Getting sucked into a fictional world is part of the experience of watching a television show. Over the course of many weeks, as you’re pulled deeper and deeper into a fantasy land, you start imagining that your life really could be like that of the characters in your favorite TV shows. Then, as you start mapping out how many best friends you’ll have by the time you’re 30 and the exact path your career will take, you start asking questions. Somehow, your favorite characters never go to work or school and blow all their money on pricey shoes (à la Carrie Bradshaw) or food and booze.
But the most maddening part? How little they’re paying for their homes. If you’re dreaming about living in your favorite fictional TV home, here’s how much you’d be shelling out, according to realtors.
Address: 90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Estimated real cost: $2.5 million, or $4,500 per month
Fictional cost: $200/month
Thousands of the show’s fans wanted to live in Monica Geller’s swanky pad. The highly-recognized apartment is probably one of the most infuriating examples of the unrealistic expectations television set for an entire generation: according to People Magazine, the two-bedroom unit in New York’s swanky West Village neighborhood would go for an estimated $4,500 a month. However, Monica somehow inherited the rent controlled unit from her grandmother, and continued paying a measly $200 in rent throughout the series.
Estimated real cost: $174,513
According to Thrillist, Walter White’s home is valued at just over $174,000, but the price has been estimated to be as high as $200,000. The Albuquerque, New Mexico residence is very real, and its current residents, Fran and Louie Padilla, have owned the home for more than 40 years. When the hit AMC series ended in 2013, the couple often found their property inundated with fans. The occasional pizza has even been discovered on their roof. However, they insist that only the exterior of the house and the pool are real — Fran has described the interior of the home, as seen in the series, as “hideous.” Despite all the trouble they’ve had in recent years, they refuse to sell the house, which would now likely be worth millions. In the show, given his past jobs, Walter White would have likely been able to afford his humble abode.
Estimated real cost: $2,150,000
The Dunphy family of TV’s Modern Family live in a beautiful 4-bedroom 2-story home located in the upscale Cheviot Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, which is reportedly worth over $2 million. In the show, Phil and Claire Dunphy live there with their three children. Phil is a real estate agent, and Claire is a stay-at-home mother who was once a successful account manager in hospitality management. It’s not unbelievable that the family of five could have afforded a house in such an affluent area, but many still consider it to be a stretch. The house is also very real: it was sold for $2.5 million in May 2014.
Sex And The City
Actual address: 66 Perry Street, NY
Fictional address: 245 East 73rd Street
Estimated real cost: $600,000 or $2,800/month
Cost on the show: $750/month
Carrie Bradshaw set the bar for thousands of women already living in, or aspiring to live in the Big Apple. This single woman had it all: a thriving career, a fabulous shoe collection, and the perfect apartment. Fans of the show may recall that Carrie paid about $750 a month in rent before her building, in a prime location on the Upper East Side, went co-op. The apartment exists in real life — but the show stretched the truth so far that many ended up chasing an impossible dream. The well-known exterior is actually the facade of 66 Perry Street in Manhattan’s West Village. That townhouse was sold by luxury property agent Kane Manera for a whopping $13.25 million. The interior was filmed just next door, inside 64 Perry Street. The relatively large studio could have gone for exponentially less than its neighbor, but would have still cost Carrie a pretty penny: though it had to be totally renovated, it was valued at about $600,000, or around $2,800 a month in rent. On her freelance writer’s salary and with her ever-growing and extensive collection of designer duds, there’s no way Carrie would have been able to afford her apartment, regardless of location!
The Brady Bunch
Address: 11222 Dilling Street North Hollywood, California
Estimated real cost: $1,478,474
The lovable blended TV family of eight (plus their maid, Alice) lived in a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the Los Angeles suburbs. The actual house they lived in on the show is very real, and according to Thrillist, its current owners purchased the home in 1973 for just $61,000. However, today, the house is estimated to be worth almost $1.5 million. Given Mr. Brady’s occupation as an architect, it’s quite possible that he would have been able to afford the home at the time — even given the number of occupants!
Will & Grace
Address: 155 Riverside Drive
Estimated real cost: $700,000 to $1.75M
The sitcom’s fictional apartment is located on a beautiful block on the Upper West Side, and the address alone is enough for realtors to estimate that the home would have cost Will and Grace, its residents for most of the show, just over the average estimated amount for a two-bedroom, two-bath space: $5,940. The lawyer and the interior designer could probably afford their rent, but this appears to be another case in which TV executives believed that viewers wouldn’t question the characters’ financial situation.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Address: 251 North Bristol Avenue Los Angeles, California
Estimated real cost: $8,907,054
Luckily, fans of the show can see the exterior of the Banks’ family’s mansion in real life, but they won’t find it in the Bel Air area. Instead, they can can see it while driving down North Bristol Avenue in Los Angeles’s Brentwood neighborhood. The different zip code barely makes the home any less valuable: it’s estimated that the house could close for $9 million on the market. The family’s ability to afford their estate is one of the more believable scenarios depicted on television: Philip Banks had a career in law, and his wife, Vivian had a PhD.
Address: Somewhere in Astoria, Queens
Estimated real cost: $2,300/month according to Trulia
Nowadays, television executives are, for the most part, dedicated to making their characters’ living situations a little more believable and relatable. There is a rawness and truthfulness behind their experiences. This is especially true for Broad City. The Comedy Central show knows how to hit the nail on the head, so to speak: Abbi’s apartment in Astoria, Queens isn’t anywhere near as swanky as the digs on Sex and the City or Friends — and she shares it with a roommate. According to Trulia and Time, it would rent for around $2,300 a month in real life, which, split between two people, seems feasible. Abbi, who dreams of becoming a full-time artist, actually works as a custodian at an upscale boutique fitness center — and assuming that she makes more than New York state’s minimum wage, she would likely be able to afford her half of the rent.
Address: 129 West 81st Street, Apartment
Estimated real cost: $2,600 per month or $900,000
Time pegs the rent for Jerry Seinfeld’s Upper West Side apartment at $2,600 a month. In the show, Jerry is already a successful comedian, so it’s likely that he would have been able to afford the one-bedroom unit. Unfortunately, the building isn’t real, but its address was inspired by Jerry’s own experience: he himself used to live on 81st street. According to Thrillist, the address used on the show is also real: it’s a pre-war walk-up with a common laundry room, located just off of Columbus Avenue, which would explain the cost of living there.