Roadmap with Irina - December 2022

Roadmap with Irina - December 2022

Hi << Test First Name >>, 

At this time of the year real estate market activity usually decreases, and November statistics reflect this. The number of closed sales in November in Santa Clara County went down by 23% for single-family homes and by 5.5% for condos and townhouses compared to October of this year and it was almost two times less than the same month of last year. Median sales prices didn’t change much compared to October of this year. In November, average days on the market for single-family homes stayed around 26-28 days, but it took longer, 37 days vs 26 in October, to sell condos and townhouses.  

As of December 17th, current inventory is very low: 883 active listings for the whole Santa Clara County including single-family homes, condos and townhouses. There are also 187 homes that are announced as coming soon, and hopefully, there will be more in January.
It was a very emotional real estate market in 2022 due to a number of events that caused the fluctuation on the market. Currently, buyers are taking a break for the holiday season, and sellers are getting ready for the new year, so I expect the new year to be more stable and favorable to those who have patience. 

If you are thinking about buying or selling, let’s connect, talk about your options, run some numbers, and see if this is the right time for you. Call me, I am always here for you.

The winter holidays are here, and Bay Area parks and outdoor venues are full of opportunities to enjoy twinkling lights and large-scale-illuminated displays, tree lightings, hot cocoas or toddies, live music and caroling. Here are few holiday light experiences, events and lit holiday-themed attractions available around the Bay Area this December.

Oakland Zoo Glowfari: A Wildly Illuminating Lantern Festival
Take an illuminated stroll and experience the decked-out zoo with larger-than-life glowing animal lanterns. Top off the evening visiting with Santa and a ride on the train through Winter Wonderland.
5-9 p.m. Nov. 18-23, 25-27 and 30; Dec. 1-23, and 26-31; Jan. 1-8, 11-15, 18-22 and 25-29. Through Jan. 29. $20-$24, reservations required. Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. 510-632-9525.

Glow: Discover the Art of Light
Luminous sculptures turn up the radiance as part of the Exploratorium’s seasonal expansion of its light-focused exhibition space. Explore the galleries for new light art by Anila Quayyum AghaCraig Newswanger and Sally Weber, along with returning favorites from Luke Jerram and Burt Libe. In Bechtel Gallery 3, splash in waves of light with “The Last Ocean,” Jen Lewin’s large-scale, luminescent landscape created from recycled ocean plastics.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; noon-5 pm. Sunday. Through Jan. 29. Included with museum admission; reservations required. Exploratorium, Pier 15, S.F. 415-528-4444.

Holidays at Filoli: Let Inspiration Glow
The historic house and garden transforms into a festive environment with abundant holiday merriment. Lights are on during daytime and evening so visitors may experience the garden illuminated by twinkling lights and winter sun. As the sun sets, fire pits and holiday refreshments beckon. Santa Days are scheduled for select weekends.
Opens Saturday, Nov. 19. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Through Jan. 8. $33-$42, younger than 5 free; reservations required. Filoli House and Garden, 6 Cañada Road, Woodside. 650-364-8300.

Christmas Lights at Oakland’s Temple Hill
Enjoy a large-scale holiday lights installation with city views and scheduled theatrical, dance and live musical performances, including productions of “The Nutcracker,” a Handel’s “Messiah” sing-along and more.

Opens Nov. 25. 6-9 p.m. Monday; 9 a.m-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Through Dec. 31. Free. Temple Hill, 4770 Lincoln Ave., Oakland. 510-328-0044.


Blinky’s Illuminated Holiday Magical Musical Drive-Thru
The synchronized light show, featuring over 100,000 lights, is set to favorite holiday tunes. A holiday fair food festival awaits visitors at the exit area.

Opens Nov. 26. 5-11 p.m. daily. Through Jan. 1. $30, per car; reservations required. Lake Cunningham Park, 2305 S. White Road, San Jose. 888-212-3258.

‘Entwined’ in Golden Gate Park
Designed to celebrate the park’s 150th anniversary in 2020, San Francisco artist Charles Gadeken’s outdoor installation returns with twisting paths and shifting lights inspired by nature. Large, sculpted trees make illuminated canopies, surrounded by flowering LED light bushes to create an immersive environment. New to the installation’s 2022-23 season will be twice weekly live performances, new sculptural artworks and greater interactivity.

5-10 p.m. Dec. 1 and daily through March 12. Free. Peacock Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F. 415-621-3260.

Walnut Creek Holiday Parade of Lights and Tree Lighting Celebration

The holiday season kick-off event will include live music, refreshments and a tree-lighting ceremony with Santa.
6-9 p.m. Dec. 1. 1275 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek.

Fantasy of Lights Walk and Drive-Thru

A 1.5-mile walk or ride filled with holiday lights and large animated displays, featuring holiday music. With more than 50 themed installations and a 90-foot twinkling tree, the 24th annual event is bigger and responsibly bright, using environmentally friendly LED lighting.

Walk-through 4-9 p.m. Dec. 3-4; drive-through 6-10 p.m. Dec. 6-30, closed Dec. 25. $10-$50, reservations required. Vasona County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos. 408-355-2201.

Bill Graham Union Square Menorah Lighting

From 2-6 p.m. on the first day of Hanukkah (Dec. 18), celebrate “Bill Graham Menorah Day” with kids craft activities and entertainment, live music from Shamati with Greg Anton and the lighting of the menorah. There will be live music, community activities and menorah lightings daily through Dec. 25.
Dec. 18-25. Free. Union Square, 333 Post St., S.F.

San Jose Christmas in the Park

A community favorite attraction since the 1950s, the holiday walk-through event is set to offer fresh light displays, a 60-foot tall Christmas tree and more. Food and drinks available for purchase. Nearby the downtown roller skating rink and Winter Wonderland offer more family-friendly fun.
Noon-midnight daily. Through Jan. 2. Free. Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park, 194 S. Market St., San Jose.

IlluminOdyssey: A Dazzling Winter Light Experience

Inspired by the beauty and science of light, this family-friendly exhibition offers works of interactive luminosity and glowing art. IlluminOdyssey offers the opportunity to observe and learn through hands-on activities about light, photoluminescence, color, additive light mixing, waves, fluorescence, fluid dynamics, subtractive color mixing and geometry.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 and Jan. 6. Through Jan. 16. CuriOdyssey, 1651 Coyote Point Dr., San Mateo. 650-342-7755.

We always went on vacations as a family, and my mother-in-law joined us when she could, so there were always 5-6 people in our group. I love traveling with kids and experiencing new places together, but sometimes I want a moment just for myself or for me and my husband only. Last week my husband and I spent our first vacation together since we got married 22 years ago! It was very strange at first considering that I didn't need to accommodate everyone and check what the kids wanted for lunch, it was just the two of us doing whatever we wanted.

It was our fourth time on Kauai, so we revisited places that we really liked, and tried a couple of new things. Everything we did was very relaxing without any rush. We rented a great convertible car and enjoyed driving with the roof open. We kayaked along Waimea river, then hiked to a waterfall; hiked in a canyon and alone on a trail to an old dam, and watched sea turtles swimming right under our room deck; we also watched the sunrise swimming in a pool (just me, it was too early for my husband), had ice cream a few times, had a glass of pineapple wine and a cup of delicious coffee. One day we went for an ocean tour and visited the eastern part of Kauai, watched lots of dolphins and a couple of humpback whales, and had a great time in the company of the captain and the crew. The weather was beautiful: cloudy, no direct sun but very warm and pleasant.

I found out one interesting thing: there is so much free time on a day when the kids are not around! It felt like time just stopped and I could see and enjoy ordinary things. I worked every day anyway, and we spent some time watching the World Soccer Cup, and did many other fun things, but still had a lot of spare time! It was so relaxing to sit on a beach with a book and watch sea turtles coming out of the water to spend a night on the shore.

I also think that this trip was a test for us. The kids are growing and in a few years they will leave, so it will be just the two of us in the house. After so many years together, do we have something else to talk about besides everyday stuff and kids? It turned out that there are so many things that we both are still interested in, so many books to discuss, and sometimes we just enjoyed quiet moments during sunset time. So it looks like there is life after the kids grow up and leave us, and we are well set for that.

Our next trip is coming up and it will be with the extended family. It’s going to have different vibes and dynamics, but I am looking forward to it already. Happy travels to all of you! 
Always yours,
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Work With Irina

Working mainly by referrals, I do my best to provide excellent real estate services to my clients, always exceeding their expectations. Whether they are buying or selling, I walk them through every transaction step, making it transparent and smooth. My relationships are always based on open communication, loyalty, and true commitment.

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