With X-Files returning, it's time to look at a more modest apartment. Special Agent Mulder lives in a relatively small place. He sleeps on the couch, and when we finally see his bedroom, six seasons into the show, it's mostly filled with boxes and files. If we call it a 500-square-foot apartment, we're still looking at about $1,500 to rent Apartment 42.
9. Big Bang Theory
Located near Pasadena City Hall, the apartment shared by Sheldon and Leonard is a fourth-floor walkup (since the elevator's broken.) A couple of years ago, the apartment was estimated to go for between $1,800 and $2,200. Nowadays, two-bedroom apartments on that block run closer to $2,600 on Zillow. Fun fact: In addition to articles on the apartment building and the apartment itself, the Big Bang Theory wiki has articles on each room in the apartment, because the show doesn't do enough to make nerds look bad enough on its own, apparently.
8. Sex and the City
Carrie paid $700/month for her 600-sq-ft rent-controlled studio at 245 E 73rd, between Park and Madison. One intrepid researcher went looking for similar places in the neighborhood last year and found a similar place for $2,650 a month. That apartment had less square footage, but was also a 5th-floor walkup. A Zillow search of the same area looks like you're going to be paying a little more than that today - anywhere from $2,800 to $3,800, depending on how nice a place you want.
We know that Jerry lived at 129 West 81st Street on the Upper West Side of New York. While the place looks a little spacious, it is basically a one-bedroom apartment. Rentometer indicates that the average rent for that neighborhood is $2,660 for a one-bedroom, and $3,273 for a two-bedroom. Jerry's place probably falls in the midpoint, at about $2,800 a month. Of course, if you wanted to purchase instead of rent, real estate agent Kane Manera estimates that the place would go for about $900,000. At 20% down, and a 3.8% interest rate over 30 years, you're looking at $3,355 for your mortgage every month.
The set designer for Girls actually designed each set based on the characters and had them approved by Lena Dunham before shooting the pilot. That means we have floor plans, and we know that Hannah and Marnie's apartment is about 650 square feet. Since the girls live in Greenpoint, we have a pretty specific kind of place we're looking for. Zillow tells us that we're looking right around $3,000 a month.
5. New Girl
It's time once again to briefly leave New York City. New Girl's entire setup was based around someone trying to afford a place in LA after a breakup. The loft has three bedrooms with a fourth one carved out, a spacious living area, and the kitchen where Schmidt works his magic. Finding a three-bedroom in the art district isn't easy, but if you can, you're looking at $3,000 at minimum, and probably more like $3,800. If you split that four ways, it starts looking a little more manageable, and when you throw in the fact that Schmidt is loaded and also a softie, it gets a lot more manageable.
4. How I Met Your Mother
Ted's apartment is a 2-bedroom, fourth-floor apartment, about 1,000 square feet, near 86th and Broadway on the Upper West Side, with roof access and a balcony. Zooming into that neighborhood for an apartment that size, it quickly become clear that we're going to be paying about $4,000 a month. At that price you're probably not going to have many sword fights in your place.
3. 2 Broke Girls
This show flaunts the girls' poverty right there in the title, then gives them an apartment so nice that CBS has a virtual tour of it. They're in a one-bedroom in Williamsburg, and their apartment not only has a yard, but a yard large enough to fit a horse. This place would cost more than Carrie Bradshaw's, no question, and no amount of loud kitsch objects on the walls can hide that fact. Let's call it about 1,000 square feet. Places in Williamsburg are going for $3,000-$4,000 depending on which side of the expressway you're on. It would be nice to factor the yard into the cost, but Zillow doesn't show any. There is an Airbnb with a yard in the area. It's smaller than the 2 Broke Girls apartment, though, and it costs $1,120 per week.
To its credit, Friends does at least make an effort to explain how Monica Geller has that much space in NYC - she's illegally subletting the rent-controlled apartment from her Grandmother. Without that in place, though, how much would the apartment cost? Well, it's hard to get a good fix on the size of the place, but if we call it around 1,500 square feet (it was pretty friggin' big), then given the average cost per square foot in New York we're looking at at least $6,930 a month. Of course, rent in Manhattan is going to be a lot higher than the NYC average, but if we hit up Zillow for apartments that size in Greenwich Village, we wind up going anywhere from $5,600 to $10,000 a month.
Frasier certainly wasn't hurting for cash. His sofa - a replica of Coca Chanel's - cost the show about $15,000 to make. Each bedroom had its own bathroom, with the master suite including a whirlpool and a spa. That's not counting the half-bath in the living room. While the Elliot Bay Towers isn't a real building, a similar-sized apartment in the real Elliot Bay neighborhood went up for sale last year for about $3,000,000. Let's say Dr. Crane put 20% down. At an interest rate of 3.64% (a little low for the area) over 30 years, he's paying $10,966 a month as a mortgage payment. Plus condo fees and whatever Daphne charges.