I have gone house hunting many times in Chapel Hill over the last 55 years with my parents, on my own, as part of a married couple, and numerous times as a friend. Recently I spent a day looking at houses in Chapel Hill in the range of $550,000 to $875,000. None of the houses were especially large, prestigious, nor had incredible "curb appeal" and most of them were in neighborhoods where I had lived as a child or adult. What most astounded me was that the average yearly property tax bill the dozen nice upper middle class home I saw was now just under $13,000 a year. This contrasts with my childhood in the 50s and 60s when people making that much per year were living in far nicer homes than these.
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What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.