Brooks & Crowley May 2018

Review Brooks & Crowley

May 2018


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts


Right now, the inventory in the Boston area is very low, despite the construction boom. During periods like this, sellers are in the driver’s seat, and many properties are selling above the original asking price. To counter this, some experienced brokers are putting escalation clauses in with their offers. An escalation clause says that the buyers will automatically increase their offer by a certain amount if someone else offers more, up to a dollar limit that the buyer is comfortable with. This keeps buyers from getting too frustrated when they put an offer on a house only to be immediately outbid by another buyer. These are just a few of the reasons why buyer’s agents are essential for anyone looking for a new house. We are always available to recommend an experienced agent, so if you have questions, give us a call, and happy home hunting!

works only for the buyer, that agent is actually paid a commission by the seller at the closing. For example, in a standard transaction with a 5 percent real estate commission, the buyer’s agent gets paid for their work by taking a 2.5 percent commission. So even though the agents represent different parties and have different loyalties, the seller pays for both of them! I can’t imagine why any buyer would not insist on using their own agent without a very good reason. I always recommend that homebuyers contact and hire an agent who works in the area they’re looking in. Using an agent who isn't familiar with the area isn’t an automatic disqualifier, but by hiring a person who knows the neighborhood well, you’ll be working with someone who knows the schools, commute times, and sometimes information that may not be known to the general public. Many local real estate agents have knowledge about a town’s budgetary issues, upcoming property tax overrides for new schools, or even sewer assessments that are on the horizon. This is information that you normally wouldn’t receive from a listing agent.

It's that time of year when people are looking around for a new home, and that process can be extremely stressful. Searching through listings, dealing with lenders, and coordinating any move from one place to another can be a lot to handle. One way to lessen your stress and lower your costs is to hire an experienced real estate agent. We tell people that when they're buying a property, the listing agent’s loyalty is to their seller client. So while they will certainly be helpful to buyers, they have an ethical obligation to obtain the highest price for their client. Using a buyer’s agent means that a buyer will have their own agent looking out for their interests in the transaction. An experienced agent will negotiate the price of a home and work to either have the purchase price lowered, or negotiate a seller credit if anything comes up during the home inspection. Many agents are skillful negotiators who have connections with tradespeople they can contact to determine the cost of repairs. What many people don’t realize is that, although the buyer’s agent

–Steve Brooks


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Put the Alkaline Diet to the Test Game-Changer or Another Mole to Whack?

MEAT Before you rule out this diet because it eliminates meat, it’s important to look at why. The plan focuses on eating alkaline foods (foods with a higher pH). Acidic foods (foods with a lower pH) negate the positive effects of an alkaline body. Meat is widely believed to promote acidity in the body, so the diet suggests avoiding all beef, poultry, and fish. NIGHTSHADES Alkalizing vegetables such as broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, kale, and spinach are pivotal to this diet. But things get tricky when you try to explain nightshades. Nightshades are a family of flowering plants that include potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. Even though these are in fact alkalizing vegetables, they are thought to

Americans know a thing or two about diets. It seems like we’re constantly playing whack-a-mole with nutrition plans— as soon as we knock one down, two more pop up begging for their validity to be debunked. It can be more defeating than productive. Many of these nutrition plans come with promises of paradigm-altering revelations that will reshape your future. But most “new” diets are just slight variations of old plans with new names. With that said, an alkaline diet could be a game- changer that overthrows nutritional trends. Its adherents tout its ability to reduce inflammation and help you maintain a healthy weight. A few even go so far as to claim it can cure cancer, though there is no research to support this. Learn more about the alkaline diet, and decide if it’s right for you.

promote inflammation because they contain an inflammation-inducing alkaloid called solanine.

WATER Alkalinity has even gone all the way to water. You can now find bottled “alkaline water” fortified with calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate at the grocery store. It’s advertised as offering anti-aging properties and immune system support, and it claims to offer superior hydration and water retention. It’s important to understand that the basic and acidic nature of your food is really about the way it interacts with your body. There are plenty of acidic foods that actually promote alkalinity. Whether or not this diet will be one more mole that needs to be knocked down, we’ll have to wait and see.

Client Testimonials

Hear What Our Clients Are Saying!

“I have worked with Steven on a number of legal needs over the years and recommend him to anyone seeking legal advice and/or representation. We always call Steven Brooks first and have always been met with a prompt response and favorable results. We recommend him highly.” –Randy

“Excellent personal injury attorney. The

“My case had some complicated insurance

“Neil handled my case as a priority from the beginning to the end. He’s professional and well-mannered. I'd highly recommend Mr. Crowley for any legal services. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment! You're the best.” –Tammy and Jean

last referral I sent him ended with a settlement for the client well above my expectations. Highly recommended.” –Andrew Greenberg

issues and involved multiple insurance companies. Neil was persistent and never gave up on my case when a lot of other lawyers would have. We also had people who would not cooperate with us, but Neil found a way to make my case work, and in the end, I received a larger settlement than I expected.” –Mr. Jorge


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The Radical Transparency

of Ray Dalio’s ‘Principles’

TRUST IN RADICAL TRUTH AND RADICAL TRANSPARENCY Since its publication last year, Dalio’s book has risen to No. 5 on Amazon’s charts, become a No. 1 New York Times best seller, and been touted as revolutionary by some of the most successful businesspeople of our time. It’s a thick volume of just under 600 pages but nonetheless compelling. Dalio’s dedication to the idea of openness in all things is evident through the organization of his life’s work into a detailed and actionable program. Dalio’s transparency extends to creating an open forum for disagreement. In an earlier 2011 draft of Dalio’s “Principles,” he wrote about the importance of “creat[ing] an environment in which everyone has the right to understand what makes sense, and no one has the right to hold a critical opinion without speaking up about it.” RECOGNIZE HOW TO GET BEYOND DISAGREEMENTS.

If you grew up in an ordinary, middle- class neighborhood on Long Island, proceeded to found an investment firm out of your apartment in NYC, and went

From the outside, it might seem that such an uncompromisingly honest vision would create problems. After all, Bridgewater employees describe “public hangings” of those who don’t rigorously follow Dalio’s rules and attend meetings that sometimes stretch for hours due to disagreements about a single item on the agenda. But Dalio argues that creating this fluid, back-and-forth culture is a vital component of a healthy organization. SYSTEMATIZE THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS. Aside from his trademark transparency and sometimes brutal honesty, “Principles” has one thread that runs through the whole book: Everything can and should be boiled down and understood with a simple system. By acknowledging how reality operates, you can transform your business and achieve clarity in every aspect of your life.

on to make more money for your clients than any other hedge fund in the history of the industry, you would assume there was something uniquely special about you, right? Not according to Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates and one of the most successful — and influential, as 2012’s Time magazine attests — men in the world. He’ll be the first to tell you that there’s no secret to his genius. Just open his book and memorize the 200- plus “Principles” he honed over his career. Dalio believes these are the real reason he stands in such a prominent position today.

Laugh Out Loud

Balsamic Chicken With Bacon and Apples

With this one-pan wonder, you can complete an entire meal in under an hour. It tastes delicious and makes your kitchen smell heavenly.


• •

1/4 cup rosemary, finely chopped

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into pieces

10 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved, stems removed 2 apples, cored, peeled, and coarsely chopped

• • • •

1/4 balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

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6 slices bacon, cut into squares

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Blend balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon, rosemary, and garlic to create marinade. Pour into bowl or sealable bag and add chicken. Marinate for at least 5 minutes or up to 12 hours. The longer you marinate, the more flavorful the chicken will be. 2. Heat oven to 375 F. Spread Brussels sprouts, bacon, and apples on a baking sheet. Add chicken and pour any extra marinade over the top. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Bake 20–25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. For extra crispiness, turn heat to 425 F for the last 5 minutes. 4. Transfer to platter and serve immediately. Instructions inspired by


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

Inside This Issue


Why You Should Get a Real Estate Agent

What an Alkaline Diet Can Do for You


Hear From Satisfied Clients


The Radical Transparency of Ray Dalio’s ‘Principles’ Balsamic Chicken With Bacon and Apples


Local Events

Local Events: Nature, Food, and Holidays

This May, you can enjoy a variety of local events right here in Boston. Summer is just a month away, and the last thing anyone wants to do is be stuck at home. If you’re seeking cultured experiences here in the city, check out a few of our favorite events happening this May! HIDDEN GARDENS OF BEACON HILL If you’re the kind of person who enjoys urban gardens and quaint shops, this hidden treasure is right up your alley. On Thursday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Beacon Hill Garden Club will be giving a tour of Beacon Hill. Visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring 10 gorgeous private gardens as well as the many shops, restaurants, and museums along the tour’s route.

The event will start at the corner of Charles and Mt. Vernon Streets. Tickets can be purchased for $50–$60 online at

LAMB JAM BOSTON This event celebrates the 80,000 family-operated farms and ranches that raise sheep throughout the United States. This year, 16 of our most talented chefs will be competing in the event, striving to become the Lamb Jam Boston Champion. While they work, you can enjoy a meal of lamb and sip wine. The top two competitors from the tour — which also stops in Austin, D.C., San Francisco, and Seattle — will battle it out in the finale for the title of Lamb Jam Master. Lamb Jam Boston will take place on Sunday, May 20, from 3–6 p.m. at SoWa Power Station, 540 Harrison Avenue. Tickets can be purchased online for $75–$125. Don’t miss this mouthwatering event! MEMORIAL DAY Delving into the art world can be intimidating for newcomers. On May 28, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is offering free admission to the public to enjoy its cache of craft. The public is invited to check out special exhibits the museum will have on display throughout the day. Displays such as a popular impressionism exhibition and 60 contemporary Latin American works will be available for viewing.

The event will last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave.


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