Merlino & Gonzalez - July 2023

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July 2023




3 Things To Look For In A Realtor Advice For You From Local Expert Joann Impellizine

Knowledge of the market comes over time. I started working in real estate part-time in 2006 because it gave me the flexibility to spend time with my three kids (Dominique, Julia, and Jason), and back then, I knew very little compared to what I know today! For the last 17 years, I’ve been on a mission to learn as much information as I possibly can. Look for a Realtor with a similar level of knowledge.

I’ve worked with many Realtors over the years and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have favorites. Some real estate agents and brokers are simply more organized, compassionate, and knowledgeable than others. One of those experts is Joann Impellizine of DiTommaso Real Estate. She has been in the industry since 2006 and we’ve had numerous deals together. She has a big heart and goes above and beyond for her clients. I truly enjoy working with her, so I invited her to share some advice with you in this newsletter. Take it away, Joann. Wow, thank you, Ken, for that glowing recommendation! I’m excited to share my real estate experience with you, but first, let’s get into the advice that Ken promised. If you know someone who is buying or selling a home and doesn’t have a Realtor lined up yet, here are three things they should look for: 1. Market Expertise —Does the Realtor know their stuff? Can they answer questions about the local market? Does your friend feel like they’re getting professional guidance? If not, that Realtor may not be the best fit. Instead, they should look for someone with more experience.

2. Curiosity —A great Realtor will ask their clients questions and

get to know them so that they can personalize their experience. Every buyer’s and seller’s situation is very individualized, and Realtors should tailor their approach to fit those needs.

moms from Brooklyn with kids around the same age as my 17-year-old son. Once we discovered we had that in

For me, every relationship with a client is an emotional investment. I put all of my curiosity and energy into it to get the best results I can for them, and I don’t think anyone should settle for less. Sometimes I even get to know my client’s kids and the details of their lives so well that we become friends. I recently received an invite to a Fourth of July barbecue from one of those friends who has been in their new house for two years. Two of my other clients-turned-friends and I celebrate our birthdays together now. They’re

common, the friendship stuck.

3. Availability — The right Realtor will always be easy to get in touch with and ready to answer their client’s questions. When I’m helping a client, we stay in constant contact. I’m there whether they have an important question or just want to chat until their nerves go away. When the house is finally bought or sold, sometimes it feels like a breakup.





It’s More Than a Lubricant!

for your shoes, you may have to wait a day or two before wearing them. But if you spray your shoes with WD-40, you can instantly make them waterproof! WD-40 acts as a barrier, meaning that moisture won’t be able to seep into your shoes and get your socks wet. Removing Paint Smudges From Cars Sometimes when you’re out and about, your car can get dinged as other drivers open their doors. A shopping cart might even collide with your vehicle and leave a paint smudge. But there’s no need to spend hours trying to remove the smudge. Simply spray the area with WD-40 and wipe it clean with a rag. Getting Rid of Sticky Residue Trying to peel off a sticker or label without leaving any residue can be difficult. To help with this issue, spray WD-40 on the residue, wait a few minutes, and then wipe it away with a cloth. Then voila! No more annoying residue! Can you believe that WD-40 can be used for all this and more? It’s mind- blowing how many uses it has. Learn more about what you can do with this incredible multi-functional item at uses-for-WD40 .

If you’ve looked into your cabinets, you might find a can of WD-40 lying around. That’s good because it has more capabilities than just lubricating rusted parts. Did you know that WD-40 has over 2,000 uses? You read that right — you can use it for all kinds of things! Here are a few of our favorite uses. Cleaning Carpets It can be difficult and expensive to deep-clean your carpet to remove those pesky stains. However, if you spray the stains with WD-40, wait a few minutes, and then use a sponge and soapy water, you can get those stains out in no time! If you go through this process and the stains remain, retry the above steps or try a carpet cleaner with soapy water. Instantly Waterproofing Shoes No one likes going outside when it’s raining. While you can purchase water-resistant sprays

Will We See You at the Travis Parade?


car drive-bys, charity appearances, and more. To truly understand the scale of the fun, you have to check out the parade in person with your friends and family. This July 4, it kicks off at noon with a ceremony in Independence Park, and local volunteer Rich Platt is the posthumous grand marshal. 3 Fun Facts About Travis Travis didn’t end up with one of the country’s longest-running Fourth of July parades at random. The neighborhood itself has a rich history. Here are a few of our favorite Travis fun facts. • On Aug. 22, 1777, a Revolutionary War battle broke out in Travis! The locally camped British troops defended themselves from George Washington’s Colonials and won. This fight is sometimes called The Battle of Staten Island. • The Travis Parade website claims that the “spirit of the community” can be summed up by the “three P’s”: Pride, Patriotism, and Perseverance. That sounds about right!

Every year on July 4, thousands of Staten Islanders make their way to the neighborhood of Travis for the event of the summer: the historic Travis 4th of July Parade! It’s one of our team’s favorite Independence Day celebrations because when you line the streets, you feel like part of American history — and not just because you might see someone dressed like George Washington marching through the crowd. Travis’s Proud Parade History Locals established the Travis 4th of July Parade way back in 1911, and today it’s considered one of the longest-running Independence Day parades in the country. Travis may be small, but the community goes all-out for this event. On any given year, you’ll see firetrucks playfully hosing down the crowd, bagpipers from Richmond County Pipes & Drums marching past in their kilts, police officers trotting by on sleek horses, and stilt walkers wearing white and red striped pants and matching top hats.

• Over the years, the community of Travis has gone by many names, including Travisville, New Blazing Star, and Linoleumville (the last one was thanks to a local linoleum plant).

To learn more about Travis and its famous 4th of July Parade, visit .

That list barely scratches the surface! There are live marching bands, other musical acts, classic


Summer is here, and you know what that means: It’s construction season! Buildings go up and come down year-round in our area, but during the summer, it happens at warp speed. This season, look out for orange cones and one of the biggest legal problems that comes with them: encroachment. What Is Encroachment? Put simply, encroachment happens when a person or company occupies land belonging to someone else without their permission. It can pop up in a thousand different scenarios, such as: PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY FROM CONSTRUCTION- HAPPY NEIGHBORS Use These Strategies to Fight Encroachment!

• If your neighbor builds a house, fence, or shed on your side of a shared property line • If a sneaky gardener from your neighborhood attempts to grow vegetables in your side yard because “you weren’t using it” Essentially, if someone is building on, farming, or otherwise disrupting land that belongs to you, then you might be a victim of encroachment. Fortunately, there are legal ways to fight back. 4 Ways to Fight Encroachment • Enter Mediation or Arbitration — Sit down with a mediator or arbitrator and whoever is encroaching on your space. Then, discuss the problem together until you reach a mutually acceptable solution. • Start Legal Negotiations — This strategy involves talking it out like mediation or arbitration. But instead of an arbiter or mediator, you should hire a lawyer to argue your side. • Seek an Injunction — A real estate lawyer can help you do this. If you succeed and a court issues an injunction, it will prevent the encroacher from continuing to use or occupy your land. • File a Civil Lawsuit — If you win, you’ll get your property back and might even receive financial compensation. Encroachment is incredibly frustrating, and you don’t have to live with it — this summer or ever! If you’re fighting an encroacher or know someone who is, call our firm today for legal help.

• If the business next door extends its patio into an area that belongs to your office




Inspired by


• 1/2 tsp garlic powder • 1/2 tsp oregano • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) • 1/2 tsp salt • Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp cumin • 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 tsp turmeric

I hope you can pass these tips on to your friends and family or use them yourself. I’m sure you’ll eventually find the right Realtor; This career attracts all kinds of people. Just look at me — I have a psychology degree, love Pearl Jam and Taylor Swift, and got into real estate in part because it gave me the freedom to help my oldest daughter, who is on the spectrum. Now, I get to donate to The GRACE Foundation and work with great people like Ken. If you want to learn more about me or could use my help, visit or call 718-689-2611. I look forward to hearing from you soon!


1. In a large bowl, add chicken, olive oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne pepper (if desired), salt, and pepper. Toss together to coat chicken; let it marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 2. Preheat grill to 400 F. Grill chicken thighs for 6–8 minutes per side or until fully cooked and an internal thermometer reads 165 F. 3. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm, then chop into bite-size pieces to use in salads, tacos, bowls, and more!

–Joann Impellizine, Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314




Expert Advice on Choosing the Right Realtor Page 1

You Can Do What With WD-40?

Fun Facts About the Travis Parade Page 2

Fight Back Against Encroachment

Sazon Grilled Chicken Thighs Page 3

The Swine That Dared to Defy Page 4

The Story of the Danish Protest Pig AN UNCONVENTIONAL ‘BACON’ OF HOPE

to crossbreed their pigs to create a new breed, one that had the same markings as the Danish flag. These pigs were red in color, with one white vertical stripe and one white horizontal stripe. The farmers named their new pigs Protestschwein, or the Danish Protest Pig. This protest pig quickly became the mascot of Danish cultural independence, and their efforts didn’t go unnoticed by Prussian authorities. In 1881, a local Prussian police station sent communications back to the government in Berlin that farmers were breeding strange-looking pigs. However, while they could not prove that farmers were knowingly breeding the pigs to look like the Danish flag, “it was believed that the farmers were well aware of this and that this pig represented an affront to the Prussians,” according to records from the Red Holstein Breeders Association.

In the 19th century, Denmark and Prussia couldn’t agree on where to draw their border. Both countries refused to concede or couldn’t reach an agreement on which country would ultimately control Southern Jutland, which today is Germany’s northernmost state called Schleswig Holstein. This refusal to compromise ultimately led to war, and in 1848, Denmark won control. However, their victory was short-lived, as roughly a decade later, the Second Schleswig War was underway. This time, though, Prussia was victorious. After their victory, the Prussian authorities slowly began to move into the peninsula, implementing new laws over the Danes living there. These new laws prohibited anything Danish, including all uses of the Danish flag. Needless to say, the Danes were not happy — especially the farmers.

Today, the Danish Protest Pig is recognized as its own breed but has a different name: the Husum Red Pied. And, the now-German state of Schleswig-

These Danish farmers knew they had to protest this oppressive Prussian government, but they couldn’t just publicly wave the Danish flag. So, they got crafty. Danish farmers began

Holstein supports the protection of this pig due to the cultural significance it offered its Danish ancestors so many years ago. 4

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