Monopoly in Real Life

Sometimes, when you’re sitting in a pub, you come up with crazy ideas. Perhaps you wonder how many people have your name and think of ways you might seek them out, perhaps you suggest rowing across the channel in a bathtub or perhaps you wonder what the actual rent costs of properties in Monopoly are compared to the board game…

Of course, you never actually do any of those things… Do you??

Well, Movoto Real Estate thought it would be fun to put on a top hat or thimble and take a spin around the board to revisit the properties that made up Monopoly.

Yes, this weeks guest post comes from a surprising source, Movoto, a US based real estate company, follow them on Twitter or Check out their facebook

We were both renters and landlords, we fought over who could be the ‘car’ and we hid stashes of $100s under the board. Monopoly took hold on generations as one of the most famous board games in the world. Perhaps it was because we made huge investing mistakes, had terrible luck, went belly up, but could start over the next day. And unlike in real life, you could get out of jail for free.

Since we’re a real estate company, it makes sense that we try and make comparisons between the properties that Monopoly was originally based on and those same properties as they exist today. Movoto found some interesting tidbits and some surprises, too.


Monopoly: Then and Now

A brief history on Monopoly, first. According to Wikipedia, Monopoly was conceived in the early 20th century, and several people contributed to its design. By 1934, a version very similar to the one we played as kids was sold by Parker Brothers.

Monopoly included 22 properties, each one based on an actual street in or near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Players could also purchase four railroads as well as two utility companies. Most of us skipped the utilities, didn’t we?

To make the comparisons more accurate (or realistic), we modernized today’s prices by removing two zeroes from the home prices listed on the current market. So, for instance, if a house in Atlantic City is selling for $250,000, we changed it to $2,500 to help make the home price gains more functional.

Some of the Atlantic City streets don’t currently have homes for sale right now, and in some cases, homes period (States Avenue and Park Place don’t have houses on them anymore). In fact, don’t plan on buying anything on the Maroon Properties anytime soon, as there are none for sale on any of the three.


Which Properties are Worth Trading For?

Our analysis: The closer you are to the water, the more expensive the houses are in Atlantic City. No surprises there. However, great deals are available near the water on Atlantic Avenue (the yellow property), if you don’t mind a condo on a highrise a couple blocks from the water. Some of the ‘cheaper’ properties are actually a lot more valuable today, and some of the higher-end properties (such as Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois) aren’t. And Boardwalk….well, let’s just say it’s a lot more affordable than you thought it was.

Here are some examples of some Monopoly Deeds in today’s valuations with commentary.

The original post by David Cross can be found here along with other speculations on the property market like how many lego bricks would it take to build my house.