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Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

An amazing indoors way to celebrate the beautiful fall weather is to stop going for apple picking and just making a delicious, mouthwatering pumpkin pie. It’s just so much better than hayrides and roasting some s’mores. Moreover, you could not have a tastier treat for after dinner, enjoying some Sunday night football than this out-of-the-world recipe. And it’s simple, without any special ingredients, hassle-free, and it’s just perfect! This recipe is great for true pumpkin pie fans who want the very essence of the pumpkin flavor, the spice and a bit of tanginess without anything else getting in the way!

But Why is This Pumpkin Pie Recipe Great?

There are a couple of reasons why this pumpkin pie cake recipe will become an instant favorite and fall staple at your household. First of all, the pie will be packed with a concoction of wonderful flavors along with two big cups of pumpkin puree. In addition, you are going add all the best fall ingredients in your kitchen, such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.

The cake will turn out super moist, like sticking to your fork! To make it even more delicious you are going to add a mouth watering, smooth and silky cream cheese frosting. Lastly, because the cake is single layer, you can easily pack it take to parties, game nights, tailgates etc.

The Pumpkin Cake Recipe

The recipe is quite straightforward and you can’t go wrong with it. If you have ever baked a spice cake before, the preparation is similar to that in terms of texture and taste. Plus you are not going to need more than two bowls! However, even if you haven’t baked in a while, this recipe is still easy than a ton of others!

Let’s go over the ingredients and then the method.

As mentioned, the ingredients are simple and easy, it’s a homemade cake after all.

 

Here is what you are going to need:

 

  • Flour – (Go with all-purpose flour) because the cake already as a thick and wet batter.

 

  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – Common household ingredients that help the batter rise

 

  • Cinnamon and Spice for the Pumpkin Pie – These are necessary ingredients to make the cake. You can prepare the spice at home by adding half a teaspoon of ground cloves, ground ginger, ground allspice and ground nutmeg. Don’t forget to add half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

 

  • Vanilla and Salt for Added Flavor – You can add salt as per taste and buy the vanilla extract from any local grocery store.

 

  • Cooking Oil – Layer the base of the baking pan with an even spread of cooking oil to make the base of the cake smooth and moist.

 

  • Eggs – Add 2-3 eggs for the structure of the cake.

 

  • Pumpkin – Along with 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, you will need to add 1 regular can of pumpkin. Use the entire content of the can to avoid waste.

 

  • Sugar – You can mix some brown and white sugar for taste

Instructions: 

  1. Take two bowls
  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl
  3. Mix the wet ingredients in the other
  4. Mix both the dry and wet ingredients together
  5. Take a 9 x 13 baking or cake pan and pour the mix in, spreading evenly
  6. Bake it
  7. Let it cool down for five minutes and then make the cream cheese frosting
  8. Put the cake in your fridge for 30 minutes
  9. And voila, it’s ready for eating

 

There you go – everything you need to have and know about how to bake a wonderfully delightful pumpkin pie cake.

October Fun on Long Island

October Fun on Long Island

Visiting Long Island during October will make for a scintillating experience. The weather is a mildly cold, perfect for having some fun outdoors! There are just so many things you can do apart from enjoying the beautiful fall colors.

Although the temperature will remain in the mid-range, if you do plan for outdoorsy activities on Long Island, it’s important to wear a couple of layers and bring a pair of hiking boots or shoes, especially if you want to experience the botanical garden in all its glory. Mentioned below are some interesting and exciting activities you can do.

Beautiful Long Island Landscape Hike

If you want to go out for a long, yet exhilarating and mentally stimulating hike, then Long Island is just the place. There are a variety of amazing trails that you could go on, for example, the Garvies Point Preserve. The preserve will nicely lead you down towards a pristine beach where you can take a breather and enjoy a mini picnic.

Moreover, Garvies also has spectacular refuges for wildlife in Long Island, like the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge. You can hike down to this national wildlife refuge, go to the shoreline and experience a huge gathering of different waterfowl.

Apple Hunting and Picking

As soon as fall hits Long Island, the place becomes an apple haven. There are a variety of orchards open to the public. You can go there with your family to pick hordes of fresh apples right at their peak. You can hunt for as many apples as you want and either eat them raw or make some fresh juice. There is no shortage of delicious recipes that have apples as the main ingredient.

Similarly, there are different farms of different fruits such as pumpkins, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries corn, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, etc. However, each harvest will depend on the time of the year, apple picking is great for October.

Look for Your Own Pumpkin

There are also plenty of pumpkin farms you can visit on Long Island, and some of the farms also feature corn mazes as well as pre and post Halloween events. While you can buy already-picked pumpkins for Halloween, there are also farms where you can go out for some pumpkin picking. You might end up picking the biggest pumpkin on the farm!

One of the most popular pumpkin picking farms on Long Island is Brightwater’s, located near Bay Shore. If you want to pick organic pumpkins, then you can go to Organics Today, which is a 3-acre farm. If you want to experience the thrill of navigating through a corn maze, you can head straight to Fairview Farm located in Bridgehampton.

A Weekend Escape in Long Island

Another great way to enjoy a fall weekend in Long Island is visiting the popular Glen Cove Mansion. The mansion was built back in 1910 and is an award-winning structure. You could also go to the iconic Oheka Castle, located in Huntington.

You could also plan a weekend getaway for some wine tasting at the popular Long Island Wine Country or visit the Hamptons (you would really enjoy it since all the summer crowd is already gone). The Long Island Wine Country features serene bike trails and cozy villages.

Have Some Fun with Your Pooch

If you have brought your canine companion along for a visit to Long Island, you would be relieved to know that there are several places designated for dogs, you can play with your pooch all day long or take him for some exploration. Plus, there are also off-leash parks and places where your dog can run wild.

 

 

So, there you have it – some of the best places to visit and fun things to do while you are in Long Island this fall. Some amazing October fun on Long Island for locals and tourists alike.

Downsizing Advice For Older Adults Who Need Something Smaller

Downsizing Advice For Older Adults Who Need Something Smaller

Downsizing is a great option for seniors who are looking to make a move, but it can bring a lot of questions even as you’re trying to answer a few. Knowing the right time to downsize is important. You may be thinking about how to make your post-retirement years as safe and comfortable as possible, but it’s important to ensure that your finances are in check and that you’re able to find a home that meets your needs while staying within your budget. This can be tricky depending on the area where you’re looking, so it pays off to do some research before you make any decisions.

Preparing for a downsize can be a lot of work, because it includes not only the packing and moving, but it also means going through all your belongings to figure out what you’ll bring to the new home. Keep in mind that the more items you can discard, the more room you’ll have, which helps eliminate fall hazards, one of the most common causes of injury in seniors.

If downsizing is on the horizon for you, here are a few tips on how to get started.

Check out the area first

If you’re thinking of buying a home in a particular area or neighborhood, it helps to check it out first. You might rent a vacation home there for a week to get a feel for the weather, the people, and the community. This is also a great way to test the waters and see what you’d like to have in a home, from the size to the location. You should also scope out the housing market in the area you decide to live in, to see if you can actually afford to live there. In Bay Shore, average home prices have been an average of $356,000 over the past month.

Don’t overlook the details

It’s important to know what to look for in a new home when you’re downsizing. You may find a great home that’s just the right size, but if the details are wrong, it might not be the best fit for you in the long run. Take a look at all parts of the home. A one-story two-bedroom might just be perfect, but if there’s a large yard to take care of, you may end up regretting it down the road. Does your chosen house sit in a neighborhood with an HOA that will cost potentially hundreds of dollars per year? Are there grab bars in the bathroom? If not, you can always purchase them later, since they’re easy to install. (You can find grab bars on Amazon for $23.37 each.) Make sure you know the ins and outs of the home and the area before making a commitment.

Get organized

Staying organized while you pack and declutter is essential because it helps keep your belongings separated from the items you plan to get rid of, and because it enables you to reduce stress while you’re preparing for such a major life change. Make packing lists as you go, and clean at the same time so you’ll have less to do on moving day. Try not to make a “maybe” pile when going through your belongings, as it’s best to be definitive. Donate, trash, or sell the things you know you don’t want to take, and measure the rooms in the new house to make sure your furniture will fit.

Get some help

These days, many cities have companies that specialize in helping seniors downsize, so look to see if there’s something like that available for you. These professionals can help you declutter, pack, transport, and unpack your belongings. You can also ask friends and loved ones to help you get everything organized and ready for moving day, and have someone help you clean the old house when all is said and done.

Downsizing is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s crucial to ensure that you take your time and research your options. Finding the right home for your post-retirement years takes a lot of careful thought, but it’s well worth it if it keeps you safe and healthy.

Written By: Mike Longsdon

 

 

Yes, There is A Way Around Mortgage Insurance

Yes, There is A Way Around Mortgage Insurance

If you have just bought a home or are in the process of buying one, you may have a good idea what mortgage insurance is. It is quite possible you’re paying it right now. To make things affordable for homebuyers, one of the prerequisites of opting for a mortgage via any lending organization is getting mortgage insurance on specific varieties of loans.

 

The fundamental advantage of mortgage insurance is securing the lender and shielding it from a financial risk or uncertainty on behalf of the homebuyer. But it also makes accessibility for the homebuyer easy even if they do not have a truckload of money to pay for it up front. Sure, there is no doubt that acquiring a mortgage with mortgage insurance can help you get your dream house quickly ,however, you have to understand the flipside of it – which is the fact that mortgage insurance payments will stack up higher and higher in the long run.

 

If you’re getting that butterflies in the stomach feeling, there is no need to worry at all. We have compiled a handful of effective and simple ways to lessen the burden of paying for mortgage insurance. Check it out…

 

Wrap Your Head Around LTV

 

Eliminating mortgage insurance heavily relies on what type of loan you have acquired – as well as that loan’s LTV and mortgage insurance specifications and requirements. LTV is short for (Loan-to-Value) ratio, and it basically calculates the amount of equity you have stacked in your home.

 

You can easily calculate this by dividing the amount of your current loan (the balance that remains) by the original value of your real estate, then multiply the total amount by 100. Remember, the higher the number of payments you make, the lower the loan-to-value ratio. If your LTV is 80% or higher, you don’t have to pay mortgage insurance. This means that if you make a down payment of at least 20% of the home value, you can avoid mortgage insurance.

 

Paying Mortgage Insurance? Here is How You Can Stop!

 

For FHA Loans

If you have acquired an FHA loan, you have to understand that you don’t have an option to cancel making FHA loan mortgage insurance. So what do you do? The best way out of this is to transfer your loan into a conventional loan via refinancing. The fastest way to do that is if you have a low loan-to-value ratio or if you have drastically enhanced your credit score.

 

 

For Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance

If you have acquired a lender-paid mortgage insurance, the first thing you have to understand is that no lender is going to be paying for your insurance contrary to what they have advertised. What happens is the lender pays for your mortgage and then asks you to make repayments to cover that cost with a slightly raised interest rate.

 

Sure, this might have sounded awesome to you when you first acquired the loan. However, you may want to reconsider your refinancing options, especially if you’re eligible for a brand new loan without the need to pay any mortgage insurance, interest, or either.

 

When the Value of Property Increases

If your vicinity’s market has gone up, and you have already spent quite a bit of money making improvements to your house, your house’ true value (and equity) probably has gone up too since the date of purchase. And this may very well mean that your loan balance falls below 80% of the home value. If this happens, the lender has to remove the mortgage insurance requirement.

 

 

So now you know that ditching mortgage insurance is possible. More importantly, you know how to do it. Who doesn’t like canceling a monthly payment? Feel free to discuss this with us and see what’s the best way out of mortgage insurance for you.

Don’t Let Your Dream Home Get Away!

Don’t Let Your Dream Home Get Away!

Ready to buy the house of your dreams?

It doesn’t matter if you have already started doing the due diligence or if you are unsure of the market. Making an offer is a pivotal point in the house buying process.

Let’s look at some things that’ll help you make a compelling offer and up your chances of getting that home your heart is set on!

 

Do Comprehensive Research

 

Nothing is more important than identifying the most vital aspects of the house, especially if you are buying the house with your partner. Do this even before you start looking for houses. In a hot market, it is a truism that you will probably not get the time needed to adequately investigate whether or not the house is near a good school district or make up your mind regarding how many bedrooms you would like to have. If you are interested in a house, sit together and jot down everything that is important to you.

 

Being crystal clear about your criteria is curial before stepping into the market. Keep in mind that you should also establish the factors you are willing to work around or be more flexible with. Doing so will provide you with a sense of clarity; you won’t be surprised by anything when you start making offers. And it will certainly minimize much of the stress that comes along with buying the house of your dreams.

 

Convince the Seller Why You Want to Buy Their House

 

Yes, it is absolutely vital to be personal about it. You see, selling a house can be just as stressful as buying one. And sellers would very much like to know whether or not they are giving their house to the right family.

 

It couldn’t hurt to write a personal letter to the sellers, explaining what their house means to you. Assure them that they are indeed passing it on in the right hands and that you will most certainly take care of it. When it comes to multiple offers, this a very good way to make yours stand out of the rest.

 

Look for an Experienced and Skilled Real Estate Agent

 

There is no question a qualified and experienced real estate agent must have a broad know-how of the housing market. And this includes the market for the types of dream houses you are looking for and what the prices are. The real estate professional representing you must be sincerely proactive.

 

They must understand your needs down to a personal level and must be an excellent communicator. Do not rely on the first couple of recommendations made by your friends and family. Do some vetting on your own and select one that truly reflects your perspectives.

 

Make Sure Your Seller Know You Can Afford the House

 

This is another important factor when preparing to make an offer. You have to know how much financing you can possibly get. In a fast moving market, you have to be able to convince the seller that you have the necessary financing required to make the purchase; they will not just take your word for it.

 

The best thing to do to save time on this is to ask your real estate agent to print an attested and verified letter of approval on part of your lender. The letter will contain information on how much financing the lender has approved.

 

Keep the Lender on Call

 

Sure, the approval letter is ample proof that you have the financing necessary to go ahead with the purchase. However, there may be a couple of sellers who would prefer hearing it from the lender.

 

That is why it’s vital to keep your real estate agent in the loop. Ask them to have the loan consultant talk to the seller agent, reassuring them that there will not be a financing complication.

 

 

So, there you go – these tips will help you make a compelling offer to secure your dream home. Of course, having a great real estate professional on your side is always a good idea. Go ahead and make an offer they can’t refuse and settle in in your dream home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Renting Right for Me?

Is Renting Right for Me?

Is Renting Right for Me?

If you’re currently renting on Long Island and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, home ownership may be closer than you realize.

According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying within the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy within the next 2 years.

When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said rising rental costs were their top reason. The results of the survey can be seen here:Is Renting Right for Me? | MyKCMIt’s no wonder rising rental costs came in as the top answer. The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below.Is Renting Right for Me? | MyKCMThere is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again, it’s never a bad idea to reconsider your family’s plan and ask yourself if renting is your best angle going forward. When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”

The reality is, the need to produce a 20% down payment is one of the biggest misconceptions of home ownership, especially for first-time buyers. That means a large number of renters may be able to buy now, and they don’t even know it.

Bottom Line

If you’re one of the many Long Island renters who are tired of rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to determine your path to home ownership.

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