Merlino & Gonzalez August 2017


Buying a home is an exciting process, especially for first-time homeowners. In your haste to move in, however, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook the details of a real estate contract. Without having an experienced real estate attorney read over your contract, you won’t be sure that your interests are protected. As you know, to finance a home purchase, you’ll need to obtain a mortgage loan. The approval process for these loans is often a difficult, protracted affair beset with delays. Imagine you assume you will be approved for a loan and sign a contract, only to be turned down at the last minute. If you haven’t included a provision in your contract that explicitly states the deal is contingent upon your loan approval, you will lose your deposit with no recourse to get it back. That’s just one issue among many that can arise from signing a contract without counsel. Purchasing a home is not like buying a bag of chips.

There are many fees associated with closing on a property, and if the party you are purchasing a property from is motivated to sell, there’s a chance they will be willing to take on some or all of these fees. Your contract should also disclose any and all appliances that are included in the purchase price. You don’t want the day you move in to be the day you learn that the chandelier you loved was actually just decoration from a home stager. Equally important is holding the seller to a thorough home inspection, guaranteeing that if structural defects are found, you can back out of the deal at no cost. An attorney will make sure these and many other concerns don’t go uncovered in your contract. Buying a home will likely be the largest financial transaction of your life. Let us dot the i’s and cross the t’s for you before you sign on the dotted line.



Make the most of these last few summer weeks and wrangle the kids for this fun, easy dessert! You can even save the leftovers in the freezer for those busy back-to-school nights.


• 4 ounces dark chocolate pieces, melted

• 24 Ritz (or generic butter round) crackers • 1 pint your favorite ice cream in the center of 12 crackers. Press remaining crackers, chocolate side down, onto the ice cream scoop. 4. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap to store in freezer for up to seven days — but they’ll never last that long.


1. Melt chocolate pieces in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and drippy. 2. Arrange crackers, bottom side up, on a cookie sheet. Use fork to drizzle melted chocolate over crackers, then place them in freezer to cool quickly. 3. Remove crackers from freezer and place small ice cream scoop

Recipe inspired by



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