Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Brass Castle, NJ, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Brass Castle, NJ, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!973-587-8638
PHILLIPSBURG, NJ – We've all heard about phone calls, phishing emails, malicious posts on social media and the many ways scammers target people to buy gift cards, send cashAPP or foreign currency. In reality, these scams often fool people.In a news release issued today, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to keep residents from being swi...
PHILLIPSBURG, NJ – We've all heard about phone calls, phishing emails, malicious posts on social media and the many ways scammers target people to buy gift cards, send cashAPP or foreign currency. In reality, these scams often fool people.
In a news release issued today, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to keep residents from being swindled, by scheduled two Scam Prevention programs this month at local Senior centers.
The programs are scheduled for April 12 at 11 a.m. at Phillipsburg Area Senior Center, 310 Firth Street, Phillipsburg, and April 21 at 11 a.m. at the Washington Area Community Senior Center, 33 Brass Castle Road, Washington Township.
“There are many nefarious characters coming up with innovative ways to separate us from our money,” said Sheriff James McDonald, who will be conducting the programs with Investigator Rich McQuade of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. “While we are all vulnerable to these scams, they often target our senior citizens,” McDonald added.
Warren County Commissioner James R. Kern III, liaison to the Sheriff's Office, noted the importance of these free programs, explaining, “Over the past few years, online scams, particularly those targeting seniors, continue to be on the rise. Warren County residents should take advantage of this program from our sheriff.”
Kern added, “While I am confident those committing these crimes against our residents will be brought to justice, prevention is the best form of defense.”
This program includes a power-point presentation and other information on how to avoid being victimized. “These programs are conducted several times a year throughout Warren County to whomever requests us,” McDonald said. “We work closely with the Warren County Division of Aging and Disability Services to schedule these events at our Senior Centers.”
According to McDonald, the program addresses:
“This program is educational both for our seniors and this office, as we sometimes learn of scams that we were unaware of,” the sheriff noted.
As an example, a thank you to CVS pharmacy in Phillipsburg recently was noted on the NextDoor APP. A woman was asked to purchase a large dollar amount of gift cards at CVS for a local church by her priest. Knowing the Gift Card Scam, the staff at CVS stopped the scam. It is not only important to protect yourself, but awareness will help your friends, neighbors and local businesses who are all at risk from these scams.
By Laura OltmanThe March 5 article regarding logging of Roaring Rock Park in Washington Township accurately portrayed some key points made during the special meeting on the logging plan held by the township committee. The forester who created the park logging plan spoke at length about it. A forest ecology professor from Drew University debated the alleged ecol...
By Laura Oltman
The March 5 article regarding logging of Roaring Rock Park in Washington Township accurately portrayed some key points made during the special meeting on the logging plan held by the township committee. The forester who created the park logging plan spoke at length about it. A forest ecology professor from Drew University debated the alleged ecological benefit of logging a forest. I am not an expert in biology or forestry and won’t speak to these topics, but I have read the forestry plan and I know what it says. In the public record of discussion about the park and in the forestry plan itself, the clearly stated goal of logging is to sell wood products. The forestry firm will earn 20% plus fees from the harvest and a logging company will be paid to carry out logging.
The most important topic concerning Roaring Rock Park is government turning over public trust resources of the park to private interests for financial gain without conducting a stakeholder process or otherwise notifying the public in advance of a plan to significantly damage the character and natural resources of this woodland park. The park was purchased with taxpayer dollars through the New Jersey Green Acres program. It belongs to every resident of New Jersey. Commercial logging in publicly owned parks is a perfect example of privatizing gains while socializing losses. As an expert taxpayer, I can say this is a raw deal.
Volunteers in Washington Township built a network of woodland hiking trails in the park. The Warren Highlands Trail, a 52-mile long spur of the long-distance Highlands Trail extending from New York to Pennsylvania, traverses Roaring Rock Park. Brass Castle Creek, which runs through the park, is designated by New Jersey Fish and Wildlife as a Wild Trout Stream due to its naturally reproducing brook trout population. Brook trout is the only native New Jersey trout species.
How much will people enjoy hiking on rutted logging roads while listening to chainsaws and trucks in the woods? Will it be safe for kids to be in the park when logging is going on? Will there be any native brook trout able to survive in Brass Castle Creek after it is silted from vehicles driving through it and erosion from logged hillsides pouring into it? What will happen to neighboring properties when stormwater is no longer absorbed by tree roots and cascades unimpeded down steep slopes onto their property?
The forestry plan describes these and other problems likely to require remediation but there is no specific plan or cost estimate for accomplishing it. There is no guarantee that reforestation would work because of deer browse and invasion of non-native plants. It is extremely difficult and expensive to battle deer browse and weeds, as any homeowner can tell you. The forest as it is now took 100 years or more to develop. Park users will not see this forest again in their lifetimes.
Who will fix things after logging? There is no “after”. Forestry is a long game. The current logging plan lasts 10 years, but the goal is creating an ideally stocked forest of the largest and most valuable trees for continual harvest.
This is not what New Jersey taxpayers wanted or paid for with Green Acres funding. It is wrong and needs to stop now.
Laura Oltman is a member of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition Natural Heritage Committee. She lives in Phillipsburg.
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Glass, brass, and class. A centerpiece of a fledgling empire. An absolute delight to developers.The Trump Plaza of the 1980s is a far cry from the nameless building of today, dismantled into a skeleton, awaiting the day it will soon be reduced to rubble.The Wednesday implosion of the casino, which comes nearly seven years after the last slot-machine levers were pulled, is the final destruction of former President Donald Trump’s mark on Atlantic City.Trump Plaza was the tenth casino to open in Atlantic City when it ...
Glass, brass, and class. A centerpiece of a fledgling empire. An absolute delight to developers.
The Trump Plaza of the 1980s is a far cry from the nameless building of today, dismantled into a skeleton, awaiting the day it will soon be reduced to rubble.
The Wednesday implosion of the casino, which comes nearly seven years after the last slot-machine levers were pulled, is the final destruction of former President Donald Trump’s mark on Atlantic City.
Trump Plaza was the tenth casino to open in Atlantic City when it welcomed gamblers in May of 1984, seven years after the legalization of gambling in 1977. Trump, then in the early stages of his real estate career, pinned the city’s success on his building, which was his first foray into casinos.
“A lot of people throughout the country are looking at this hotel and, to a large extent, this hotel will determine the future of Atlantic City,” Trump told the Star-Ledger in 1981 during the pre-approval process. “If it doesn’t get built, other hotels won’t get built.”
The architect, David Jacobson, said the Harrah’s Trump Plaza was his most lavish casino, and delighted in media descriptions calling it “glass, brass, and class,” a 1984 article in the Star-Ledger said.
The building stood at 39 stories, with 60,000 square feet of casino, and more than 600 hotel rooms. It was the largest gambling hall in the city at that point.
Its imposition on the city spilled onto the street: a section of the hotel that jutted out over Mississippi Avenue turned the street from “a dingy, colorless street overshadowed by Convention Hall into a brilliantly lighted all-weather pedestrian arcade,” news coverage at the time said.
The Plaza opened to a rocky start on May 14, 1984, with malfunctioning slot machines and two women injured when a faulty fire alarm caused a rush of gamblers trying to leave the building.
The relationship between the Trump Organization and Harrah’s soured quickly, and Trump bought them out for $29 million in cash about a year after the casino opened, financed by a bond agreement. Five years later — after also opening Trump Castle (later renamed Trump Marina) and Trump Taj Mahal — Trump ended up in bankruptcy court in 1991. It was the first of five times his casinos would face a financial restructuring, ultimately allowing the enterprise to remain under his control.
At its peak in 1996, Trump’s casino empire was a jobs generator in the city, employing as many as 6,100 workers at the Plaza alone.
“I made Atlantic City a really good place, and now it’s a place where people want to come and invest,” Trump told the Star Ledger in 1998.
But that sentiment wasn’t shared by all.
“The notion that he was somehow responsible for the success that Atlantic City had is not accurate,” state Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), who was the city’s mayor in the 1990s, told NJ Advance Media during Trump’s first presidential run. “Nor is he responsible for the problems we now have.”
During the five bankruptcy proceedings, Trump allegedly bilked local contractors out of thousands of dollars as courts freed him from the debts.
“He had stiffed hundreds of local businesses and left them with financial claims that they would never recover,” Steven Perskie, a former state legislator who wrote the laws legalizing gambling, told NJ Advance Media in 2016. “He put the casinos through the bankruptcy proceedings and left town. And he left in a very different aura than he came.”
By the time the Plaza shuttered in 2014, Trump was only marginally involved. He resigned as chairman of the casino company during the 2009 bankruptcy proceedings, giving up his role in the company’s operations and retaining just a 10% stake.
More than 1,100 workers lost their jobs as the Plaza became the fourth casino to shutter that year, following the Atlantic Club, Showboat, and Revel.
A month before the Plaza’s closing, Trump sued Trump Entertainment Resorts, a company that bore his name but which he was not involved in, to force the removal of his name from the building, citing its disrepair.
And then the casino sat there. For years, the building was vacant, passing ownership from Trump Entertainment Resorts to Icahn Enterprises in 2016.
As nor’easters came up the coast, the building was battered by high winds, sending pieces of debris flying onto the Atlantic City boardwalk. Local officials bemoaned it as an eyesore.
Mayor Marty Small made it a goal of his administration to tear down the building during his first State of the City in January 2020.
“My administration’s goal is to tear Trump Plaza down,” Small said. “That’s not accepted in any other city but Atlantic City. It’s an embarrassment, it’s blight on our skyline, and that’s the biggest eyesore in town.”
The era will end on Wednesday when the once-great Trump Plaza comes crashing down, and what once was glass, brass, and class is reduced to rubble.
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I’ve never believed in UFOs, the Loch Ness monster, the Jersey Devil or the like. I always think it’s kind of fun when people do, though, because the stories of sightings are what I like to think of as “urban lore” and are often fun to read and really fun to tell your friends at campouts to scare the crap out of them. Especially at night.So it stands to reason that I did not believe in Sasquatch or Bigfoot or whatever you call him. But if I were ever going to be a believer, it would be now that I checked out th...
I’ve never believed in UFOs, the Loch Ness monster, the Jersey Devil or the like. I always think it’s kind of fun when people do, though, because the stories of sightings are what I like to think of as “urban lore” and are often fun to read and really fun to tell your friends at campouts to scare the crap out of them. Especially at night.
So it stands to reason that I did not believe in Sasquatch or Bigfoot or whatever you call him. But if I were ever going to be a believer, it would be now that I checked out the very intriguing database called The Bigfoot field Researchers Organization or Bfro.net.
The website is run by Eric Spinner, health food store owner in Medford. He was most recently involved in the production of the South Jersey Sasquatch episode of Finding Bigfoot.
The site lists a comprehensive database of Bigfoot sightings around the country, including interviews with people who have run into the hairy menace and details about their encounters. Interestingly, many people decide not to give their names to their personal accounts because they are afraid to be mocked for what people believe is just a dream, myth or a fantasy.
This website is fascinating and I’m telling you that if you go through some of the stories, you will begin to believe.
Every narrative is extremely detailed and sounds very believable. Pretty much everyone describes him as well over 6 feet, hairy all over with huge feet and hands. He’s always described as running quickly with very long swinging arms. And creepiest of all, most people noticed a mildew or sour smell when he’s in the area.
And all “witnesses" explicitly state that what they saw it was definitely not a bear.
New Jersey doesn’t have the most Bigfoot sightings reported on this list. Washington state holds that distinction with 697 reported sightings.
By county, BRFO reports how many sightings New Jerseyans have had. Five counties in New Jersey have no reported sightings of Bigfoot, so I guess you could feel pretty safe in these. They are Atlantic, Bergen, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hudson and Union.
But the rest of the county siding tallies are here from highest to lowest. Check out their stories and see, after reading them, if you’re a believer.
Sussex — 17Burlington — 14Ocean — 10Morris — 6Passaic — 3Essex — 3Cape May — 3Hunterdon— 2Middlesex— 2Monmouth — 2Salem — 2Somerset— 2Camden — 1Mercer — 1
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.
Annie Joines Prentice knows when the neighbors are trying to figure out how much money she has spent on her house, even though they never actually ask her. They speak in a code that’s familiar to anyone who has danced around the subject of money.“They’ll say, ‘Oh wow, that sounds expensive.’ Or, ‘Oh, were you expecting that?’” said Ms. Prentice, who bought a 3,000-square-foot house near West Palm Beach, Fla., in August that she likens to the 1986 movie, “The Money ...
Annie Joines Prentice knows when the neighbors are trying to figure out how much money she has spent on her house, even though they never actually ask her. They speak in a code that’s familiar to anyone who has danced around the subject of money.
“They’ll say, ‘Oh wow, that sounds expensive.’ Or, ‘Oh, were you expecting that?’” said Ms. Prentice, who bought a 3,000-square-foot house near West Palm Beach, Fla., in August that she likens to the 1986 movie, “The Money Pit.” “There are lots of people fishing for information, but they’re a little afraid to just come right out just say: ‘Did y’all just buy this house and you’re dumping a bunch of money in it?’”
Ms. Prentice, 49, an elementary schoolteacher who is in a graduate program studying special education, initially met their questions with equally veiled responses, because she had long ago learned the rules of talking about the costs of home improvement — the chief rule being: Don’t talk about it.
Everyone might know that a new kitchen costs a fortune, but not many are comfortable showing the receipts. Try to get a ballpark figure from friends or neighbors, and you may find yourself wandering through conversations built on euphemisms, with things like “it wasn’t that bad” (code for “it was not as much as you’re thinking”), or “we did a lot of it ourselves” (roughly translating to “I paid my brother, cousin and best friend in beer to take down this wall”). Find yourself on the receiving end of the questions and you might feel flustered, perhaps offended. You might even find yourself rounding down on those final numbers to make the project — and yourself — seem more palatable.
“You know how Emily Post says never talk about politics, money or religion? This falls into that,” said Alessandra Wood, the vice president of style at Modsy, an online design company.
Or, as Rachel Sherman, the author of “Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence,” put it, “When you say, ‘How much does it cost to do a kitchen?’ you are in some sense saying, ‘How much money do you have?’”
And we all know that question is a big no-no.
Sure, there’s a natural curiosity when you walk into a friend’s newly minted bathroom and wonder how they could afford it. But if you want to redo your own bathroom, and want to get some back-of-the-envelope numbers about how much the project will cost, you may discover that few people are willing to dish. The purchase price for a house might be a number easily retrieved on Zillow, but that new bathroom is a mystery until you actually set out to do it.
Three years ago, Wendy Zeilstra was trying to price a new kitchen for her house in Montclair, N.J., and found herself reading tea leaves. The architects she interviewed told her most homeowners budget six figures for such projects, a number well beyond what she and her husband, Paul Calame, 46, who works in logistics, had hoped for.
Originally from the Netherlands, Ms. Zeilstra, 43, a stay-at-home parent, was used to speaking bluntly about how much things cost. “We’re Dutch, we’re direct,” she said. Americans, she quickly learned, were anything but. “It was kind of a maze, if you tried to navigate the maze by asking questions.”
She found herself at the mercy of contractor estimates, figuring out costs based on what workers would tell her they’d charge. She eventually landed on Ikea cabinets and quartz countertops, keeping the budget under $55,000, including labor and architectural fees.
Ms. Zeilstra said she is happy to share what she’s learned and how much she’s spent. But so far, only one person has directly asked her about it, and he was a neighbor who flips houses for a living. “I’m very proud of the kitchen,” she said. “We worked for it. It’s not like we robbed a bank.”
Dr. Sherman, chairwoman of the sociology department at the New School for Social Research, argues that these conversations make people uncomfortable because they’re really conversations about income inequality. If you can afford quartzite countertops and custom cabinets at a time when millions of Americans live in poverty, your splurge brings inequity into focus. And if you walk into a friend’s house and ogle a kitchen that costs more than your annual salary, you may be made acutely aware of a class divide.
“Class inequality is hiding in plain sight because we don’t talk about it,” Dr. Sherman said. Asking a person how much they spent on a renovation “is broadly construed as inappropriate, which is fortunate for capitalism because it means that these kinds of inequalities can continue to proliferate.”
On the flip side, your answers about how much you spent, or how you came up with the funds, may reveal the limits of your finances, especially if the person asking the questions would easily spend two or three times as much. “There is shame associated with having debt,” Dr. Sherman said. “We live in a society that deeply shames people for being poor.”
Our general discomfort with money may explain why we sometimes lie to ourselves, and in some cases even our partners, about it. Lisa Gilmore, an interior designer in St. Petersburg, Fla., had a client who once hid the cost of a dining room chandelier from her husband. To avoid admitting that the handblown glass and brass chandelier cost $15,000, the client asked Ms. Gilmore to bill her $5,000 and she would pay the balance out of a separate, personal account. The chandelier “was a nonnegotiable for her and she didn’t want to deal with the argument,” Ms. Gilmore said. “Even with their spouses, they don’t want to tell.”
Since Ms. Prentice, in West Palm Beach, started working on her house of endless fixes, her perspective about money has changed. Where she once bristled at questions, worried that someone would tell her she’d overspent, she now sees opportunity. “At this point, it’s almost comical because so many things have popped up wrong with this house,” she said.
She is renovating the kitchen, laundry room and a bathroom. She also recently encapsulated the foundation, a waterproofing project that she didn’t even know existed until a few months ago. When she got a waterproofing bid for $39,000, she had nothing to compare it to. Was this a great deal or a grift? In an effort to compare notes, she started talking directly to other homeowners who’d had similar work done. How much did they spend? What was the square footage? What was included in the job?
“There is a tipping point where you’re spending so much money,” she said. “I just want to make sure that I’m spending it in the right places.”
Perhaps, with enough information, she might actually get an answer.