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Monday, August 8, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle, that's some rise in housing costs!

Editor’s Notebook: Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle, that’s some rise in housing costs!

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(Or, as Robin might put it, “Holy shiitake mushrooms, Batman; will I ever be able to afford a house?”)

Indeed: New data from the Virginia Realtors trade group, reported in this week’s edition, show that between May 2020 and May 2022, the estimated monthly payment needed to purchase a median-priced home in Virginia rose a whopping 71 percent. Not 7.1 percent, but 71 percent.

Blame the double-whammy of ongoing increases to home prices coupled with interest rates that while still moderate (perhaps even low-ish) by historic norms are significantly higher than they have been in recent years when they were kept artificially low by the Federal Reserve. (Hey-hey, how’d THAT work out?)

As a result, Virginia Realtors notes in new figures, the estimated family income needed to afford a typical home in the commonwealth is up from $56,000 annually two years back to just under $96,000 today. While many Northern Virginians may say “what’s the problem with that?”, jaws will be dropping across the commonwealth.

Something’s going to have to give in the housing market. Buckle up.

THERE’S ALWAYS A LOCAL CONNECTION: News came late last week of the death, at the venerable age of 99, of funnyman Larry Storch, who a long time ago (so long ago it even predates me!) was among the stars of the TV sitcom “F Troop,” about the misadventures of a host of Army personnel out West back in the 1800s.

I was among those unaware that Mr. Storch, who had lots of other TV, movie and Broadway credits in his venerable career, was still with us. That’s why I check in with Wikipedia’s daily deaths’ digest each day; while it is sad to see celebrities of various shades go, it also is worth celebrating their lives.

How am I going to make a local connection out of the death of Mr. Storch? Wait for the magic to happen.

Also in the “F Troop” cast – in the starring role – was Forrest Tucker, another multi-faceted actor and one who, while serving in the actual U.S. Army in the 1930s and being stationed at Fort Myer, earned his high-school diploma at Washington-[Redacted] High School.

Because I am a dirty-minded 13-year-old at heart, every time I mention Mr. Tucker (which is, to be fair to me, not all that often), I do reference that one of his claims to fame in Tinseltown starting in the 1940s was that he had one of the largest, cough, let’s just say “personalities” in all of Hollywood. That’s right, I said “personalities.” Lawyers probably wouldn’t let me say anything else.

Now, noodle this through. I mean, it’s probably great in a way to be so impressive in that regard, particularly if word gets out, but as I once said to my friend from way, way back B—— F—-, who also shared that anatomical peculiarity, doesn’t it get to be a drag lugging that equipment around all the time?

(How’d I know that about B.F.? Mind your own business …)

Anyhoo, I searched YouTube and here’s a scene with Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch (he’s playing George Washington) and others from “F Troop” like my fellow born-on-Nov.-3rd-er Ken Berry.

Not the greatest 3 minutes in television history, and probably will offend the easily offended in our modern era, but consider it a period piece from a bygone era.

– Scott McCaffrey

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