Merlino & Gonzalez - November 2021

Take a look at the November edition of our monthly newsletter!

REALESTATEPLANNINGLAW.COM 718-698-2200 November 2021



Collaborating to Deliver the Best Service MEET TRICIA, A TRUSTED MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL

As real estate professionals, it is a great comfort to have a mortgage consultant we trust to work closely with. Tricia Shevack is the branch manager of the Staten Island office of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and a friend to everyone in our office. With over 20 years of lending experience, Tricia is a seasoned professional and a great resource for anyone looking to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage.

Whenever an individual is shopping around for a lender, I’m quick to empathize and let them know that I understand and believe it is important because I too am a consumer. If a lender is hoping to gain your trust and business, they should be happy to provide you with a loan estimate displaying rate, APR, and costs without having to pull your credit. I always say that it’s not about what sets Wells Fargo apart; it’s what sets me apart from everyone else. I have a distinct devotion and love for what I do. I’ve been in this business for 20 years and understand the fact that my customers don’t always know what’s going on in the mortgage process. Thus, I make myself available to them seven days a week to answer any questions they may have, whether it be late on a Thursday night or a Saturday afternoon. Deals are not only made 9-to-5, Monday through Friday. To me, it’s all about customer service. You can get the same interest rate somewhere else, but will that person have the ability to answer your questions whenever you have them? The most important thing is that when all is said and done and your loan closes, just like how you can call Merlino & Gonzalez with any

–Ken Gonzalez

I’ve been assisting and working alongside Merlino & Gonzalez for 18 years now, and we have developed a strong working relationship. When I first got into the business, Merlino & Gonzalez was one of the first law firms I worked with. Starting out in this business, there were a lot of things I didn’t necessarily understand, and both John and Ken took the time to explain things to me so that I was able to comprehend and apply them, which ultimately made me a better mortgage consultant. Today, I am able to help my clients navigate the ins and outs of every transaction.

programs that help any client with their financing needs. Whether it’s a purchase, a first-time home buyer with a low down payment option, or an affluent client purchasing a high-priced home and looking for creative financing options to help suit their needs, we have the ability to offer these options.

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Here at Wells Fargo, we offer a variety of



Almost everyone at some point has encountered a task that is seemingly simple, but no matter what they do, they can’t complete it. These tasks can be as straightforward as making the bed or something bigger, like cleaning an entire room. For many, this is an obstacle that they may want to do but can’t, which weighs heavily on them and becomes detrimental to their mental health. It’s important to understand that the impossible task is not a sign of laziness; depression and anxiety can make any task feel much bigger and more difficult than it actually is. If you find yourself unable to do the things you need or want to do, try these techniques to help overcome your obstacles. Break up the task. When the overarching task feels daunting, breaking it up into smaller segments can help you manage it. If you’re cleaning the kitchen, clean for only a few minutes at a time before taking a break. It might take longer, but the space will be clean at the end of the day. Make the task more enjoyable. Play music or involve your pet in some way to make the task fun or create a reward system for yourself. For example, tidying a specific area of the house or folding a basket of laundry may earn you time to play video games or watch TV. Alternating tasks and rewards is a great way to overcome any task, big or small. It can help to consider why the task feels so impossible, especially if you used to enjoy it. Try to remember what made it enjoyable and see if you can return to that state of mind. If the objective is not so urgent, determine its importance and if the task can be saved for another day.


When all else fails, you can always ask someone for support or even pay someone else to do the task for you. No matter what you decide, there are ways to defeat the impossible task.

5 Great Picture Books for Thanksgiving


When your kids ask why we celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s easy to say that it’s a day to be thankful for what you have. That much is true, but if you want to teach your children about the holiday and traditions associated with it, a good book is one of the best ways! So, if you’re looking for books to read with your kiddos about Thanksgiving, its traditions, and the importance of gratitude, here are a few titles to get you started!

‘Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving’ by Joseph Bruchac The history of Thanksgiving, as it relates to the Native American people, can be complicated. This book provides some context for the first Thanksgiving and explains the holiday’s legacy in a way that even young readers can understand. ‘Duck for Turkey Day’ by Jacqueline Jules How would you feel if you were a kid who didn’t eat turkey for Thanksgiving? While turkey may be a staple on most Thanksgiving tables, this book is a great way to show kids that Americans of all cultures can practice gratitude and enjoy the holiday, no matter what foods are on the table.

‘We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga’ by Traci Sorell Different cultures have different words for gratitude and their celebrations of it. Traci Sorell’s book is all about otsaliheliga , which means “gratitude” in the Cherokee language, and how it’s central to the Cherokee Nation’s celebration of the new year, which begins each fall. ‘Over the River and Through the Wood’ by Lydia Maria Child If you and your child love gorgeous illustrations and poetic sing-song words, you can’t beat “Over the River and Through the

Wood,” which takes readers on a magical journey through a picturesque, snow-filled Thanksgiving day in New England. ‘Balloons Over Broadway’ by Melissa Sweet What would Thanksgiving be without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? This book, which is also gorgeously and lovingly illustrated, is all about how Tony Sarq, the puppeteer behind the parade’s magical helium balloons, helped the parade get its start. Readers of all ages might learn something new from this one!



What Is a Real Estate Binder?

Truth be told, real estate transactions are complicated. There are a lot of moving parts, and if you’ve never purchased or sold a property before, the foreign financial terms and real estate jargon can be confusing — cue Google! Despite the confusing parts, it is essential to understand some of the basics when engaging in real estate transactions. A real estate binder is either a formal or informal agreement leading up to the closing of a property. Binders are tricky because they serve many purposes and are used in a variety of different circumstances. Individual requests and the full sales agreement determine which binders will be used in different situations.

The generic “real estate binder” is typically referring to an escrow or mortgage binder. It usually means that the buyer will make a down payment, known as “earnest money,” on the property prior to closing. It is used as a way to make sure that the buyer is a serious purchaser. Then, the earnest money goes toward the purchase of the home. Another type of a binder is the property insurance binder. It is used to help ensure that the home being sold or purchased remains insured. Thus, a property insurance binder involves the purchasing of temporary insurance coverage that protects both the buyer and the seller during the real estate

transaction process. Insurance in a title binder is typically purchased if there is a gap in homeowners insurance coverage when the ownership transfer takes place. Lastly, a title insurance binder means that both the seller and buyer agree to have a title insurance company look through title and property records to make sure that the home’s title is free from problems and defects. This helps to ensure that the buyer receives a clear title on the home.

For all real estate questions, concerns, and advice, contact us today! We are here to help.

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questions, when you work with Wells Fargo, I’m still your mortgage consultant after closing and am happy to answer all of your questions.

A home purchase is the biggest decision in the buyer’s life — it’s likely the most money they will spend at any given moment. To know they have someone experienced and empathetic on their side to listen to and understand what they’re asking is great customer service. I love what I do and take great pride in providing the best advice. I personally have used Merlino & Gonzalez for my real estate transactions and my estate planning. Not only do I find them to be great partners in transactions and helping people purchase homes, but I’ve also trusted them immensely with my own real estate transactions throughout the years and with planning for my family’s future. I love working with John, Ken, and their entire staff because they are exceptional not only on a business level but also on a personal level. They are down to earth, compassionate, and good people. Together, we make a great team, and I am honored to work with them in finding so many people their dream homes in a swift, organized, and seamless transaction. -Tricia M.Shevack

Inspired by

Want the taste of fall without the calories? Try this quick and easy salad, topped with homemade apple cider vinaigrette.


For the salad: • 1/4 cup dried pumpkin seeds • 5 cups salad mix • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped into bite-size pieces • 1/3 cup dried cranberries • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled

For the dressing: • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 1 1/2 tsp honey • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until fragrant, then set aside. 2. In a small jar or bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients, then set aside. 3. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing until lightly coated, then toss and serve!



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314



718-698-2200 |


Delivering the Best Service With Tricia Page 1

Overcoming the Impossible Task Read These 5 Thanksgiving Picture Books With Your Kids! Page 2

Have You Heard of a Real Estate Binder? Easy Cranberry-Apple Salad Page 3 November Is Secretly the Best Time to Camp Page 4

November Is Secretly the Best Time to Camp STARGAZING, BIRD-WATCHING, AND MORE

Camping is most often associated with summer, but the humid, hot weather combined with the numerous bugs can create a frustrating experience. Most don’t realize that fall — specifically November — is the perfect time to take the family for an outdoor adventure. Here are some of the best reasons to pitch your tent in November. Scenery and Weather Camping in spring usually brings the risk of rain, while summer temperatures can make it unbearable. Fall weather, however, provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy camping to its fullest. It’s usually dry, and most states do not hit colder temperatures until the end of November. The leaves also change color in preparation for winter, which creates some truly awe-inspiring scenery — and a natural playground for children.

Just watch for hidden dangers lurking beneath the fallen leaves that could injure your child. You shouldn’t have to worry about bugs, though; November has significantly fewer bugs than the summer or spring months. Stargazing Less rain means fewer clouds, which means clearer nights. Combine that with fewer leaves on the trees, and you have an obscured view that’s better than any other time of the year. November is also one of the few months when you can see meteor showers. If you’ve ever been entranced by the night sky, November provides the perfect opportunity to stargaze. Bird-Watching At this point in the season, many birds have already begun to migrate south. Some birds have stopover locations they stay at for a few

days, so you might see birds unique to the area due to their migration. States in the north might see their local birds flying against beautiful backdrops as they make their journey to warmer areas. Regardless of your camping expertise, November is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. If you’re looking for a new family adventure or just want some personal quiet time to reflect, look no further than fall camping. 4

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