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Author: arredo1

Rules Before Buying A Luxury Home

There are a variety of choices when purchasing your high-end home. It is best to take these rules into consideration before making your decision.

1. Private Sellers
Most luxury homes are not reflected on the MLS, this protects a seller’s privacy. The rule, ask your Realtor for their personal connections not listed on the MLS.
2. Don’t Judge A Photo
Large homes are usually not photogenic. The rule, see the property using Google Earth or in person; this will allow you to see the home and its surroundings.
3. Stay Local 
The rule, buyer agent must be familiar with the area you are interested in. Usually these local agents have better access to getting invitations to private events and open house showings.
4. Bank History
“I strongly recommend you go to the bank you have a relationship with. They have your portfolio already. Also, know the difference between the pre-approval letter and the prequalification letter.” Per Nancy Suvarnamani, Century 21 SGR Inc., Chicago
5. Keep Records
The rule, Save all financial documentation, this helps show the bank you have the income.
6. Trusting TeamThe rule, get a relator that makes suggestions not decisions.Your financial planner and Realtor should both agree on what you should be doing; if they don’t it is best to arrange a meeting.
7. Title Insurance 
The rule, hire a Title Insurance company that will assist you with forgotten problems.  It is recommended to review exceptions page of the title insurance process prior to closing.
8. Future Profits
The rule, find out what buildings are being planned in your area, and obtain the construction timeline.
9. Cooperatives & Condos
The rule, hire an attorney to research the building on its financial viability.
10. Pricing 
The rule, negotiate.  Before you make any offers ask your agent to research properties recently sold to obtain sale prices for comparison.

4th of July Meals & Drinks

Fourth of July Cocktail













Total Time:10 min

Prep:10 min
Yield:1 drink
Total Time:10 min
Prep:10 min

Yield:1 drink

1 ounce watermelon schnapps
1 big splash cranberry juice
1 very thin slice jalapeno or serrano pepper
1 slice lemon
1 slice lime
1 1/2 ounces tequila
1/4 ounce blue curacao
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Watermelon wedge, for garnish (optional)

Mix the schnapps and cranberry juice in a shaker; pour into an ice-filled glass.
Muddle the jalapeno pepper, lemon and lime slices, tequila, blue curacao and simple syrup (to make a batch, dissolve sugar in equal parts hot water and chill) in the shaker. Slowly strain into the glass over the red layer. Garnish with watermelon, if desired.
Photograph by Kate Sears
Recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri for Food Network Magazine

Recipe Source:

Cupcake Flag with Berries and Coconut











A portable version of the popular Flag Cake, this American themed treat is designed to inspire.

YIELD: 20 cupcakes


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1½ stick butter or margarine
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ pt. blueberries
  • 1 pt. raspberries
  • 1 c. sweetened flaked coconut

  1. Prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 20 muffin-pan cups with cupcake liners.
  2. On sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat granulated sugar and 8 tablespoons butter 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy, scraping bowl with rubber spatula. From lemon, grate 3 teaspoons peel; reserve 1 teaspoon peel and set aside. With mixer on medium-high speed, add remaining 2 teaspoons peel to butter mixture and beat 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until blended.
  3. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks. (Cupcakes can be stored, well-wrapped, at room temperature up to 2 days, or in freezer up to 1 month.)
  4. Prepare frosting: In bowl, with mixer on low speed, blend cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons butter, and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon peel. Increase speed to high; beat 3 to 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy.
  5. Spread frosting on cupcakes. Top 4 cupcakes with blueberries, 8 with raspberries, and 8 with coconut; arrange on platter to resemble American flag.EACH BERRY CUPCAKE: About 240 calories, 4 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 11 g total fat (7 g saturated), 2 g fiber, 61 mg cholesterol, 245 mg sodium.EACH COCONUT CUPCAKE: About 260 calories, 4 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 14 g total fat (9 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 61 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium.

Recipe Source:

Peach Sweet Tea With Bourbon

landscape-1458241264-easter-3The perfect cold glass to wash down your Easter feast.

  • 8 bags peach-flavored tea
  • 2 bags black or English breakfast tea
  • 20 thin slices fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. bourbon
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • Mint, for garnish

  1. In small saucepan, heat 4 cups water to simmering on high. Remove from heat. Add peach- flavored tea bags; steep 5 minutes. Add black tea bags; steep 5 minutes. Remove all tea bags, pressing to squeeze out tea. Discard bags. Transfer tea to medium pitcher. Add 4 cups cold water; refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in same saucepan, combine ginger, sugar and 2⁄3 cups water; heat to simmering on medium. Reduce heat to maintain simmer; simmer 15 minutes. Strain out and discard ginger. Refrigerate syrup until cold.
  3. Stir cold ginger syrup into tea along with bourbon and lemon juice. Makes about 10 cups. Serve over ice; garnish with mint.
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories 130; Carbohydrate 18g; Sodium 5mg

Recipe Source:

BBQ Grilled Chicken


This cookout classic is a serious crowd-pleaser.



  • 2 c. bbq sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp. Hot sauce
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts and drumsticks
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Make Sauce: In a large bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, honey, lime juice, and hot sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup for serving.
  2. In a large bowl, toss chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. When ready to grill, heat grill to high. Oil grates and add chicken. Baste with marinade and grill until charred, 8 minutes per side for breasts, and 10 to 12 minutes per side for legs.

Recipe Source:

Corn Toppings 








  1. Old Bay Grilled Corn
  2. Bacon Wrapped Grilled Corn
  3. Buffalo Grilled Corn
  4. BBQ Grilled Corn
  5. Pesto n’ Parm Grilled Corn