Merlino & Gonzalez - April 2022

Check out our April newsletter!

April 2022




Having the opportunity to help our clients sell their homes to relocate closer to their families and loved ones, especially new little additions to their families, is always heartwarming. For clients, the sale of their homes can be extremely nerve-wracking and difficult to navigate, and I’m honored to have had the experience and opportunity to help make these smooth transactions. Having the chance to work closely with such amazing clients is a blessing. Thanks, John, for sharing your experience with us as well as your passion for baseball! John is anxiously awaiting the start of baseball season in his new home, just minutes away from his daughter and grandson! We thank you for placing trust in us to facilitate the sale of your home here in Staten Island, and we wish you all the happiness in your new home! Back in October 2020, my daughter gave birth to our very first grandson! As soon as he arrived, we couldn’t wait to live closer to snuggle him all the time! Now, we live just five minutes away and are able to babysit and visit pretty much every other day — it’s a dream come true! We are so grateful for Merlino & Gonzalez making the process of selling our home in Staten Island so easy. We didn’t have to worry about anything, and the closing was handled completely online. We didn’t even have to leave the house to get it done! The entire office team worked together to facilitate everything, and it truly could not have been any better. John was a pleasure to work with. He kept us informed every step of the way, and if there were any updates, he kept me in the loop. He answered any questions I had right away, and if he missed my phone call, he was always quick to get right back to me. Naturally, we felt a little anxious through the entire process, but John put us at ease and was very thorough, professional, personable, and knowledgeable. There’s nothing that we were ever left hanging on.

While being close to my new grandson is the best thing about my new home, the second best thing is being able to watch baseball! I’ve been a huge baseball fan my whole life. I started out playing little league baseball and was on the team in college, although I didn’t play much. In 1969, I began teaching and was known for always creating word searches to help my students study and even built some fun baseball- themed word puzzles. On a whim, I decided to send my work to a publisher and from there, I was lucky enough to have my work take off. My crosswords and word puzzles were published by the MLB, NHL, and NBA. Individual teams also signed contracts with me, and to this day, I still create word puzzles for the Boston Red Sox. We are extremely thankful to the entire Merlino & Gonzalez team for making the sale of our home such a swift and easy process! Happy baseball season, everyone! -John Grabowski




Have you ever noticed that springtime just feels lighter and brighter? That’s because, believe it or not, the seasons affect us. When spring rolls around, the energy shifts, and it’s up to us to maximize those positive vibes. Let’s examine how we can make the most of spring and inject some color and vibrancy into our lives again after a long winter. Rely on color. Colors have the ability to elicit certain emotions and feelings. Tropical tones and pastels are everywhere in spring — the clear sky, grass, and flowers — so allow them to fill your space and take them with you as constant reminders to smile. If you’re up for it, wear some new colors to brighten up your wardrobe, and don’t forget to take in a sunset when you’re able! Enjoy more hours of daylight. Spring brings more hours of sunlight and warming temperatures that can give you more time to enjoy your morning cup of coffee outside. You can take an early stroll around the block, get in a workout outdoors, or just enjoy the fresh air. Also, many areas observe daylight saving time, which extends sunlight into the evening, so no matter how you choose to spend your extra daylight, make it an adventure.

reorganizing, and tidying up feels great! It’s empowering and refreshing. There is something special about creating more space in your living space that gets the positivity flowing. Eat fresh, colorful foods. During spring, many delicious fruits and vegetables come into season. Berries, oranges, apples, carrots, avocados, cherries, spinach, and kale are all at their peak. Your local farmers market is a great place to get the freshest produce to fuel your body!

Welcome spring-cleaning. It isn’t called spring-cleaning for nothing! Decluttering, dusting,

Spring is a time for new beginnings and positivity. Make the most of this spring season by welcoming a fresh abundance of love and life.

Were You Really ‘Robbed’?


Robberies, thefts, and burglaries are all crimes, and the terms are often used interchangeably when people talk about them. However, the actual definitions of each word are different in the legal and law enforcement world. There are a few things that you should know when it comes to using the correct terminology. Theft Theft is the criminal act of taking another individual’s property (both tangible and intangible) without their permission. To fulfill the requirements of the crime, the person committing the act must have the intent to permanently deprive another person of that property. Shoplifting,

taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission, stealing money from another person, and taking by deception are all examples of theft.

Robbery Robbery differs from theft in that while they both involve taking something from someone, robbery includes force or the threat of force. It is a violent crime, and the victim must’ve been in fear for the crime to be classified as robbery. It should be noted that the property that is taken during the crime does not need to be taken directly off of the victim’s person. It can be property that someone is in control of, such as bills in a cash register. Burglary Unlike theft and robbery, burglary is not always a theft crime. A burglary occurs when one unlawfully enters a structure they do not own or have permission to enter — and they have the intent to commit a crime once they are inside. Some examples of burglary include breaking into a vehicle or opening up an unlocked door to commit a crime after they enter. Thefts, robberies, and burglaries can be confusing, but they all share one thing: If you’re convicted of one of these crimes, you will face serious consequences. If you ever need legal advice or assistance, get in touch with a lawyer you trust. They’ve got your back!



To put it simply, if you own a home, no matter how old you are, there are many benefits to having an estate plan in place. Sometimes, people may feel like they have not yet built up enough assets for an estate plan to be worthwhile. Others may just be too busy building a family and establishing a career. Some may not even fully understand what an estate plan is. But it doesn’t matter if you purchased your first home in your 20s, if you’re 35 and raising a family of five, or if you happen to be in your 60s and are waiting for retirement. Estate planning is crucial — and beneficial if you start early. Protect your kids. While your hope is to be around long enough to see your child get married and have children of their own someday, there are unfortunate situations where both parents pass away before a child is 18 years old. If you or your spouse don’t have wills in place, the court will appoint a legal guardian to make all decisions for your child. Safeguard your assets. Creditors, ex-spouses, litigations, and other court judgments can potentially be a threat to your assets, but if you have an estate plan in

place, you can protect them and make sure that they are still around to give to your children and beneficiaries when you pass away

Reduce taxes. Having a well-thought-out estate plan can lower the estate taxes of your beneficiaries as well as their federal and state inheritance taxes. An estate planning attorney can help to paint a clearer picture of estate taxation. Eliminates unwanted beneficiaries. As stated earlier, if you pass away intestate (without a will), all of your belongings, whether they are a family heirloom or not, may not be passed down the way you would like them to. Courts do not know your family, so while they may do their best to distribute your assets, the only way to make sure that one child gets your car, the other child gets the china cabinet, and they split the house is to have an estate plan, even at a young age.




This creamy pecan pie tastes like a dream and is simple enough for even a novice baker.


• 1/2 cup light brown sugar • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, divided

• 1 9-inch uncooked pie crust • 1 cup heavy whipping cream • 1/4 cup powdered sugar • 2 8-oz bars of cream cheese, softened


1. Cook pie crust according to package instructions. 2. In a small bowl, combine heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. Beat for several minutes with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. 3. In a separate larger bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Beat together until combined and creamy. 4. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and stir together until combined. Stir in 1 cup of chopped pecans. 5. With a spatula, spread mixture into the baked and cooled pie crust. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top of the pie. 6. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Inspired by



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314



718-698-2200 |


Sold for Top Dollar! Page 1

Welcome Spring With Open Arms How to Tell if You Were Robbed or Burglarized Page 2

Everyone Needs an Estate Plan Pecan Cream Pie Page 3

Where to Place Plants in Your Small Space Page 4


Spring has officially arrived! As the weather warms up around the country, people are heading outside to refresh their gardens. But what if you live in a small space, like an apartment, or simply don’t have any backyard space to accommodate growing your own plants? If you’re in that situation, use these three areas to help your plants thrive!

A Balcony or Patio

Most pots can sit on balcony and patio floors while still getting enough sunlight to properly grow. Just remember to water them appropriately and bring them inside if the weather turns bad!

In Windows

Windows can provide the perfect space for plants to absorb sunlight without the need to manage their location. Bay windows are ideal, but you can also place plants on the windowsill.

The Entryway

Plants don’t just have to grow on the ground or in pots! An entryway can let you go vertical with your greenery while staying out of the way of visitors. 4

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