Are you thinking of relocating to Rhode Island? If so, Charlestown is an excellent place to start your search because it offers pretty much everything you could ever want, especially when seeking a small-town way of life.
Charlestown is part of the state's Washington County and had an estimated population of 7,773 people in 2015, making it the 32nd largest community in Rhode Island. While low population is often attributed to lack of activities and, therefore, boredom, this isn’t the case in Charlestown, as larger towns and cities are close, and the area has plenty to do outdoors.
Have a look at Charlestown’s current listings to see if you can find something that meets your needs and continue reading to learn what it’s like to live in this small, but vibrant, community on Rhode Island’s south coast.
Beaches and Attractions
If you're moving to Charlestown, RI, you'll want to know what there is to do, right? The good news is that the town is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, so you'll never be short on activities. In fact, the entire coastline is made up of beaches, including Charlestown Town Beach, East Beach, Quonnie Beach, and Blue Shutters Town Beach, so you'll never have to travel far to spend a day in the sun.
The town is also home to Ninigret Park, once the site of a naval air station and now a massive green space with bike tracks, sports fields, and the Frosty Drew Observatory and Sky Theater. On Labor Day weekend, the park hosts the annual Rhythm & Roots Festival, which brings some of the country's top acts to this little seaside town.
Speaking of events, the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival is another annual affair at Ninigret Park that has become part of life in the town. Held the first week of August, this festival features midway rides, raffles, live music, and, of course, some of the best seafood you'll have in your life. The festival was once voted as one of the top 100 events in the entire country, so it's well worth checking out.
Employment and Taxes
While jobs will never be plentiful in a small town like Charlestown, the unemployment rate lower than the national average, sitting at 4.8%, and there is job growth of 1.48%. Job growth over the next ten years is estimated to be 38.16%, so the region as a whole could receive significant expansion in the not too distance future. The current median household income is $68,904, with a per capita income of $35,091, and personal income tax sits at 3.75%. There is sales tax in Rhode Island, as well, which is 7%.
Of course, the one thing on everyone's mind is the property tax rate, as it doesn't matter where you're living if you can't all your extra money goes to taxes. The good news is that as far as property tax goes, Charlestown enjoys one of the lowest rates in the state. In 2017, property taxes were $9.59 per $1,000, which is far lower than neighboring communities like South Kingstown, $15.09, and North Kingstown, $18.59, and right in line with Westerly, $11.58, and Narragansett, $10.56. In fact, only Little Compton and its $5.84 per $1,000 property tax rate is significantly lower than Charlestown in South County.
The School System
The education system in Charlestown is very good, as the town reports a graduation rate that is 14% higher than the rest of the state. In fact, the town's public schools, which are part of the Chariho Regional School District, spend over $17,000 on education per student each year, which is far higher than the national average of about $12,000, and there are only 14.3 students per teacher in these schools.
All of these stats come together to create an educational environment that assists students in getting the most from their schooling. If you're moving to Charlestown with children, you'll be happy to know just how important education is to local officials.
Charlestown is one of the safest places on not in Rhode Island, but in the United States as a whole. In 2017, there were seven violent crimes reported for the entire year, in addition to 88 property crimes. Even when you adjust for the town's small population, your chances of being the victim of a violent crime in Charlestown is one in 1,110, and it is safer than 58% of towns and cities in the country.
That’s not to say that the area is perfect, as things do happen from time to time, but you’ll quickly realize that Charlestown is a great place to raise a family because of how rare it is to hear about any significant crime.
Cost of Living
One thing to keep in mind is that Charlestown is a somewhat expensive place to live, especially when compared to similar-sized towns that don’t enjoy such an idyllic location. As a result, you'll want to factor in additional costs when looking at real estate in Charlestown, RI.
Now, we're not talking Manhattan expensive, but the cost of living is 137.30 based on a nationwide average of 100. Housing and utilities are principally responsible for this average, but the prices aren't out of line with other communities in the area, and when you take the town's beachfront location into account, Charlestown is actually a bargain.
Finding the Perfect Home in Charlestown
Despite being such a small town, you will have some choice when selecting a home. First, there is the beachside village of Quonochontaug, which sits between Quonochontaug Pond and Ninigret Pond on Charlestown's west side. Part of the community of Shannock is also in Charlestown, with the other half sitting in the neighboring town of Richmond. There's also the downtown area, where most of the houses and amenities are located, including Charlestown Town Beach.
To truly appreciate everything Charlestown has to offer, you’ll have to get out here to have a look around. Once you experience the rural properties or beachfront locations, we’re confident that you’ll never want to leave.