Merlino & Gonzalez - September 2022

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REALESTATEPLANNINGLAW.COM 718-698-2200 September 2022



are almost inevitable, and many buyers attempt to hedge their offers by leaving out important contingencies such as home inspections and appraisals on their offers. While they feel that this grants them a leg up on other buyers who may be bidding for the same property, bypassing an inspection is really not recommended. In addition to paying way over asking prices to secure your offer on a home, if you decide to waive a home inspection, you’re leaving yourself very vulnerable and open to possible defects in the properties that aren’t being disclosed prior to signing the contract. Once you sign a contract and purchase a home, you inherit any and all issues or complications. So, in this market, if you pay $20,000 over the asking price to beat out other bidders and find out later that the home has major structural damage, you may find yourself another $20,000–$50,000 in the hole! Overall, I want everyone to stay safe and protect their purchases, and it’s my goal to ensure that your new home is structurally sound and will not create problems for you

with other professionals in the real estate industry. Sharing information is a large part of my job and fiduciary duty. I’d say that my true passion lies in working with home buyers who are purchasing a property for the first time. Lending a helping hand while guiding them through the process and ensuring that they get a good, structurally sound home is my obligation, and I take a lot of pride in doing so. I cherish my strong working relationship with Merlino & Gonzalez, and it’s hard to believe that for 20 years now, we’ve been working together to deliver our best for our clients. I am grateful for each client they send my way and for the opportunity to help another person stay safe and secure in their homebuying process. Outside of work, I am a family man and enjoy spending time with my wife, four children, and two grandchildren. I am heavily involved in a few nonprofit organizations here on Staten Island, as I feel it’s very important to give back to the community. Some of my favorite activities and hobbies include taking trips on my motorcycle, hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling — my wife says I’m the classic outdoorsman. In the last couple of years, due to the current real estate market, I’ve seen several changes take place in the industry. It’s tough out there for buyers right now — homes don’t stay on the market long enough to even view them, prices are high, bidding wars

As well-established real estate professionals, we find it a great comfort to have other professionals in the industry here on Staten Island we trust to do great work. Manny Stratakis, owner of Summit Property Inspectors, is a highly sought after home inspector and our go-to guy for our clients. With over 20 years of home inspection experience, Manny is a seasoned professional and a great resource for our clients in the home purchasing process. I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to conduct many home inspections for clients of both Ken and John over the years. Before opening up my independent home inspection firm, Summit Property Inspectors, here on Staten Island, I owned and operated an inspection franchise for roughly 20 years. The home inspection process is my forte and something I truly enjoy! My favorite aspect of my career is working with my clients. If you know me, then you know that I’m a people person. I love to communicate with my clients and network

down the road! For any advice or information, I’m always available! You can reach me at 718-720-5512.

-Manny Stratakis




How Disney Started It All

Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept. 19 has been a favorite silly holiday since it was created in 1995. But while it’s an opportunity for vloggers, radio hosts, and everyday people alike to let loose with a few hearty shouts of “arrrr,” the holiday certainly raises a couple of questions …

Modern “pirate speak” can actually be traced back to a single movie: the live-action Disney movie of the 1950s, “Treasure Island,” starring Robert Newton as fictional pirate Long John Silver. Woodard explained, “Newton’s performance — full of ‘arrs,’ ‘shiver me timbers,’ and references to ‘landlubbers’ — not only stole the show, but it also permanently shaped pop culture’s vision of how pirates looked, acted, and spoke.”

Did pirates really talk like that? And why do we think they do?

The truth is that nobody really knows what a typical Caribbean pirate sounded like. Historian Colin Woodard, author of “The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down,” told National Geographic, “There isn’t much in the way of scientific evidence in regards to pirate speech.” No audio recordings of pirate speech exist, and most witnesses have only written down small sets of quotes from pirates. Pirates didn’t really write, either. There’s “almost nothing written by pirates themselves, with the exception of educated people who ‘went pirate’ and, therefore, probably didn’t exhibit pirate speech patterns,” Woodard said. Our best guess? Many scholars suspect that English-speaking Golden Age pirates must have spoken exactly the same as English-speaking merchant sailors of the time. After all, large numbers in both groups tended to be from riverfront neighborhoods around London.

After that movie, “Newtonesque” pirates were seen everywhere, from Captain Hook to Captain McCallister of “The Simpsons.” Still, there is a little truth in some pirate phrases. Not unlike the Canadian “eh,” “arr” was an affirmation in the English West Country during the early 20th century. Some phrases, such as “me hearties,” were simply universal 18th-century nautical terms. Although “pirate speak” today is mostly Hollywood magic, it’s still fun! Give it a try this September, and we’re sure it’ll make you smile — even if the true pirate dialect is much more mysterious.

It’s Unbelievably True!


Three hours and 13 minutes after the marathon began, Fred Lorz, who had ridden a third of the course in a car, crossed the finish line. He was about to be adorned with a floral wreath when he confessed he had gotten so tired that he accepted a ride from one of the cars along the way, so he was disqualified. Thomas Hicks, the true winner, was struggling with just 7 more miles to go. His fans on the sidelines provided him with a secret energy booster mix — a concoction containing strychnine (rat poison), brandy, and egg whites. By the time he crossed the finish line, he was hallucinating. And the fourth-place winner from Cuba wore dress pants and shoes for the entire race (because he lost his money gambling in New Orleans on his way to St. Louis and arrived after hitchhiking with nothing but the clothes on his back!).

In 1904, the year of America’s first Olympics, the men’s marathon was a bizarre spectacle to behold. In fact, it was likely the most jaw-dropping event ever in the history of the Olympic Games. On that hot, sweltering summer day in St. Louis, MO, only 14 of the 32 Olympic competitors crossed the finish line on what was deemed the most difficult course anyone was ever asked to undertake. Thomas Hicks, the American who actually came in first, received the slowest time of all of the Olympic marathons since 1896. But why was this one so tough? With temperatures of roughly 104 degrees F and 90% humidity, a rigorous 24.85-mile course with seven hills was a bit much for competitors. Not to mention, support cars were churning up dust, leaving it behind for the runners to inhale, and they only had two water stations available before the halfway mark — and none in the second half! Even seasoned runners were not up to this crazy course!

This 1904 Olympic marathon went down in history as the most bizarre and wildly entertaining race. Luckily, but surprisingly, nobody died!


OH, NO — WHAT DID I DO? Unpacking the Reasons Behind Millennials’ Buyer Remorse

• Unhappy with the location or does not feel like home • “House poor” syndrome — stress over the nose-dive of the bank account after the down payment • Unrealistic expectation of a fast return on the investment

After millennials purchase their first homes, some aren’t exactly thrilled with their decision. In fact, according to a survey, roughly 70% of millennials regret the home purchase they made. When asked why they feel such buyer’s remorse, millennials cited a lack of real estate education and pressure from their real estate agent to make a deal. That is why it’s crucial to hire a skilled real estate attorney as soon as you begin your home search. This grants you the opportunity to have a powerful real estate advocate on your side who knows how to ask questions that will lead you in the right direction and lessen the likelihood of anyone experiencing regret down the road.

Overall, the main reasons millennials have felt unfulfilled after their first home

purchase include overspending on the down payment, underestimating ongoing costs, and settling for a home that wasn’t fit for them. They don’t necessarily regret purchasing a house — they just regret the one they chose. Whether you’re interested in purchasing your first home or are looking for a tradeup, the real estate attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez can help you navigate and understand the real estate buying process with your best interest at heart. We are here to find your dream home. Contact us today to set up a consultation!

Some of the top reasons reported by millennial first-time buyers for their regrets include:

• Desire for experiences (such as vacations, trips, and events) over material things (like a house or expensive jewelry) • Desire for movement and freedom over being tied down to one place • Underestimation of the time and costs involved in the maintenance and repairs of the home • Does not fit their lifestyle (too big/small, too far from work/family)



This sweet and savory appetizer is perfect for the transition between summer and fall.


• 4 oz goat cheese, divided • 2 tbsp honey, plus additional for drizzling • Pinch of cinnamon • Pinch of nutmeg

• 4 sweet potatoes • 2 cups seedless red grapes • 1 tsp grapeseed oil • 1/4 tsp salt, plus a pinch • 1/4 tsp pepper, plus a pinch


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. With a fork, poke holes in potatoes. Tightly wrap each in aluminum foil. 3. On a baking sheet, place potatoes and roast for 45–60 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove and unwrap foil. 4. With a knife, slit each potato down the middle. 5. Increase oven to 450 F. 6. On a nonstick baking sheet, drizzle the grapes with grapeseed oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20–25 minutes. 7. Using a spoon, remove sweet potato flesh while keeping shape intact. 8. In a large bowl, mash sweet potato flesh with 3 oz goat cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and honey. 9. Scoop filling back into potatoes. Top with remaining goat cheese, grapes, and drizzled honey.



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314



718-698-2200 |


Delivering the Very Best With Manny Page 1

How Did Real Pirates Talk? The Insane Story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon Page 2 Avoiding Millennials’ Home Buying Mistakes Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Page 3

Places to Visit Similar to Montana Page 4


Sky Reserve, you’re able to see so much more in the night sky, such as the Milky Way, meteors, and even planets! Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming In Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find many sights and wildlife similar to those seen on screen in “Yellowstone.” The towering craggy peaks and luscious landscape do not disappoint, and sometimes there is no sign of human development for miles. It’s a truly remote and beautiful place to visit and explore. You are sure to encounter some amazing wildlife while hiking or camping — the park is home to more than 60 species of mammals and 300 species of birds. Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming Specifically known for being remote, Bighorn National Forest is located in north-central Wyoming and offers over 192,000 acres of open

Because of the popularity of the Kevin Costner miniseries “Yellowstone,” the state of Montana is seeing an economic boom, both in tourism and real estate, as people flock to explore the natural beauty of the state. But with Montana’s increasing popularity, traveling there may not be ideal, especially if you want to avoid crowds. Here are some other destinations that offer similar sights and activities! Stanley, Idaho If the mountains are calling your name, then Stanley, Idaho, is the place to go! About three hours northeast of Boise, this gem has three different mountain ranges: the Sawtooth, Lost River, and White Cloud. This trifecta is home to whitewater rafting, hiking, sightseeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and exploring. While there’s tons to see and experience during the day, the beauty doesn’t stop at night. As Stanley is situated in the Central Idaho Dark

wilderness and 1,200 miles of hiking trails to venture out on. The forest contains many meadows and grasslands surrounded by large, dancing mountains and rolling hills. The best part is that there are many different ways to explore Bighorn National Forest. Fishing, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, hunting, and horseback riding are just a few of the many ways to experience Wyoming’s beauty. Are you ready to get out and explore these different areas of our nation’s beauty? Check some of these great destinations off your bucket list! 4

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