Maybe it was a post-election pick-me-up. Perhaps it had long been discussed. But certainly it surprised the 99 percent of Americans who can't afford a third home.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, bought a summer house on Vermont's Lake Champlain Islands, according to multiple reports on Tuesday. The $600,000 beachfront residence in North Hero, Vt., is the newest addition to the couple's collection of homes in Burlington, Vt., and Washington.
Sanders, a socialist, campaigned against income inequality, targeting the 1 percent richest Americans.
"We've traveled up to the islands many times over the years — almost always on day trips," O'Meara Sanders told Seven Days Tuesday. "We've been impressed with the North Hero community, eaten at the North Hero House and Shore Acres and have suggested them to friends who were looking for a beautiful place to stay or have dinner. St. Anne's Shrine in Isle La Motte is my favorite church and it is nearby."
The Sanders family recently sold a lake house in Maine that had been passed down from O'Meara's side of the family. The sale enabled them to buy the new home, much closer to their Green Mountain State residence. North Hero, which is one of the islands, has a population of 1,000 people.
Sanders' presidential campaign is sitting on quite a bit of money. As of July 21, the Federal Election Committee reported $7.8 million cash on hand between his campaign committee and outside groups. Those funds are not eligible for personal expenditures.