Camden's home prices, median income and school rankings are what recently earned it a fourth-place ranking on a list of the best towns in Delaware for young families.
The town of Camden is home to several attractions that make it a destination, such as Caesar Rodney schools, Brecknock Park and several new shopping centers.
However, Camden's home prices, median income and school rankings are what recently earned it a fourth-place ranking on a list of the best towns in Delaware for young families.
The list was recently published by the financial literacy website NerdWallet, which asked three primary questions when ranking cities and towns. Those questions were: Does the town have good public schools, can residents afford to live there and is the town growing and prospering? Areas also had to have a population of at least 2,000 in order to be considered.
Camden stuck out, primarily due to home prices, said Mike Anderson, an analyst with NerdWallet.
"Homes in Camden are really affordable when compared to Hockessin, the No. 5 town, where the median home value is $436,000," said Anderson. "In Camden, the median home value is less than half that. It is a much more affordable market."
Camden also had the benefit of a higher median income working in its favor. Anderson compared Camden to Milford as an example.
"People make more, on average, in Camden than in some other towns, like Milford," he said. "The median home value is almost exactly the same at $195,000, but the people in Camden make $20,000 more per year on average."
Camden was beaten out by Millsboro, Middletown and Clayton on NerdWallet's list. One of the reasons that it fell behind was because of its school rankings, which are good, but not the best, Anderson said. School rankings were determined with the help of GreatSchools, a non-profit organization that ranks schools on a 1-10 scale based on how students in the town's schools fared on their standardized tests compared to state averages, Anderson said.
"Millsboro and Middletown did perform a little better," Anderson said. "Camden had an average score of seven out of 10, whereas Millsboro and Middletown received an eight and a nine, respectively."
NerdWallet is in the process of ranking towns all across America. Delaware is roughly the 25th state to be ranked. The idea behind creating these lists is two-fold, Anderson said.
"It's for people who want to know more about an area and if it might be a good fit for them, and it's also something for the people who live there to feel proud of," he said.
Aaron Chaffinch, Camden's town manager, is definitely feeling proud of his town's ranking.
"It's nice to be at the top of the heap," he said. "We are excited because we think it pretty much tells us what we already think, as far as Camden being a nice place to live."
NerdWallet may have had a set of criteria that ranked Camden as No. 4, but Chaffinch had a slightly different idea about what makes Camden great.
"Camden still has a historic look especially downtown," he said. "At the same time, we've had a lot of growth adjacent to U.S. Route 13, with all different types of businesses going in. It's a nice place to live because it's close to Washington, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
"It's centrally located to what's important to a lot of people. That's why we think we should have been No. 1. In our hearts we are No. 1."