Delaware might not stand out physically on a United States map, but “The First State” has plenty of defining qualities that contribute to its growing popularity as a favorable destination for middle-aged professionals and retiring baby boomers to move.
The state is close to several major cities – while also offering a few of its own enticing urban environments – and replete with diverse attractions, free beaches with breathtaking shorelines, and other cultural and recreation opportunities. Whether you are looking for a full-time residence, second home, planning to retire, or investment property in Delaware, here are some reasons to keep Delaware at the top of your list.
1. No Personal Property Tax or Sales Tax
One of Delaware’s most advantageous qualities for current and prospective residents is its favorable tax policies. Delaware has a graduated income tax ranging from 2.2% to 5.55% for those making less than $60,000 and a maximum of 6.6% for those who earn an income of $60,000 or more, according to the Delaware Division of Revenue. Nearby areas, such as New York and Washington, D.C., have income tax rates as high as 8.82% and 8.5%, respectively.
Additionally, Delaware is one of five U.S. states that does not impose a sales tax or personal property tax, and Social Security and Railroad Retirement are also not considered taxable income in the state.
2. Reasonable Cost of Living
For a state of its caliber, Delaware offers a relatively reasonable cost of living when it comes to utilities, transportation, healthcare, housing and groceries. The cost of living in Wilmington, Delaware, for instance, is about 8% higher than the national average, according to PayScale.com. That is mostly due to housing and groceries, while the state’s transportation and healthcare costs are at or below national averages. However, compared to the cost of living in other major East Coast cities and metropolitan areas – such as Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, and Norfolk, Virginia – 8% is not bad for a city brimming with amenities and offering a robust quality of life.
3. A Bustling Real Estate Market
When it comes to the Delaware real estate market, baby boomers maintain control of the home market, owning 32 percent of Delaware’s owner-occupied homes, according to an article in the Delaware Business Times. The starting price for many homes in over-55 communities is about $400,000 in northern Delaware and inventory is tight in certain areas.
Because of the current state of the real estate market, which heavily favors sellers, prospective home buyers may be better off building a new home or finding an older home to remodel or doing a home addition. Building or renovating a home to your specifications, however, offers numerous benefits, especially for those who plan to stay put in Delaware for a while.
4. Convergence of Rural and Urban Life
Although a relatively small state, Delaware offers a mixture of pleasing environments, including its portion of the Eastern seaboard, rural areas with rivers running through, and lively cities. Together, these environments present a wealth of cultural, retail, historical and recreational attractions and activities.
Those looking to move to the state have their choice of destination when buying a home. They can settle close to the vibrant city of Wilmington or Dover, the state capital, or live in a verdant valley or close to one of the state’s trendy beaches along the Delaware Bay or the Atlantic Ocean.
5. Amenities and Events Abound
Across the state, numerous communities have gained positive reputations for their signature events and festivals, including the Dover Days Festival, Winterthur Point-to-Point, Firefly Music Festival, Delaware Wine and Beer Festival, Brandywine Festival of the Arts, and the Rehoboth Beach Sandcastle Contest.
There is also a plethora of activities to partake in year-round, such as hiking and camping, walking along Riverfront Wilmington, biking through Cape Henlopen State Park, tax-free shopping in numerous boutique shops and popular outlet stores, excellent entertainment, and fine dining.
Finding Yourself in Delaware
With its agreeable tax rates, favorable cost of living, and high standard of living, Delaware possesses numerous qualities that create a conducive place for individuals, couples and families to purchase a home. Whether they are looking to build or remodel a home, prospective buyers can find a refreshing sense of place and self in Wilmington and other diverse regions throughout Delaware.
Before purchasing a home, be sure to get a thorough inspection done on your roof. Here’s a handy roof inspection checklist to do just that!
“Personal Income Tax FAQs.” Delaware.gov, Division of Revenue. Accessed online at https://revenue.delaware.gov/frequently-asked-questions/personal-income-tax-faqs/
“Why Delaware is Considered a Tax Shelter.” Investopedia.com. Accessed online at https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/092515/4-reasons-why-delaware-considered-tax-shelter.asp
“Cost of Living in Wilmington, Delaware.” PayScale. Accessed online at https://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator/Delaware-Wilmington.
“Top 10 Events and Festivals.” VisitDelaware.com. Accessed online at https://www.visitdelaware.com/events/top-10/
“In Residential Real Estate, Boomers Still Own the Home Market.” Delaware Business Times, Nov. 30, 2018. Accessed online at https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/in-residential-real-estate-boomers-still-home-market