Local News

Edwards Pays $1.3 Million For Land In Orange County

Posted July 27, 2004 10:33 a.m. EDT

— While Sen. John Edwards would like to move into the official vice presidential residence in Washington, he apparently has a back-up plan.

Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth live in Raleigh, but recently bought property near Chapel Hill.

Two weeks before Edwards signed on as a vice-presidential candidate, he signed papers to purchase 100 acres of land along Old Greensboro Road just west of Chapel Hill.

"They used to grow a lot of wheat and cotton and those kind of things down there back when I was a young kid," neighbor Gordon Nevill said.

Nevill lives next door to the old farm, which has not been lived on in decades.

The land had been up for sale for more than a year when a Realtor stopped by this spring with Elizabeth Edwards.

"I looked at her and said, 'You know, I've seen you somewhere before.' She said, 'You have? I'm Elizabeth Edwards,'" Nevill said.

According to the listing, the property was on the market for a $1.5 million. The Edwards family paid $1.3 million.

Edwards paid $42,000 for his Raleigh home 23 years ago. These days, residents cannot drive down his street when he is in town without showing proof that they live there.

"It is crazy, but you know, that's what you do for people who are in this type of situation -- running for a political office," Raleigh neighbor Lydia Aldridge said.

Edwards' land purchase has prompted at least one Orange County landowner to decide to sell. The man says he fears peace and quiet will be lost if Edwards moves in.

Nevill says he would not mind the excitement.

"The phones are ringing off the wall over the last 48 hours. People we hadn't heard from in a long time called saying, 'I hear you've got a new neighbor.' I say, 'Well, supposedly, down the road, maybe,'" Nevill said.

There is no word when the Edwards family might start building on the property or when they might put their Raleigh home up for sale. It may depend on whether the road to the vice presidency keeps Edwards at home in Washington for the next four years.