No Comments

Valter’s Osteria

If you have followed my blog page you might remember I wrote
a paper on my experience at a wonderful Osteria in Salt Lake City
last year.  Well I had an opportunity to be in Salt Lake City last week
and couldn’t resist dinner at one of the best Italian Restaurants
(Osteria) west of the North End Italian district in Boston.
Well Valter, the Chef and Owner of Valter’e Osteria, created another
of his magnificent dishes, which was no surprise because Valter is
one of those chef’s who cooks and creates his masterpieces from the heart.
This one was a Portobello Mushroom to die for.

Start with a Portebello mushroom at least 5-6″ in diameter.  Slice horizontally
making a top and a bottom.  Fill with one thin slice of Prosciutto, 3 light slices
of Fontina Cheese and add a pinch of salt.  Cook in the oven using a pan with
fresh olive oil, and 3 cloves of garlic, 1 bunch of Rosemary and 1 bunch of Sage.
Cook in a 350 degrees oven for 15 minutes.  Be sure the mushroom has enough
olive oil so it will not dry out.

I have to say part of the excitement is having Valter serve you.  Not only a genius
in the kitchen but an entertainer in the dinning room when he presents you with
his creations.  A labor of love there is none greater.

If you travel to Salt Lake City a visit there would be incomplete if you fail to make
the time to experience one of the great dinning experiences.  Tell Valter, Puglisi
sent you. Buon Appetite!

No Comments

Sal’s tips to keep your Vacation Home safe!

Among the fastest ways to kill a post-vacation buzz is returning home and discovering your house is in shambles. Maybe a water pipe broke and now you’re trudging through ankle-deep sludge. Perhaps a burglar slipped inside, ransacked the place and gallivanted away with your most valued possessions. Or it could be that you forgot to clean out the fridge before leaving, and now mold has infested every nook and cranny. Just like it’s important to shop for an excellent vacation deal, it’s crucial to make sure returning from that well-earned trip isn’t a headache or disaster. Here are six easily-skipped steps to keep in mind while you’re planning that enticing itinerary.

Of Course Somebody is Home

Hiring a house or pet sitter is the best – albeit costly – method to ensure your home stays just like you left it. House sitters can vary from a trusted friend or family member, to somebody who is a professional. Typically a house sitter will take care of any pets you’re leaving behind, water plants, collect the mail and sometimes other small tasks. It’s challenging to trust somebody enough to be in your home for days on end, but their presence ensures burglars avoid your place and that your appliances and utilities don’t decide to take a vacation of their own.

Celebrate on Social Media After the Trip

Booking a vacation is exciting. It’s a break from the daily grind, and that’s often something we want to share with our friends, family and acquaintances via social media. But you should probably hold off on announcing to the whole Internet that your home is vacant and ripe for the picking. Websites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy for complete strangers to gather your personal information and then find out where you live with a quick online search.

If you can’t help yourself from announcing the trip and posting photos, then do yourself a favor and greatly restrict who can see and share the information. The same plan of action holds true for automatic email responses and voicemail systems. The rule of thumb is that if you’re not comfortable with somebody being in your house when you’re not there, then don’t tell them – even indirectly – that you’re heading off on some sweet adventure. Scoundrels might seize that announcement as an open house invitation, and you might return to an open front door.

Burning the Midnight Oil

Casing a house is a common tactic for many home invaders. They spend days – sometimes even weeks – monitoring when you’re home, what rooms you’re in, what you’re doing and who you’re with. They’ll know your daily habits better than you do. The best way to thwart these folks is to make sure it genuinely looks like somebody is home. Set up an app-controlled light timer. You can even set up a timer-controlled power supply to stereos or TVs. But don’t keep the same timer settings day by day. Vary when lights come on, which rooms they pop on and for how long everything is running. Also be sure to use compact florescent light bulbs to save electricity and your energy bill.

Lock it Down, Regardless of Where You Live

It’s oddly common that in small, homely towns where “everybody knows each other” folks leave their homes and cars unlocked. If you’re involved with this mindset, then you may very well leave your door unlocked during an extended absence. And unlocked doors are the biggest “burglarize me” signals out there. More than 30 percent of home burglaries happen from an unlocked entrance. Don’t be the person who forgot to close and lock the windows or sliding glass door. Put a dowel rod behind any type of sliding entrance, and be sure to lock the deadbolt. It’s easy to prevent an easy crime.

This Needs Power, This Doesn’t

Imagine how devastating it feels to show up back home after your trip and discover a charred pile of rubble where your home once stood. Let that feeling sink in for a few moments, and then take a look around at what electronics and appliances you currently have plugged into the wall throughout your home. A power outage or surge could trip these devices and cause a fire if the device isn’t plugged into a surge protector or turned off. Now since you’re leaving certain electronics on timers to discourage home invasions, make sure what you do leave plugged in is plugged into a surge protector. You can group electronics and appliances close together to limit the number of protectors you’ll need to buy.

Otherwise, think about how much energy appliances like your refrigerator, water heater or climate control require and consume. If you don’t have plants, animals or open food, then you can pretty much turn off your climate control depending on what the outside weather is like. Set your water heater to vacation mode to reserve energy consumption. And last, either remove perishables from the fridge, turn it off and open the door to prevent mildew, or make sure the appliance is completely full of non-perishable items. If you have empty space then fill jugs of water there to insulate your fridge and lower energy consumption.

Finally, if you’re off on an adventure during the winter, ask a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to come by and run the facet for about 5 minutes every day or two. If your pipes are properly insulated, this should help prevent them from freezing over or breaking.

A Tidy Home is a Lived in Home

The final step that is extremely easy to skip on longer or seasonal trips is how your home looks. Sure, you have lights popping on and off at random times, but is your yard unkempt? Are mail flyers, newspapers and packages creating the next great pyramid on your doorstep? These are signals to anybody paying attention that you’re not home. Either stop packages, the newspaper and your mail from being deposited, or get somebody you trust to pick everything up for you. Plus if you’re leaving in the winter and it snows, make sure they shovel your driveway or sidewalk.

No Comments

HOUSE HUNTING TIPS

Conceptual image of a man signing a mortgage or insurance contract or the deed of sale when buying a new house or selling his existing one with a small wooden model of a house alongside
** Note: Shallow depth of field

One of the best things you can do before you begin a search for a home is to have an in depth meeting with me. You know what you want, and I know the market. Together we can come up with a plan that includes a list of needs and features you want to find. The more information you give me the more I can help you. For example, if you are looking for a golf property to live in during the winter, you have probably thought a lot about which neighborhoods you like, but what about your other lifestyle needs and activities. There are specific communities that cater to what you find important in a community and location. I can help you tremendously by narrowing down your search options to properties that will truly fit your needs.

HOUSE HUNTING TIPS

Giving yourself plenty of time will also make a big difference in the search for a new home. Unless you have a specific time deadline to keep to, such as a relocation time frame, by allowing yourself the time to search for the right home, you can avoid feeling rushed to make a decision, which can lead to a hasty one you may regret. If you want to live in a specific neighborhood there may only be a couple of listings at first. If none of the properties are what you want in a home, don’t pick one just to be in the neighborhood. Wait for a while instead. With fluctuations in the housing market, new listings come available regularly, so your dream home could be just around the corner. The bottom line is don’t put yourself on an exact schedule if you don’t have to.

When you look at a lot of different houses you will see things you don’t like, especially regarding decor. It can also be difficult to recall which house had the great kitchen space but worn carpet, or the property with the great pool, and Casita but ugly exterior paint. First, keep in mind that cosmetic aspects of a home can often be readily changed. Remember to look beyond the dated furniture, or ultra-modern living room that looks like it belongs in the pages of Wired Magazine. When you go beyond what clashes with your own tastes, you can note what you can do within a home to make it yours once you have the keys. One way to easily remember the pros and cons of any home you view is by taking photos of each room whenever you view a listing.

Ultimately the right home for you will feel exactly so, just right. You may be surprised to find the house that calls to you the most is not the Spanish traditional style home you long dreamed about finding, but the newly renovated PGA West home that I showed you, which has the majority of the features you need and want in a home. Give me a call when your ready to start and keep these house hunting tips in mind and before you know it you will be asking me to submit an offer on the perfect home that is just right for you.  – Sal Puglisi

HOMES FOR SALE IN LA QUINTA http://salpuglisi.com/property-four-column/