The Owner: "Leaving my baby with a sitter for the first time."

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I recently got an offer to dance in a California production of West Side Story this July, and an actor friend suggested that I sublet my apartment for the time away. Considering my own West Side Story - prime location & furnished studio - he then dangled tempting words in front of me: “I bet you could get more than a thousand dollars a month”.

There’s ownership pride, and then there’s reality.

My building has a relatively loose sublet policy, and as I’ve been unemployed since January, and have that $17,000 kitchen to pay for, the idea of actually making some money on my sitting-empty apartment is enticing.
But, then, there’s that $17,000 kitchen. If I saw so much as a fingerprint on my new Corian Countertops upon my return, I think I’d have a fit. And between the time and money spent saving and decorating my first owned apartment, I am truly afraid of letting even a close friend stay here while I’m away.

However, in my wallet, I really need the cash.

This is so much tougher than I thought it would be. In my heart, I want to leave my apartment sitting empty for three months (costing me several thousand dollars) so that it won’t be exposed to a friend or stranger’s idea of good hygiene and suitable housekeeping. Maybe I am being too melodramatic, but I feel like I’d be leaving my baby with a sitter for the first time. TF

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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