One of the handful of New England states, Delaware enjoys a large coastline for half of its territory, sitting across the water from southern New Jersey. The state is not heavily populated, with most of its towns and cities strung along a route of highways from north to south. The major cities include Dover, Wilmington, Newark, Georgetown, and Middletown. Most of the state's population lives in the northern part of the state, leaving the south highly rural. Delaware's economy is primarily supported by agriculture, government, education, banking, chemical production, and healthcare. Given its proximity to the ocean, the state is a strong draw for coastal homeowners.
Though Delaware's economy is quite small - annual GDP is around $60 billion - per capita income is 9th largest in the nation at around $35,000. Delaware is also well known as a tax haven, and many business choose to incorporate in the state. DE gets about 20% of its revenue from franchise taxes that result from this trend.
As of this writing, the average home value in DE is around $200,000, and the state saw an 8% increase in home values in 2013. The most expensive cities and towns in the state are Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Selbyville, and Dagsboro. The most affordable cities are Laurel, Seaford, New Castle, Dover, and Milford.
Next, we'll cover some of the larger cities in DE. If you're interested in a different perspective, this article covers the best neighborhoods in the state for various groups of people.
Wilmington's economy is defined by its favorable laws to corporations and credit cards. In fact, many major credit card issuers are headquartered in the city. The top employers in Wilmington, according to Wilmington's 2011 Annual Financial Report, are the State of Delaware, the Christiana Care Health System, Bank of America, DuPont, and AstraZeneca.
Dover is the capital of Delaware, and though it has a relatively small population, its entire metropolitan area boasts a population of around 150,000. The state government is a major employer, along with Kraft Foods, Proctor and Gamble, and the Dover Air Force Base.
Home to the University of Delaware, Newark is the state's third largest city. Newark is located about halfway between Baltimore, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Despite its reputation as a corporate haven, few banks maintain headquarters in the state. That said, consumers in DE still enjoy a number of options for all of their banking needs. Here are a few to consider:
RateZip.com can help in finding the right location for a homebuyer, especially with detailed mortgage rate comparisons. Home shoppers in DE will find all of the usual products - fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate loans (ARMs), jumbo products, and FHA and VA home loans.