Crime in Delaware (Wilmington, Dover, Bear: lease, violent crime, mobile home)
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One would be over-generalising to say that the City of Wilmington is a nightmare. There are good, safe neighborhoods within the city limits, including The Highlands, Wawaset Park, and really even Forty Acres and Trolley Square. Within northern New Castle County overall there are many good, safe areas, including Brandywine Hundred, Westover Hills-Westhaven-West Park and Westmoreland, Greenville, Centreville, Hockessin, a great deal of Newark, amongst other areas. Given the much smaller population there seems to be plenty of crime committed in small town Sussex County. Sometimes this forum seems to be full of crime paranoids! There are only a few areas in the state where I definitely wouldn't want to live. However, a certain level of vigilance and caution is called for anywhere in my view, even in ostensibly safe areas (anywhere in America or in the world). Just exercise common sense and prudence. This is the way to minimise your chance of falling victim to crime. However, unless you are going to take things to completely impractical and unrealistic limits, it is impossible for anyone to shield themselves 100% from the possibility of becoming a victim. Without some level of trust and a certain level of adaptive denial none of us would be able to function in life; we'd all be immobilised by fear.
Another concern I have is that it seems to me that a large number of the transplants to DE who love it are living in 55+ communities. I don't know if these communities are gated or have security, but just by the nature of the age restriction, I'd think that most of your neighbors would be pretty law abiding - LOL!
No. Not gated in Kent County, for the most part, and have no private security. They are open to anyone coming and going, and are within areas of State Police jurisdiction (very professional, but short staffed and overworked). The exception might be Heritage Shores, down near Seaford, but I'm not sure about that one. On the other hand, there are some non-age restricted subdivisions which ARE gated and have private security. Those are usually the high dollar golf communities, mostly in Sussex County. Also, 'age' is not a factor here, in regard to 'law abiding'.
Originally Posted by NYCtoNCto???
So we'd have to live in or near a town and because we'd be in with the general population, that alone would expose us to more crime, so that's a concern to me.
Not necessarily, NY. We are "general population" people and live in a small town. Many mornings we wake up to one of our 3 policemen parked in front of our house, keeping watch, then he moves to another part of town. Our police are always visible, with not much to do. We have 1 policeman for each 8 hour shift, full 24 hour protection, covering a population of 1,300-1,400 people. State Police backs up our department, if ever needed.
Good luck in your investigations and visits. I know you have concerns, and big decisions to make.
I wouldn't exclude the whole county just because of Wilmington, New Castle, and Bear. There is a dividing line through the county... somewhere maybe along Kirkwood Highway, where, north of that line you won't find a bad area.
This county is beautiful, I believe, but really the northern, hilly areas in the "Valley," and Hockessin, Brandywine Hundred, Montchanin, and the like.
I also believe it is very easy to avoid the trashy areas - there are people who subsist on Rte. 202 Concord Pike alone, and never ever to go New Castle, or in town.
For us the only reason to go to New Castle has typically been the occasional trip to Old New Castle, which is really an area unto itself. As far as downtown Wilmington, we go there all the time during the day for the Central YMCA fitness facilities. Occasionally in the evening there are a couple of restaurants downtown that we go to, and of course during the day we use the train station and parking facilities for occasional trips out of town.
Thanks for posting the info about Spotcrime, NYC to NC. I signed up for it.
If you ever look at Sussex (even though it's probably a bit too far south for you), you'd probably be content in Lewes or Ocean View. I loved living in both locations. Both towns have the lots sizes you are looking for along with central water and sewer for the most part. We just had central sewer installed in here, and I'll never live anywhere without it again. Most of Ocean View does have central sewer, and most parts have central water except for my area...but it's coming. Both Lewes and Ocean View have a very large 55+ population...one of the reasons I like both areas.
Good luck searching--wish I could guide you more as far as Kent County, but I've never lived there. I'll leave that for the local Kent Countians.
Thanks, DoctorJef and Joe for the info re: NCC. I especially appreciate the dividing line info according to highways, makes it easier to do searches.
One of the problems I have about NCC is that the smaller type of ranch home that we need due to mobility issues, seem to be in the not-so-great areas like New Castle. And while I'm mentioning that, what is up with that? Such cute little ranch homes, you'd think it'd be a quiet, well-cared for area, but everything I read about that neighborhood paints a totally opposite picture. Don't the people living there care about their houses, neighborhoods, quality of life?
As to Newark, it has a lot of townhomes and larger broadside ranches which are not "doable" for us, unfortunately. We currently live in a large broadside ranch on about 80x160 and it's just getting to be too much for me to take care of anymore, both inside and out. Newark looks like a great place, reminds me in a way of parts of Staten Island, which is where we are originally from, I think we'd be very comfortable there, if we could find a small enough house.
And, I get what you are all saying about using common sense and not trying to focus on crime, but we have been victims of crime here in our "quiet" town in NC (we never had a single problem in all our decades of living and working in NYC, however) and due to that and our health and personal situations, I am admittedly probably a little oversensitive on the safety issue. But I realize there is no place on earth that is 100% safe or perfect.
Beach Liz - thanks for the suggestions of Lewes and Ocean View. I know of Lewes because of the ferry and the town part looks very quaint and cute. I confess, I'd never heard of Ocean View, so will check both towns out. Really good to know there are the size lots and public sewer and water that we are looking for.
Glad you liked that SpotCrime website - I'm finding it to be very handy to find out what's going on where I currently live and think I will also enter an address or two from areas I am interested in, to start to get an idea of crime in areas I am looking at.
RDLR - If I'm not mistaken from other of your posts, I believe you live in Camden which you love. I understand Wyoming is also very good. I have definitely seen homes which fit our requirements in both towns (though not so many in Wyoming) and it is one place I definitely intend to check out when I finally come up. Don't play golf and not interested in high-end communities (we're on fixed income). Just looking for 4 or 5 decent sized rooms, with a back porch and a small patch of land for our dogs and a little gardening. Sounds simple but turning out to be harder to find than one might think!
There are many smaller ranches in safe communities in New Castle County, in all price ranges. North Wilmington has some great homes... Bellefonte & Gwinhurst come to mind on the more affordable end. Marsh & Shipley roads have great neighborhoods of mainly ranch homes, such as Lynfield, Shipley Heights, Northcrest....
On the other side of town, most of the 19808 area is really wonderful. Klair Estates, Cooper Farms, Limestone Gardens and many others have nice ranch homes and lower crime. What's your price range?
I agree with others that, being from out of town, you may not want to focus on areas like New Castle. Their are pockets of areas that are nice, Van Dyke Village is one, but a lot of shady areas as well.
NYC, what is your price range? I live in what I would consider to be a small ranch house that happens to be situated in an extremely nice and very safe area. Mine is in Westover Hills, but there are more modestly priced ranchers in likewise extremely safe and quite nice areas of the Brandywine Hundred. You really could probably find small ranch houses going for anything from 100K (New Castle) to 650K (parts of Greenville) depending on where the house is located. Depending on area you can probably find a rancher in a safe, stable neighborhood for 225K on up (Newark might likely offer well-located ranchers in the lower part of this price range).
Fear does not lend itself to making rational decisions .... it is therefore very understandable for OP to be concerned (even overly so) about crime statistics (having encountered it first hand) ...... but like others have pointed out there are a very few locations where crime would be of concern irrespective of the age group of the residents. Although outside New Castle City proper there is a relatively high concentration of ranch style homes, thrice as many ranch style homes are located in the rest of the New Castle County and are safe by any rational standards.
OP may want to trust the foregoing statement and may be helped finding various neighorhoods where ranch style homes are available..... of course the price range or desired monthly mtgg payment should be revealed to be able to pinpoint same.
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