Roadmap with Irina - February 2022

Roadmap with Irina - February 2022


Hi <<First Name>>, 

The real estate market remained very active in the beginning of 2022. The median sale price for single-family homes in January 2022 went 24% up compared to the same month of last year. Condos and townhouses did not show much of a difference, but I am sure that we will see changes in this sector soon: with quickly rising prices for single-family homes, condos and townhouses are becoming more affordable for many buyers. 

Interest rates are continuing to increase, and many buyers hope that it will affect housing affordability which will result in less competition on the market. Potentially, rising interest rates can impact buyers in the lower price range: with higher monthly payments, some of them will not be able to afford buying a new home, but I don’t see that happening yet. Every house sells with multiple offers for above the price that sellers expected. Appraisers are having a hard time estimating homes, and many homes are not appraised to the sale price. Buyers have to be very careful making non-contingent offers and have extra cash to cover the difference.

Will prices stop going up? Competition drives the price. The more inventory there is in the market, the less competitive it is, and the more balanced the market is. Currently, there are 876 homes in Santa Clara County that are available for sale. Some of them are still getting prepared and are not visible for buyers, but realtors can see them, and many of the houses will be sold before they even hit the market. Even off-market properties receive multiple offers and are sold way over the asking price. Hopefully, more inventory and growing interest rates will contribute to stabilizing the market.

I will keep watching the situation and will be happy to share my observations with you. Let me know if you want to know more or have any questions about the market. If you know someone who might need my help, please introduce me to them. It is never too early to get ready.


It doesn't matter if you have been living in your house for years or just moved in, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of improving your home’s security. Use these tips to help heighten the safety of your residence.
Change the locks
As soon as you come into possession of the keys to your new home, changing the locks on all the exterior doors should be a top priority, as you don’t know who has a copy of the current key. You can buy and install locks on your own, or you can hire a locksmith to switch them out for you. Additionally, make sure to update any passwords or security codes for devices like security systems and garage doors.

Avoid hidden keys
Do not keep a spare key in common hiding spots, like under a doormat or inside your mailbox. If you’re concerned about locking yourself out of your home, you can leave a key with a trusted neighbor, or you can install smart locks that allow you to open your doors by using a smartphone app, scanning your fingerprint, or entering a numerical code. You can even let guests in remotely or give babysitters and pet sitters their own unique access code that you can turn on and off.
Install window protection
The latches on your windows may be flimsy, so you may want to upgrade to window locks that will help make your home less accessible to the outside world. Make sure to install window locks on any window that are easily accessible from the ground, like first-story windows and basement windows. You can also install window security film, which can make windows more shatter-proof.

Use your landscaping
If your yard has plants or bushes in front of windows, it can be helpful to keep them trimmed below the window line or replace them with low-growing shrubs to prevent a home intruder from using your landscaping as cover. Additionally, replace mulch in flower beds near windows with gravel due to the noise it makes underfoot.
Invest in a security system
A home security system secures the entry points of your home and can alert authorities to a disturbance. If you install a security system, don’t forget to add a sign to your yard and stickers to your windows to deter potential intruders. You can also install a video doorbell that will send updates to your smartphone if there is motion outside your front door. If you’re considering installing a home security system, check out this guide to selecting the best safety device for your home.

Lighten things up
By making your home brighter, you can paint the picture that you’re home, even if you’re not. Start by placing interior lights, along with televisions and radios, on timers to make your home appear occupied. You can also install motion-activated exterior lights, perfect for discouraging any activity outside your home after dark. Make sure to install outdoor lights in areas around your home that get particularly dark.

Lock your shed
If your yard has a shed or an exterior garage, it’s just as essential to keep these spaces locked. If your shed doesn’t come with a lock, make sure to install a padlock. Finally, avoid keeping ladders in an easily accessible location outside your home, as this can give people easy access to second-story windows.
Develop relationships in the neighborhood
Aside from being good manners, it’s also a good security measure. By forming relationships with your neighbors, you’ll gain an extra set of eyes who might notice when something doesn’t look right, and they may be able to alert you of any potential risks when you’re not home. If you’re looking to raise the security level of your entire block, consider joining or starting a neighborhood watch program.

By making home security a top priority, you’ll be able to enjoy your surroundings with the peace of mind.

I never thought about having a vacation house. Who needs a vacation house when we live in sunny California? After moving here from Siberia, we have been living in paradise, and I never thought that we would need another place to call home. We traveled to many places, stayed in many houses, and always got to experience the local life for a short time. I thought that was plenty enough. My husband, however, thought otherwise, and in December of last year, we decided to buy a great house in Monterey that we call our second home now. It is not on the water (that would be crazy expensive!), but it is in a private setting and has an amazing view of Monterey Bay! Every time we go there, I feel like I’m in Hawaii. I know, it’s not the same: the ocean water is cold in Monterey, and there is a mix of redwoods and palms in the area but this is the perfect setting for me. I love going to our new home, especially when I am exhausted and need a break from my busy work. I can just sit on the balcony, stare at the ocean, and do nothing, just breath and relax. The ocean has a special rejuvenating and healing power that can replenish my energy very quickly. I even have a small office in that house with an ocean view, so if I have to work there, I enjoy it even more.

The house needs some work, but nothing crazy; I did so many renovations that this is just another project. We are planning to finish everything by summer to spend more time there. We made a long list of places in the area that we’ll spend time exploring in the near future. Shops, restaurants, small museums, hiking trails, beaches. If you know a great spot in the Monterey area that you can recommend, tell me about it, we’ll check it out.

We are not planning to move there completely, at least not for a few years, but it is so nice to have a great vacation place just an hour away from home. Who knows, maybe at some point we will get a boat too and learn how to sail. Never say never. 😊
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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