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What 6 TV homes would cost in real life

The real-life cost of TV homes
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The real-life cost of TV homes | Sonja Flemming/CBS; 2011 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The real-life cost of TV homes

When it comes to home sweet home, sometimes TV gets it just right.

And other times, the small screen is oh-so-wrong.

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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."

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'The Big Bang Theory'
'The Big Bang Theory' | Sonja Flemming/CBS; 2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

'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.

'Castle'
'Castle' ©ABC/Richard Cartwright

'Castle'

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 & Molly'
'Mike & Molly' | Adam Rose/Warner Bros.; 2012 Warner Bros. Television. All Rights Reserved.

'Mike & 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."

'2 Broke Girls'
'2 Broke Girls' | Sonja Flemming/CBS; 2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

'2 Broke Girls'

Granted, it's not your typical Big Apple pad usually seen on television.

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, says Marta Maletz, associate broker for Brown Harris Stevens.

"There's so much demand and so little supply," she says. "Prices are pretty equivalent to the East Village and downtown Manhattan. It's crazy."

Williamsburg is home to "a million restaurants, shops, lots of places to go out," Maletz says. "It's very hip and young. It's one stop to Manhattan. And it's just cooler. It has more of a creative, artsy vibe than other Brooklyn neighborhoods."

Who really lives in the area: In Williamsburg and the slightly farther out (and slightly more affordable) neighborhood Bushwick, you'll find "lots of 20-somethings" along with young families, trust-fund babies and older artists, she says. "It's a mixture."

And, "If you're 20-something and broke, you're living in Bushwick," she says.

In the show, the girls are squatting rent-free. But the idea of a basement apartment that's so dilapidated, it's been all but forgotten?

Not going to happen, Maletz says. "There's no way a landlord wouldn't spend the minimum amount just to get rent out of it."

'Burn Notice'
'Burn Notice' © Amanda Voisard/Palm Beach Post/ZUMAPress.com

'Burn Notice'

The loft is gone, but the Westen family home is still standing.

Clearly, this is no ordinary house.

Owned by the mother of superspy Michael Westen, his childhood home looks like a demure 1920s Florida bungalow. But in the last seven years, it's survived explosions, firefights, renegade spies, a lot of DIY repairs and a slew of guests -- both voluntary and involuntary.

If you want the real-life version (minus the garage full of spy gadgets, burner phones and that sleek, black Dodge Charger), you'd be most likely to find something similar "in the eastern portions of Miami," says Liza E. Mendez, broker/ owner of Pedro Realty International.

What would it cost in real life: Today, a 1920s bungalow-style three-bedroom house with a converted garage could fetch anywhere from the low $200,000s to $700,000, says Mendez.

"Older homes have a lot of spread; they're not cookie-cutter," she says.

In the 1970s, similar houses were going from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on location and condition, she estimates. So it would have been a realistic choice for a young family on a budget.

'Blue Bloods'
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'Burn Notice' | Eric Liebowitz/CBS; 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

'Blue Bloods'

It's got to be the most recognizable dining room on television.

Every week, the extended Reagan clan gathers around the table at their family home in Brooklyn. And, unlike a lot of shows, the creators placed the house in a very specific place: Brooklyn's Bay Ridge neighborhood.

The small-screen depiction of the area is spot-on accurate, says Annie Rose, vice president with Brown Harris Stevens.

In the waterfront section of Bay Ridge, "The homes are just like the homes on 'Blue Bloods,'" she says. "They're very grand, and they're unique."

What it would cost in real life: Homes that overlook the harbor, which are typically built in the 1920s and 1930s, list for anywhere from $1.5 million to as much as $4.7 million, Rose says.

Who really lives in the area: A lot of doctors and attorneys, she says.

Since prices have skyrocketed fairly recently, it's totally realistic that retired police commissioner Henry Reagan would have been able to afford it way back when, says Rose. Forty or 50 years ago, a similar home could have been purchased for $40,000 to $50,000, she estimates.

"I think it is very realistic that a family like the Reagans would live in that stunning house," Rose says.

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Posted:June 14, 2013