Low Taxes and Low Maintenance Are Why Retirees Are Attracted to Tidy Wild Meadows in Delaware

Not far from downtown Dover, Delaware is the gated, 55+ community of Wild Meadows, a low maintenance, manufactured home development that appeals to retirees searching for some tax breaks and to those that are looking for someone else to mow the lawn. Cozy and well-kept, this neighborhood has just more than 200 single family homes, and as is the case with many of today’s new manufactured home communities, it is difficult to tell that this is not a site built home development.

Buyers may choose from six floor plans, all built on one level. Each home comes with a one-car attached garage, usually back from the street, gas heat, central air conditioning and an underground sprinkler system. Square footage ranges from 1,280 sq. ft. (three bedrooms, two baths) to 1,706 sq. ft. (also three bedrooms and two baths). Oak cabinetry, gourmet kitchens and breakfast nooks are standard features. Current re-sale prices start in the low- to mid-$100,000s and range up to the $200,000s, but owners lease the land under their homes so a lease fee of $376 a month is assessed. This saves on the tax bill since taxes are only charged on the home itself and not the land. Call (302) 736-5000 for more information.

This land lease fee also covers lawn maintenance, road maintenance, snow removal and access to the Wild Meadows Club House which houses an exercise room, an outdoor swimming pool, a kitchen, a great room with a large screen TV, an arts and crafts room, a spa with a hot tub and a library. An activities director is on staff to help coordinate all sorts of clubs, including book clubs, card games and potlucks, not to mention overnight trips to nearby Philadelphia, New York City and Annapolis, and much more. Water, gas, electric and trash removal are the responsibility of each homeowner, though, and according to the community, these bills average around $175 a month. But Delaware is a tax friendly state for retirees since it has no sales tax and Social Security benefits are not taxed, helping offset these utility bills.

Dover (population 36,000) is the capital of Delaware and is a clean, growing city that dates from 1683. Its historic center, The Green, is a bustling place and is home to the Delaware Supreme Court and some lower courts. By car, beaches are about one hour away. Crime rates are above the national average. Of Dover’s population, 20% is age 45 to 64, and 13% is age 65 or above.

The local climate is temperate and humid, with the normal daily mean temperature roughly 54°F, ranging from 31°F in January to 76°F in July. The average annual precipitation is about 42 inches, 21 inches of which are snowfall. The sun shines about 55% of the time.

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