As a college town, Newark has built-in advantages in attracting new residents, with University of Delaware educational opportunities, sports, concerts and theater productions.
“The vibrancy of the college brings people of all ages,” said Mayor Jerry Clifton.
But people discover much more, he said.
“Restaurants, stores – you’re never too far from shopping,” said Clifton who was elected mayor in 2019 after serving as a city council member from 1997-2014 and 2017-2019.
He said another drawing card will be the area formerly known as College Square that’s being redeveloped as The Grove at Newark with apartments, retail shops, restaurants and green spaces with walking paths.
“It’s probably going to be the signature shopping center in the state,” said Clifton.
MORE ON NEWARK DEVELOPMENT:We’re tracking 6 anticipated commercial projects in New Castle County. Here’s an update.
Newark’s community events, although limited by the pandemic in 2020, are bouncing back.
“We just had our Halloweeen parade, and we had a tremendous turnout,” Clifton said. “Winterfest will be coming up on the Academy lawn. We have an event for everyone. We have great 5K run-walks like the Turkey Trot and we have the Main Street Mile.”
Easy access to fitness trails is another attraction.
“People come to Newark to walk and bike those trails,” Clifton said. “I have a neighbor who’s originally from Jersey City and his kids went to the University of Delaware. When he visited them, he stayed at a hotel in Newark. He found out about the trails and he said he really enjoyed them.”
Now he’s moved to Newark and those trails were one of the reasons, Clifton said.
Realtor Kelly Ralsten agreed that new residents are attracted by the university and the city’s amenities as well as recreational opportunities.
“Buyers are drawn to the downtown feel and what is offered at the university. It still has a small-town community feel,” said Ralsten, who has more than 27 years of experience in real estate including the last 23 with Patterson Schwartz.
But she said they also love the wide open spaces outside the city.
“These are old farming areas with rolling hills. There’s a real sense of peace and serenity here,” Ralsten said. “White Clay Creek State Park, which is accessible by bike or foot, is a true asset with the creek, the trails, and no one’s going to be building on those acres.”
Transportation is another key.
“You have easy access to I-95 and city of Wilmington,” Ralsten said.
So what are the “dream homes” for sale in the Newark area? Here are the top 10 by price from Realtor.com as of Oct. 21 with a maximum of 3 acres. Some homes have already sold since the research began for this story, and some sales are pending or contingent, as noted.
10. $620,000 – 83 Hempstead Drive, sale pending with settlement Nov. 1
3,525 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 0.5 acres, owner is the listing Realtor, Renee Wolhar, Long & Foster Real Estate, Greenville.
Highlights: Two-story open foyer leading to the living room and dining room.
Two-story family room with wood-burning fireplace.
Kitchen with cherry cabinets, granite countertops, subway tile backsplash, center island, recessed lighting and a walk-in pantry next to Florida room filled with windows.
Owner’s suite with walk-in closet and full bath with double vanities, a stand-up shower and soaking tub.
New deck and patio with firepit.
9. $700,000 – 22 Sebastian Drive, sale pending
5,285 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 0.5 acres, listed by Brian Hadley, Patterson Schwartz Real Estate, Hockessin Center.
Highlights: Updated gourmet kitchen with extensive cabinetry.
Family room with vaulted ceilings and wood-burning fireplace.
Hardwood flooring and extensive moldings throughout the home, with plantation shutters on all windows and sliding doors.
Sunken bonus room with vaulted ceilings.
In-law suite in the lower level with bedroom and full bath.
Composite deck, private yard, turned three-car garage and three zoned HVAC systems.
8. $720,000 – 806 Chesapeake Court, sale pending
4,075 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 1.06 acres, listed by Corey Harris, Long & Foster Real Estate, Hockessin.
Highlights: Blenheim Homes property in Bay Point neighborhood.
Professionally-maintained landscaping with spacious lot on a private cul-de-sac.
Two-story foyer with grand staircase and balcony.
Formal seating room with French doors leading to a dining area and sunroom.
Formal dining room with wainscoting connected to the luxury kitchen with modern appliances including a double oven, granite countertops and an eat-in island, next to the breakfast nook.
Living room with recessed lighting, a fireplace and an abundance of windows.
Master bedroom including sitting room with access to an upper-level balcony, a fireplace and an attached en suite with double vanities, standup shower and separate soaking tub.
Finished basement designed for entertaining with a kitchenette.
Secluded backyard with hardscaped patio and fenced-in, in-ground swimming pool.
7. $749,000 – 741 Crossan Road
4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, finished lower level for possible fifth bedroom, 1 acre, listed by Michele Vella, RE/MAX Associates, Wilmington.
Highlights: Family room with floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and a wall of windows for outdoor views.
Formal dining room and living room.
Hardwood floors, tall ceilings and decorative moldings.
Kitchen with bright breakfast room, center island with cooktop, double-wall oven, pantry, Corian counter tops, tile floor, recessed lighting and plenty of cabinet storage and counter space.
Main-floor master bedroom suite with walk-in closet and bath with soaking tub and private water closet.
Private, level lot with oversized two-car garage and ample parking.
6. $750,000 – 233 Upper Pike Creek Road, sale contingent
5,094 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2.82 acres, listed by Marian Eiermann, Long & Foster Real Estate, West Chester.
Features: Winding driveway leads this brick colonial on more than 2.8 serene acres, yet close to Newark and Pike Creek.
Double entry doors lead to stunning two-story foyer.
Formal dining room and a sunken living room with a raised-hearth brick fireplace.
Fully-renovated gourmet kitchen with island, granite counters, upgraded appliances and a wet bar featuring an under-counter refrigerator.
Family room with stone-raised hearth and gas fireplace, recessed lighting and lots of natural light entering through the abundance of windows.
Flexible office area with built-in bookcases and recessed lighting.
Master bedroom with a fireplace, walk-in closet and bathroom featuring a free-standing soaking tub, two vanities, spacious shower and a tray ceiling featuring a hand-painted starry night mural.
Lower level with a theater area, guest suite and full kitchen.
Sunroom leading to a back deck and gorgeous backyard. Deck is also accessible from the kitchen.
Three-car garage with oversized parking area at the top of the driveway.
5. $855,000 – 14 Celestial Way, sold Oct. 22
4,775 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 0.49 acres, listed by Dawn Wilson, BHHS Fox & Roach, Hockessin-Pike Creek.
Highlights: Toll Brothers home with dramatic two-story foyer with curved staircase.
Open floor plan includes a living room, dining room, wet bar, kitchen, family room, mud room, laundry room, half bath and in-law suite with a sitting area and full bath.
Gourmet kitchen with double-wall oven, walk-in pantry, island with seating and a breakfast area.
Two-story family room with floor-to-ceiling gas fireplace and a wall of windows featuring breathtaking views of the valley including autumn leaves, snowy scenes and springtime blooms.
Private office with custom built-in shelves and French doors.
Large owner’s suite with two walk-in closets and spa-like luxury bath.
Patio and Trex deck with impressive views.
Three-car garage and extended driveway with parking for six or more cars.
4. $895,000 – 16 Reese Drive, sale contingent
6,137 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 0.81 acres, listed by Victoria Dickinson, Patterson Schwartz Real Estate, Greenville Center
Features: Stunning and serene lot in Merestone neighborhood.
Two-story foyer with curved staircase.
Formal living room with fireplace and pocket doors.
Formal dining room.
Private office with patio access.
Spacious eat-in kitchen with custom white cabinets, large center island, granite countertops, high-end appliances and butler’s pantry.
Kitchen opens to the two-story family room with stone fireplace, custom moldings and deck access.
Master retreat with a large bedroom, walk-in closets with custom shelving system, bath with soaking tub and double vanity.
Finished lower level with a game room, gym, theater, wine room and bedroom with full bath.
Patio with in-ground pool and spa, pergola and large raised deck.
3. $899,900 – 7 Lakewood Circle, sale pending
5,859 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 0.75 acres, listed by Kelly Ralsten, Patterson Schwartz, Greenville Center
Highlights: Custom home at Lakewood Farm in Corner Ketch area.
Foyer with dramatic three-story wooden staircase.
Living room with 12-foot ceilings, detailed crown accented by a bead board ceiling and large windows.
Formal dining room.
Gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters, decorative tile backsplash, butler’s pantry, bright breakfast nook with access to the tiered deck and views of the backyard sanctuary.
Kitchen flows into the family room with floor-to-ceiling brick wood-burning fireplace and private deck.
First-floor in-law suite with private entrance, open living area, bedroom, full bath and oversized walk-in closet and access the tiered deck.
Private home office.
Owner’s suite with a fireplace, walk-in closet with custom built-ins, an additional mirrored closet, spa-like bathroom with soaking tub, double sinks, walk-in shower with rainfall feature and heated tile floors.
Newly-completed lower level with large recreation room, bar, electric fireplace, wall of windows, full bathroom, wine cellar, a workout room and large finished workshop.
Backyard oasis with fire pit, multi-tiered deck and boulder-and-paver patio.
2. $1,199,000 – 15 Wyncliff Lane
8,606 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 2 half-baths, 0.5 acre, listed by Christen McDade, Thyme Real Estate Company.
Highlights: Custom-built French country villa style home at the end of a cul-de-sac in the Wyncliff neighborhood bordering White Clay State Park and Newark Reservoir.
Main entry foyer chandelier conveniently lowers for cleaning and maintenance.
Formal living and dining rooms flank the majestic, center staircase, one of the three staircases in the home.
Family room with floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, leading to the open-concept kitchen.
Kitchen features granite counters, cherry cabinets with soft-close drawers, a Sub Zero refrigerator, a Wolf five-burner gas cooktop with downdraft vent system, two tri-convection wall ovens with a warming drawer, dual sinks, a walk-in pantry, standalone ice machine and beverage center.
First-floor multipurpose room could be an office or library, with another room next to the kitchen for a second office, homeschooling or crafts.
Second-floor theater with wet bar, six person high-top granite counter and seating for eight power recliners.
Master bedroom with dual walk-in closets, large sitting room, tray lighting, gas fireplace and a master bath with a heated, whirlpool tub and oversized shower.
Lower level with 10-foot ceilings and hardwood floors features a complete in-law suite with two bedrooms, two full baths, a custom kitchen and pantry, a laundry room, gas fireplaces and its own entrance.
Resort-styled, double-gated fenced backyard with six-person Hot Springs hot tub and a fire pit.
Solar panels produce an average of $400 to $600 of electricity per month.
Oversized three-car turned garage equipped with two Tesla chargers.
1. $1,299,999 – 203 Penn Manor Drive, sale contingent
8,050 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 2.15 acres, listed by Kelly Ralsten, Patterson Schwartz, Greenville Center.
Highlights: The land was purchased by the first owner in 1714 from William Penn’s son.
Extensive renovations have brought modern amenities to this historic property with impeccable craftsmanship and an addition to compliment the time period of the original home. The renovation costs exceed the list price of the home.
Farm kitchen with custom cabinetry by Steve Wagner with warm colors, reproduction hardware, soapstone counters, butcher block center island and luxury appliances leading to a bright breakfast room.
Family room is a log cabin transferred to the property from Pennsylvania, with a stone fireplace built with stones from the property.
Owner’s suite in new section with reclaimed hardwood floors, an exposed wall of brick, full bath and walk-in closet.
Original owner’s suite with charming fireplace and full bathroom with a jetted tub.
Formal dining room complete with wainscoting, fireplace, and full windows with deep window sills.
Living room with fireplace, original windows and hardwood floors.
Library with built-ins and a fireplace.
Two-story great room with stone fireplace was rebuilt with stones from the property, while the stone hearth and bread oven were restored.
Sun porch with beautifully-laid brick, replica tin chandeliers, pitched roofline, bright windows and exposed brick from the original part of the home.
Game room with reclaimed floors and ship lap ceiling with beams emulating the open feeling of a renovated barn.
Guest cottage fully renovated from an existing structure with shiplap cathedral ceiling and exposed beams, a great room, complete kitchen, loft and full bathroom.
Historic “Bank Barn” was rebuilt by Amish craftsmen and updated to offer heated space in the upper level with a basketball court, a batting cage and volleyball net, while the lower barn provides storage and garage space for six cars.
Reporter Ben Mace writes about real estate and development. Reach him at [email protected]