Best Places to Buy Real Estate in Providence

TikTak Houses
April 14, 2020
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Providence’s neighborhoods are among the most historic and walkable in all of the United States. Few cities in the country offer such a large amount of attractive, old homes or a city center that is so friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. 

Many of these neighborhoods are quickly transforming, as well, into highly desirable areas with cafes, boutique stores, and restaurants. Here are some of the neighborhoods that offer the best potential for real estate investors.

Providence - Rhode Island Skyline
Providence | providenceri.gov

College Hill

College Hill is the most prestigious neighborhood in Providence, with a median family income that is nearly three times the city average. The median list price of a home is $679,000, although given that the median sale price is $761,000, it seems like demand is very high. College Hill is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Providence and possibly in the country. 

It has become renowned for its efforts at preserving its historic buildings and boasts many examples of gorgeous Colonial Era architecture. It is also home to Brown University, an Ivy League institution and one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The district is home to museums, shops, restaurants, and well-manicured parks. 

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Despite being one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Providence, there is also a large student population in College Hill due to Brown University. As a result, College Hill offers a good opportunity both for those interested in the luxury real estate market as well as in student rentals.

Jewelry District

Located just south of Downtown, the Jewelry District has been newly revived thanks to the relocation of Interstate 195, which had previously cut off the neighborhood from the city. With the I-195 having been relocated to the south, the Jewelry District is now much more accessible from Downtown and a lot of space has been freed up for development. 

This is a very historic district and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. Many of its historic industrial buildings are being converted into condominiums and part of the neighborhood borders the scenic Providence River. The Johnson & Wales University campus is also located nearby and the district is home to the Providence Children’s Museum. 

Property is on the high end, with a median sale price of $509,000. Due to its central location and proximity to many landmarks, this is a great area for young professionals or for short-term rentals catering to tourists.

Providence Skyline City
Providence | forbes.com / Getty

Downtown

Downtown is, of course, the center of Providence and offers a mix of historic and modern architecture. Much of the district is on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to its numerous examples of Federalist and Victorian architecture from the 19th century. 

It is also home to the Rhode Island State House, the Rhode Island Convention Center, and the city’s main train station. It is also where you’ll find many theaters, museums and art galleries. The Providence River runs through Downtown and its banks have been turned into parklands and pedestrianized areas. 

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This is where the popular WaterFire public art event is held, whereby dozens of large fires are lit on top of the river during select weekends. Downtown is a highly built up and walkable area and most of the housing stock consists of lofts, apartments and condominiums that tend to appeal to young professionals.

It is also extremely popular with overnight visitors, including tourists and business travelers, giving it lots of potential for short-term rentals. The cost of property is high, at nearly $300 per square foot.

Federal Hill

Located west of Downtown, Federal Hill is a highly diverse neighborhood that is especially famous for being the center of Providence’s Italian community. This is an area with many Italian restaurants and lots of historic architecture. It is also an area that is undergoing a rapid transformation, with its historic district becoming a favorite place for developers looking for the next big thing. 

Federal Hill real estate is rising as a result, with plenty of homes now for sale for over $500,000. However, it is still quite possible to find deals well below that figure. Federal Hill has exceptional appeal for tourists, both because it is a thriving historic district with plenty of nightlife and because it is so close to Downtown and its attractions.

Providence City America Skyline
Providence | nationsonline.org / X2o

Fox Point

Located just south of the Brown University campus, Fox Point has historically been home to Providence’s large Portuguese community, although today it is rapidly gentrifying.

It boasts a very large student population thanks to its proximity to Brown as well as its affordable rents. Like many central Providence neighborhoods, it boasts an impressive collection of historic buildings. 

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It also has a great location, being not only adjacent to Brown University, but also just across the Providence River from Downtown and the Jewelry District, and it is connected to both those neighborhoods by bridges. As a result, this neighborhood has a ton of potential and property prices are rising fast, with the median price per square foot currently at $267.

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