What Do TV Homes Cost In Real Life?


TV Homes: Accurate Or Awful?

It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to realize that Carrie Bradshaw, the fictional New York City journalist, could never afford an Upper East Side apartment, but did you know that the famed “Sex and the City” abode—which is actually in West Village—sold in 2012 for $9.85 million? That’s way more than any NYC journalist could afford. But many location scouts neglect the price tags of these abodes when finding potential for locations, so many of these houses are completely out of budget for the supposed careers of their characters. Things are getting better, though, and location scouts are finding places that are within the budget of their supposed owners. Here are some examples of the best and the worst matched TV homes, and their price tags in real life.

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Breaking Bad

How much can a scientist-turned-chemistry teacher afford in Albuquerque, New Mexico? According to hit AMC show Breaking Bad, not much. Walter White, the show’s protagonist, did not intend to permanently settle in the small home he ended up raising his child in, but he ended up doing so. The home that Walter and his wife are shown in for a majority of the series costs about $200,000. With teaching salaries in the $40,000 to $50,000 range in Albuquerque in a single income household with two children, the creators of everyone’s favorite drama are probably right. But what about after a drug bust? According to Business Insider, Walter White’s drug lord status would damage the value of the home, and the homes surrounding it, for a number of years. For the surrounding houses alone, the value would be 19 percent lower than the original market price in the first year. It’s hard to imagine how difficult the white home would be to sell if it was actually owned by a drug lord.


A clear caricature of upper middle class Generation Y, the characters of the TV show Girls do not necessarily have to worry about affording their own apartments—their parents help them out generously. What might not be as realistic is the fact that none of the characters live with their parents when almost one in three real Millennials do so. Parental aid or no, though, the prices for this trending NYC community are a hit against the show’s “lost members of Gen Y” premise. According to nakedapartments.com, the median price for a one bedroom apartment in Greenpoint is $3,047, much more than many parents would be willing to cover on a monthly basis.


We all know that psychiatrists are paid a pretty decent amount, but a psychiatrist serial killer with royal lineage? That’s where salaries and net worth become a little more unclear. In NBC’s drama Hannibal, the psychiatrist with questionable tastes has quite the lavish abode, one which would most likely match Hannibal’s salary. According to Patti Podesta, production designer of the show, Hannibal’s Baltimore area home is “a historic single-family home that masks what goes on inside.” Considering the median sales price for a home in Baltimore is $184,500 (according to Trulia.com), Hannibal could definitely afford it—even with the fancy interior with state-of-the-art appliances.

How I Met Your Mother

There’s no question about it: television shows in New York City often depict young professionals living the high life in apartments that they cannot always afford. This idea is obscured slightly, though, in regards to the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). Though the characters in this show have quite ritzy apartments, we shouldn’t doubt that some of these apartments are affordable for the type of money the characters are making. Take, for example, the apartment, which, at some point in the series, nearly every major character has lived in. The two bedroom, one bathroom 1000 square feet abode in the Upper West Side of New York City could range anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, according to nyhabitat.com. Most of the time, the apartment is occupied by two characters, making the rent affordable. However, each of the characters individually would probably not be able to afford the apartment on their own.

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New Girl

Los Angeles is an expensive city. Maybe that’s why four grown and semi-employed people live in a loft together on the television show New Girl. The situation sounds plausible—four people living in a loft in LA can’t be absurdly, expensive, right?—until you see the size of that loft. You could basically park four cars in the set’s living room and still have space for a basketball court if you so desired. While LA residents do have more space than their NYC counterparts, the size of the loft in this show is unrealistic. To find a loft apartment in Los Angeles that even mildly compares to the square footage that the cast ofNew Girl uses, you would be looking in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. It you’re looking to go a little further away from central LA, you might be able to find something a little more realistic—maybe $5,000 to $8,000. Generally speaking, though, these prices are not affordable to a motley crew of apartment dwellers like the one on New Girl.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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