Merlino & Gonzalez - November 2022

REALESTATEPLANNINGLAW.COM 718-698-2200 November 2022



Our Paralegal Bought Her First Home!


for a backyard, and Tom dreamed of a finished basement to turn into an entertainment area. Like most potential buyers, our home searching process was tedious. It felt as if every house we saw either had something missing, or it didn’t check enough of our boxes, or was way out of our price range for us to be comfortable submitting an offer. Out of everything we saw, there was only one other house we truly considered, which we missed out on because we hesitated to submit an offer after it was on the market for just a few days.

I love working through the home-buying and home-selling process with every client who walks through our doors at Merlino & Gonzalez, but this summer, I participated in a particularly special purchase. Our firm’s fantastic paralegal, Stephanie, bought her first home on Staten Island! It was an honor to be one of the attorneys representing her and her boyfriend, Tom, as they navigated this life change. I hope you’ll enjoy their story and the lessons Stephanie learned from stepping into our clients’ shoes.

It’s been almost three months since Tom and I closed on our very first home, and we’re still just as excited as we were on the day of our closing. We have a place that’s 100% ours! We can paint the walls, decorate however we’d like, and fill our attic with treasures. Before we found our home, Tom and I spent a long time house hunting. We looked casually for almost two years. If we saw balloons on the side of the road announcing an open house, we always stopped in to scope out the property. In addition, Tom was a big Zillow checker, so we never had a shortage of places to visit. We looked at over 30 homes before finding ‘The One’. Viewing all those houses (even the ones we had no intention of purchasing) made us reflect on what was important in the house we did have intentions of purchasing. Our main goal during our house hunting process was sticking to our budget while still finding a home with as many features on our wish list as possible. We took our time deciding because we each had several “wants”. For example, street parking, a laundry room, a spacious kitchen with a dishwasher, central air conditioning, and gas heating were on both of our lists. I was hoping

Tom and I were determined not to let that happen again, so when we later found a home that met almost all of our wish list desires: a two-bedroom, 1.5-bath townhouse style condo with an attic, unfinished basement, a large deck, and the bonus of living in the same Westerleigh neighborhood where Tom and I grew up in with our respective families, we immediately made an offer after the first open house. Unfortunately, we were told we were outbid. After the disappointment and regret of ‘not offering more money’, Tom said, “If it’s meant to be, it will come back to us”. And as if fate had willed it, the next morning our realtor called and told us the other buyer backed out and the house was ours at our original offer if we wanted it. And we definitely did! Fast forward to today, Tom and I are in love with our new home. With a little TLC, fresh paint, and new tile on the bathroom floors, the place truly feels like our own.




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