Merlino & Gonzalez - July 2022

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July 2022




pre-approvals, and all of the other facets of the mortgage business.

As real estate professionals and attorneys, it is a great comfort to have a close working relationship with a mortgage broker we trust to help us best serve our clients. Delivering the best experience for our clients is a team effort, and in working with Timothy Rail, a mortgage broker at Citybrook Corporation, we get the job done seamlessly. With 20 years of lending experience, Timothy is a seasoned professional, a trusted colleague of ours, and a great resource for anyone looking to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage. I first entered the mortgage industry 20 years ago, and I never thought in a million years that I’d still be working in this field today, helping clients to secure mortgage financing. After 9/11, I joined the New York City Fire Department in January 2002. Once I graduated and began working at the firehouse, I met Billy Hansen, who is the owner here at Citybrook Corporation, a mortgage brokerage in Staten Island, New York. Because he knew I had a background with numbers, as I previously worked at Spear Leeds and Kellogg for three years on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, he offered me some extra work on the side, teaching me the business of purchase and refinance mortgages, mortgage

In the extent of my career as a mortgage broker, a few things have remained consistent — one being my relationship with both Ken Gonzalez, Esq. and John R. Merlino Jr., Esq., at Merlino & Gonzalez. We frequently work together on many New York and New Jersey real estate transactions, assisting mutual clients in the homebuying process from start to finish. I’ll handle the mortgage side of things for the buyers, from pre-approval to the file’s “clear to close,” and Merlino & Gonzalez will represent the client in the purchase transaction and handle the contracts, title work, and bank settlement. Having worked together for 20 years now, we have a great working relationship. Both of our companies are seamlessly aligned in that customer service is our top priority. We all focus on how we can work together to best serve our clients while openly communicating every step of the way. I’m proud to say that in all of the years I’ve worked with Merlino & Gonzalez, we’ve never had a single transaction together not reach the closing table. Citybrook Corporation has grown over the years, and we now work with over 20 different lenders on the wholesale channel. Hands down, my favorite aspect of my mortgage career is the ability to witness clients smiling, receiving their keys to their new dream home

at the closing table. I love walking my clients through the pre-approval process all the way through to the closing table. It’s invaluable to have great real estate attorneys — with a true passion for the job — working alongside me! -Timothy Rail Timothy continues working today as a partner and Mortgage Loan Officer (NMLS #: 12812) at Citybrook Corp. and currently serves the Fire Department of New York as captain of Engine 280 and Ladder 132 in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.



When you need a break from your busy life, you probably look at your cellphone. And when you need a break from your cellphone, you might watch TV or browse social media on your other devices. This cycle of never-ending screens can be taxing on your mental health. Everyone hits their breaking point at a different time, and you may not even realize when you’ve reached your limit. If you find yourself getting angry or upset at posted content, consistently comparing yourself to others, or feeling depressed, it may be time for a digital detox. But what is a digital detox? It’s taking a break from electronic devices, such as your cellphone or tablet, and mindlessly scrolling through social media or news stories. Is It Time for a Digital Detox?

• Disconnect before bedtime . Turn off all electronics an hour before you go to sleep to relax your body and mind.

Another benefit is that you’ll feel less stressed, especially if you compare yourself to others on social media or get lost in negative news cycles.

Perhaps the most notable benefit of a digital detox is reclaiming your own time. Checking your cellphone and scrolling through social media can quickly become a subconscious habit. Before you know it, an hour or two has passed. Even watching television can take up huge chunks of your day. With a digital detox, you get that time back, and you can reallocate it to healthier activities.

Now that you know what it is, how can you detox yourself?

• Schedule a break from your devices. Even if it’s just for a half-hour, use the time to do other activities, such as exercise, household chores, or even gardening. • Turn off notifications. Constant notifications can be incredibly distracting, so silencing them allows us to focus more on our surroundings.

If you feel like you need a break from your electronic devices, take one. It could lead to a healthier and happier life.


else to do very quickly!) What interests do your kids have? Whether it’s firetrucks, dinosaurs, fashion, or something else entirely, they have countless opportunities to learn more through your local library or the World Wide Web. You don’t have to restrict them to book learning, either. Your kid might love the opportunity to try countless hobbies like sewing, sculpting, or even gardening. Camp close to home. Most kids love the outdoors, and they’re easily distracted by a bit of novelty. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy nature — you just need a backyard, a tent, and some sleeping bags. The prospect of spending the night outside will sound thrilling to most kids. If you have young children, make it a family affair with a campfire, roasted marshmallows, and songs. Let older kids invite some friends for a unique sleepover, complete with flashlight tag and scary stories. Summer will be over before you know it, but you and your kids can have more to show for those months — and great memories, too! Forget about “I’m bored,” and prepare yourself for a new mantra: “When can we do that again?”

Kids look forward to summer vacation all year long, but it often only takes a few days before the “I’m bored” whines begin. It gets worse; many kids will happily spend months staring at their devices, wasting time they’ll never get back. So, how do you get children active and keep them entertained? Make a summer bucket list . It even happens to adults: We blink, and the season is over. All those things we “meant” to do somehow end up having to wait another year (or more). Don’t let that happen to you or your kids this year. Make sure everyone gets their fill of summer fun by making a list of can’t-miss activities. Include staples like visiting the pool or the zoo — but also entertain ideas about backyard crafts and water balloon fights. Don’t forget to incorporate plenty of things the kids can do at or near home. The next time they’re bored, point them to the list and urge them to complete one of their activities. Learn something new. Hear us out — this is designed to be fun. The goal here isn’t to make your kid memorize multiplication tables over summer break. (Though, if you suggest it, they might find something


IS THIS WORTH IT? A Home Warranty, Beneficial for Sellers and Buyers

• Often provides unlimited service call requests that are available 24/7 • Puts the home under warranty for a year (sometimes more) following the date of closing • Offers peace of mind for the homeowner with no surprise repair expenses The benefits of a home warranty for a seller include: • Protects the seller from needing to pay for any repairs while the home is listed for sale • Provides budget protection from surprise repairs • Offers peace of mind for the seller • Encourages buyers to submit their highest possible bids and offers • Prevents the sale from being postponed due to any appliance or home system breakdowns Because it’s nearly impossible to predict when an appliance or major home system will fail, home warranties offer a safety net for both buyers and sellers. Nobody wants to wake up three months after purchasing their home, just to find that their A/C unit suddenly quit! If it’s protected by a home warranty, you have nothing to worry about! The law firm of Merlino & Gonzalez specializes in real estate law and serves clients in Staten Island, New York. If you have any questions or concerns about your home warranty, give us a call today! We can help.

Your offer on your new home has been accepted, and you’re in the process of securing your financing and working out all of the other details of the deal. What an exciting time! Next thing you know, you’re offered a home warranty. But what exactly is a home warranty? Is it the same as an insurance policy? Whether your new home is new construction or an older home, you’ll likely be offered a home warranty to protect you against unexpected expenses and repairs to your house. While a home warranty is not the same thing as an insurance policy, it acts similarly, since it’s a contract between the homeowner and home warranty company to protect against large home system and appliance damages. If your oven, air conditioner, dishwasher, or electrical system breaks — and is covered under your home warranty — you’re safe. The difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance policy is that the insurance protects the homeowner against damages caused by natural forces, such as storms that result in hail damage, roof damage, or fire damage. A home warranty will cover repair costs for appliances and home systems that break down as a result of regular usage. The benefits of a home warranty for a buyer include: • Protects the new homeowner from costly and unbudgeted repairs for all covered items • Offers a resource for local and qualified repair professionals




Summer isn’t complete without some Southern BBQ!


• 18 oz barbecue sauce • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce • 1 tbsp hot pepper sauce • 10 hamburger buns, split • Deli coleslaw (optional)

• 3 lbs boneless pork loin roast, trimmed

• 1 cup water • 1/2 tsp salt • 1 tbsp pepper • 1/4 cup brown sugar


1. In a 4-quart slow cooker, add the roast and 1 cup of water. 2. Cover and cook the roast on high for 7 hours or until tender. 3. Once tender, shred the meat. 4. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker. Stir in salt, pepper, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, and hot pepper sauce. 5. Cover and cook on the lowest setting for an hour. 6. When finished, serve barbecue on buns with coleslaw (optional).

Inspired by



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314



718-698-2200 |


Working Together to Get the Deal Done Page 1

The Benefits of a Digital Detox Beating Summer Vacation Boredom Page 2

What Are the Benefits of a Home Warranty? Mouthwatering Southern BBQ Page 3

What Exactly Is the Rosetta Stone? Page 4


Before we had Rosetta Stone, the language-learning software, scholars were confounded by the original Rosetta Stone: a slab of granite from Ancient Egypt inscribed with mysterious symbols. The slab was discovered in 1799 by a group of French army engineers near the Egyptian town of Rosetta. The British claimed the stone after winning the French Revolutionary Wars and relocated it to the British Museum in London, where they strengthened the floors to support its incredible weight. Various scientists studied the artifact with no success, until it was ultimately deciphered by French linguist Jean‑Francois Champollion. The stone was covered in a combination of hieroglyphics, ancient Greek, and Demotic. It spelled out a decree issued in 196 B.C. by Egypt’s ruler at the time, Ptolemy V, and a group of Egyptian clergy members. Because of his discovery, Champollion was named the founding father of Egyptology.

You can still visit the stone at the British Museum in London, where it’s been displayed for 220 years! 4

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