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Published: 7/13/2013 - Updated: 9 months ago

In some popular series, houses out of line with character’s income, area

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Experts say it isn’t likely that real ‘2 Broke Girls’ could afford this ground-floor apartment in New York. Experts say it isn’t likely that real ‘2 Broke Girls’ could afford this ground-floor apartment in New York.
NOT BLADE PHOTO WWW.CBS.COM Enlarge

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 that some of the hottest TV shows call “home.”

The Big Bang Theory: Seven years — at least — and the 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, said 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 likely would rent from $1,800 to $2,200 a month, Mr. Podley said.

Castle: Where would you live if money were no object? For 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 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.”

The Reagan family dining room as see on Blue Bloods. The Reagan family dining room as see on Blue Bloods.
JOHN P. FILO/CBS ©2011 CBS BROA Enlarge

What it would cost in real life: Anywhere from $6 million to $10 million, With the circular staircase, the exposed brick and beams, and the skylight, “this one has some really interesting details in it,” he said.

Mike & Molly: This sitcom love story is also a love note to the Windy City.

The Flynn family home — in an unidentified Chicago neighborhood — is “like the typical bungalow that we have,” said Matt Laricy, managing partner with Americorp Real Estate in Chicago.

“In Chicago, most of our housing was built in the late ’50s,” said Mr. Laricy. “Brick ranch, Georgian, bungalow, and Cape Cod — those are the basic ones.” For the most part, Mr. Laricy said, you walk down the street, you’re going to see these types of houses.

What it would cost: “Each neighborhood is different,” he said. “Depending on condition,” figure $225,000 to $300,000, he said. And now that the basement is a studio apartment, add about $25,000.

2 Broke Girls: It’s not your typical Big Apple pad usually seen on TV.

It’s a run-down, forgotten squat. But with a little work that tiny, ground-floor, one-bedroom apartment — even on the outer edge of supercool New York City neighborhood Williamsburg — would go for up to $2,000 a month, said Marta Maletz, associate broker for Brown Harris Stevens.

“There’s so much demand and so little supply,” she said. “Prices are pretty equivalent to the East Village and downtown Manhattan. It’s crazy.”

In the show, the girls are squatting rent-free. But a basement apartment that’s so dilapidated, it’s been all but forgotten? Not going to happen, Ms. Maletz said.

“There’s no way a landlord wouldn’t spend the minimum amount just to get rent out of it.”



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