Tuesday, June 22, 2021 / by Jay Lesko
Delaware has become a popular state for vacationers because of its pristine and scenic beaches on the Atlantic. Holiday-makers may think that Bethany Beach only comes alive in the summer months when they are there, but this is not true. Bethany Beach is a beautiful city on the Delaware coast with just over 1,000 residents who have chosen to make this their permanent year-round home. The average age of its residents is 61.5, revealing that several younger families have chosen the city as their permanent place of residence.
The quaint seaside city of Bethany Beach is described by many as quiet and family-oriented. Delaware has a reputation of being expensive and having higher than usual crime statistics, but despite this, the state also offers young families work opportunities, first-rate quality of life, excellent schools, and plenty of activities for nature lovers.
Bethany Beach may be a bit further away from the major cities in the state, but it offers a quieter setting for raising a family or retiring and a brilliant view of the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean.
Why do people opt to live in Bethany Beach all year round?
Despite being the smallest coastal town in Delaware, Bethany Beach has some prime beachfront property and a small-town coastal charm that make it ideal for those looking for a laid-back place to raise a family or work from. Its shorter boardwalk gives residents easy access to the beach. There are also numerous other options for outdoor activities, making the city ideal for people who want to enjoy more than just the beach.
Strollers, joggers, and dog walkers all enjoy the half-a-mile-long boardwalk. On the one hand, they enjoy the stunning view of the ocean, and on the other, they can browse the shops and beautiful residences along the seafront.
Even though Bethany Beach doesn’t have public transport, it is easy to get around and biking has become extremely popular with its residents. The city also boasts less traffic than others in the state, making it extremely easy to get around.
Even though Bethany Beach has fewer restaurants, shops, and markets than other cities in the state, it offers enough shopping amenities to ensure people are happy there. Popular events everyone looks forward to are its annual Arts Festival and weekly Farmers Market. Other events include live shows on the Bandstand, adorable shops to browse or shop in, and plenty of dining options.
Besides the beach and the ocean, other outdoor adventures to enjoy in the area include kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, and fishing, and all these can be found in or near Bethany Beach. Cape Henlopen State Park and its wooded trail Junction and Breakwater Trail have various trails for hiking and cycling. Delaware Seashore State Park has trails starting from different areas within the park and it is located between Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach. Both Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay and their canals and waterways offer a variety of water sport opportunities.
Finally, Bethany Beach may have no schools, but there are some excellent educational institutions near the city. These include Selbyville Middle School, Southern Delaware School of Arts, Indian River High School, and the Lord Baltimore Elementary School.
What type of real estate does Bethany Beach offer?
There are several opportunities to buy real estate in Bethany Beach. Homes here vary in size, and buyers have the option of buying a small one-bedroom home or a rambling home with plenty of bedrooms, bathrooms, and expansive entertainment areas. Over 90% of properties in Bethany Beach real estate are occupied by their owners and the rest are rented properties.
The typical home value of Bethany Beach real estate is $672,506, and they sell for approximately $389 per square foot. Most are single detached homes, but there are some apartment buildings and townhouses. The median year of construction in the municipality is 1988, with the majority of homes having three bedrooms or more. The median listing price of homes in Bethany Beach in May 2021 was $792K, this indicates an increase of 37.7% year-over-year.
This is a somewhat competitive market and the average home gets multiple offers; while some homes fetch 3% above their listing price.
What impact does climate change have on Bethany Beach?
Being part of Delaware, Bethany Beach has warm, muggy summers and cold windy winters. However, winter does take longer to come here because of the milder autumn months. Even though climate change is having an impact on Bethany Beach, particularly with the risk of floods, these increases are slower in Bethany Beach than the national average.
In the past year, floods caused an average of $1,129 in property damage, and 83% of homes in the city are required to have flood insurance. The area does have a relatively high storm risk (76%), but it also has a moderate heat, drought, and fire risk. These statistics apply to other nearby cities too.
Violent and property crimes
When calculated on an annual basis per 100,000 residents, Bethany Beach has a relatively good rating when it comes to violent crimes. Assault and murder are almost unheard of here, rape statistics are low, but robbery does push up the number of these violent crimes.
When it comes to property crimes, motor vehicle theft is almost unheard of, but theft is above the national average. Burglaries are 50% lower than the national average.
What does it cost to live in Bethany Beach?
According to the cost-of-living indices for the U.S., Bethany Beach is overall far more expensive. It is also more expensive than the Delaware average. Housing, groceries, and health are more expensive here, but some things are below the state and national average. These include utilities and transportation.
Renting an apartment or house in Bethany Beach also surpasses the state and national average. The overall cost of living is on par with Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Ocean View, Fenwick Island, Selbyville, and Ocean City are nearby cities with a slightly lower cost of living; and Bishopville, Newark, and Long Neck are even cheaper cities to live in.
This is a family-friendly part of the Delaware coast that is also attractive for retirees and remote workers. Its popularity as a summertime tourist area provides visitors with plenty of things to do, but the locals at Bethany Beach continue to enjoy these pastimes in the off-season too.
Even though home prices increase closer to the oceanfront, Bethany Beach has some great buying opportunities when compared to other seaside states like California and Florida. Never mind that it has the advantage of being close to major cities like Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.
Whether you are looking for a permanent home or a vacation property, Bethany Beach real estate offers you the chance to own a coveted beach lifestyle in a city that offers a good dose of tranquility and enough activities on offer so that you are never bored.