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11 Fictional Homes That Seem Affordable But Are Definitely Super Expensive

·7 min read

Making a major city your home can be an amazing experience. Most urban hubs are known for their diversity, their stellar food scene, and their arts and culture. As with any move, it's important to understand the cost of living and know what type of home best fits your budget.

Disney / Via tenor.com

Unless you're a very high-earner, your city home might not have a spacious walk-in closet or every desired amenity. It's easy to fantasize about the urban life we see in TV and movies — where everyday people reside in glamorous high-rises and charming brownstones. The fact of the matter is that these types of homes come at a very high price and are usually located in the most costly neighborhoods.

HBO / Via tenor.com

Speaking of brownstones...let's take a look at some of those fictional city homes that can give us unrealistic expectations:

1.Emily Cooper's Paris apartment in Emily in Paris

Emily and Gabriel standing in Emily's kitchen in "Emily in Paris"

This Netflix series is as delightful as a French pastry, but it's a far cry from realism. When 20-something Emily gets sent from Chicago to Paris for her corporate marketing job, the company puts her up in a "chambre de bonne" — the French term for a tiny studio apartment often inhabited by students.

Unlike real Parisian studios, Emily's has a fully-functioning kitchen, windows aplenty, and a private bathroom (which is not always the case!).


2.Cassie Bowden's Los Angeles bungalow in The Flight Attendent

Cassie in "The Flight Attendant"

Mysteries abound in The Flight Attendant, though one of the biggest conundrums is how Cassie, a flight attendant, can afford a spruced-up LA bungalow home all on her own. After making a much-needed move to try and clean up her life, starting a fresh chapter in a pricey Californian house seems like a nice thought...albeit a little unrealistic.

Unlike fictional characters who often relocate to a new city on a whim, finding a decent and budgetary place in a popular location is no easy feat in the real world!


3.Kathleen Kelly's Upper West Side brownstone in You've Got Mail

Kathleen Kelly in her NYC brownstone kitchen in "You've Got Mail"

Kathleen Kelly is the embodiment of perfection. She owns the most charming bookshop in town, has palpable tension with her arch-nemesis, and inexplicably lives in a lavish Upper West Side brownstone. We technically don't know if she rents or owns the place, but it's likely the latter considering she's living off a small business owner's salary in New York City.

Located on a beautiful tree-lined street with plenty of square footage, it's unlikely that Kathleen would be able to afford such a place — even by '90s standards. Space doesn't come cheap in the Big Apple, and opting to reside in a pricey neighborhood of Manhattan doesn't either.

Warner Bros. Pictures

4.Sonny Koufax's SoHo loft in Big Daddy

Sonny's loft in "Big Daddy"

Unless you have a massive settlement check for a minor accident like Sonny, there's definitely no way that you're affording the loft featured in Big Daddy (even with the settlement, it's questionable!).

Located in the trendy New York neighborhood of SoHo, Sonny's apartment boasts multiple levels, a winding staircase, and a giant open-concept layout. It's perfect for the wild adventures he has with Julian, but also wildly unrealistic. This is about five average New York City apartments put together.

Columbia Pictures

5.Rachel and Kurt's Bushwick loft in Glee

Rachel and Kurt in their spacious loft in "Glee"

Consider me forever plagued by all of the finances of the students in Glee. After graduating high school and leaving their Midwest suburb, Kurt and Rachel attend drama school in New York City. Rachel doesn't have a job, and Kurt has an internship with Vogue, but somehow the two are affording a super chic loft in Bushwick.

They eventually bring on Santana as a third roommate, but their living space still defies logic considering their income is basically zero.


6.Jessica Day's LA loft in New Girl

The roommates playing True American in "New Girl"

Located in the Los Angeles Arts District and split among four people, the New Girl loft is more plausible than others on this list. If you're down to split a living space with multiple roommates, you're definitely going to get more bang for your buck, but you still may be hard-pressed to find a place with this many perks.

Aesthetically, it's the picture-perfect factory-turned-rental with a gorgeous exposed brick interior. It's got an elevator, no shortage of square footage, a decent bathroom and bedrooms, and a nicely up-to-date kitchen in a trendy neighborhood.


7.Roger Radcliffe's London flat in101 Dalmatians

Pongo sitting at the window of Roger's apartment in Disney's "101 Dalmations"

While a real bachelor pad might have less charm, the dwelling of Roger and Pongo in Disney's 101 Dalmatians is strangely appealing. At the beginning of the movie, the pair resides on a charming residential street in London, and their apartment includes a stellar bay window with perfect lighting.

Disney told us that a struggling musician living in a major city could afford this place on his own, but alas, reality might say otherwise.


8.Mia Thermopolis' San Francisco firehouse in The Princess Diaries

Mia Thermopolis handing out in her bedroom in "The Princess Diaries"

Though this teenager inherits an actual castle, her coolest crib is the renovated firehouse she shares with her mom in The Princess Diaries. Located in the heart of San Francisco, the home includes a ton of space, a "tower" bedroom where Mia can go process being a princess, and a fire pole.

It's a little farfetched that a single parent on an artist's salary could afford this house in one of the the most expensive US cities, but it's iconic nonetheless.


9.Carrie Bradshaw's Upper East Side brownstone in Sex and the City

Carrie Bradshaw at her home desk typing away on her computer in "Sex and the City"

This list would not be complete without the mind-boggling enigma that is Carrie Bradshaw's rent-controlled brownstone. Complete with a magnificent walk-in closet to house her $40,000 worth of designer shoes, Carrie somehow pays rent for an Upper East Side apartment that she has all to herself...while writing one column per week.

For many city dwellers, the reality of renting means roommates, little to no kitchen space, and an outdated apartment that feels like it's from the beginning of time. Sex and the City may not provide the most realistic depiction of urban living for most people, but your credit card will thank you for not following this show's example.


10.Monica Geller's West Village apartment in Friends

Rachel and Monica answering the door of their apartment in "Friends"

Perhaps the most memorable city apartment to grace the small screen is that belonging to Monica Geller and Rachel Greene. From its purple door to its unfortunate view of Ugly Naked Guy across the way, the Friends apartment draws on the ultimate fantasy of living in a big city with friends.

Most notable about this rented space is its insane square footage. Real city renters often star in The One Where My Bedroom Is Also My Living Room, but Monica's apartment will forever be a pipe dream.


11.Holly Golightly's Manhattan home in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly Golightly standing in her NYC apartment in "Breakfast At Tiffany's"

Holly Golightly's legendary Breakfast at Tiffany's dwelling has a fairly realistic city-sized kitchen and fire escape. The fabled charm of the film is that Holly maintains virtually no job and leads a fabulous Carrie Bradshaw-esque life before the likes of Carrie Bradshaw.

Her Manhattan home encompasses the idyllic city living one might dream about, but would definitely take a decent steady salary to afford.

Paramount Pictures Studios

While your city home may not come with the square footage of these fictional pads, embrace the character of your own unique space. City living can be expensive, but with a little research, it's possible to find the urban jungle that best fits your lifestyle and your budget!