4 city homes sell for more than $1 million in 2016


Every month, Warwick leads the state in the total number of single-family home sales, a number that consistently tops 100.

But when it comes to the sale of million dollar homes, it’s Newport, Barrington and Watch Hill that make the headlines.

That’s not always the case. Four Warwick homes sold for more than $1 million last year. That’s two more than in 2015.

One of them was on Warwick Neck that has the greatest concentration of single-family homes assessed by the city at more than $1 million. In fact, Briarcliff Avenue at the end of the neck offering spectacular views of Narragansett and Greenwich Bays has 14 homes with an assessed valuation of $1 million or more, according to city Tax Assessor Christopher Celeste. Nearby Beacon Avenue has four in the million-dollar club, while Channel View has six.

Overall, the city has 65 homes valued at $1 million or more. Most of the 65 are waterfront homes and, with 39 miles of shoreline, Warwick has a lot of waterfront property.

Ron Phipps of Phipps Realty refers to the “two rules” of real estate as “location, location, location” and “the law of substitution.” He said Warwick and East Providence waterfront properties are the least expensive between the Carolinas and Maine. Some of those properties are attracting out-of-state buyers interested in primary or secondary homes, but that’s not always the case.

Phipps represented the buyer in the recent sale of the home at 339 Promenade Ave. in Old Buttonwoods for $1,875,000 sold by Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty. He said the same house on a similar location in Block Island or on the Cape would have sold for $8 million to $9 million.

The single sale on Warwick Neck topping $1 million in 2016 was on Channel View. The property sold for $1,625,000, said Phipps.

“More important,” he said, “prices are recovering.” The Channel View home sold for $1.7 million in 2003.

The other two million dollar-plus sales were 15 Bayside Avenue in Pawtuxet on Oct. 28 for $1.1 million and 1180 Ives Rd. in Potowomut that sold for $2 million. Meredyth Church of Residential Properties Ltd. Providence office represented both parties in the sale of the Pawtuxet waterfront. The home was one of the first buildings constructed in the Bayview Avenue area circa 1895 and was originally built as a summer home for George E. Boyden, treasurer of the Vesta Knitting Mills. The home was later owned between 1903-1911 by Alfred B. Pritkin, president of A.B. Pritkin Machinery Co. and was subsequently sold to Gottlieb W. Wildprett, a partner in Wildprett & Saacke, jewelry manufacturers.

The Ives Road property is also an older house. Heidi Farmer Piccerelli, of Mott & Chace Sotheby’s, sold the 9,5000-square-foot home on nearly five acres of thickly wooded land near Goddard Park.

Philip Slocum of Slocum Real Estate in Warwick hasn’t been involved in any sales of more than one million in 2016, “unfortunately,” as he puts it. He sees some out-of-state interest in Warwick waterfront for second homes but for the most part says they are primary residences. Overall, he feels an increased confidence in the economy and improved attitudes have helped the market.

“Warwick is a gem with exceptional waterfront opportunities,” he said. In addition, he said the city’s central location and “stable tax base” make it attractive.

“Warwick should not be overlooked in that $1 million level,” he said.

Amy I. Doorley of Mott & Chace Sotheby’s is of the same opinion. She said there are a number of higher end homes “tucked away off Love Lane in Cowesett.”

“You’re right on the East Greenwich line, you can walk to town, there’s such convenience and there’s a nice established feel to it.”

As for Warwick Neck, Doorley said there was a time when people complained it is “so far removed” from everything. She said that has changed with the convenience of new developments, proximity of Stop & Shop, restaurants and Warwick Country Club.

“Everything is just down the street.”

For similar properties to those on Warwick Neck in Narragansett and Newport, “you wouldn’t be able to touch it.”

It’s not all as positive as realtors, or for that matter residents, would like. Doorley admits that airport noise is a factor, especially for homes directly in the flight path. Yet, she said, the airport is a selling point, as homeowners in most sections of Warwick can get there in a matter of minutes.

“That’s a selling point for me,” she said.

Unfortunately, Warwick schools aren’t the selling point they once were, said Doorley. There was a time when classified real estate ads touted, for example, “in the Toll Gate district.”

Taxes and flood insurance are also drawbacks, said Phipps. He said a Warwick homeowner with a property valued at $1 million can expect to pay about $21,000 in property taxes or close to twice what a property owner on the Cape pays for a similarly valued house. Property tax rates in Jamestown, Tiverton and Westerly are “so much more competitive,” he said, that some buyers are willing to pass up good value in Warwick for lower taxes elsewhere. He has seen flood insurance premiums as high as $30,000 for less than $300,000 in coverage. That may not be a factor for those who enter the market with cash and can afford to self-insure, but it cuts out a major portion of the market when it comes to some waterfront homes.

But overall, Phipps whose family moved here from California, loves Rhode Island and said he can’t find a comparable quality of life elsewhere in his travels around the world.

Referring to his own home, he asks, “Where else can you be 300 feet from one of the most beautiful bays in the world. The community is special.”

Phipps reasons most Rhode Islanders have no basis to make comparisons.

“Rhode Islanders tend to be nearsighted by how spectacular Rhode Island is,” he said.


6 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Warwick's proximity to the bay, airport, commuter rail, and 95 are fantastic selling points. Unfortunately, for many million dollar buyers schools trump everything. I would also take exception to Warwick's "stable tax base". The taxes are certainly not stable and they will not stop increasing until leadership changes at city hall. There is no indication that is happening anytime soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Patientman: I hear your point, but my experience is that many/most high-end buyers don't give the Warwick public schools a second thought because kids in those families aren't going to public school, especially in Warwick (and definitely post-elenentary), in the first place. But the article's central point is quite accurate; waterfront properties in Warwick represent a significant value relative to other waterfront communities within 200 miles.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

With 39 miles of waterfront, Warwick has very few public access areas. Rocky Point is a welcome addition to some of the best views in the bay but other than that, where are the waterfront restaurants taking advantage of the views? Where are the public venues for weddings and banquets taking advantage of our spectacular waterfront? Warwick was short-sighted years ago and allowed too much residential building right up to the water. Wouldn't it be great to have a waterfront restaurant or hotel/convention center at Rocky Point or Conimicut Point? Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually use the public ways in Warwick Neck? They exist but there is no parking. This is a fraud perpetrated by the wealthy. OK, you lowlifes have access but good luck driving to it. There should be some limited parking near each public way to the shore.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dave: Out of the shoot: Gaspee Point, Oakland Beach, Samuel Gorton Fishing Area, sections of Appanoug, City Park, Chepiwanoxet Point, Goddard Park, Ives Ave. Is there a relative dearth of waterfront restaurants? Maybe. Was the city nearsighted 6-8 decades ago? Perhaps. But it is not government's responsibility to guarantee the Fisherman's Platter while viewing the Jamestown Bridge. Does that make homeowners in Warwick Neck "lowlifes"? Hardly. Come on, Dave, class envy does not become you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Is there any better indication that Warwick needs to "cut-taxes cut-spending" than this? The exodus continues. The article shows that more people are moving out of Warwick than ANY OTHER CITY OR TOWN IN RHODE ISLAND!!!

Patientman said it best when he remarked that he would take exception to Warwicks' tax base as being "stable". The article noted that if these properties were in Block Island or the Cape they would have sold for 8 or 9 MILLION! That comment alone speaks volumes. If the taxes were less, the sales prices would have been significantly more! If we get Warwicks' tax base under control, we improve Warwick! Plain and simple. We are TBAR'd, Taxed Beyond All Reason. Cut taxes... Cut spending... and property values will skyrocket and a lower tax percentage on a higher sales price will net a greater total amount of total taxes, a win-win for everybody! If only the present administration wasn't so blind-sighted.

Taxpayers deserve it but those in power know they are overpaid (a lot) and they don't want to give it up, and I don't blame them. In private industry they wouldn't get half!

The only solution is for the taxpayers to take the power back. There are two groups. People who are "payers" of tax dollars and people who are "receivers" of tax dollars. The next time you hear someone comment on "what is right for Warwick", ask yourself which group that person belongs to. 13,278 good people voted for me in the Mayoral race. I guarantee they were "payers". Warwick needs these "payers" to get their city back.

I will leave you with two thoughts:

1. There are a whole lot more "payers" than "receivers" in Warwick.

2. 2018 is around the corner.

Happy 2017 everyone.

Rick Corrente

Thursday, January 12, 2017

RI continues to become a "two-class" State: those who arrive and receive taxpayer largess as legislated by General Assembly "representatives", and those who make enough money to not care because it doesn't affect them and can move away when they deem necessary.

The "brain trust" and skilled workers continue the exodus from RI year over year; on average over the last 12 years, half the taxpayers who load a moving truck annually move out of the State.

People are fed up with the "State of the State" and it doesn't appear to be changing any time soon, particularly because the same GA and City Council buffoons get voted back in every election cycle.

Monday, January 16, 2017