Best Places to Live
35 great towns: How does yours rate? Plus, check out our exclusive chart that shows home sales in more than 200 Delaware neighborhoods from 2006 through 2010.
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Milton is also a veritable home show, with an artful mix of beautifully preserved homes from several eras—Victorian, Gothic, Federal and Colonial.
M.J. and Mike Ostinato’s farmhouse was built in 1874. The couple moved from a large suburban area in Pennsylvania, hoping to live in Lewes. But real estate there was a bit pricey. The couple drove through Milton and “instantly fell in love with it,” says M.J. “It reminded me of my parents’ small town in Northern Virginia.”
The Ostinatos were welcomed into the historic district’s close-knit community. “People in town quickly knew our names, and we started getting invited to parties,” says Ostinato. “Soon enough we were volunteering for the Milton Historical Society and the Milton Theatre.”
Community is a big part of life. There are garden and home tours and annual events such as the Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival in May, and Bargains on the Broadkill in the fall.
If it sounds like historic Milton is one big Rockwellesque creation, it is, but with an important twist. “There’s an interesting mix of people here,” says Ostinato. “Some have lived here forever, some are from New Jersey or Washington, D.C., and some lead alternative lifestyles.”
New subdivisions include Heritage Creek by Schell Brothers, The Cannery Village by Capstone Homes and Chestnut Crossing by Atlantic Homes, one of Delaware’s premier green builders.
“This is a great time to buy in Milton, since home prices have been reduced,” says Post. “The recession hasn’t helped builders, but it’s certainly helped potential residents. And the folks in Milton welcome new neighbors.” —Maria Hess
Property tax: 2.54 8
Median home: $366,000 30
SD: Red Clay 14
Commute time: 28.7 29
Home, Sweet Home
When Kim Allen moved from Buffalo, New York, to Hockessin 19 years ago, she wasn’t sure the First State was the place for her. Having grown up in Greenwich Village, Allen was accustomed to a fast pace and a stream of strangers. For her husband, Bill, who had grown up on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the change was just as tricky.
The couple’s uncertainty was tempered by Kim’s eagerness to establish ties with community groups. So when she received an invite to a basketball tournament fundraiser, she was hooked. Not only would it let her return to what she loved, but it allowed her to meet others in her community—a win-win.
Page 13: How They Rate, continues...