‘The King of Queens’: Could Doug and Carrie Heffernan Afford Their Rego Park Home?

The King of Queens, a series starring Kevin James and Leah Remini, began airing in 1998 and told the tale of a married couple, Doug and Carrie Heffernan, as they navigated life in New York once Carrie’s father, Arthur Spooner, moved into their basement. The sitcom focused on the everyday events and arguments that couples often go through, and, in many ways, mimicked Everybody Loves Raymond in the family dynamic presented. In fact, the Barones and the Heffernans lived in the same television universe. The series’ final episode aired in 2007, but fans are still curious if Doug and Carrie could afford their lifestyle.

Where did Doug and Carrie Heffernan live?

Doug and Carrie resided in a single-family home in Rego Park for the entirety of The Kings of Queens. The Queens neighborhood isn’t well known outside of New York, but within Queens, it is considered an eclectic area that melds several cultures. The New York Times alleges that the community was up and coming in the early 2000s, with young adults priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn flocking to the neighborhood to find value.

Rego Park’s geographical proximity to Manhattan and it’s convenient subway stops make it a pretty desirable neighborhood for those who can’t afford to call Manhattan home. A trip into the center of Manhattan takes roughly 30 minutes from Rego Park, but the home prices don’t always match the convenience level.

How much would Carrie and Doug’s house cost today?

According to Zillow, the real estate market in Rego Park is currently cool, with the average home in the neighborhood selling for around $375,000. That doesn’t mean that is what Doug and Carrie would have theoretically paid, though. Single-family property generally garners far more than $375,000 today. $375,000 appears to be the going rate for condos and apartments.

The house that was used for exterior shots, however, was not located in Rego Park. The property isn’t even in New York State. Instead, stock footage of a house located in Cliffside Park, NJ, was used for the series. The Cliffside Park home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms spread across 1,700 square feet. It has an estimated value of around $480,000. Location is everything, though. A house of the same size in Rego Park would likely sell for about $1.1 million today. Back in 2011, however, the same house would have sold for around $600,000. Doug and Carrie, however, probably purchased their home before housing prices exploded.

Could Doug and Carrie afford their home?

Assuming that Doug and Carrie purchased their home before the show premiered in 1998, it’s likely that they could swing their mortgage, as long as they didn’t refinance it. Doug, who worked as a delivery driver for a global delivery service, likely made around $60,000 a year. Carrie initially worked as a legal secretary. According to Payscale, she would have outearned Doug by about $8,000 per year. She later lost her job and worked as a dog walker to make ends meet. As a dog walker, Carrie would have earned around $10 an hour.

So, could they make their bills based on their salary? It’s possible. Assuming that Carrie and Doug purchased their home in 1998, one can expect they paid around $300,000 for the property. Together, they were earning approximately $120,000 per year, while Carrie was a legal secretary. The duo, together, could afford the home, at that point, but once Carrie lost her income, things would have gotten pretty dicey.