Category Archives: Staten Island

Close to 10 Years in Real Estate

It’s getting close to my ten year anniversary in the real estate business. Its so hard to believe it been that long. So many accomplishments, milestones, ups and downs. While thinking of this article, I also though I would compare it to the music charts. What was popular to what is popular now. When you see the songs and the artists who created them, some are still around, some have split up.

The real estate business too has seen it’s changes. Who is still in the business, who left, and also what was once a big company is now gone and never heard of. Its interesting to see how the times have changed, and what life brings to us in opportunities.

I reflect on past sales and how families have grown faster than a speeding bullet. Some people have moved into larger more spacious homes. Some have found retirement, and moved into smaller homes, almost back to when they were single or newly married.

The amount of education I have had is also enormous. I got my Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI) designation, and took countless classes and seminars on various real estate subjects. Also going to the conventions and seeing what the trends are, and the times I’ve gone, I think I’ve been ahead of the curve in my technology and my creativity. I enjoy learning and reading and listing to the stories of peoples failures and learning from the mistakes they made.

You also have seen the people who are trying to make a comeback in the business. Not only do you see that in real estate, but you see it in other business ventures as well. Some are successful, and other struggle to erase their past, and get moving with the future.

Staten Island has also gone though its changes also and the end is not in sight. I really enjoy the fact that Staten Island has the Greenbelt, and that it can never be developed. It is acres of enjoyment for people to walk on the hiking trails, see plants, hear nature, and a place to get lost for hours in the serenity of nature, all by being in your backyard.

Social Networking has allowed me to connect with old classmates, some of which I never thought I would see again! It has been nice connecting with them, and learning what they’ve been up to. Its weird how we were once kids, and now we are grown up doing some great things.

My business is commissioned based. So its up to me to come up with my salary and to meet my goals year after year. Its about building relationships with people, so that they will introduce me to their family, friends, and neighbors. I know I can sleep well at night with the hard work and effort that I put forth in growing my business. I never thought I could give it up, while there were times I did, but I stuck it through. Countless fliers in the doors of Staten Island homes, all waiting for that magical phone call.

Driving through Staten Island, I can point out the many homes I was was welcomed into and saw go through new ownership. Truly amazing and rewarding. There are so many homes, and the stories are endless. I can only imagine what the next ten years will bring.

Staten Island Parish Mission

I wanted to share with you the text of my father’s speech. This is part of the mission that is happening all over Staten Island the first week of November.

I was the “seed on the rock.” The shallow seed would bloom quickly and majestically and then soon thereafter burn with the blazing sun.

Fr O’Hara once told me that I was “both brothers” in the Prodigal Son.

Today’s gospel reading is quite profound. Two commandments, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Second, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

A prayer given to her nuns by Mother Teresa goes like this, “Give yourself fully to Jesus, allow Him to use you to accomplish great things on the condition you believe much more in His love than in your weakness.”

Up until three years ago, how could I love my neighbor when I turned my back on my own parents? I always thought my neighbor was the person living next door to me. No, it is you and you and you. And today, I love you all just the way you are. You see, three years ago, I learned how to forgive. I learned how to love. I learned how to be forgiven. I asked the Lord Jesus for help and so can you, you and you. I began to believe more in His love than in my weakness. Next week’s Mission, right here at St Teresa’s will help you too. “Come and See.”

My parents died with me being estranged from them. I was estranged from the Catholic Church as well. Yet something very mystical happened to me on the third day after my mother died – something very powerful and positive. Yet, I still can’t describe it.

It would take another five months before St Therese would lead me back to her namesake right here. I would meet our Pastor, Fr John O’Hara for the first time and confess after thirty five years. Never before did I ever experience such warmth and kindness. Fr O’Hara, was re-introducing me to his friend, Jesus Christ. We expect to do a lot of re-introducing during this Mission. “Come and See.”

My brother in law recently died from complications from surgery. He endured five months of “inhuman suffering.” My wife and I and our three children were his principle caretakers. He was always like a brother to me, a best friend. Yet, I fell more deeply in love with him on the weekend he slipped into his final coma. His care was so poor, I can only sadly name on one hand his caregivers who even remotely cared for him. I forgave them. It was as if his caretakers were the Roman soldiers pounding the nails into Jesus. All I could say is what He said, “Father, forgive them for they do not what they do.” When you forgive, you release. You forget. The people who hurt you will never be a burden on your mind. Only his beautiful memory. This coming Mission will help. “Come and See.”

I did for my brother in law Bobby what I should have done for my Mother and Father. It was too late for me to fall into the arms of my Father as the Son did in the Prodigal Son. He had already died. But Mother Mary held out her hand, and led me to her Son Jesus. “Jesus, there is someone whom I would like You to meet.” Through the words given to Fr O’Hara at ordination, he was able to speak on behalf of Jesus. “I absolve you.” Psalm 51 tells us we get a new spirit and a new heart. Next week’s Mission beginning on November 3rd and lasting for four days can lead you to receiving a new heart and spirit too. “Come and See.”

Jesus said, “What you do for the least of me, you do for Me.” My brother Bobby (we called each other brothers) was away from the Church for fifty years. He turned down an offer to visit with a priest before he went into the hospital. Waking up from his first surgery after two weeks, I asked him again. He nodded yes, with a smile I will cherish forever. Fr Xavier was forgiving him two hours later. Father Xavier asked Bob as Jesus had asked Mary before He raised her brother Lazarus, “Do you believe?” He nodded yes, again with a smile that never seems to go away.

His favorite song was “Amazing Grace.” Shortly after his death, I read the words for the very first time.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

‘It was grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

‘This grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

“Follow me” and “Come and See.”

To learn more about this mission click on this link:

Shoprite Home Delivery

For the past few weeks I have been testing the Shoprite at Home Delivery Service. Yes, Shoprite will do all of your grocery shopping and deliver your groceries to you. The only thing you need is an internet connection. It works well for people who cannot get out, or the busy working family.

It is a great idea for senior citizens, but they would have to have a computer, or have a family or friend who has a computer that can shop for them. You would also need a valid credit card.

If you are a price club member, you input your member number, and discounts are applied to the order.

The system that Shoprite has set up allows you to do a virtual shop, picking out all the items you normally do. Then someone at Shoprite will shop for all of the items you requested, and then have it delivered to your door. You can also put in special requests for items you can’t find as well.

There are two delivery windows your order can come. Either 1 – 3 p.m. or between 5 -7 p.m. This is seven days a week. You have to meet their time frame deadlines in order to give them enough time to shop and get your order delivered.

Another option is that you can pick up your order at Shoprite itself. There are also designated times you can go and pick the order up.

There is a delivery fee is around $20.00. I am figuring half for shopping and the other half for delivery. My recent 5th order, I got $10.00 off my order. So there are definite benefits to having them shop and deliver for you.

Every delivery has gone flawlessly and no errors. I was even impressed the other day, the delivery man called to say that he was running a few minutes late, and that he didn’t forget to deliver the order.

The service has also helped me save money. I am buying things that I need, and if I was shopping, I would be buying a whole lot more. So I am just buying the true necessities, and nothing else. A great idea and I hope Shoprite continues with this service.

Robert McClellan

Robert L McClellan

December 25, 1947 – September 13, 2008

I wanted to finally talk about my uncle who passed away on September 13, 2008, after being in the hospital (for over 5 months.) He went in for what was supposed to be a normal routine operation, and become a long story, and sadly he never really made it at the end. He truly put up a fight for it, and I spent the past five months visiting him daily in the hospital, and coaching and cheering him on. I never saw someone fight so hard as Uncle Bobby did.

My father really wrote something nice, and went into more details on his experience with him. Although they were not related, they truly connected at the end.

It is really weird that he is gone, but I still do feel his presence, and have even had two dreams with him appearing and speaking really crystal clear. It’s a bit creepy, but it is comforting to know he is still present.

Labor Day weekend I moved in with my grandmother. My uncle lived with her. I didn’t move in to take care of her, just pick up where my uncle left off. I know he would have wanted it, and he did thank me for it in the dream that I had. Ma and I watch each other and try to live life to the fullest.

While my uncle was in the hospital, we also too bonded closer together. Never in my life had I had a bad experience with him, nor did I have anything negative to say about him. I have nothing but the nicest of memories of him, and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet him.

Prior to where he was living, he lived with my family. So for about 6 years he lived with us, and was truly involved in the family. As my father put it, he became a second father to my bother, sister, and I.

My uncle was cremated, and his remains are with his mother on a nice shelf with all of his teddy bears. I see him every morning, and ask him to watch Ma and take care of her until I get home. I call my grandmother Ma, and we have done so ever since we were little.

Even Ma feels comfort in knowing that Bobby is back home, safe, and with the family. No more hospitals, torture, just pain free and living in peace.

Personally it has been weird for me trying to get back to normal life. I was so used to going to the hospital and visiting him on a daily basis, and now I don’t have to go there anymore. These past weeks have been the first time things are really back to normal, and it has been difficult. I know that Uncle Bobby is pushing me to go out again and socialize with the world, just as I used to.

Thanks Uncle Bobby for everything that you did for me. I know you have more surprises for me. I don’t know when or where they will come, but I know you are present in my life and you are welcomed to stay on for the ride.

Ford Fusion

For about a year now, I have been driving a Ford Fusion. While this car was not on my original car choices, it ended up becoming the best choice for me. I am rather impressed with the car.

I really believe Ford is trying to put themselves back on top with this car. The features in my car are superior to the ones found in a luxury car. While some people say you can’t compare this car to a BMW or Benz, the Ford Fusion really stands out. It certainly made an impression on me.

The second thing about my car is that I never expected to get a white car. I thought it would have been hard to keep clean or maintain, but it hasn’t. My only difficulty is when I go to wax the car. It is really hard to wax a white car! But I think I have been successful, because once it is done, it glows brighter than white teeth.

The other part I like about the car is that it is a four door car, and not a two door like my prior car. So it is easy for family and friends to get in and out of the car, as well as enough “leg room.”

I leased this car from Island Ford. I dealt with Mike Mattei, a long time Island Ford salesman. Island Ford is located on Staten Island, about a block away from the Staten Island Mall. When I first called Mike, he really pushed the Fusion on me, and I don’t think I was going to go for it.

When we went to the lot to see the inventory, my white Fusion with the black interior was a home run. I was even impressed with the lease price. It was cheaper than from what I am paying and I am getting more goodies. So that is always a plus.

Some of my new goodies are leather seats, heated seats, moon roof, satellite radio, and MP3 input jacks. I also have 17’ wheels as well, with tire pressure sensors.

The only bummer of my car is the tire pressure sensors. They are truly sensitive and I have taken it to the dealer a few times, thinking that the senor is malfunctioned. They said no, and that it is a safety item to make sure the tires are at the correct pressure. I just find it annoying. When the alert goes off, you think your tires are going to blow. Thankfully, they haven’t.

The trunk on my car is rather spacious. It was a big help to me when I was moving to my grandmother’s house. I was able to pack a lot in the trunk.

Fuel mileage it does very well with saving gas. It is only a 4 cylinder car, and sounds like a monster when it drives. It has good horsepower, and no glitches.

Overall, the Ford Fusion has won my approval has been a very reliable, safe, and fun to drive car.

To Rent or not To Rent

Rentals at Clove Lake Realty have become a hot commodity lately. Rentals are the ability to live at a desired place for a period of time or for a short time. Rentals come in all shapes and sizes (in the housing world that is.)

Clove Lake Realty specializes also in providing rentals to students from St. John’s University, Wagner College, as well as the College of Staten Island. Clove Lake Realty receives calls from landlords looking to cater to those who are looking to live off campus.

In order to get a rental from Clove Lake Realty, the following items are necessary. Solid employment (2 years), good credit history, as well as references. Clove Lake Realty does run a credit check for a fee. By doing the credit check, the landlord feels confident that the person who is renting will be able to provide the owner with stability.

Finally, Clove Lake Realty charges one month’s rent as the service fee. Also due is one month’s security (which is usually the monthly rent amount,) and the first’s month rent. 

The process is rewarding for someone to rent. Especially those who are in college, or looking to move out of their home. It also gives the person the ability to see what home ownership could feel like in the future. Rentals also provide a safe haven for those moving into a new house, renovating or someone who is going to become an empty nester.

Clove Lake Realty has turned many renters into buyers, and has turned renters into buyers who didn’t know that it was possible.

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, an assist people like yourself, with a rental, or a purchase of a new home.

Clove Lake Realty is conveniently located at 1267 Clove Road, near Victory Blvd. Clove Lake Realty is open 7 days a week, and by appointment only, but if you are in the neighborhood, you are welcome to stop in and say hello.

When Should I Buy?

People always ask is this the time to buy? Sure it is. If you are ready to do so. So many people question the economy and this and that, but the right time to buy is when you are ready.

There is an inventory of homes as well as buyers. There are many combinations in the type of home you can chose. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, helps people like yourself, with those questions and many more.

To buy a home, you need the following: a solid work history, good credit score, and great with budgeting. A home is a great investment, and since it would be your own, there are many things that you will be able to do with it.

What about the mortgage industry? Well if you read the papers, and watch the news, you saw that the housing market went a little crazy. Now that the garbage is gone, the mortgage business is back on its feet now. 

The governments FHA loans have become a hot item. since they are backed by the government, there is stability. The same goes with some of the larger banks. You need to get a loan you will feel comfortable with, and know that it will be able to be paid for on a monthly basis. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, offers consultations with people all the time. I answer those many questions you have, and then some.

Clove Lake Realty is located at 1267 Clove Road, in Staten Island, New York. It is at the intersection of Victory Blvd.