Delaware was the first state admitted to the union when it was admitted on December 7, 1787. Next to Rhode Island, Delaware is the second smallest state in the union with an area of just under 2,500 square miles. While the state has just the 45th largest population, the state is quite dense and has the 6th highest population density.
Overall, the state of Delaware has a very healthy economy. The state has the 9th highest per capita income in the state and is the headquarters to over 50% of the country’s 500 largest companies. Delaware is a very popular attraction to large companies because the state offers a tax haven that is not available in other states.
Like most states located in the Northeastern party of the country, the median housing price in Delaware is higher than the overall national average. Delaware’s average listing price and median sales price are comparable to other states located in the Mid Atlantic and North Atlantic including New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia.
One reason why Delaware’s home prices are so high is the fact that much of the land is located on the sea. Oceanfront homes almost always sell more than homes that are located inland. Also, the fact that Delaware is such a densely populated state drives up the demand for housing and pushes up real estate prices.
Delaware home prices have declined over the past few years; however they have not fallen at nearly the same pace as other areas of the country. This is partially due to a low rate of foreclosure. In 2009, Delaware ranked 42nd in the country will only 1 in every 128 homes being foreclosed.
Overall, with just under 900,000 residents Delaware is one of the least populated states in the country. The most populated city and one of the most popular cities in the state is Wilmington. Wilmington, DE has an estimated population of around 75,000 residents. The city was first incorporated in the year 1731, making it one of the oldest chartered cities in the country. There is much demand for housing in Wilmington as there many major companies that are headquartered in the city. Many major credit card issuers including Chase Card Services, Bank of America, and Barclays Bank of Delaware are all headquartered in the city.
One of the most popular places to live in Wilmington is along the Wilmington Riverfront. Wilmington sits on the Christina River and in recent years much development has taken place in that area. Justison Landing, which is located near the river, is the newest residential development located in Wilmington. The Wilmington Riverfront also houses many outlet shops and restaurants.
Another popular city in Delaware is Dover. Dover, DE has been the state capital of Delaware since 1777. The city has a population of around 35,000, but the metro area exceeds 150,000 residents. Housing is always high in demand in Dover because of its strong economy. The largest employer in Delaware is the state’s government, which is largely located in or around Dover.
Due to the low cost of living, the Dover metro area is one of the fastest growing areas in the state. Outside of the state government, many Dover area residents are employed by the US military. The Dover Airforce Base employs many military personnel as well as civilians who support the base. Also, Proctor & Gamble and Kraft Foods each have major manufacturing facilities in the area.
In general, mortgage rates in the state of Delaware compared to the national average varies by mortgage product. For a typical 30 year mortgage, as of our publication date in Feb. 2010, interest ratse in Delaware are roughly between 10 and 15 basis points higher than the national average. This means that on a typical $300,000 mortgage, a person in Delaware will spend $15 more per month than someone who receives the average national interest rate.
They typical interest rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage in Delaware is also slightly higher than the national average. ARM rates in Delaware tend to be about 5 basis points higher than the national average.
While the 30 year mortgage rates and adjustable mortgage rates are higher than average in Delaware, rates on a 15 year mortgage are actually slightly lower. The average 15 year mortgage rate in Delaware is normally 2 or 3 basis points lower than the national average.
Delaware offers the same mortgage products that are popular across the country - 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed, 5/1 ARM, etc. All mortgages in Delaware are considered full recourse, which means in the event of default, and foreclosure the lender could attempt to recoup all or a portion of the money they lost on the transaction.
The state of Delaware follows a judicial foreclosure process. Under a judicial foreclosure process a complaint is formally filed to a court and a judge oversees and supervises the entire foreclosure process. Under a judicial process, the homeowner has the right to pay back the loan and become current on payments until the court judgment orders the sale of the property.
A judicial foreclosure process is normally quite time consuming which allows the homeowner plenty of time to bring their loan current. However, while the home is going through the judicial process a lis pendens is placed on the home which makes it very difficult to sell. A lis pendens is a notice that is placed on the home which tells a potential purchaser that the property is subject to pending litigation.
In Delaware, a homeowner does not have a right of redemption. The right of redemption gives a homeowner the right to purchase the foreclosed property back from the person who purchased the home through the foreclosure process. While they do not have the right of redemption, the original homeowner does have the right to contest the sale of the property in court.
In the state of Delaware, a lender has the right to recoup any deficiency. The deficiency is the amount of loan balance that is still outstanding after the home is sold. The lender can take any number of steps or methods to collect the balance that is outstanding. Because of the requirement to repay deficiency and the lack of right of redemption, the foreclosure process is quite disadvantageous to homeowners in Delaware when compared to other states.