The Owner: Sticker Shock or $10,000 Is Pocket Change (to others)

The Owner: Sticker Shock or $10,000 Is Pocket Change (to others)

Maxwell Ryan
Mar 15, 2005

I bought my apartment last September knowing that the first thing to go would be the kitchen. Actually, it was hardly a kitchen. "Kitchen" is only the term I used to loosely describe the run-down cabinets and counters, so full of roaches, I practically expected to discover that they had set up cable and were on the lease.

Armed with a $10,000 budget and a drawing of my small space (7' x 6'), I recently descended upon the 23rd Street Home Depot, where I learned that my existing budget was an amount some East Siders spend on under-counter lighting.

I raised my allowance to $17,000 and, handing my credit card over to the cashier, leaned in real close and whispered,

"I have no idea where this money is going to come from."

The cashier didn't blink. She just swiped my card and called for the next customer.

While I've been assured that a new kitchen is worth its weight in gold to future buyers, I still lie awake at night thinking about my impending credit card statement, and haunted by the knowledge that my first car cost only $5,000. TF

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