Neighborhoods & Community
On the whole, the cost of living in Sussex County tends to be quite low. The area is still predominately rural and land values are still very low in comparison to nearby urban and suburban areas, with the exception of the immediate coastal area. Because so much of the county has access to water, one can quite easily find desirable inland properties with boating access to the rivers, bays, and ocean for reasonable prices.
Furthermore, Sussex County property taxes are by far the lowest in Delaware and among the lowest in the nation, while the services offered by the county government are quite extensive. In addition, Delaware has no sales tax and no real estate or personal state property tax, and state income tax levels have decreased in recent years, making the total tax burden on individuals and businesses in Sussex County quite low in comparison with surrounding areas.
The neighborhoods in Sussex County range from more secluded, rural communities, to elegant resort towns, to upscale, historical, beachfront centers of commerce. Bethany Beach and South Bethany are quaint towns with original cottages that haven’t deviated from their earliest history. Both towns enjoy a beautiful location between the Atlantic Ocean and the bays.
Fenwick Island is a more secluded community, which incorporated in 1953 in order to prevent overwhelming commercialization. Many of the homes are the original, simple cottages that were built in the early 20th century.
The town of Millville, with a year round population of around 400, though small, was once the area’s commercial hub. Now the town offers close to 50 different businesses, two churches, and a number of historic homes. New development projects in Millville will double that population in a few years.
Overall, the towns in the Bethany-Fenwick area retain a small-town feel, while providing all of the modern conveniences. While predominantly a tourist destination, the area has a large year-round population who enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, balanced business climate, and unending recreational opportunities. Every corner of the area is reminiscent of its historic roots, and the quaint houses and ever-present hospitality welcome visitors and residents alike.