Exit Realty Achieve's Blog
Seiskaya Ballet’s Nutcracker
Stony Brook University's Staller Center for the Arts
100 Nicolls Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11790
The Seiskaya Ballet’s Nutcracker at Stony Brook University's Staller Center for the Arts has become an annual holiday favorite and is considered Long Island’s premiere Nutcracker production. This classical ballet rendition has earned praise from both critics and audiences. Judith H. Bernstein of Newsday headlined her Seiskaya Nutcracker review, “A Delicious Holiday Confection for Young and Old.” Reviewer Michelle Isabelle-Stark entitled her review “Seiskaya’s Nutcracker Is Dazzling and Breathtaking.” Newsday calls it “...A Seasoned Recipe for Holiday Cheer” and the New York Times praised as “lavish.” Newsday called the production, “ENCHANTING,” “Polished,” “...child friendly - a storyteller’s Nutcracker (see Newsday.com).
The cast will be led by guest artists Nick Coppula (Cavalier) formerly with the Pittsburgh Ballet and Matthew Dibble (Nutcracker) formerly with Great Britain’s Royal Ballet plus Seiskaya’s award winning principal dancers Alexandra Palma, Danielle Lovetro and Kristina Diaz. Alexandra Palma, Kristina Diaz and Danielle Lovetro are all from St. James!
Enjoy the lavish sets, beautiful music and superb dancing performed by Seiskaya Ballet's Nutcracker at Stony Brook University's Staller Center for the Arts this holiday season! Bring the whole family out to enjoy this wonderful holiday classic
Tickets are at the Staller Center Box Office at (631) 632-ARTS and at www.nutcrackerballet.com. Attended Box Office hours are noon to 6PM Monday through Saturday and one hour prior to all performances. Please visit Nutcrackerballet.com for more information.
Friday, December 19th at 7PM, Saturday
December 20th at 2 & 7PM
Sunday, December 21st at 1& 6PM
Monday, December 22nd at 7PM
$40 for adults, $34 children and seniors and $30 for groups of 20 or more
EXIT Realty Achieve is keeping up on all the latest finds in our community!
Newly Opened Restaurant in Our Neighborhood
169 Commack Rd, Commack NY 11725
Mannino’s Italian Kitchen has relocated from its original location on Commack Road in Commack to a beautiful new bi-level space on Jericho Turnpike. The owner is still Joe Mannino. This building, which was formerly “ToFu”, has been completely renovated. This traditional Italian fare restaurant now offers seating for about 150 people. There are prompt valet parking attendants, so do not let the lack of parking scare you away!
The first floor features a smaller dining room and a marble-topped bar and upscale lounge area. The bar and lounge area are both nice to wait for your party to be called… but be ready to wait up to an hour as they do not take reservations. The second floor has a much larger dining area and a unique outdoor area. The outdoor area currently has an inviting fire pit and seating to relax around.
I went to this restaurant recently for a special birthday gathering. As with most new restaurant openings, we expected a long wait for the table and for the food. We were lucky enough to only wait ten minutes for a party of six. Our waiter “Luis” was very attentive and informed us about the specials and the progress of our food. All of the entrees cost less $20. I thought it was a nice touch to have chilled plates placed on the table right before our salads. Some of the dishes we tried were the Tortellini, Broccoli Rabe, Chicken Mannino and Rigatoni Vodka. They were all well worth the wait! Luis and staff made every effort to make this dinner a special birthday celebration. We stayed for over three hours catching up, as good friends do, and never felt rushed. We will all definitely go back again to Mannino’s and hope that we can sit outside in the warmer months!
Around Our Town…
You may prefer to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, surrounded by family sitting down to a home cooked meal, but others might want to go out to a restaurant to enjoy a relaxing delicious meal but no matter where you go or what you do… WE HERE AT EXIT REALTY ACHIEVE HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!
So for those who would enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving Dinner at a restaurant you can check out;
Garden Grill in Smithtown offers a Thanksgiving menu for $40 per person. Menu items include a Roasted Turkey, Lamb Shank, Long Island Duck and more. Dessert options include Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pecan Pie, Carrot cake and more. A complete menu can be viewed at thegardengrill.com.
Or Three Village Inn located in Stony Brook for a restaurant with a view. Starting at noon, they will be offering their Thanksgiving buffet for $49 per person plus tax and gratuity. They will be offering traditional Thanksgiving sides, a carving station, chafing dishes and more. More information on their Thanksgiving menu can be viewed at lessings.com.
The Fountain Grille located at the Smithtown Sheraton is offering a Thanksgiving buffet dinner with a variety of stations. The price per person is $40 plus gratuity for adults and $20 plus gratuity for children. The buffet will be served from 4pm-10pm. More information is available by phone at (631) 231-1100.
And for those who would like to enjoy their Thanksgiving at home here are a few places to order prepared dishes;
Elegant Eating, located at 739 Smithtown Bypass offers a special Family Thanksgiving dinner, which includes turkey, sides such as stuffing and Sweet Potato Casserole and dessert which serves eight to ten family members for $225. All Thanksgiving offers can be seen at eleganteating.com.
Uncle Giuseppe's in Smithtown is taking orders for Bell & Evans Thanksgiving turkeys.
North Shore Farms
40 Vanderbilt Motor Pkwy, Commack, NY 11725
“Bringing you healthy and delicious ingredients and foods at great prices”
On a very rainy Saturday last weekend, we were in Commack by Motor Parkway and needed a quick stop for a few grocery items. I happened upon North Shore Farms, a market on the corner of Commack Rd. and Motor Parkway. I hadn’t heard anything about it yet but it was convenient to just run in so we did.
What a NICE surprise! It is a combination of a grocery store, farmer’s market, seafood and specialty shop. They have gourmet items, gluten free and organic foods. You really can find everything you need here. Not only is there an amazing selection of fresh and fine foods but I found the prices very affordable.
At the fish counter, there is quality seafood including wild salmon, fresh clams, live lobsters, fresh shrimp and flounder. There is also a wide variety of sushi that’s prepared every day in their on-site kitchen. My husband loved this department and has already been back for the sushi.
The store is very clean and the employees are helpful. I asked an employee, at the cheese counter, if he had shaved parmesan cheese (flakes). He walked me over two aisles to find it…yes that’s how big the cheese department is! There is a huge variety of cheese. You’ll also find information by most of them on their origins, wine pairings and tasting notes. There are sampling stations though out the store so you can taste items for yourself.
There’s a nice sized deli with a large selection of prepared food. I took home spare ribs and home-made macaroni and cheese – my family loved it!! Fresh baked bread is also available daily - baked on premises.
We also loaded up on organic fruits and vegetables which I found to be reasonably priced.
There are a handful of reasons why you should get off the fence and buy a home now.
Mortgage Rates have fallen to the lowest level since June 2013 and this gives you more buying power. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday that the rate on the average 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to 4.2% last week, from 4.3% the week before. Rates stood as high as 4.72% at the beginning of the year. If you are thinking of buying anytime in the near future, you should take advantage of the great rates and lock in the potential to save over the long term.
Real Estate consistently outperforms other investments over time. Once again, people have spoken in this regard. The Gallup organization conducts an annual report entitled the Economy and Personal Finances Poll, which asks Americans to choose the best option for long-term investment. It was no surprise that real estate returned to the top position over other investment categories (gold, stocks/mutual funds, savings accounts/CDs and bonds). Plain and simple, real estate is just a great investment vehicle.
The Long Island housing market is still a little heavy on inventory which means there are more homes to choose from and pricing of homes may be somewhat flexible. Currently, there are 174 homes for sale in Smithtown with a median price of $475,000. Watch our market video for more information on the Smithtown market. Realtor.com reports an average selling price of $488,000.
Take advantage of the great opportunites in the marketplace today!
Long Island Restaurant Week is this Sunday November 2nd to Sunday November 9th. Some of the finest food on the East Coast is available in this bi-annual event. Each participating restaurant offers its own unique three-course prix fixe for $27.95 all night (except Saturday when it is offered only until 7 pm).
Inspiration for the first Long Island Restaurant Week in 2006 came from the Hamptons Restaurant Week, and its precursor, New York Restaurant Week. The campaign is presented by Long Island Restaurant & Hospitality Group. It is a bi-annual event, during the fall, between post-summer spending and pre-holiday saving, and in the spring, between warm weather getaways and summer barbecues. The campaigns, which span across the region's 118-miles from Garden City to Montauk, boast nearly 250 participants each fall and more than 160 during the spring. Many of these participating restaurants are in OUR neighborhood. Don’t miss out!
Free Restaurant Reservations at www.opentable.com
Commack | Italian
Northport | Contemporary American
Smithtown | Italian
Smithtown | Cuban
Smithtown | Seafood
St. James | Contemporary American
St. James | Italian
St. James | Italian
(Prices are per person; do not include beverage, tax or gratuity and Prix-fixe menu valid on Saturday until 7pm)
PUMPKIN PICKING, PARADE AND HALLOWEEN HAUNTS
The weekend will be here before you know it and we are supposed to have some beautiful fall weather in the Smithtown, Commack, St. James and Kings Park area. Are you looking for something to do? How about some Halloween fun? It’s the last weekend to enjoy some of these fun Halloween / Fall festivities!
Pumpkin Picking (For-A-Cause)
Lucien United Methodist Church
109 Main Street, Kings Park NY 11754
9am until dark every day through the end of October
Saturdays ONLY from 10am – 12pm Pumpkin patch patrons get to take home a mold of their child’s hand-print on a ceramic tile! Tiles are fired in a kiln overnight and are available the next day (Sunday).
*These pumpkins are grown on a 1,000 acre farm in New Mexico that is owned and operated by the Navajo Nation. The farm provides employment for the Navajo Nation who live in poverty. This fundraiser also gives the Navajo’s a percentage of sales. Scouts, Church members, High School students and volunteers from the community come together to organize and run this fund raiser.
Sweet-Briar nature center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown NY 631-979-6344
sweetbriarnc.org - October 24th and October 25th hours 7pm-9:30pm
Animal presentations, a ghostly garden, creepy crafts, scary stories and a night walk.
Two trails, one for ages 4-8 and the other for ages 8 and older (Admission $7)
Spooky Hollow, Spookville and Halloween Festival
Wicks Farm, 445 North Country rd., St. James
Hours for festival 11am – 5pm (store open 9am-6pm)
Pumpkin Patch, Hayrides, Haunted Labyrinth and Haunted Hayride (call for admission$)
Saint James Halloween Parade
Parade Line up 12:30 p.m. October 26 at Capital One Bank, Woodlawn and Lake. Best costume prizes in many categories and goodies for all.
Exciting News!! The Fresh Market, a grocery store based out of North Carolina, is set to open its first Suffolk County location within the next year RIGHT HERE IN Smithtown!! The store will be located in the Branch Plaza shopping center at 126 East Main Street.
“If you like to cook and love to eat, then The Fresh Market is the only place to go to make your meal “gourmet,” the company’s website reads. “With high-quality meats, the freshest seafood, and amazing local, organic produce, you will see what a difference fresh makes.”
See link for more info: http://patch.com/new-york/smithtown/fresh-market-open-its-first-suffolk-county-store-smithtown-0#.VEFeEGd0zIU
Big changes are happening in the Smithtown, NY area...and EXIT Realty Achieve is keeping up on all the lastest events in our community! We pride ourselves on being the local Smithtown experts, and our team is always here to help with your real estate needs!!
Homeowners are worth 30x’s more than renters.
High demand and short supply in the rental market have driven rates up nationwide. Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, says “We are in the midst of the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known.”
Long Island is particularly challenged with only 21% of households living in rentals compared to healthier rental markets at 33% and 37% in Western Connecticut and the Hudson Valley, respectively.
With decreased affordability and a short supply of attractive rental options, buying a home may be your next best investment.
Still uncertain if you should make the change from renter to homeowner?
Check out these 5 Financial Reasons To Buy A Home Today:
If you have any questions about buying a home on Long Island, reach out to our office to talk with a real estate professional about your unique needs and concerns.
The new mortgage rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are in effect as of January 10th, 2014. Banks can no longer engage in irresponsible lending practices leaving borrowers unable to repay their mortgages. Lenders can only provide “Qualified Mortgages” that comply with the “Ability-to-Repay” rule.
CFPB director Richard Cordray states there will be "No debt traps. No surprises. No runarounds. These are bedrock concepts backed by our new common-sense rules."
Here are 8 features of the 2014 mortgage rules you need to know:No-doc or low-doc loans are prohibited: Lenders must supply and verify complete consumer financial information. Limited points and fees: No more than 3% for a loan of more than $100,000. No risky loan features: Terms cannot exceed 30 years, no interest-only payments, no negative-amortization payments where principal increases. Tightened Debt-to Income Ratio: Borrowers cannot exceed 43% Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) No “teaser” rates: Lenders must verify a borrower’s ability to repay BOTH principal and interest over the long-term, NOT only during an introductory or “teaser” period with lower interest rates. Contact with missed payments: Mortgage lenders must attempt contact with homeowners within 36 days of a missed payment. They must also provide available payment options no later than 45 days after the due date. Clear monthly billing statements: Lenders must send clear statements indicating what portion of your payment went to escrow and principal, balance owed, and any service or transactional fees. Early warning for ARM: Lenders must notify borrowers of increased rates 210-240 days before the next payment and follow up with an additional notice 60-120 days before the new payment is due.
Contact our office today to learn more about how the new mortgage rules will affect your homebuying process.
Selling your home this winter?
2014 started with Winter Storm Hercules bringing heaps of snow and record setting artic temperatures to Long Island. With more snow and frigid weather on the way, homebuyers may be more likely to stay put than venture out to open houses.
But that doesn't mean falling behind on home care and maintenance. The buyers are out there, and those buyers are serious about finding a home. Show homebuyers you are just as serious with a stellar first impression.
Topnotch curb appeal is an essential part of your winter selling strategy. Capture the attention of prospective homebuyers with these 7 simple seasonal tips to maximize winter curb appeal and help sell your home:
1) Clear driveway, sidewalk, and steps of ice and snow: Stay safe by taking care of these areas every day.
2) Add a colorful mailbox: A bright colored mailbox with visible house numbers makes your home easy to find.
3) Install driveway lighting: Welcome your evening prospects with lights leading right up to the front door.
4) Upgrade the front entrance: Paint your door trim a bright color as a contrast against stark winter white. Decorate the front door with a simple wreath. Make sure the entrance is well-lit. Add a natural fiber welcome mat.
5) Add large house street numbers: Make it easy for buyers to identify your home with easily visible street numbers.
6) Add some hearty winter greens: Try shrubs like juniper, cedar, ivy, holly, and boxwood.
7) Clean and Declutter: Keep entryways tidy and store sand, salt, shovels, and snowblowers neatly in the garage. Add runners and sturdy welcome mats for safety. Clean windows and replace burned-out exterior lightbulbs.
Try these simple winter tips to keep your home in tip-top selling shape. Enjoy selling success by maximizing your home’s winter curb appeal!