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The Average Cost of Living In Rhode Island: An In-Depth Guide

Thinking about moving to the smallest state in the country? Stunning coastlines, New England charm, and incredible seafood make Rhode Island seem bigger than it actually is. But what does it cost to actually live there? Check tall you need to know about the general cost of living in Rhode Island.
Thinking about moving to the smallest state in the country? Stunning coastlines, New England charm, and incredible seafood make Rhode Island seem bigger than it actually is. But what does it cost to actually live there? Check tall you need to know about the general cost of living in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S., but it’s huge in terms of its glorious coastline, nautical history, and seafood. Though butted against the stunning spread of the Atlantic ocean with an affluent fishing industry, it isn’t the place you want to go if you’re looking for beach time.

While the winters might be cold, the cities in Rhode Island are said to have a warm homey feel with a reputation for culinary delight. Rhode Island also has a reputation for good schools and is home to the Ivy League Brown University in Providence.

If you are considering moving to Rhode Island, an experienced local realtor will always be your best resource for the specifics of regional neighborhoods, housing prices and cost of living.

In the meantime, let’s get an overview of what Rhode Island can offer you — and at what price?

Typical Home Prices in Rhode Island in 2019

According to July 2019 Zillow data, the median home value in Rhode Island is $281,700. Rhode Island home values have gone up 3.2% over the past 12 months and will continue to rise another 1.3% over the next 12 months.

While the median home value in the Providence suburb of Barrington is $434,200, median home values in East Providence run around $235,800. So there’s a big difference in price across the state.

As the island is only 1,544 square miles and is populated by over a million people, it’s not surprising that it’s currently experiencing a seller’s market. However, this seems to be swinging a bit in the other direction more recently as people appear to be searching for job opportunities outside of the small state which is increasing the housing inventory. A good buyer’s agent can help you take advantage of these types of trends.

How Much Are Rhode Island Property Taxes?

Rhode Island has one of the highest average property tax rates in the country. For a home worth $267,100, the median property tax in Rhode Island is estimated at $3,618. per year. To put this in perspective, Rhode Island ranks 5th in the nation for highest property taxes.

Property taxes are calculated by the assessed value of the property. While the exact county property tax levied depends on the county, counties in Rhode Island collect an average of 1.35% of a property's assessed fair market value as property tax per year.

To get the most accurate picture of what property taxes you’d face in your area of Rhode Island, you’ll want the expert advice of a local agent who knows their regional market well and is familiar with the tax rates. As the state of Rhode Island allows buyer rebates, it’s in your best interest to find a full-service realtor who offers buyer rebates.

Average Homeowners Insurance in Rhode Island

The average homeowners insurance annual premium in Rhode Island is $1,398 which is 29% more than the national average of $1,083. Of course, this calculation is just a rough guideline because it assumes $200,000 in dwelling coverage with $1,000 deductible and only $100,000 liability.

For example, if the replacement cost of your dwelling is actually $400,000 and you elect $300,000 liability coverage, that average increases to $2,250 per year.

In addition, there are other coverages you may want to add such as personal property coverage which covers the contents of your house. Thus, depending on the replacement cost of your house, your personal property coverage, the amount of liability coverage, the deductible you choose, and whether you elect medical payments, that figure can change.

Other factors which will affect your premium are the age of the home and its materials or features. If you have a certain property in mind and know what type of coverage you want, most major insurance companies have online tools that can give a general idea of what your premium might be.

Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in Rhode Island

Homeowners in Providence, Rhode Island spend an average of $9,555 on repair and renovation costs. This is a bit below the national average of $10,379. However, keep in mind that this average is based upon data from the city center. Outer lying areas could be higher or lower.

It’s important to note that this figure lies on a scale from $800-$30,000 and totally depends upon the repair or renovation undertaken. The weather in Rhode Island is hard on materials. You’ll want to take the age of the property into consideration as well.

When estimating repairs costs on a home you are interested in, your location is also going to make a difference in Rhode Island. If you live on the coast, you might need to budget in more than average as you will most likely be subject to storms and hurricanes that can cause flooding due to both rain and wave action, and wind damage to property.

Anything not covered under your insurance policy will have to come out of your pocket along with your deductible. Also, because of the extreme swings in temperature Rhode Island experiences, it’s notorious for consistent asphalt damage. Locals often joke about the potholes in the roads. Keep this in mind regarding driveways and walkways.

Other Costs of Living in Rhode Island to Consider

Rhode Island has a reputation for a high cost of living, high taxation, and limited career opportunities which is understandable due to its small size and dense population. Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital are two of the biggest employers in the state.

While most Rhode Island residents work in the city of Providence, a fair number also commute to Massachusetts and Connecticut. According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor, the number of jobs in Rhode Island is generally decreasing.

If you are thinking of moving to Rhode Island, locals suggest that you make sure you secure employment first. Try to network with any family or friends that may live in the state to get a more localized perspective.

Moving to a new state can be exciting and challenging. You’ll want the expert insight of a top local market realtor to get accurate information about neighborhoods, schools, and regional specifics.

Clever Partner Agents are full-service agents from major brokerages with extensive experience in their local markets. You may also qualify for a Home Buyer Rebate to put more cash in your pocket for your move. Find a Clever Partner Agent in Rhode Island today and learn more about buyer rebates.



Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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