Price Check National Edition

5 houses in Providence, RI, a historic college town with a lower cost of living

By Rebecca Fishbein | March 5, 2020 - 2:00PM 

This six-bedroom, five-bath colonial was built in 1891 and is located just off Brown University's campus.

Statewide MLS/Zillow

Providence, Rhode Island, is home to a bunch of great institutions of higher learning, including Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence College, and Rhode Island College. As a result, the city is full of college students, student-friendly shops, music venues, and lively bars and restaurants. Thayer Street, which is located close to Brown and RISD, has a great food and shopping scene, with lots of chains and casual eateries priced appropriately for students.

The RISD Museum of Art, which is close to campus, features about 100,000 pieces of art from all over the world. Both Brown and RISD are close to the 1707 Stephen Hopkins House, once home to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Providence is also full of art galleries and installations, and is a generally good place to live if you're an artist.

Providence has some excellent restaurants, including New Orleans eatery Bucktown, downtown fish spot and wine bar Oberlin, and famed Italian-American standby Al Forno. Bars of note include old timey cocktail spot The Dorrance (which is also a good restaurant) and The Avery, which serves artisan cocktails, plus there are lots of great neighborhood pubs and holes-in-the-wall, if that's your thing. 

It's also noteworthy that Providence has a relatively low cost of living compared to NYC, with a median listing price of $229,900, according to Zillow. And there's a pretty wide range of real estate here: 18th and 19th century colonials, modern condos, and mid-century single-family houses, to name a few. Here's a taste of what's out there. 

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Statewide MLS via Zillow

120 Brown St., College Hill

This six-bedroom, five-bath house, also pictured top, was built in 1891 and is known locally as the Mary Dexter Hill House. Ornate period details include a wood-paneled entry hall, multiple fireplaces, and a wood staircase. There's also a large kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a center island, large carpeted bedrooms, a recreation room, and a lush yard. The house is located in College Hill, which is close to both Brown University's campus and RISD. It is priced at $1,725,000.

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Coleman Realtors via Zillow

710 Elmgrove Ave., Blackstone

Blackstone is a mostly residential neighborhood in northeast Providence full of single-family prewar and mid-century houses and manicured lawns. This four-bedroom, four-bath Georgian colonial was built in 1930, and has arched doorways, a stucco fireplace in the living room, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a wallpapered kitchen with white cabinets and countertops. Other highlights include a 325-square-foot master bedroom with an en suite bath, and a big backyard surrounded by a hedge. The house is priced at $859,000.

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The Residences Providence via Zillow

1 West Exchange St. #2402, Downtown

Providence's downtown area is full of fun restaurants, bars, and music venues, plus it's fairly walkable if you're looking for a more urban feel. This two-bedroom, two-bath condo has big windows, a balcony, and a kitchen with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. Other highlights include marble bathrooms, in-unit laundry, and a walk-in closet. The unit is priced at $525,000.

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Statewide MLS via Zillow

22 John St., Fox Point

This two-bedroom, three-bath townhouse was built all the way back in 1823, and has oak and pine floors, spacious rooms, and several wood-mantled fireplaces. Other highlights include a renovated kitchen with white cabinets and countertops, a master bath with a marble tub, a private deck, and a brick patio. The house is located in Fox Point, an eclectic waterfront neighborhood on Providence's east side that's popular with artists and college students. The house is priced at $549,000.

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Residential Properties Ltd. via Zillow

606 608 Hope St., Mount Hope

Mount Hope, also located on Providence's east side, is a diverse neighborhood full of funky shops, bars, coffee shops, and young families. This five-bedroom, three-bath house can be used as a multi-family dwelling or single family house. It was built in 1910, and has hardwood floors, a dining area with bay windows, and multiple kitchens. Currently, the top floor unit is vacant for an owner. The house is priced at $480,000.


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