For several years, Woodburn Realty’s Cynthia Witt has compiled data on homes sold by Realtors in Kent County. Her numbers show that existing homes have lost value and prices now approximate 2004 levels. That is, the average sales price for a home in 2004 was $190,000; selling in 2007 for $254,000, and hovering at $192,000 in 2011. That may not be great news for sellers—though things are bound to change for those who can wait out the market—but it is good news for the many who find Kent and Sussex counties an attractive place to retire.
Del. 1 has been a key factor in making Kent and Sussex even more accessible and attractive to buyers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and New Castle County. New residents can easily visit friends and family in their former communities.
Jason Farissier, an experienced sales manager for K. Hovanian Homes, has spoken with many potential and actual buyers of active adult community homes in Kent County’s Longacre Village and Sussex County’s Nassau Grove. He says they come here to escape the expense of living in neighboring states and to settle into a new, problem-free, energy-efficient home built with the most up-to-date energy efficient materials. The new, modestly priced homes with high performance energy ratings and low taxes allow buyers on fixed incomes to realize a higher quality of life. On average, a new three-bedroom, two-bath ranch sells for about $250,000.
Farissier measures the appeal of active adult communities in climbing sales numbers. Last year alone, he sold 31 units in Longacre. Smart buyers are acting now, he says. For those coming from out of state, the financial benefits of living here are immediate. —J.C.