When it comes to home sweet home, sometimes TV gets it just right.
And other times, the small screen is oh-so-wrong.
Face it: The titular “2 Broke Girls” couldn’t afford the rent on their apartment in a trendy neighborhood of Brooklyn (if they paid the rent, that is).
So what would it cost to snag some of today’s popular TV homes? And how practical are the settings for the characters who live there?
From sitcoms to dramas, check out the real-world price tags for the fictional dwellings six hot TV shows call “home.”
The Big Bang Theory
Seven years (at least), and that elevator still doesn’t work.
Other than that, the downtown Pasadena, Calif., apartment is a fairly realistic — and affordable — choice for a couple of university scientists, says Bill Podley, president of Podley Properties, a Pasadena-based firm.
What it would cost in real life: That two-bedroom one-bath in an older, no-frills building with a simple lobby and communal laundry room would likely rent from $1,800 to $2,200 a month, says Podley.
Who really lives in the area: Students, young singles, young married couples, elderly singles and some new-to-the-area transplants waiting to buy in the area, he says.
The one thing that might be a bit off: That basement laundry room, says Podley. In a 1950s or ’60s building — the most likely vintage — that space “would be subterranean parking,” and the communal laundry room would be located elsewhere, he says.
In Pasadena, a basement laundry room would be more common in a 1920s building, says Podley. But a building of that era would likely be a bit more upscale (think fancier lobby and more luxurious apartments) and more expensive, he says.
Where would you live if money were no object?
For the best-selling author Richard Castle, the answer is: a supercool, mega-bucks loft in Manhattan.
And while the inside of that home sweet home is actually a soundstage, the creators have gotten the details right, says Siim Hanja, senior vice president and director for Brown Harris Stevens in New York. “It reminds me of places I’ve seen.”
What it would cost in real life: Anywhere from $6 million to $10 million, Hanja says. Typically, loft-dwellers gut the inside and create their own, very personal spaces, he says. And, with the circular staircase, the exposed brick and beams, and the skylight, “This one has some really interesting details in it,” he says.
Fifteen years ago, Castle “could have bought it for $1.5 million, put another $700,000 into it, and that’s why he’s got a place like he’s got today,” says Hanja.
Who really lives in the area: In neighborhoods such as SoHo and Tribeca, some loft-dwellers are “the really lucky ones who got there 30 years ago and got it for nothing,” Hanja says. Today’s buyers include tech wizards, financial industry and Wall Street types, Europeans enjoying a second home, trust-fund kids, and successful people in the arts, says Hanja. “So a successful author? Absolutely.”
Mike And Molly
This sitcom love story is also a love note to the Windy City.
And it gets the real estate right, says Matt Laricy, managing partner with Americorp Real Estate in Chicago.
The Flynn family home — in an unidentified Chicago neighborhood — is “like the typical bungalow that we have,” he says.
“In Chicago, most of our housing was built in the late ’50s,” says Laricy. “Brick ranch, Georgian, bungalow and Cape Cod — those are the basic ones.” For the most part, Laricy says, you walk down the street, you’re going to see these types of houses. It’s pretty realistic that you could move right in and find one of those.
What it would cost in real life: “Each neighborhood is different,” he says. “Depending on condition,” figure $225,000 to $300,000, he says.
And now that that Mike and Molly finished off the basement as a studio apartment, add about $25,000, he says.
Who really lives in the area: Chicago’s in-town neighborhoods are home to a lot of city and county employees, such as cops, city workers and teachers.
In the show, Molly’s parents bought the house years ago to raise their family. And, “20 to 30 years ago, those houses were pretty cheap,” says Laricy. “I’d say it’s pretty realistic — absolutely.”