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Old 08-28-2008, 08:00 AM
11 posts, read 22,209 times
Reputation: 11


My husband and I have just started looking at Delaware as a possible next move (we are also considering Pennsylvania). Since we are just starting our search, I don't have many specifics to provide you. We would appreciate any resources you could suggest, that may help in our research!

A little about our situation:

-We are in our early 30's and are expecting our first child.
-We are from NJ and own 2 homes. We would like to sell our primary home and keep our beach house. We cannot afford to pay the exorbitant $10-12,000 a year property taxes that are required for some of the houses we have looked at in NJ. If we found a home in a beach town, we would be willing to sell our NJ beach house. But a beach town is not a requirement.
-Are the property taxes really that much lower in Delaware?
-I hear that the wage tax is relatively high. However, my bonuses in NJ are currently taxed at 40%, which may be comparable.
-A great school system (or an area that is close to a good private school) is our #1 priority.
-We also need to be relatively close to roadways accessing NJ (where family/friends live).
-Our price range is $350,000-$500,000 and we would like a 4 bedroom, 2+ bathroom home (no condo's).
-Are hoping for property taxes under $7,000 for at least 0.5 acres of land.

Please let me know any suggested areas for us to start our search or if this is a pipe dream!

Thank you very much.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:55 PM
11 posts, read 22,209 times
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:01 PM
53 posts, read 298,624 times
Reputation: 62

This link answers most of your questions.

Need help with Wilmington area schools please!

For a home around $500,000. in North Wilmington, you might want to consider Sharpley or Eden Ridge. For homes in your price range look into zip codes 19803, 19810, or 19707.

There are no "great" public school districts in New Castle County, but there are a few good schools (refer to above link). Being in your early 30's I'm going to assume that you do not have high school aged children.

There are quite a few really good private schools in the area. For grade school there is Sanford, Tower Hill, Wilmington Friends, and St Edmonds Academy (all boys Catholic non-parochial). The Independence School in Pike Creek is also popular.

From my experience, I have children in public school and I'm not happy. My kids are in the Red Clay SD and are subjected to school "Choice." They receive a decent education when they 're not being disrupted by "choice" students who are in overcrowded classrooms .
I attended elementary school in the late 70's (Linden Hill, Red Clay SD) when busing was forced on the Delaware public school system. Busing was a forced mandate to integrate urban youth with suburban youth. Some children from the suburbs were forced to leave their community schools and bussed to schools in the inner city and vice versa. All I remember when this happened was fearing for my life and lunch money. Of course racial tension was a lot higher 30 years ago. Much has improved since then for the better.
Busing was done to achieve equality, diversity, and improve the failing inner city schools. Like many parents did during that time, I was fortunate enough to be yanked from public school and placed in private school. The difference in learning and discipline was tremendous. Things may have changed since then but I suspect not by much. I believe busing was declared illegal in the late 80's yet the school districts had to find a way to keep the schools integrated. Busing was then called school "Choice." Same concept just cleansed and put through the politically correct spin cycle. IN MY OPINION, the public schools haven't done much to improve the standards. They just lowered the bar. Now when I get the extra scratch, I too will be sending my kids to private school. Fortunately I'm blessed with children that believe in hard work and individual achievement.

I will now get off my soap box.

Good Luck!

Last edited by Baconator; 08-28-2008 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:01 PM
Location: rural North Carolina
272 posts, read 683,112 times
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I agree 100% with Baconator regarding the schools. Being the parent of a 11 year old in public school I'm very disappointed in his education so far, and haven't pulled him out to go to private because we are planning to leave the area. The "choice" students have been extremely disruptive - starting in kindergarten. In first grade one was so disruptive that his grandfather had to come to class and sit next to him; otherwise he would scream bad words at the teacher and try to fight the other kids.

If you must move to DE, go private. If you have some flexibility, consider PA. I'd recommend the areas just across the border from Delaware, especially Glen Mills, Concordville and Kennett Square. If we were planning to stay local, that's where we would go.

As for taxes I've found that the higher the bracket the bigger the difference between DE and PA: DE hits you harder the more you make compared to PA. I know this for a fact having lived in DE and worked in Philly; at the end of the year I would always get hit by a tax bill to DE because my PA taxes didn't cover my DE tax bill.

While DE real estate taxes are still lower than PA, they have been going up - mine have doubled in 10 years with nothing to show for it. Also DE doesn't have sales tax - which is more important for lower incomes than those with higher.

Overall it sounds to me like you should consider PA.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:36 PM
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Question PA or Delaware?

I plan on buying a house in spring 09 and I cant decide between del and PA.I want a single family home with a nice size yard.I refuse to pay NJ any more property taxes.I know DE is incredibly cheaper but Most of the houses in the northern part are older and seem pricey.
I plan on keeping my job in Trenton, nj.Im looking to spend between 350-500k.I think I like Chadds ford area and hockessin but cant get a real idea on the differences.My son is in college so I dont care about schools.
PA or Del??
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:20 PM
53 posts, read 298,624 times
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Chadds Ford is beautiful, but if your motivation is to avoid high taxes, I say Hockessin/Yorklin area. You'll pay out the wahzoo in school taxes in PA. You're going to foot the bill in taxes for some other kids education just about anywhere you go. You might as well do it in DE where it is much cheaper.

PA is also a commonwealth. Commonwealth = Federal Tax, State Tax, County Tax, Township Tax, (if your lucky) City Tax, and School Tax.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:24 PM
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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What do you mean "PA is also a Commonwealth"? So are titled Virginia, Kentucky and Massachusetts. Also England under Cromwell, and by common usage Puerto Rico. It's an old word that essentially means the same as republic.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:20 AM
53 posts, read 298,624 times
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Commonwealth means more government. More government means more taxes. PA has the most police agencies than any other state. Why? Because each municipality wants their own police agency as well as any other type of agency they can afford. More government = more taxes.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:39 AM
Location: Greenville, Delaware
4,726 posts, read 10,290,686 times
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You should stop confusing the term, commonwealth, with PA's township system, which does indeed add another level of gov't in addition to county and state. However, I'm not sure that's much different than living in a city with its own governance and city taxes. It just means you can't escape that local layer of taxes even when you are living in what in other states would be an unincorporated area that would only be subject to the county as the most local taxing authority. However, the PA system does not equate to the governmental concept of a commonwealth, which is simply an old English term that indicates a representative form of government and which three other states use as their official designation.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:08 PM
1 posts, read 2,642 times
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Default Delaware

In my professional opinion it sounds like Hockessin, Delaware would fit you the best. If a half acre of land is very important to you, then the North Wilmington area will not work. You could move farther south like Middletown where there is more land and where you get more house for your money, but it would really depend on where you are planning on working.

$500k buys you a very nice house in Hockessin. You can also think about moving over the DE/PA line. If you do, then I highly recommend the 52 cooridor area. Here you will be able to find a lot of house for your money and the Unionville School District is one of the best in the country. Something you have to look out for is that taxes are about twice as high as they are in Delaware. This is often a major shock for buyers like yourself.

Best of luck in your home search.


Last edited by toobusytoday; 10-16-2008 at 05:39 AM.. Reason: advertising
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