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Old 10-11-2007, 08:47 AM
 
51 posts, read 151,886 times
Reputation: 26

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I am looking for some information on the Arden-Brandywine area. My husband has accepted a job in Salem, NJ and my family and I are confused as to where to live. Is this a safe area (low crime)? Do they have good school districts? What would my husbands commute to Salem, NJ consist of?
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:25 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,066 times
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Where are you moving from? I moved to Delaware a few months ago, and I positively hate it. I'm planning to move out of Delaware as soon as possible. Most of New Castle County is bland housing developments and strip malls. What little open space there is left is quickly being swallowed up by ugly developments. People here identify themselves as being from particular housing developments, not towns, because most of New Castle County is unincorporated mass of suburbs. That probably sounds really depressing, but it's the view of someone who just moved here.

That said, if you are definitely moving because of your husband's job, you probably don't have much choice. ;-) North Wilmington (aka Brandywine Hundred or various other names) is a pretty nice area, although certain areas are nicer than others. A realtor would be able to give you more neighborhood-specific info.

The public schools in North Wilmington are generally fine, but you should be aware that thanks to Delaware's long history of racism and the attendant problems integrating the schools (i.e. busing), more than one-third of students in New Castle County attend private schools. The private school tuition here can be quite expensive -- several of them are past $20,000 annually. Also, the state permits parents to apply for spots in any public school statewide; I don't know exactly how many students use the school choice program, but i know it's a lot. Some people bash the Delaware public schools, and to be fair there are many bad ones. But there are also several nice public schools in the North Wilmington/Greenville areas, despite what some people might have you believe. Ask around once you start looking at houses, and you'll probably get some good recommendations in that regard. (Tip: Avoid the Christina School District.) Also, do check the feeder patterns for any neighborhood you're interested in -- even within the better NCC school districts there are "good" schools and not-so-good ones.

Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:26 PM
 
19,922 posts, read 9,989,108 times
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Wow. Quite a message.

Reluctantdelawarean - can you please tell us where you moved FROM? I'm wondering which state you are comparing Delaware with.

Thanks much.

Charley
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:05 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,227 times
Reputation: 13
Hi there, my husband, son and I are planning our return to DE next month (we are currently in Chicago) and during a search last night I stumbled across these forums. I have to say I was pretty shocked by some of the horrible things people have said about the city of Wilmington and DE, so I felt compelled to reply. Especially because some of the feedback was from folks who have only visited briefly or driven through the city. I would never drive through somewhere a couple of times and then advise folks on whether or not to move there!

So, as someone who has previously lived in Wilmington and plans to return (and has also lived in DC, Chicago, and NC), here are what I consider some of the pros and cons of Wilmington:
Pros
- small city feel, big city amenities since its so close to Philly (major airport, shopping, Amtrak, etc.)
- historic districts with great old homes, big trees, etc.
- green space
- you can buy homes with very large lots (2+ acres) and still be 5 miles from downtown
- low taxes
- close to beaches and less than 2 hours to NYC or DC
- little traffic (of course traffic is all relative to where you're from)
- reasonable cost of living
- improving downtown/riverfront

Cons
- iffy schools, so lots of families opt for private schools
- jobs are mostly in banking/credit cards
- poor public transportation
- shopping/restaurants in the immediate area could be better (but very close to Philly)
- for some reason it can be difficult to meet new people (but its possible, and once you do, they're very nice!)
- small middle class -- everyone seems to be at one end or the other of the socioeconomic scale.


Also, allegedly there are issues with crime, but i never heard of experienced anything when i lived there (we even left our door unlocked most of the time!)

Hope this helps!

Last edited by returningtoDE; 10-11-2007 at 07:07 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:04 PM
 
125 posts, read 429,891 times
Reputation: 107
I grew up in the Arden-Brandywine area. The answer given by ReluctantDelawarean is based more on the entire county rather than just the area in question.

Arden is a very unique place. Historically it was summer homes for artists (which is the reason they throw a big fair every year on Labor Day weekend... to officially end the season). It is still a haven for artists, and is a tight-knit community with its own theater, swim club, and many other activities. You can purchase a house there, but the land is leased. You aren't allowed to cut down any tree unless it is dead, which is the reason the area is still a deep woods! It's a great place to raise kids. The roads are narrow and the homes are cottage-y. You'll either love it or hate it

As for the rest of Brandywine Hundred, there are neighborhoods to suit every taste. It is an older area, so most places you will find more mature landscaping. The rampant growth of suburbia is happening in the south end of the county, not Brandywine Hundred.

If you mention some neighborhoods, or your price range, I can be a lot more specific.

In general, I'd say avoid the Edgemoor and Claymont areas.

And the school district, Brandywine, has recently won awards. There is no shortage of options for schools, many public & private to choose from.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,326 times
Reputation: 10
I understand that we all want to be rid of CRIME - not going to happen.

Doesn't matter where you live - if people want what you have they'll do what ever to get you. I moved from the west side (Wilmington) nearly 14yrs ago to the quite north side so I thought.

My car was stolen from me not 1 time, not 2 times but; 3 times.....guess where I choose to purchase was a little too quite....one of these times right from in front of my door....

Good luck with your House Hunting and just remember to always be very careful no matter where you live.

Bekka

Last edited by Bekka; 10-12-2007 at 01:17 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:37 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,356 times
Reputation: 13
Default relocating too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellys3angels View Post
I am looking for some information on the Arden-Brandywine area. My husband has accepted a job in Salem, NJ and my family and I are confused as to where to live. Is this a safe area (low crime)? Do they have good school districts? What would my husbands commute to Salem, NJ consist of?

we, too, are relocating due to my husband accepting a job in salem, NJ...i was wondering where you ended up moving. we are looking into Wilmington, DE & Newark as well, but trying to find best school systems...
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Toms River NJ
347 posts, read 737,093 times
Reputation: 164
Our neighbor commutes from Middletown to Salem and has mentioned that it is about an hour. I know that it generally takes me 30 min from here to the base of the DM Bridge. Does anyone know why we get identified by "development" here? I was suprised when getting my DE driver's licence that they asked for our development name in my address. Also noticed signs indicating each development area along the roads. When we were house hunting in Northern De and investigating school systems we noticed whole neighborhoods that selected private or charter schools and yes, some were very $$. Well....I guess the question was about a commute to/from Salem and it would depend on where you live in Delaware. Route 1 seems to be a straight and easy trip. You connect to 13 then zip right over the bridge. You would probably get off at the first exit into NJ or Route 40.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:18 PM
 
1,531 posts, read 3,428,376 times
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I've lived in North Wilmington (mayfield area) and Claymont (neighbors arden). I really liked the mayfield area a lot and, living in Claymont, I always passed Arden and really, really liked it !
I would not recommend moving to Claymont - it is in the brandywine school district, but darley elementary is nothing I would recommend. I choiced my kids into carrcroft, until we moved to Middletown.

To me Arden has something enchanting, it is very green, not overcrowded, it is not a cookie cutter area at all, features so many different homes, many very artsy and I met very interesting people, living there for many year and they were more than happy with their neighborhood. and it's still so close to everything you could wish for.

If you find a house in that area, I would say 'go for it' !

overall, I am not a huge fan of Delaware, but would never describe it that negatively. It has many advantages to live here and overall I am actually very happy with the schools (except the one in claymont - but by that time we did not know, that you have to check schools before you buy a house - it is totally different in germany and our realtor here really sucked !!)

I liked the newark area too, especially the variety of nice cafes, restaurants and shops, but there are only a few schools, I would like to send my kids to.
Having the commute to NJ, I would try to stay in North Wilmington. I have friends in Surrey park for example, that's one of many nice, older neighborhoods.
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