The house the Tanner family on Full House could really afford in the Bay Area

With rumors of a possible Full House remake, Trulia took a look at what the Tanner family could realistically afford:

Like the concept of home itself, the Full House house is largely placeless: Shots of the exterior come from the Lower Pac Heights Victorian at 1709 Broderick, the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square encourage all kinds of assumptions in the credits, and the address the characters use (1882 Girard) is actually wedged up against the 101 in Visitacion Valley. Still, it’s fairly obvious that the Tanner family of today could not so easily swing a Painted Lady, or its stand-in, in this market. Trulia actually ran the numbers and came up with the budget that a morning-show host, a musician, and a rock-paper-scissors champion would need to house the pre-mogul-phase Olsen twins and those other sisters. That number is $1.23M. And you know what? We found them a house!

First, the math:

Trulia used 1709 Broderick as the baseline. They say that the property sold last year for $2.865M. (Which is weird. Per the MLS, the last sale was in 2006, for $1.85M. Property Shark estimates the property’s current value at just over $2.05M—perhaps they were looking at that?) Gah, so much of this is theoretical, anyway: The real 1709 Broderick is only a three-bedroom, and according to these plans, they need at least four.) Anyway, the point is that the Bob Saget hair helmet and its costarring ‘dos need a lower mortgage payment. Here is what Trulia figured, assuming 20 percent down and a 30-year, 4.1 percent fixed-rate mortgage:

Let’s do the math: if Danny (played by Bob Saget) made close to $160,000 a year as the host of the local TV show, Wake Up, San Francisco, Joey made $30,000 doing stand-up gigs around the country, and Uncle Jesse raked in $48,000 as a musician, together, they could only afford a home around $1.23 million or about a $6,000-a-month mortgage.Of the homes around the $1.23M mark on the market right now, this four-bedroom Victorian in the Inner Richmond, just a block and a half from the park, is the only candidate that makes any kind of sense. It just squeezes in under budget at $1.15M, comes with a backyard large enough for a picnic table and the doling of woodwind-scored life lessons, and even has mint-sherbet-shingle synchronicity with this actual Painted Lady. There’s no garage, though, so Uncle Joey would need to live in the storage space.

Two thoughts:

1. This gives some quick insight into the superheated Bay Area housing market. The Tanners are not buying a cheap house with this estimated income yet they are clearly not living in the implied homes from the exterior shots because they could not afford it.

2. This is a common trend among family sitcoms on television: the “normal” family depicted often lives in a home that is realistically way beyond their means. I’ve been looking at some research regarding depictions of homes on TV and this dates back to the nuclear family sitcoms of the 1950s where families tended to live in pretty big houses for their time. Sociologist Juliet Schor argues that this increased level of consumption on television – the middle-class family living in bigger houses and having more stuff, seemingly without having to worry about finances – influenced American consumer patterns as their expectations of “normal” changed.

Common narrative: bucolic suburbs surprised by deviance

A recent revelation in the Baltimore suburbs is a common story across media platforms: idyllic suburban communities are shocked by hidden deviance and crime that is suddenly exposed.

The hills in Clarks Glen are gently rolling, the homes McMansions. And the lawns are mowed to the near-perfection a country club groundskeeper might envy.

It’s the very model of affluent suburbia, hardly a place where anyone thinks the man next door would be stopped by customs agents on his way to China with the makings of missile detectors in his bags.

But appearances can be deceiving.

Zhenchun “Ted” Huang, a longtime resident of the Clarksville subdivision in Howard County, pleaded guilty this month to federal charges that he tried tofraudulently obtain electronic devices that can be used in fabricating missile detectors and other high-grade military equipment…

In Clarks Glen, the development where he lived for at least eight years, former neighbors were astonished to hear the news. They saw Huang, an electrical engineer, as anything but the cloak-and-dagger type.

Instead, they said, he was a taciturn man who mowed his lawn once a week, whether it was needed or not, and rarely socialized.

On one hand, people in the suburbs are genuinely shocked by such stories. They often move to nice suburbs to escape such issues like crime and international espionage. Nobody wants to think that a sex offender is lurking down the street where they let their kids play. These sorts of things are problems more often associated with cities or less affluent locales.

On the other hand, reactions like this sound like a TV show. Oh wait, is this an episode of The Americans or a Hollywood movie or a John Keats novel about the hidden problems of suburbia? One shouldn’t be completely naive about what can be lurking in any community, let alone suburbs. I’m not advocating for paranoia or hypervigilance – this isn’t the best way to promote social ties or community life – but people everywhere are capable of dastardly deeds. The reactions of neighbors like those quoted above might say more about how well suburban neighbors know each other (often not very well) than the overall actions of suburbanites.

Perhaps the issue here is the overselling of suburban life over the decades. If suburbs were and are often marketed as escapes from social problems (there is a long history of suburban developers suggesting such things as well as suburban residents and leaders), places that are perfect for children and offer private space, the American Dream, then any actions in contrast to that are viewed quite negatively.

Marriage among education equals most common but more women marrying down educationally than men

A new sociological study highlights a large social shift regarding marriage and education over recent decades:

The study, in the August issue of the American Sociological Review, looks at marriages formed between 1950 and 2004. It finds that marriages between educational equals have remained most common, but that when there is a difference, women are increasingly likely to have the educational edge.

In about half of marriages begun in the early 2000s, spouses had roughly equal educations. In nearly 30%, the wife had more and in about 20%, the husband had more — a reversal of the pattern seen in the 1950s through at least the late 1970s.

In those earlier eras, marriages in which wives were more educated were less likely to last. Researchers have theorized that was partly because less-educated men felt threatened by their wives’ successes. It’s also possible that those couples were especially non-traditional types more prone to divorce for all sorts of reasons.

But such couples married since the 1990s have had no higher divorce rates than other couples, the new study shows. They may even be less likely to divorce than couples in which men are more educated. The data is not clear on that point, researchers say.

Still a clear preference for equal education levels but a shift from men marrying down to women marrying down. From a supply and demand standpoint, this makes sense given the gains of women in education in recent decades.

While the numbers tell us something, it would also be interesting to see people’s perceptions about this. If women have more education than marrying, does this still come with more social pressures or expectations compared to the reverse?