5 movies and TV shows with iconic real estate to watch this fall

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Spooky season and sweater weather are finally upon us! It’s our favorite time of year. Pop some popcorn, pull out your coziest blanket, light your favorite fall-scented candle and turn on the TV. The golden question: as real estate investors, which movie would we put our money on?

01 The Money Pit

Ah, the bittersweet battle of homeownership. Any homeowner can relate to this 1980s slapstick. A couple purchases a mansion for well below market rate only to find that problems are endless. Bannisters are falling down, stairs crumble, and a bathtub falls through the floor.     

If you generally experience the Sunday scaries and recently purchased a home, we recommend you watch this movie with a grain of salt. This movie also serves as a reminder to do your homework, outline a plan for home renovations, and create a budget with wiggle room for unforeseen issues.

Where to watch: Hulu with a Premium subscription (as of this article's publication)

02 The Big Short

Based on The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis, this movie depicts the story of the 2007-2008 financial crisis brought on by the housing bubble. We like this movie because it breaks the fourth wall and uses celebrity cameos to explain financial terms and strategies that the average viewer might not be familiar with. 

It’s no surprise this film won several awards and as real estate investors, we must admit that we like seeing our vocation featured on the big screen.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV (to rent)

03 The Haunted Mansion

It’s spooky season, and we couldn’t leave this one out. Based on The Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, this movie debuted on Disney Channel in 2003. Realtor team husband and wife Jim and Sara Evans jump at the chance to sell Gracey Manor, a mansion in the Louisiana bayou. They soon find out there is more than meets the eye with this not-so abandoned mansion. The mansion’s spooky residents are equally welcoming and malicious, with secret plots up their sleeves. 

For paranormal-thrill seekers, a haunted mansion is the perfect playground. There is no shortage of haunted hotels, bed and breakfasts, and AirBnBs where guests can satisfy their spooky season dreams.

Where to watch: Disney Plus

04 The Shining

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is the backdrop for this classic 1980 horror film. Jack Torrance accepts a winter caretaker role at a remote Rocky Mountain hotel plagued with mystery and evil spirits that drive him to insanity. Taking care of a huge hotel while writing a book seems ideal and we’d love to sign up...sans the evil spirits.

Fans can experience The Shining in real life by staying or touring the hotel. They even offer a Spirited Night Tour that takes guests “through the dark edges of the hotel.. to experience the hotel's spirited tales”

Where to watch: HBO Max

05 New Girl and / or Friends

Who’s that girl? It’s Jess! 

Four (sometimes five or six) roommates live together in a Los Angeles loft in this Fox sitcom. Apartment 4D features an open floor plan, large windows, exposed brick, and a usable rooftop.

The apartment is technically three-bedroom but the main characters (Jess, Nick, Winston, Schmidt, Coach, and Cece...all 4D residents at one point or another) converted it to a four-bedroom to further split the rent. As a property management company, we cannot condone this behavior but we’ll let it slide for the sake of True American

The majority of the show takes place in the loft and it’s seen some pretty iconic moments - breakups, makeups, engagements, family drama, and holiday gatherings. 

Although the apartment interior was built on a soundstage, the exterior apartment shots are of Binford Lofts in L.A.’s Arts District. On their website, a one-bedroom is currently listed at $3,390. 

I’ll be there for you...in Monica Geller’s NYC apartment.

Monica’s apartment might be the most iconic apartment in television history. The two-bed, one-bath apartment in the West Village features an open floor plan, a garden/balcony, and great character. 

The unit is estimated at 1,125-1,500 square feet and would normally come with a hefty rent payment. However, viewers eventually discover that Monica’s grandmother is the official tenant, and Monica illegally sublets at an extremely discounted rate. Once again, as a property management company, we cannot condone this behavior...but we will let it slide this time because of our love for Monica and Chandler.

Where to watch: Netflix (New Girl) and HBO Max (Friends)

Some others to check out…

  1. Pacific Heights: The tenant-landlord relationship in this psychological thriller is nightmare fuel...literally.
  2. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel: If you’re into conspiracy theories, true crime, and internet sleuthing, this is the move for you. The Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is said to be the most plagued hotel in the U.S.
  3. Home Alone: Give this to Kevin. A beautiful, Chicago mansion that doubles as a fortress against The Wet Bandits? Even though the Home Alone franchise serves up Christmas vibes, we had to include this one. 

Where would the Birgo Capital team invest? 

“As a tried and true DIY-er, my money's on The Money Pit.”  -Peter Holt, Investment Analyst

“I’m a personal finance guru so I have to go with The Big Short. Any movie that educates movie-goers in personal finance gets my vote.” -Dan Croce, Principal

“The character development in New Girl is unmatched. By the time this series ends, the main characters achieve financial stability and purchase homes. I can’t get enough of Jess’ cringe-worthy comments.” - Gigi Vaccaro, Marketing Associate

"Chip and Johanna Gaines are some of my favorite people in the real estate game and almost my entire house is decorated with Heart & Hand from Target. I watch reruns of Fixer Upper year round." - Josh Fischer, Principal

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