Chris Regan, a writer for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, is anInternet-porn addict-of a distinctly New York breed. "A studio in mybuilding goes for $175K," says the 35-year-old. "A four-bedroom 1880sfarmhouse on eight acres in Sullivan County with a paddock and in-groundpool goes for $178K. I never knew what a paddock was until I started goingto realtor.com."
Realtor.com -- along with corcoran.com and all the other Websites devoted toreal-estate ads -- has become the hot spot where New Yorkers indulge theirapartment fantasies. No matter that many of them won't or can't move: Likecommitted (or just plain stuck) partners who leaf through Penthouse, they'vediscovered the grass-is-greener thrill of house porn. "I got addicted at abloodsucking day job, where I needed to imagine myself anywhere but here,"says actress Lisa Zambetti. "I look for Victorian houses with trees, trees,trees. I lust for French doors. I need a mud room. I ignore the cost-for me,80 grand might as well be $2.5 million."
Sometimes, it's not about a sexier place than you can afford -- it's aboutimagining a life where you earn a New York salary in a gentler town. "I lookup how much people paid on my block," says writer Amy Keyishian, who gothooked when considering a move to Miami. "Then I calculate what my placewould sell for. Then I realize I can't afford to move. Then I go browse theMelrose apartments."
It's also -- like porn, at least for some couples -- a way to bond. "It's tough formy girlfriend and me to talk about where we'll be as a couple in August,"says TV producer Paul Sullivan. "But it's easy to send each other links to'where we would live.'" For him, it's almost like fantasy-league baseball-and he's looking to draft a team. "I could livein that West Virginia mansion only if my friends lived nearby," he says. "So I send them links to places down the street."