Merlino & Gonzalez December 2018

MULTICULTURAL CELEBRATIONS Teach Your Kids About Winter Holidays

According to the Pew Research Center, Christmas is the most celebrated December holiday in the U.S. Yet, like the melting pot it is, the U.S. contains many cultures from across the globe, each with their own traditions. Teach your kids about some of the holiday celebrations from different cultures this season. KWANZAA Created in 1966 by black studies professor Maulana Karenga during the Black Nationalist Movement, Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration and reflection period for African Americans. The week offers African Americans the opportunity to connect with African culture and history by celebrating the seven principles of African heritage, which include unity, self-determination, and creativity. HANUKKAH Hanukkah pays homage to a two-year Jewish rebellion against an oppressive Greek-Syrian government that took them captive in an attempt to eliminate Judaism. The tradition of the eight- day celebration and the lighting of the menorah candles comes from the story of a miracle that happened during the rebellion, when a one-day supply of oil burned for eight days in a temple.

DIWALI Though celebrated in late fall, Diwali is a Hindu holiday that’s known as the festival of lights. Its main purpose is to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, and the five-day festival includes the lighting of candles or lamps, feasting, and giving gifts to family and friends. Diwali also celebrates the Hindu new year and is the largest, most widely celebrated festival in India. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but educating your children about holiday practices other than Christmas will give them a broader worldview and inspire them to gain further knowledge about cultures outside their own. Your local library is a great resource for children’s literature on these holidays, and there are also TV programs from PBS that feature episodes on these traditions. Enjoy the winter holiday season, however you decide to celebrate!

AVOID FIRST-HOME REGRET Considerations Before You Close

Millennials, for the most part, are buying homes far later in life than their parents did. You might think that patience leads to better buying decisions, but statistics demonstrate otherwise. In fact, a recent survey from Bank of the West found that a whopping 68 percent of millennials regret their first real estate purchase. Understanding the reason behind their remorse can help you choose a home you’ll love for years and decades to come. The first mistake many young people make is settling for a property they aren’t in love with. In the rush to buy a home, any home, they see properties with rose-colored glasses. Maybe they overlook an obvious

flaw in the property or settle for a location outside of the area they hoped to live in. During the purchase process, it feels like a compromise that’s worth making to become a homeowner. Once they move in, however, they realize that the home isn’t all they dreamed about. Another common issue is that some first-time buyers don’t realize how much work is takes to maintain a home until they move in. If you’re moving from an apartment where the super is just a phone call away, it’s an adjustment in terms of time and financial commitment. Once you buy a home, you still need to have money for repairs and other ongoing costs. Ignoring these extra costs can put you under financial strain in a hurry. Real life isn’t an HGTV show. Remodeling isn’t quick and easy, and it won’t result in a magic transformation. Many millennials spend too much on their down payments and end up hurting their lifestyles as a result. Is getting that dream home worth having to live hand-to-mouth for a while? It seems that, for many young people, it’s not. It’s fine to favor experiences and flexibility over property and stability, but don’t think you can have your cake and eat it too. These home-buying pitfalls can be avoided by working with a team of professionals who will keep your best interest at heart. At Merlino & Gonzalez, our goal is to help you navigate the process in a way that will leave you with zero regrets. Call us today to find out how we can help.

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