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Cotuit

Thinking about moving to Providence?

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- To be honest (sorry Cotuit!), I wouldn't consider Federal Hill properties from a distance unless you had a Federal Hill local here like Cotuit to guide you.

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Haha. The apartment I'm in now is actually the only apartment we looked at. We really didn't have the time or money to be travelling back and forth from New York to apartment hunt, so when we saw this one, we took it. We actually had this place in Providence for a month while we were still living in New York, we called it our "summer house." :lol:

We thought we'd live here for a year, then spend time finding something we really wanted. Our only criteria were to be within walking distance of Downcity, 2 bedrooms, and price. Almost two years later, we're still in the same place, and will probably stay here until we buy something (hopefully this time next year).

I'm torn right now between the idea of buying a triple-decker and taking on the landlord responisbilties, and buying a condo. If I could afford the Rialto builiding, I'd be very tempted. My boyfriend's parents may need some living assistance soon (they're getting old), so the triple-decker is the direction we're leaning, parents could move into the ground floor.

If I were looking on Federal Hill, I would limit it to anything east of DePasquale Avenue, for now (for a rental). If I were buying, and planning to be around for a while (3-5 years), then I'd venture a bit west. If you do have any questions about Federal Hill, feel free to post here, or PM or email me.

When we do finally start to seriously think about buying something, I'm pretty set to stay on Federal Hill, Fox Point is my other area that I'd like.

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Cotuit mentioned there are a lot of ex-Bostonians in Providence. I would love to know what made them decide to go to Providence and what advantages (social, economic, political, etc.) Providence has that Boston may not. Who knows, maybe I'll be counted among those who left Boston for Providence. :)

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I lived in Boston for 8 years, then lived in New York City for 3 years. Believe it or not, I moved to New York because it was cheaper than Boston. When I left Boston I was actually living in Waltham. When I moved to New York, I lived in Queens, though Queens is in New York City, it is about as far from Midtown as Waltham is from Downtown Boston, but Waltham is not on a subway line, and Queens is.

I had been working in Watertown, which is the town right next to Waltham, so I could easily commute by bus to work in about 10 minutes, then I decided to leave that job and was looking for places in Brighton, Dorchester, Somerville.. even a studio was like $1100! I ended up paying $900 in Queens.

After September 11th my boyfriend and I decided to leave New York, he was from Boston too, so we talked about moving there, but the prices! Money was another reason to be leaving New York and Boston ain't any cheaper. So we considered New Hampshire for a bit, but add the cost of a car (realistically probably two), and we're back to the same cost of living. So quite at the last minute I suggested we look in Providence. He remembered coming to Providence in the late 80s and was shocked that I would even consider living in such an armpit of a city. He ate his words when we came for an exploratory visit.

In a very small package Providence really has everything that a city twice or thrice it's size offers. Great theatre, minor league and college sports (and we're closer to the Pats than Bostonians are, if that's you're thing). We have an amazing number of quality restaurants for a city our size. We have museums, galleries, the colleges & univeristies provide other cultural opportunities. The nightlife is good. The politics are progressive. The state does have a well deserved reputation for political corruption, but it's small size gives it's citizens amazing access to our representatives. You can walk in to the State House pretty much anytime you want and speak to your Assembly Members. I've met the mayor a bunch of time, Sen. Reed, and Rep. Kennedy. The access we have to our officials is amazing. The city is visually stunning (and getting better all the time). I work on the East Side and walking to work up past Benefit Street is such a pleasure. Having the mall right downtown is great, even if you hate malls, it's nice that it's there when you need it.

If you're someone who wants to go out every night and have a really active social life, I can see getting bored here rather quick. But I'm done with that, there's plenty to do for the amount of time I want to spend being out doing stuff.

There's also a lot to do outside the city, we're very close to New York, and hour give or take from Boston on commuter rail. The Cape is a quick trip. The Vineyard is easily accessible by boat from Quonset Point or New Bedford. I LOVE taking the ferry to Newport in the summer. There's even skiing at Yagoo Valley.

The city is far from perfect, but I'm very happy here.

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Hello. This is my first foray into an online forum, but what the hell . . . I'll try anything . . . twice.

I just found out that I need to move to Providence for at least 1 year, but maybe up to 3. I wondering if anyone has any recommendations for where a single, professional (but poor), Chicago urbanite woman should live (rent).

I'm looking for that rare combination of social with safety.

I'll need a car for my job, so I guess I need to worry about parking, too. No pets.

Thanks in advance for any advice given!

-Emily

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Would you be interested in roommates? There are plenty of college and grad school students in Providence looking for roommates.

Craigslist is a good place to start.

How much time do you have to look? Will you be able to come here for a week or two and search? A lot of the best cheapests apartments in Providence are the ones rented out by little old ladies who put a sign in the window.

My landlord is Toni DeMaio from Demco Realty (she is Demco Realty). She owns a number of properties on Federal Hill.

Also read Garris' post to Judy a few posts up^.

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Emily,

Posting your housing budget would help. Really, depending upon what you are willing to settle for, you can really probably live in any neighborhood in the city. One of the odd things about Providence is that, while the condo/housing market is going bonkers, the rental market has stayed somewhat flat (because the undergrads, grads, young professionals, etc can only afford so much). It feels like every desirable neighborhood in the city has rental opportunities ranging from $500-2500. It's really where you want to be. For example, in my part of the city, considered one of the "best" (extremely safe, quiet, mix of retail and residential, on bus line, several blocks from Brown) apartments can be had for rental for as low as $500/mo (800-1200 is probably more average, but there are others for $2,700/mo). Read the posts above and you'll get a sense of things. But, in general, things are as follows:

- Federal Hill: tons of activity, a huge restaurant district, very urban feeling, still quite affordable. You can walk to downtown. Rapidly becoming Providence's Back Bay. Always struck me a lacking some neighborhood services. Has some sketchy areas...

- Downtown (Downcity): The most urban living Providence has to offer. Historic buildings in the core of the city are being converted into state-of-the-art lofts. You'll be kind of a pioneer. The restaurants, retail, services, etc. are just starting to trickle in to follow the renters. Critical mass could happen any month now...

- West End/Armory: Probably the most "bang for your buck," but you are, again, kind of a pioneer here too. Rapidly gentrifying, rapidly becoming more safe. Feels a little isolated from downtown, which is all mental, not because of geography.

- College Hill: In the shadow of Brown University. Very pretty, very upscale. Within walking distance of downtown. Providence's Beacon Hill. The commercial/social/restaurant district Thayer St is the heart of this region. You'll probably slightly overpay here for what you get due to the Brown proximity.

- Wayland Square (my neighborhood): Slightly East of College Hill and considered its "quiet" neighbor. Has its own commercial center with an odd mix of restaurants, services, book stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, and upscale boutique stores. Very walkable and urban, but not really within walking distance of the downtown unless you're walking for walking sake (I usually bus it). Similar in upscale, old world feel to College Hill, but is more sedate. Thayer closes down around midnight, Wayland Sq around 6-9 (I think the CVS is last to close :-) ). A fascinating mix of demographics from Brown Undergrads to young professionals to families to retirees to everyone in between. There are probably far more rental apartments here than in College Hill, and you won't overpay as much, but you'll be farther from downtown. The Brookline analogy to Boston is a good one.

- Hope Village: The area where Hope Street borders Rochambeau and probably the farthest of all of the listed areas from downtown. A neat commerical center of everything from restaurants to book stores to salons. Similar in feel but much less expensive (and more bohemian) than Wayland Square, in part because it's a more socioeconomically and racially diverse area. This area is considered a bargain by many for what you get because for some reason it's off most people's radar screen. Definitely not walkable to downtown... Providence's Jamaica Plains?

- Fox Point: The commerical Wickenden St (restaurants, stores, services, several art galleries) is home to this bohemian district. Very similar in feel to Federal Hill, minus the restaurant overkill. Like Federal Hill, is somewhat sketchy in areas. Also considered by some to be a little more college/frat in feel than other areas due to a heavy undergrad concentration. But also home to other wonderful, quiet streets as well. Like Wayland Sq, not an easy walk to downtown, but possible, and easily busable.

There are, of course, many other neighborhoods, but this is what I have the energy to type up right now. I hope this helps!

- Garris

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the rental market has stayed somewhat flat (because the undergrads, grads, young professionals, etc can only afford so much).

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Hopefully the RISD dorms at 15 West will help a bit. They are more than doubling the number of students they can house on campus.

- Hope Village...  Providence's Jamaica Plains?

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Only if Hope Village had the orange line subway and a bus that ran every 5-10 minutes. Try Providence's West Roxbury or East Somerville.

Fox Point/Wickenden: Like Wayland Sq, not an easy walk to downtown, but possible, and easily busable. 

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The green line "trolley" running every 10 minutes or so helps this area feel much closer to the city.

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That was fantastic Garris, thanks so much.

My budget itsn't entirely worked out yet - they (Brown) will only be paying me around 20K for my fellowship. Luckily I have some savings that I could use to supplement my *gasp* income. So . . . with or without a roommate (which I haven't had for 7 years) I would want to be spending no more than $900 a month - ideally around $800 (with some amenitites included).

I have lived in Chicago for 7 years now and bought a place here. I want to try and keep it while I rent in Providence. I'm torn between budget concerns and the fact that if I'm only going to be in Providence for a year, I want to make the most of it!

I don't have (or need) a car where I live now, but will for next year. I have heard that there isn't any street parking in Providence - true?

If that's the case, then I guess I need to factor parking facilities into my plans.

Wayland Sq, Federal Hill and Foxhill, sound like good options - I think I'll check out Hope Village, too. I'm not looking for downtown/uber-urban, I'm thinking more like urban/neighborhood with a good local pub, bookstore, grocery, and coffeeshop - all within a block or two.

Okay, meeting about to start. Thanks again!!

-Emily

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That was fantastic Garris, thanks so much. 

[snip]... I would want to be spending no more than $900 a month - ideally around $800...

With that budget, you'll do fine in any neighborhood.

I have heard that there isn't any street parking in Providence - true?

That's overblown... You can always find a spot somewhere, especially if you're willing to walk a block. I've had a much tougher time in residential areas in Chicago, for example, than Providence :-). Many apartment buildings, at least in Wayland Sq, will have assigned parking. My girlfriend rents for about 800/mo in Wayland Sq and has an assigned spot in a lot.

Wayland Sq, Federal Hill and Foxhill, sound like good options - I think I'll check out Hope Village, too.  I'm not looking for downtown/uber-urban, I'm thinking more like urban/neighborhood with a good local pub, bookstore, grocery, and coffeeshop - all within a block or two.

Given what you just described, I'd definitely start with Wayland Sq and Hope Village. If the pub is more important, look at Federal Hill ;-). Good luck! Glad I could help. Let us know what you do!

- Garris

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I have a 2 bedroom on Federal Hill for $750 (nothing included), your budget needs are realistic. You should be able to find a place in any of those neighbourhoods with parking included (my place on Federal Hill includes parking, but I don't have a car). Brown has campus parking, you should be able to get a permit, but you need to pay for it. Anything on the East Side (Wayland, Hope, Fox Point) is easy walking or bussing distance to Brown. Street parking is a nightmare. Brown should have a way to help you locate a roommate if you want to go that route. Are you able to rent out your place in Chicago to help your income?

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I don't have (or need) a car where I live now, but will for next year.  I have heard that there isn't any street parking in Providence - true?

If that's the case, then I guess I need to factor parking facilities into my plans.

Wayland Sq, Federal Hill and Foxhill, sound like good options - I think I'll check out Hope Village, too.  I'm not looking for downtown/uber-urban, I'm thinking more like urban/neighborhood with a good local pub, bookstore, grocery, and coffeeshop - all within a block or two.

Okay, meeting about to start.  Thanks again!!

-Emily

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There is indeed on street parking in Providence (and its pretty easy to come by compared to say, Boston) however there is no Overnight on street parking. As a landlord, i find this to be a royal pain. Occasionally on the east side (where the streets are narrower and buildings closer together) you will find what seems like a fantastic deal on an apartment - Its usually because it doesnt include a parking spot. In general I think that while you can get away without a car in some areas, it really helps to have one. Public transit here is pretty lousy.

My favorite neighborhood is probably Hope Village. We would have bought a house there when we bought ours if we could have afforded it. It has pretty much everything you need except a grocery store, and there are at least a couple convenience stores to get last minute neccesities. The area is quiet, the houses are nice, and it is relatively student free. I'm a Rhode Island native and have lived in providence proper for 10 years now. In that time I lived in some heavily student populated areas and it was always horrible. PC being the worse, but the J&W/Brown students around us when we lived off Hope St (Carrington Ave) were pretty awful as well. They just have no concept that people actually have to get up in the morning and work for a living.

I live in the Armory District, and aside from the lack of walkable amenities, I love it! There are some things you can walk to, and there is a great Farmers Market in the summer, but its not an area that has everything you need like Hope Village. One thing I love about our neighborhood is that I actually know pretty much all of my neighbors, something that I never had in previous locations. We have all sorts of interesting folks around us who I can actually relate to. Everyone is trying to make it a better place, and there is a wide array of people. The neighborhood association is very strong ( http://www.wbna.org ) and there are things like Block Parties and neighborhood wide Yard Sales and movies in the park. I really love it here. On top of all that its cheaper than most of the city, although not dirt cheap like it was 4 or 5 years ago. I'm just lucky that we bought a house then because there is no way I could afford to buy something now.

Liam

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Emily- (or anyone else looking to rent, particularly on the West or South side) -

I would check out the bulletin boards at White Electric Coffee, on Westminster Street at Dean Street. Its kinda a hipster hangout and there are always excellent deals there, and in most cases they are owner-occupied houses, which helps you avoid the sketch-ball landlords.

Good luck!

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Emily-  (or anyone else looking to rent, particularly on the West or South side) -

I would check out the bulletin boards at White Electric Coffee, on Westminster Street at Dean Street. Its kinda a hipster hangout and there are always excellent deals there, and in most cases they are owner-occupied houses, which helps you avoid the sketch-ball landlords.

Good luck!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Also check the Bulliten board at Hudson St Market. Lots of good owner occupied places. While your there, order a fantastically huge cheap sandwich.

Liam

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Also if you are looking to rent on the East Side, the bulletin boards at Coffee Exchange on Wickenden Street are a good place to look.

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Liam, great post!

My favorite neighborhood is probably Hope Village...  It has pretty much everything you need except a grocery store, and there are at least a couple convenience stores to get last minute neccesities.

I agree. My sister and I almost ended up here. She, however, doesn't drive and needed to walk to a market nearby. I found most Wayland properties were a much closer walk to the bus than in Hope Village. Also, with Eastside Market and Whole Foods in Wayland, that was a plus.

Oh, does everyone know Whole Foods in Wayland may be closing?? I've already e-mailed my protest letter to the company...

[students] just have no concept that people actually have to get up in the morning and work for a living.

Hehe... I'm not so sure how much I appreciated this as a student :-). I've heard the J&W students are the worst of the bunch. My mother is a school teacher and had a student who was just accepted there who apparently is already a terror in his parent's neighborhood. I'm trying to convince her to sell him on Seekonk, MA as a place to live :-).

- Garris

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Oh, does everyone know Whole Foods in Wayland may be closing??  I've already e-mailed my protest letter to the company...

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hey Garris, interesting news. I hadn't heard it. I have a friend who's a manager there, I'll have to check up...

Hehe...  I'm not so sure how much I appreciated this as a student :-).  I've heard the J&W students are the worst of the bunch.  My mother is a school teacher and had a student who was just accepted there who apparently is already a terror in his parent's neighborhood.  I'm trying to convince her to sell him on Seekonk, MA as a place to live :-).

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Good idea on selling 'em on Seekonk! Ugh, the JWU students are by far the worse. They populate alot of the rentals on Federal Hill, and have very little respect - loud, obnoxious, trashy (as in generates alot of trash)...park cars litterally all over the place (on the sidewalk, in intersections, in front of garages and driveways). My girlfriend taught freshman studies there over the last couple semesters and reports they are an absolute nightmare in the classroom as well...

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Hehe...  I'm not so sure how much I appreciated this as a student :-).  I've heard the J&W students are the worst of the bunch. 

- Garris

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I have found the J&W, PC, and Brown kids all to be pretty much equal offenders. The J&W and Brown students were generally just extremely loud. Lots of parties, lots of yelling, horn honking, etc. The kids over near PC were probably worse though. The really liked peeing in our front yard, peeing from their porches, in general peeing everywhere. Who knew there was a lack of sanitary facilities withing city limits :D They were also really into having 30 or 40 drunken kids blocking the street and yelling obscenities if you tried to drive through/around them, not to mention the constant barrage of really loud fireworks. It's too bad, I loved our apartment over there and in the daytime it was great, but come nightfall the students would come out...

I must admit that being a townie for far too long has probably soured me on the student population. Its always a love/hate thing - I love that they bring energy and livelyhood to the city, but I hate that they dont seem to have much respect for their surroundings or for the city itself. (Granted Im painting with very broad strokes here - there are certainly students who are a fantastic asset to the city) The other very important message for students - Just because you can drive your Excursion with ease in the midwest, doesnt mean it will fit here. Maybe a civic would be a better car to bring to school :)

Liam

(Apologizes in advance for his generalizations)

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I have a 2 bedroom on Federal Hill for $750 (nothing included), your budget needs are realistic. You should be able to find a place in any of those neighbourhoods with parking included (my place on Federal Hill includes parking, but I don't have a car). Brown has campus parking, you should be able to get a permit, but you need to pay for it. Anything on the East Side (Wayland, Hope, Fox Point) is easy walking or bussing distance to Brown. Street parking is a nightmare. Brown should have a way to help you locate a roommate if you want to go that route. Are you able to rent out your place in Chicago to help your income?

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I'll primarily be working at Butler Psychiatric Hospital, as well as Rhode Island and Memorial Hospitals. Parking at those locations is set up for me. Safety (esp for home parking) is a definite concern since I may be needing to come and go (alone) at odd hours.

My sister will probably live in my condo in Chicago for the year. She's just out of college and will pay my assessments while I'm gone, but I don't have the heart to charge her for much more than that! Having her rent my place is such a plus as far as maintenance and security go.

Your Federal Hill places sounds great! How far do you have to drive to get to a "real" grocery store?

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How far do you have to drive to get to a "real" grocery store?

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About 35 seconds. No joke.

There is a large, very well stocked and modern Shaw's that has recently opened at Eagle Square that is extraordinarily convenient from Federal Hill and the Armory.

There is also a Super Stop in Shop in Elmwood that is about a 5 minute drive if that is your preference.

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The trolley also goes to the grocery store in Eagle Square, so if you are just picking up a few things, that's a great way to get there.

In the neighbourhoods we are recommending for you, safety isn't a giant concern, no different than Chicago. I assume living in Chicago you are city-smart.

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In the neighbourhoods we are recommending for you, safety isn't a giant concern, no different than Chicago. I assume living in Chicago you are city-smart.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

City-smart enough to know that I don't want to have to walk two blocks from a parking lot to my "garden" level apartment with groceries in my hands at midnight ;)

THx

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Hey guys... I am one of those Bostonians looking to move to Providence. :thumbsup: I am in love with the downcity area, especially considering all of the renovation and new construction going on- should be a really good investment. But the three family houses are still pretty cheap and could help pay a mortgage, so I have some thinking to do. The map was extremely helpfull, but does anyone have any idea where eagle park is?

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Yes, my grandfather grew up there. If you look on a map, it's the neighborhood right where Douglas Ave. and Admiral St. interesect. It's not far from Providence Collge and easy to get to 146/95 from there. As far as I can tell, the neighborhood is still trying to come back. Lots of duplexes.

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Hey guys... I am one of those Bostonians looking to move to Providence.  :thumbsup:  I am in love with the downcity area, especially considering all of the renovation and new construction going on- should be a really good investment. But the three family houses are still pretty cheap and could help pay a mortgage, so I have some thinking to do. The map was extremely helpfull, but does anyone have any idea where eagle park is?

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Good idea, Scheffler...

I believe that interestingly, Eagle Park has nothing to do with Eagle Square is, but is rather past Mount Pleasent toward North Providence. Not really a "hip" neighborhood like Fed. Hill, the Armory, or even Elmwood, but could for all I know be a nice neighborhood. I would steer clear however, if you are looking more urban in character.

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I'll primarily be working at Butler Psychiatric Hospital, as well as Rhode Island and Memorial Hospitals. 

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Emily, strongly consider Wayland Square based upon where you'll be working. Butler Hospital is connected to Wayland Square directly by the 40-line bus (it's about 5 minutes directly) and my sister (who occasionally volunteers there) will occasionally walk it or jog there. Rhode Island Hospital (where I work) is 15 minutes "door to floor" from here driving, and Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket is just a quick blast down Blackstone Bvd from Wayland Sq, again, about 15-20 minutes.

- Garris

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Hey guys... I am one of those Bostonians looking to move to Providence.  :thumbsup:  I am in love with the downcity area, especially considering all of the renovation and new construction going on- should be a really good investment. But the three family houses are still pretty cheap and could help pay a mortgage, so I have some thinking to do. The map was extremely helpfull, but does anyone have any idea where eagle park is?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi there! Be aware that if it's the Downcity "core downtown" you're interested in, most of those properties are rentals. They may go condo in about 5-6 years, but for now, there's really nothing to "buy" unless you're looking at the $600,000+ luxury condos currently there or on the drawing board.

Everything else you've mentioned or are having mentioned to you by others are in neighborhoods ringing the city.

- Garris

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