Merlino & Gonzalez December 2019


When you’re in the middle of ultimate fun and relaxation, you may start to consider buying a vacation home right then and there. While we’d never discourage you from purchasing your dream home, we do want you to acknowledge what being in a “vacation haze” might be doing to your better judgment. WILL YOU REALLY USE IT? Even if you have your own vacation home, you likely won’t visit it more than you already do. That’s because purchasing a home doesn’t change your daily schedule. This means that most vacation homes are turned into rental properties to offset the costs of owning them without living in them. Tenants often want to rent the property during the best times of the year, which is exactly when you’d want to be there. Don’t purchase a home for someone else to vacation in. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE COSTS. Aside from the mortgage and property taxes, there are numerous additional costs to owning a second home. Furnishing it with everything

needed, from furniture to cooking utensils, adds up quickly. Over the years, every home needs repairs. You’ll spend money making those repairs instead of drinking cocktails on the beach. Also, keep in mind that real estate value doesn’t always rise; your property may never grow in value, so you may never reap any return on it. BOREDOM CAN HAPPEN. When you’re on vacation, it’s hard to imagine being anywhere else. But boredom happens. Vacations are for experiences outside of your everyday life, so if you consistently return to the same location, you might start to need a vacation from your vacation. Are you willing to sacrifice brand- new adventures for the obligation of returning to the home you own? We’re not looking to dissuade you from buying a vacation home. We just don’t want you to make the decision while you’re on vacation. Wait until you’ve gone back to reality so you can consider every detail with a clear head. That way, you’ll make the best decision for you and your family.


take a break

• 1 cup molasses • 4 tbsp honey • 1 cup water • 1/2 cup vegetable oil • 6 cups all-purpose flour INGREDIENTS

• 2 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp cinnamon • 1 tsp dried powder ginger


1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a medium bowl, combine molasses, honey, water, and oil, and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well until dough forms. 3. Separate dough into four equal balls. Wrap dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3–5 hours. 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough to 1/4-inch thick. Use dog-shaped cookie cutters to cut out treats. 5. Bake for 20–25 minutes on baking sheet until cookies start to brown. Carefully remove treats from the oven and let them cool completely before serving to your dog.

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