Moving to Rhode Island

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Moving to Rhode Island with 2 kids

April 2014

Anyone from the East Coast over there?! We are moving to Rhode Island with two elementary school kids. We are trying to find the best school district either in RI or in Massachusetts (west of Boston) and a nice place to live. It looks like houses are far apart from each other and have large lots. I would prefer a community with houses that are closer to each other so that it is easier to get to know neighbors. Are there any good neighborhoods in Providence? Is there a resource similar to BPN in RI or the Boston area? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Julia

we moved east last summer - my husband works out of Bedford, MA. We chose to live in Durham NH for many reasons (amazing schools, university town, no state income taxes, highly educated and involved community etc). We purchased a house in a 'development' meaning about 26 houses on lots of an acre or two - so kids can walk to neighbors houses. Here is my advice from the last 8 months: I would buy a house as urban as you can - there is no easy way to build community when your kids take a bus (instead of walking or biking to school), there are few community parks where people meet-up/hang out and you drive for every single outing. Even having grown up on the east coast, and attended both under grad and grad school here, the move has been so much harder than I *ever* imagined. My biggest advice is to rent a house if you can - we did not do that and I do regret it - we are considering moving within the community because we realized we would prefer a different house. In terms of houses - I wish we had held out for one with huge windows. The lack of sun here is truly shocking. And I won't even go into what this past winter was like and how much snow we still have on the ground. Sorry to not be all unicorns and rainbows - but it has been a tough move. My husband and son both love it, the school is truly wonderful (15 kids in the K class, 21 in my son's 3rd grade, middle school classes limited to 22, great community support, really interesting school wide projects like maple sugaring - my kids learned how to tap maple trees!). Email me if you want more details or advice. We did look a little in the areas around Bedford/Concord but the prices and whole over bidding etc was too reminiscent of CA and we wanted to be closer to the coast and skiing. missing the sun

Congrats on your move. RI is lovely--I grew up nearby. My husband and I agree we'd move to Providence if it worked for our careers. If you feel strongly about a walkable, urban neighborhood with the cultural amenities you're used to here, you probably want to be in Providence. There are lovely neighborhoods, including with lots and yards as big as you get in Berkeley, and you pay far far less for what you're getting. The details really depend on budget, commuting preferences, and how you prioritize space vs. proximity to more restaurants, etc. There's also excellent food (even by Berkeley standards, although you have to look a little), theater, and art (RISD). In terms of schools, you can get a good education going all the way through public schools, but it takes some navigation and more detailed information than I have. I know that Classical, which is the big, city-wide, exam- entrance high school is solid, although it has some of the downsides of a large city school (so does BHS). Along with all of this, you're less than an hour from great beaches. Anon