about earlier. I am investigating via realtor.com and fsbo sites for houses. Also looking at the online articles in the Providence Journal about neighborhoods...very informative. Thanks again and I may contact you if this "bee in my bonnet" becomes more of a reality.
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:40 AM
 
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The Dean Estate area of Cranston is beautiful; and the price ranges in there vary currently from about $300,000 to in the $700,000's. It has always been the highest priced area in Cranston. Other than that, the only other place in Cranston I would be attracted to is the Garden City area, price range of tops maybe $400,000 (smaller older well kept homes).

If you are thinking of Barrington, also think of Bristol. Both are very high priced areas because they are on Narragansett Bay. Cumberland (areas north of Rt. 295) would be my choice north of Providence, however. Closer to Boston, nice ambiance with rolling landscape. Better highway access in every direction. Average home price you will find around $350,000 to $400,000 for homes in nice condition in country atmosphere.

If you can, take a week this spring and visit these spots. RI is small, you can get a good feel for the state in 2 or 3 days of "exploring".

You may also be interested in the Rhode Island Monthly magazine for a good overview of the state.
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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On the commute - I live 15 min. from downtown Providence and RISD in Rehoboth, MA, that is to say 15 min. outside of rush hour. This trip takes 45 min. in morning or afternoon rush hour. I lived in Boston for 8 years and let me tell you, I95 and RT 195 are just as bad as RT 93 at rush hour.

As to suburbs, I teach in Cumberland, RI. Housing is high there and even higher in Lincoln. I was a consultant for the Providence Public Schools about 10 years ago and still hear a lot about them. I would not recommend their public schools. If you have young children, consider elsewhere. East Providence Schools are pretty good, but East Providence also has areas you'd want to avoid.

In MA, Seekonk and Attleboro both offer a reasonable commute, 15 min. off peak. Attleboro is cheaper, but the public schools are not good. Attleboro has a high concentration of welfare recipients, unemployed, etc. and a VERY depressed downtown. It's a sad place! Seekonk is very nice, a typical city suburb which is a bit rural in places, good schools, nice family atmosphere, activities for children. A bit higher priced than Attleboro. Swansea is further, and Somerset is further, but if you get a place close to RT195, the commute wouldn't be bad. Swansea is probably the nicer of the two. You didn't put Rehoboth on your list. You should check it out. Low population, big area, rural, excellent schools, family friendly, huge new soccer field, extremely low crime. It's about 8 miles down RT44 to RT195 in E Prov. from the center of town, but the speed limit is 50 and there is never any trafic, so it's 10 min and another 5 to Providence.

Barrington is great, but I doubt you could find much for under $400,000 there, even this area - Swansea, Seekonk, Rehoboth, etc., $350 is entry level.

I have a good friend who has raised 2 children in Rumford and has been very happy. It is small, sandwiched between E Providence and Pawtucket. It's definitely a lower income area, but not a bad place. A colleague also grew up there and just sold her mom's home there and it was beautiful in a nice neighborhood. The prices there would be the lowest, so it may be worth checking out.

I agree that Cumberland is also worth looking into. Lots of homes there for sale at the moment. The Community School district is the best. Cumberland has a wide range, from rural to urban, as it borders the Cities of Central Falls, Pawtucket and Woonsocket which are definitely lower income, higher crime areas. However, much of the town is rural/suburban with lots of new housing developments. The schools are currently in crisis, NO technology, in some case no text books, poorly maintained old schools, but Community School district is considered "high achieving," is all professional parents both with college educations, no one free/reduced lunch, very involved. Sadly, many parents opt for private school after elementary or middle, but my hopes are high that things will improve.

In regards to taxes, I think it may be a myth that property taxes in MA are cheaper. My friends in RI all pay the same as I do. MA income tax rate is higher though, depending on your income, you may need to pay estimated taxes quarterly to MA so you won't end up owing.

In that field, I would think your husband could find something in this area. There are tons of kitchen design showrooms here, Horner Millwork is large and well known for windows/cabinetry (in Swanasea), there are also many of these places in Fall River, which is only a 30 min. commute from Providence, and if you chose a place like Seekonk, would be even closer.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:41 PM
 
474 posts, read 2,192,871 times
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You can search for homes on the Rhode Island Statewide Multiple Listing website, and enter your criteria for the various cities and towns. It is updated 4 times per day, so you can depend on the content. The addy is: www.riliving.com Another good site, although paid for by the Realtors is: www.rejri.com Real Estate Journal RI Property taxes in MA are definitely lower than Rhode Island because MA passed a Proposition several years ago putting a cap on increases. I forget the # offhand. Prop. 1-1/2 or something similar. Remember too that the salaries are higher in RI and MA, and makes cost of living relevant.
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