Bullish on Vergennes

While the "selection of inventory" may be the best ever in Addison County, Houston admits it comes at a price. And the backlog will take awhile to move.

"Actually the higher-end home sales are the slowest," she said.

Gone are the days-at least for the foreseeable future-where Vermont McMansions are sold faster than boxes of McNuggets. And it's doubtful new development projects of bloated trophy homes, such as those in Shelburne and South Burlington, will be undertaken any time soon.

"Vergennes is a good place to be," said Houston. "You can see the activity around town. Across the street from us there's new commercial construction, WowToyz and Goodrich are adding new employees, the old laundromat is reborn as a bakery and even the historic Stevens Building is getting a makeover."

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Houston was the highest ranking elected Republican official in Vermont. Today, while still keen on local and state politics, she has turned her career focus to the real world of business, her roots. Houston says that Vermont's economic recovery will depend upon business growth, lower taxes, and the real estate market.

"We'll need business-friendly elected representatives in Montpelier," she said. "That's why I believe we can have strong businesses, lower taxes, and an excellent quality of life right here."

And that may be just the silver lining we're all looking for.

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