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The Price of a View in Vermont

The Price of a View in Vermont
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Years ago, when our young family was searching for a place to settle in southern Vermont, we heard of a house for sale on Newfane Hill in the West River Valley. We were shopping on a pretty tight budget and had been in the market for some months. We’d looked over a lot of properties. One summer morning, I visited this latest property with Dottie, a Realtor from Brattleboro.

It was a likely spot, I found. In fact, “likely” is an understatement. The house itself needed work, but the setting needed nothing–it was on the eastern slope of a high hill, with little meadows all around, enclosed by stone walls and shady woods.

It looked like a place that would do for us; more than that, it looked, in the mysterious way of these things, like the right place, the destined place, the only place. (Every inexperienced buyer of rural real estate will know what I mean.)

Casually, I inquired about the asking price. Equally casually, my new friend Dottie quoted a figure that puzzled me. The number of dollars she named seemed to me to be calculated to buy four or five houses. I wanted only one. Had Dottie not understood? I put it to her.

“Price seem a little high?” Dottie replied.

“More than a little,” I said.

“Well,” she said. “But look at what you’ve got … ”

She pointed to the east. I followed her extended arm and saw, far away on the horizon, a vast blue pyramid rising above the intervening hills.

“You’ve got the view,” said Dottie.

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