We’re pretty sure that most people know that Delaware’s state bird is the Blue Hen Chicken and that Dover is the state’s capital, but did you know that the First State has some really cool, really affordable places to live in the country?
Yes, there are affordable places in Delaware, but you’re going to have to know how to navigate the state’s above average cost of living if you’re going to call it home. And that’s where HomeSnacks comes in, folks. We took a look at the US Census data and cost of living data for Delaware and created a list of the cheapest places to live in the Blue Hen State for 2022 .
And guess what? You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for affordability if you choose to live in one of Delaware’s most affordable places. The state has hip millennial cities like Smyrna, family friendly cities like Wyoming, and retirement cities like Seaford for every budget. With statistics like these, it’s no wonder that many of Delaware’s most affordable places are also some of the Delaware’s fastest growing cities. Do we think there’s a direct correlation between jobs, affordability, and people flocking to these affordable places to live the Delaware dream? Absolutely
So, want to know where you can your income will go the furthest in Delaware? Keep reading.
It’s not rocket science, people. When you live in one of Delaware’s most affordable places, you’ll save money on the fun things to do and see in the oldest state in the country. Like, scoring tickets to the Delaware Taco Festival in Wilmington or taking a road trip to Bethany Beach.
So, where is Delaware’s most affordable place to live ? We suggest you take a look at Delaware’s number one most affordable place for 2022, Cheswold.
To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below. And if you don’t find your favorite there, head to the bottom.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Delaware and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Delaware For 2022
Cheswold, yet another suburb of Dover, ranks as the most affordable place to call home in Delaware. If you’re just looking to see where the absolute cheapest homes in Delaware are, you can stop reading after this, because the answer is Cheswold. You can snag a house in Cheswold for just $160,700. Even more importantly, Cheswold’s residents spend the fourth smallest proportion of their income on homes. On the downside, Cheswold does have the least affordable rent on this list. And just because you’re living in a super-cheap place, doesn’t mean there isn’t rich-person stuff to do around, like playing a round of golf at Garrison’s Lake.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.4x (28th cheapest)
More On Cheswold: Real Estate
Greenwood makes the cut for cheapest places to live in Delaware due to its extra-cheap housing market. You can get a home in Greenwood for around $166,600, the fourth lowest in the state. Greenwood also has the second best home price to income ratio in Delaware. With a median rent of $1,082/month, Greenwood is one of the least impressive cities for renters on this list. But if you’e into antiques and/or collectibles, you’re going to have a good time in Greenwood.
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 11)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.8x (9th cheapest)
More On Greenwood: Real Estate
Blades, Delaware, is a small town located in the southeastern part of the state, about 10 minutes from the Maryland border. Nestled into a bend in the Nanticoke River, it sits across the water from the larger town of Seaford. This quaint community of 1,123 people also counts as one of the most affordable places to live in Delaware.
Without a major metropolitan area nearby, the economy in Blades is relatively weak. The median income stands at $51,250 while the unemployment rate hovers at 6.42%. While the job market is tough in the region, residents do benefit from a saving grace. At least the area is cheap to live in.
The median home value comes in at $157,300. That represents the second lowest mark in the state. Not in the market to buy just yet? Well, you can find cheap rents as well. The median value there sits at $850 per month.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.3x (23rd cheapest)
More On Blades: Real Estate
We’re taking a short drive south to arrive at our fourth cheapest city in Delaware, Felton. Not many state parks can boast that they contain a water park, making Felton’s Killens Pond pretty special. If you want to give Felton a try, rent will cost you around $731/month. Overall, folks in Felton spend the second smallest percentage of their income on rent statewide. It’s even better for home-buyers, who get the 13th best deal in Delaware, based on home price to income ratio.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 87.6x (20th cheapest)
More On Felton: Real Estate
Elsmere, Delaware, is considered the first suburb in northern Delaware. It was conceived in the late 1800s as real-estate venture. Nowadays, it’s still a haven for commuters, sitting 45 minutes from downtown Philadelphia, just over the border in Pennsylvania. More than that, Elsmere offers great cost-of-living value. It’s the number 5 cheapest place in Delaware to call home.
The influence of Philly gives Elsmere an economic boost. The area sports a median income of $62,377 and an unemployment rate of 4.88%.
The 5,814 people living in the community also have access to affordable housing. The median home value sits at $177,800, the eighth cheapest figure in the state. Rents are low as well, with a median value of $1,083 per month.
Proximity to a major metropolitan area gives Elsmere’s residents easy access to exciting activities. But if they want a break from big-city fun, they an also head down the Delaware River for something more outdoorsy. The Augustine Wildlife Area is one of a number of nature-focused attractions nearby.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.6x (19th cheapest)
More On Elsmere: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Seaford comes in as the sixth cheapest place to call home in Delaware thanks to the low cost of homes and being an equally affordable place to buy or rent. The median home price in Seaford is $167,700 and the median rent is $868/month. If you move here, be ready for a big party every summer, because the Nanticoke Riverfest draws visitors from all around. The one big negative of Seaford is that it has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the the most dangerous cities in Delaware.
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (12th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.9x (30th cheapest)
More On Seaford: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
You might think we’re crazy for including Townsend on this list. After all, with homes costing around $334,400 and rent going for $1,672/month, Townsend has the most expensive housing you’ll see on this list by a substantial margin. However, Townsend is also one of the richest places in Delaware, so things even out nicely for residents. Townsend has an incredibly low rate of unemployment and a high median income of $137,856. Because of this, Townsend is in the top five statewide for housing to income ratios, both for renters and buyers. Just be sure you have a lucrative gig lined up before you make the move, or else Townsend’s affordability might not be super apparent for you.
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 82.4x (7th cheapest)
More On Townsend: Real Estate
Our first representative of Wilmington’s suburbs to make this list, Bellefonte ranks as the eighth least expensive place in the Diamond State. If you’re looking for love, but don’t have a big budget for such a venture, Bellefonte might just be the perfect place for you. Not only is Bellefonte super affordable, it’s also one of the best cities for singles in Delaware. For a cheap date idea, pack a picnic and head on over to Fox Point Park. While the cost of Bellefonte’s homes and rent are sort of high at $226,400 and $1,225/month respectively, folks here also earn a median income of $78,167. That means that Bellefonte has the fifth best home price to income ratio and tenth best rent to income ratio in Delaware.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.8x (16th cheapest)
More On Bellefonte: Real Estate
Next up on our list of uber-affordable spots in Delaware is Delmar, the southernmost place to make this list. It was in Delmar that the drawing of Mason-Dixon line began and we definitely recommend visiting the grounds that mark this historic event. Delmar has the sixth cheapest homes for sale in Delaware, with a median price of $171,100. If you’e looking to rent in Delmar, it’ll cost you about $783/month. That’s nearly half the average rent in Delaware.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (17th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.8x (10th cheapest)
More On Delmar: Real Estate
Even though Laurel may be small, it is always looking for ways to stand tall and this ranking of being the tenth cheapest for 2022 will be another rung in its ladder if you will. The overall cost of living is 10% lower than Delaware as a whole with real estate, transportation, and energy costs being relatively low. Homes in Laurel are “cheap” at a median price of $155,600, and with residents earning a median income of $40,313, Laurel has the 20th best ratio of home price to income in delaware.
Located in Southwest Delaware, the town of 4,311 has been moving up our lists for several years now. The relative affordability will offer the town for continued growth in the years to come.
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (20th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.3x (12th cheapest)
More On Laurel: Real Estate | Crime Rate
Cheapest Places To Live In Delaware FAQs
What county in Delaware has the lowest cost of living?
The county in Delaware with the lowest cost of living is Sussex County. The average living wage in Sussex County is $88,233 according to MIT data. Sussex County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Delaware as a whole. Childcare costs $14,102 a year in Sussex County for two children compared to the Delaware average of $16,668. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $11,580 per year in Sussex County compared to $13,860 on average in Delaware.
What is the cost of living in Delaware?
The cost of living in Delaware is 4.5% higher than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Delaware is $93,755 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Delaware household is $69,110.
What is the cheapest housing market in Delaware?
The cheapest housing market in Delaware is Laurel. The average home value in Laurel is $155,600, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Delaware is $258,300, almost 1.7 times higher than Laurel.
Methodology: How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The First State For 2022
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Delaware to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 33 places in Delaware that have more than 1,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Delaware according to the data is Cheswold. You can download the data here.
Summary: There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Delaware Cheapskate
If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Delaware, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Delaware for 2022.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Delaware according to the data:
- Ocean View
For more Delaware reading, check out:
The Most Affordable Places To Live In Delaware