EDITORIAL

What's needed to make the Warwick market even better

Posted

The story has a consistent theme – Warwick single-family home sales outpace any other city or town in the state. In the month of May the totals were even higher than customary, with a total of 142 Warwick single-family homes selling as compared to Cranston, the next highest, with 80. The total statewide for the month was 1,044, which, according to the State-Wide Multiple Listing Service, is the greatest number of single-family home sales for the month of May on record.

Of course, there’s more than one story here. By themselves the numbers are remarkable, reflective of a hot real estate market for the price range of homes Warwick has to offer. Warwick’s median home price, with half the prices higher and half lower, is $221,500 as compared to a statewide median of $250,000.

That’s part of it. As local realtors surmise in a story appearing in today’s Beacon, people have more money – plus many homeowners who were underwater owning homes that were valued less than what they paid for them before the Great Recession – are finally in a position to consider moving up. That activity opens up opportunities for others to move up as well as first-time homebuyers.

There’s a refrain we’ve heard more than once in covering the city’s housing market. While Warwick houses are selling and the average days on market for a property is 57, down 10 days from a year ago at this time, realtors are finding buyers are concerned about Warwick schools. Lack of a contract for almost two years and issues over the budget, class sizes and the condition of buildings have put a dampener on young families moving into Warwick.

There was a time when Warwick schools were touted as a major benefit to living in Warwick. Classified home ads often listed the school district of a property with Toll Gate, it being a relatively new school, frequently cited. Today, some realtors tell us they don’t say anything about schools unless the prospective buyer brings it up.

There are no statistics on how factors are weighted in making a decision to buy a property. Many criteria play into a decision to make such a substantial investment as buying a home in addition to affordability, from proximity to amenities, to security, taxes and neighborhood. Warwick has much to offer. Its central location in the state, its governance that has been scandal free, public safety departments and 39-mile coastline all come into play.

It is reassuring that the demand for Warwick single-family homes is brisk and that the community offers good value to those looking to buy a home. It could offer so much more if the good work done in our classrooms was not marred by the persistent inability of the teachers union and the administration to work together for the common good of Warwick.

Comments

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davebarry109

The teachers unions has not worked for the good of the students or the city for the fifty years I've lived here. Doubt they will start now. Some of the highest paid in the country with some of the poorest results.

Friday, July 7
Justanidiot

what we need is a taxpayer's mayer to bring us out of the wilderness and into the promised land.

Monday, July 10
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

You are RIGHT as always and daveberry109 is WRONG...as always.

The teachers union does NOT work "for the good of the students". The teachers do. Warwick has some of the best teachers in the state. Article after article has been written about their "going the extra mile" I have complemented them dozens of times (and my critics have slammed me for that. Why I will never know.) I don't see teachers "going the extra mile" in other communities. I just don't. So let's set the record straight for daveberry109. If he can find just one teacher that is doing a bad job, he should say so. If not, then even he has to admit that we have top-quality teachers.

NOW, as for the Warwick Teachers Union. You're right. They don't "work for the good of the students". They work for the stability of the teachers. They have diligently worked toward resolving the contract dispute. The School Committee (SC), on the other hand, has done little until recently. The teachers union works for the teachers to provide the stable workplace to give the teachers peace-of-mind so they can perform at the highest level which indirectly helps our students as well. Maybe they deserve more in their contract. Maybe they deserve less. One thing we can all agree on is that they deserve a SIGNED CONTRACT.

davebarry109 is wrong...again. Even his grammar is wrong. Maybe he should listen to you justanidiot. And as far as that "taxpayers mayer" and "out of the wilderness and into the promised land", well, old friend 2018 is right around the corner.

Happy Summer justanidiot.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, July 11
patientman

Warwick has 39 miles of waterfront. Easy access to the airport, train service, I95 and I295. An easy commute to Providence or Boston. Our property taxes are high but largely in line with comparable cities in RI. Warwick's housing stock should be able to demand a premium. First and foremost the young families want great schools. The reputation of Warwick schools stinks. We need to stop the weighting system that attracts families with special needs students. We need to attract families looking for "gifted and talented" programs. Warwick is a great place to live. We can be better.

Thursday, July 13