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October 01, 2014

Cribs: Rachel vs. Richie

Homeownership

All-American Sitcoms: They've made their way into most of our lives. From their theme songs to their cast of characters, we remember.  We also remember their homes, where they invited us in for 30 minutes each week.

Let's take a look at the homes of two of the highest-rated sitcoms.  What would it cost to own or rent these nostalgic landmarks today?  And what if we transplant them to other areas of the country?

Rock Around the Clock

565 North Clinton Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Ring a bell?  This white-columned, 6-bedroom, 2-bath home housed the Happy Days Cunningham clan, where they lived through the 1950s and 1960s with visits from Henry Winkler as "The Fonz."  As one of the highest-rated shows of the 1970s, many of us felt at home in the Cunningham living room.

Flash forward 40+ years, the 3,900 square foot Cunningham home would cost about $440,700 today.  What would it cost in different metro areas?

CityPrice Per Square Ft.Today's Cost
San Francisco, CA 666 $2,597,400
Seattle, WA 288 $1,123,200
Denver, CO 199 $776,100
Dallas, TX 142 $553,800
Boston, MA 478 $1,864,200
Cleveland, OH 46 $179,400
Detroit, MI 12 $46,800

I'll Be There for You

A bit more recent: 90 Bedford Street, Apartment 20 (Greenwich Village) NY, NY.  This is the home of Monica, Rachel, Chandler and the gang from Friends, where most episodes take place (though no scenes were shot in NY). This 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment – with balcony – cost them just $200 per month as Monica sublet illegally from her Grandmother who had the rent stabilized since the 1940s.

Today, the Friend's West Village loft-style apartment, estimated at 1,125 square feet, would rent for about $5,000 per month. The estimated sale price? A whopping $3.5 million.

Let's take a look at what it would cost the Friends cast to rent this unit today in other areas of the country:

CityPrice Per Square Ft.Today's Monthly Rent
San Francisco, CA 2.70 $3,038
Seattle, WA 1.54 $1,733
Denver, CO 1.37 $1,541
Dallas, TX 1.14 $1,283
Boston, MA 2.26 $2,543
Cleveland, OH  .96 $1,080
Detroit, MI  .94 $1,058

We all know that none of the Friends could actually afford to live in this West Village apartment. Nor could the Cunninghams pull off their lavish 3,900 square foot home.  But, with TV, anything is possible, and perhaps one of the reasons we watch.

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