With an excellent range of parks, a stunning coastline, pristine beaches, and some of the best wildlife refuges in the US, Delaware is a haven for tourists. Thanks to its charming cities and unique towns, it’s also a supremely attractive place to live.
First-rate schools, excellent amenities, superlative public services, and low crime rates are just some of the many attractive features that go into making the best places to live in Delaware. Check out which rank as the greatest with our rundown of the 20 most desirable hot spots in the aptly nicknamed “First State”.
As equally attractive to millennials as it to families, the attractive town of Wyoming kicks off our round-up in style. While it may only have a population of 1,554, its abundance of amenities and recreational pursuits would put a town twice its size to shame, while its crime rate, schools and job opportunities are all suitably excellent.
The best part, however, has to be the property prices. With the average family home costing just $169,300, Wyoming is one of the most affordable places to live in Delaware.
Charming Middletown is the kind of place picket fence dreams are made of. Small, and with a great sense of community, it’s one of Delaware’s most attractive destinations for families.
Crime is low, the school system is excellent, and the median household income sits at a very healthy $87,375. As an added benefit, the housing is eminently affordable, with a decently sized family home with a garden coming in at the very reasonable price of just $282,200.
18. West Hill
Sublimely affordable West Hill is a great place for young professionals to get their foot on the property ladder, with most decently sized houses coming in at just $187,618. Granted, the median income isn’t quite as high as some of our other entries, but at $58,705, it’s still more than decent (and crucially, several thousand dollars above the national average).
17. Little Italy
Wilmington's Little Italy neighborhood is, as Only In Your State succinctly puts it, “a vibrant community with a rich history”. It’s also a neighborhood with a low crime rate, access to excellent schools (CAB Calloway School of the Arts and Conrad School of Science both score top marks), low levels of unemployment, and the kind of job market that supports the very healthy median income of $62,779. As an added perk, housing is extremely affordable, with the average cost of a family home coming in at just $166,085.
Living in an affordable place doesn’t mean you have to compromise on safety, livability, or plain desirability. The cozy, welcoming neighborhood of Bellefonte offers good sized properties for as little as $221,200, while the clean, safe streets, excellent local schools, good job market, and abundance of local amenities and attractions are exactly what you’d expect from a place that’s been voted #2 in Best Suburbs to Buy a House in Delaware by Niche.
If you need any more convincing of its merits, check out what some residents are saying on Niche. “Moved here a little over 2 years ago and have not had any bad experiences with the neighbors or community surrounding this area,” says one local resident, while another enthuses, “The people are great, houses are adorable, & crime is low.
The neighborhood has a small area with an art store (filled with the work of numerous local artists), a wonderful eclectic cafe, & a few family-owned small businesses that sell new & vintage items. The town hosts an all-day art festival every May, the stores host multiple customer evenings (wine, hors d'oeuvres, discounts) throughout the year & there is a slew of family-oriented community events. I feel so fortunate to have all of this within walking distance to my home.”
15. Highland Acres
Located just an hour’s drive from the beach, Highland Acres is a great place for outdoor lovers. Its safe streets, low crime rates, mild, temperate climate, and good local economy, meanwhile, make it an attractive destination for just about everyone… as does the expectation of a median household income of $79,970 and a property market that ranks as one of the most affordable in the state.
14. Pike Creek Valley
The diverse suburb of Pike Creek Valley is home to a large percentage of millennials, and for very good reason. The job market is diverse, the amenities are bountiful, the nightlife is vibrant, crime is low and the opportunity to get your foot on the property ladder for the very reasonable price of just $254,800 is high (as is the chance to earn the very robust median income of $72,500).
Greenville is a town on the rise. Consistently ranked as one of the best places in Delaware for millennials, Greenville has a booming economy, a rapidly growing job markets, a great range of amenities, and an exciting nightlife. What it doesn’t have is cheap housing: if you choose to make Greenville your next home, don’t expect too much change from $667,400 for a property here.
With its great sense of community, low crime rate, and superb range of amenities, friendly little Hockessin is a strong all-round contender.
The quantity of first-class educational establishments on offer (which range from those with a strong scientific focus to those of the more artistic bent) makes the town a highly attractive location for families, while the prospering local economy and booming job market make it equally attractive to professionals. While the cost of housing is on the high side (expect to pay around 433,400 for a decently sized property), the average median income of $123,654 more than makes up for it.
11. Rehoboth Beach
The small but highly desirable superb of Rehoboth Beach has something for everyone: gorgeous scenery for outdoor enthusiasts; a great range of retail outlets and cultural activities for big spenders; safe streets for families; and a great job market for young professionals. Throw in some consistently clement weather and a prime beachfront location, and you’re looking at one very special place indeed.
The little neighborhood of Highland in Wilmington may only have 1,203 residents, but it’s more than geared to ensure its small population has one of the best qualities of life in the state. Home prices may be on the high side (with most properties selling for around $414,000), but it’s a price few would quibble over when they consider the extensive list of benefits on offer.
Along with a low crime rate, excellent schools, a below-average rate of unemployment and poverty, and a rich, diverse job market, most households can expect a median income of $78,194- considering the national average is just $55,322, that’s a pretty big benefit, right there.
9. Midtown Brandywine
Midtown Brandywine ranks as one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Wilmington, and indeed, the state. Just $111,873 will get you a very decently sized property in this highly desirable little neighborhood…. although you’d better act fast. With an unfeasibly low crime rate, a diverse, welcoming community, great commuting access, and an abundance of things to see and do, it’s unlikely prices will stay this low for long.
8. Happy Valley
The aptly named Happy Valley is home to 1769 residents, all of whom are likely to be more than just a little bit proud to see their neighborhood’s name on our list. With its close proximity to the thrills and spills of Wilmington, excellent commuting access, an abundance of amenities, top-rated schools, and safe, clean streets, it’s one very happy valley indeed.
7. Lower Highlands
5,198 residents choose to call Lower Highlands their home, and for very good reason. Home prices may be on the steep side (don’t expect much change from $460,346 for a single-family home) but the advantages of living in this charming Wilmington neighborhood far outweigh the initial outlay.
The job market is booming to the extent that most residents can expect a median income of $98,872, while the range of amenities and recreational pursuits is excellent. Schools are good, the crime rate is low, and unemployment and poverty rates are negligible. All in all, a very sound addition to our list
6. Trolley Square
Another neighborhood in Wilmington to make our list is the charming little Trolley Square. With just 2,797 residents, it offers the kind of close-knit, friendly community that’s a dream for families, while its easy access to the job opportunities and attractions of Wilmington make it equally attractive to young professionals. The robust household income of $71,743 is made all the more attractive by the very affordable price of housing, which currently sits at around $291,289.
5. Delaware Avenue
Thanks to its supremely affordable average house price of just $199,924, Delaware Avenue makes an excellent destination for first-time buyers. The average household income of $57,649 may not be as high as some of the others we’ve seen, but given the area is largely populated by young millennials on the rise, it’s still a very strong figure. With excellent access to the nightlife and shopping amenities of Wilmington, it’s understandable why the neighborhood is becoming one of the city's fastest-growing hottest spots.
4. Pike Creek
Just an hour’s drive from Philadelphia is the eminently safer, eminently more affordable Pike Creek. As The Crazy Tourist notes, the schools in Pike Creek are all way above average, with the top three schools in the district boasting an A ranking.
The family-friendly benefits don’t stop there: crime is too low to even deserve a mention; the job market is booming (affording residents the very healthy median income of $122,772); the small population of 8,740 is close-knit and welcoming, and the range of amenities and public services are suitably excellent. All in all, a more than deserving addition to our round-up.
3. Wawaset Park
If you see a neighborhood that gets an A+ on Niche, you know you’re looking at a pretty special place. Ranked as one of the very best neighborhoods in Wilmington to raise a family, Wawaset Park has it all: a small, welcome community of 2128, a non- existent crime rate, a very healthy median income of $125,841, great commenting links, and access to some of the best schools in the district.
Considering the extensive list of perks, its little wonder residents are confident enough in their neighborhood’s desirability to fix a $636,245 price tag to their properties.
2. North Star
With a vibrant nightlife, first-rate schools, a diverse range of job opportunities, and a low crime rate, North Star is a great all-rounder. The big city opportunities of Philadelphia are only an hour’s drive away, giving residents the change to enjoy the thrills of the big city without the inconveniences that sometimes come from actually living there.
In fairness, it’s not the cheapest place to live (expect to shell out around $435,300 for a single-family home) but with most residents earning around $141,618, you’re unlikely to hear too many complaints about the cost of living.
1. Forty Acres
It may cost you $365,564 to buy a property in the delightful Forty Acres, but a quick glance at its extensive list of attractions is sure to convince you of the merits of your investment. Crime is virtually nonexistent in this small enclave of Wilmington, as are both unemployment and poverty.
The schools are consistently rated excellent, while the booming local job market is more than able to sustain the average median income of $132,200. Combine its easy access to the amenities, shopping, and nightlight of Wilmington with its clean, safe streets and welcoming, close-knit community, and you can see why it’s such a hugely attractive proposition.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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