Merlino & Gonzalez - October 2020

Take a look at our October newsletter!

October 2020




Despite Changes and Challenges

The Housing Market Is an Exciting Place Right Now

Nancy is a realtor with DiTommaso Realty, serving New York and New Jersey buyers and sellers. She’s a client-focused, seasoned professional who is always a pleasure to work with. Nancy has helped many families navigate the current state of the local market and get to the closing table during this difficult time.

right now. It’s hard to tell exactly what the future holds for the housing market, so now could be the perfect moment to act if you’ve been waiting around for the right time. But with every exciting change inevitably comes other changes that are a little harder to grasp. Buying and selling houses is a social game in many ways — there’s a lot of face-to-face interaction that goes into getting the deal done. While we have certain expectations of our clients, it’s on us, the realtors running these deals, to make sure everything is handled as safely as possible so that we can provide the best peace of mind. The National Association of Realtors has set strict guidelines for these interactions, including proper social distancing, sanitizing, and other parameters that we follow with the highest regard. It may make the process different, but it certainly doesn’t make it any less exciting. That’s because our goal is still to help you successfully move into your next chapter. And if I were going through the process of buying or selling my own house, without a doubt, I would turn to Merlino & Gonzalez. We’ve been working together for years because I truly believe there’s no one better you can go to. They’re both client- and realtor-oriented, which is something we, unfortunately, don’t see often, but it makes the process so much easier and enjoyable for everyone involved, namely the client. Teamwork really does make the dream work in this case. If you have any qualms about buying or selling your home in the current market, you can put them to rest with Merlino & Gonzalez. Just like us here at DiTommaso Realty, they’re all about doing everything they can for you, no matter what changes or challenges we all face.

I love what I do because it means helping people move onto the next great chapters of their lives. Whether they’re buying or selling a home, they’re getting ready for a big change, and when the deal is done and we’re all sitting at that closing table together, there’s nothing quite like the happiness everyone feels about what just transpired, on both sides of the table. It’s an incredible feeling that not many people in other professions get to experience. So, when the COVID-19 pandemic began and New York and New Jersey were essentially shut down, putting a pause on those dreams and that happiness was tough. We always knew things would start up again eventually, but we had no idea when or in what capacity. All we could do was wait patiently and plan for all the ways we might need to start approaching the inevitable changes coming to the work we do. Now that we’re here six months later, things have certainly changed, but not necessarily in all the ways you might expect. For one, the housing market is booming! As interest rates have plummeted, there’s essentially been a buying frenzy, and there are actually a lot more buyers than there are sellers in New York and New Jersey currently. But this just means it’s a great market for sellers, too, because if your house is priced correctly, you’re almost guaranteed to get full price (or very close to it)

-Nancy Terracino




A long time ago … in October of 1977 to be exact, Halloween was fast approaching and many parents faced a major dilemma. That year, kids didn’t want to go trick-or-treating dressed as vampires, witches, or ghosts. The classic costumes simply wouldn’t do. That Halloween, almost every child in the United States wanted to dress as their favorite character from the new hit movie, “Star Wars.” Today, you can walk into a Halloween City on Oct. 30 and easily pick up a costume for Rey, Darth Vader, or Princess Leia. But in 1977, less than five months after the release of the first movie in the popular franchise, getting your hands on “Star Wars” merchandise was a bit more difficult. Ben Cooper, a costume company in Brooklyn, had the foresight to license “Star Wars” for costumes right after the movie came out. Unfortunately, they didn’t foresee how great the demand for these costumes would be. Retailers across the country were selling out of “Star Wars” costumes as fast as they came in. Some stores reported selling more “Star Wars” costumes than pumpkins. Kids who got their hands on an authentic Han Solo or C-3PO costume were considered lucky. But kids who arrived at the store to find the costume shelves empty didn’t throw in the towel. Instead, they went and found some brown towels to make their own Chewbacca costumes.

In the current age of cosplay, homemade costumes based on movie characters are commonplace, but in 1977, this was uncharted territory. Kids searched for white dresses to be Princess Leia and bathrobes they could cut short to mimic Luke Skywalker. Moms everywhere broke out their sewing machines and created costumes using only action figures for reference. It was grueling work, but it showed how much kids wanted to spend Halloween in a galaxy far, far away. The “Star Wars” costume shortage marked a new era for Halloween — one where making your own costume was just as cool, if not better, than buying it.

THE NIGHT MARTIANS INVADED NEW JERSEY Orson Welles Recounts ‘The War of the Worlds’

On the evening of Oct. 30, 1938, an eloquent voice graced the airwaves in New Jersey:

Higher-ups at the CBS radio studio where Welles delivered the live reading called and told him he needed to stop and remind listeners that this was a work of fiction. The

“We now know in the early years of the 20th century, this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man’s, and yet as mortal as his own. We now know as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns, they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water …”

panic, it seemed, was growing as the Martians “approached” New York. A little later that night, police showed up at the studio with the intent of shutting the whole thing down.

The next day, the story broke across the country — newspapers reported on mass hysteria and stories poured out that the nation had erupted in panic. However, as we now know, the extent of the panic was exaggerated. In fact, the program didn’t even have very many listeners that night, and most who had tuned in were aware they were listening to a radio play rather than a news broadcast. American University media historian W. Joseph Campbell, who researched the broadcast in the 2000s, found that while there had been some panic, most listeners simply enjoyed the show. It turns out the person who was the most frightened was Welles himself who thought his career had come to an end.

And so began Orson Welles’ classic radio broadcast, a retelling of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds.” Peppered in the retelling were fictional news bulletins informing the public of an alien invasion. Martians had arrived in New Jersey! Some listeners, who had missed the fact that this was a retelling of “The War of the Worlds,” assumed the news bulletins were the real thing. Frenzied, they called local police, newspapers, and radio stations hoping for more information about the invasion. What were they supposed to do?



There are many types of insurance that are wise to have, like health, dental, homeowners, life, and auto insurance. But for every worthwhile type of insurance, there’s one that most people can do without. Here are seven insurances you’d be better off canceling. Private Mortgage Insurance: If you’re buying a house and your down payment is less than 5% and you fail to make your payments, this policy pays off — but it pays the lender, not you. If you have 20% equity in your home, cancel this insurance. Mortgage Life Insurance: If you die, this policy pays off your remaining mortgage balance, but it goes to your lender, not your surviving family. Switch to a term life policy instead. Flight Insurance: The odds you’ll die in a plane crash are low enough that this insurance is unnecessary. Even without this coverage, if your plane crashes and you die, the airline is still likely to compensate your family. Accidental Death: You just need enough life insurance to provide for your family no matter the cause of your death. They don’t need more money because you die in an accident instead of by illness. Proving accidental death can be difficult, too.

Cancer Insurance: It’s the same as the above; you want life and health insurance that pays out regardless of the diagnosis behind your death. Credit Insurance: This pays off your credit cards when you die, but it’s extremely expensive. You shouldn’t be carrying balances month to month anyway, and cards in your name don’t automatically become your family’s obligation. Children’s Life Insurance: You don’t need a separate policy on each child. Instead, add a child rider to your own life insurance policies. It’s inexpensive and should provide enough to cover final expenses. Take the time to look at your plans and determine what makes sense to keep paying for you and your family. You’ll likely find surprising places to save.


take a break


• 16 oz white chocolate, chopped • 24 strawberries • 1 package mini dark chocolate chips


1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the white chocolate at 50% power for 30 seconds. Remove it and stir, then repeat the process until melted. 2. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper. 3. One by one, dip the strawberries into the melted white chocolate and set them on the parchment. Allow the extra chocolate to pool to form a “tail” effect. 4. Before the chocolate coating fully cools, add three mini chocolate chips to each berry to form two eyes and a mouth. 5. Let chocolate set, then serve your spooky snacks!

Inspired by



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314



718-698-2200 |

An Insider Look at the Current State of the Housing Market Page 1 When ‘Star Wars’ Invaded Halloween What Really Happened the Night Martians Invaded New Jersey? Page 2 7 Insurance Policies You Don’t Need Spooky Strawberry Ghosts Page 3 Blogging Through the Pandemic Page 4 INSIDE THIS ISSUE


Everyone has faced trying times over the past few months. While many activities help get us through these challenges, blogging can be one of the most impactful. Writing enables you to express your feelings and experiences, and blogging allows you to share them with others. H’ere are a few reasons why starting a blog can be an important part of coping with the pandemic. Connect with your readers. At times, it can feel like you are alone in the world, especially now. However, your blog can reach people who feel the same as you or who have had similar experiences as you. Also, writing down your story will inspire other people, and they may even start their own blog. In this way, you not only help yourself and others, but you also spark change in their lives. Meet new people. In addition to encouraging others, you might find a community of like-minded people through sharing your blog. You never know — from new readers and followers, you might learn of support groups to provide additional insights to your experiences. You can also find empathy and provide support to others. An online community can help you feel less isolated due to the pandemic or provide support through other challenging aspects of your life.

Express your anxieties. Writing helps people cope with stressful experiences, and the pandemic has ushered a huge amount of uncertainty into their lives. Many people have felt afraid and anxious in the last eight months, and they continue to wonder what the future may hold. Your blog gives you a chance to express those fears and ease your stress. Harvard Medical School studies have shown that writing your thoughts down helps you organize ideas and even regulate emotions. With less on your mind, your body — both mentally and physically — can relax.

Write out your experiences, no matter what situation you find yourself in. You will help other people and especially yourself.


Published by The Newsletter Pro •

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator