Los Angeles Real Estate and Community News

March 12, 2018

Silver Lake Mid-century Duplex with Views

2331 & 2333 Teviot St Los Angeles CA 90039

Gorgeous Silver Lake duplex with massive amounts of storage space underneath, allowing you to possibly build out a third unit on the LAR2 zoned lot or expand each unit to almost double their sizes. The yard even has room for a pool, or create a deck to take advantage of that stunning view. Or do both!

Each oversize unit has original hardwood floors, very large windows to take advantage of those views and many original features that add to the charm of these homes. Live in one and rent the other one, what a great opportunity to have a built-in retirement fund on your property.

Offered at $1,350,000. More at : http://www.midcenturyduplex.com

Open house Sunday March 25th 2-5 pm



Feb. 16, 2018

West Adams Craftsman Renovation

I love talking to both buyers and sellers about fixing up their houses, and love to share my own experiences. It gives me a perspective on difficulty level, cost and what gives you the most bang for your buck. I've renovated my own home, other investment properties and now this home for my mom. You can read more about how we purchased this home in probate sale here. Enjoy these beautiful photos from the amazing Stephanie Wiley.

Imagine a home that had once been loved but more recently had a lot of deferred maintenance. Sam had lived here since his grandmother had purchased the property and the property transferred to him in the 1970s.

The home had suffered tremendous damage during the Northridge earthquake and was renovated in 1994. The house had fallen off the foundation, so a new foundation was poured and the house was bolted onto the new foundation. The garage had collapsed, so a new one was built in it's place. Sadly, all of the original features of the house had been stripped out during the 90s renovation and all that remained was the original wood plank exterior. 

By the time we got it, the property was in rough shape since it had sat empty for more than a year after Sam was moved into a care facility. There was extensive termite damage to the flooring and some joists, plus there was a water leak around a rear light fixture.

We worked with a local architect and engineer to draw up plans to change around walls in order to make this 2 bedroom and 1 bath home into a comfortable 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom open concept bungalow, all within the existing square footage.

We were lucky that a large back laundry room gave us additional space to work with. Design took about a month, with about three weeks for the permitting process. Sadly the original flooring was damaged behind repair, with extensive water and termite damage throughout most of the main rooms. The joist under the main damaged portion was rotted through, and it was replaced during renovation.

Stove: vintage O'keefe and Merritt from craigslist. Faucet: Delta Trinsic, Amazon open box item.

Kitchen : Ikea, custom sprayed Bjorket doors. Liz's Hardware handles. White Quartz counters : MSI

Guest bedroom

Master bedroom

Master bedroom with ensuite bathroom and closet (closet is behind the door)

Third Bedroom

Main bathroom with washer dryer

Master bathroom with pocket door


Love the house? Best of all, you can rent it when you're in Los Angeles. It's available for short and long term stays. Click here to find out more.

Before you go off into the internet to watch cat videos, please enjoy this potato quality photo collage of the before pictures.

West Adams renovation

Photo credit for all beautiful photos: Stephanie Wiley Interior Photography

List of sources:


Living Room
Black round chair - vintage, thrifted
Black wassily chair - Scandinavian Designs
Cane chairs - vintage, thrifted
Coffee table - Ikea, Stockholm collection
Rug - Home Goods
Pillows on sofa - West Elm
Throws -Target, TJ Maxx
Sofa - Ikea
Gold side table - Target
Green side table - Target
Wood side table - Blueprint, LA
Table lamp - came with the house! Shade from Home Goods
Bar cart - Target
Sconces - Amazon
Artwork above side table - came with the house
Gold plant holder on fireplace - Urban Outfitters
Entry dresser - vintage, thrifted
Dining Room
Table - vintage, thrifted
Chairs - vintage, thrifted
Painting - vintage, thrifted
Stools - Target
Light - West Elm
Cabinets and Island - Ikea Bjorket, custom sprayed Benjamin Moore Black, in satin
Cabinet Handles - Liz's Antique Hardware, LA
Stools - Blue Dot
Stove - vintage O'Keefe and Merritt, Craigslist score
Faucet - Delta Trinsic in Champagne Gold
Shelving - Wood from House of Hardwood in LA - custom cut; Brackets from Home Depot
Light - Target
Bedroom 1
Bed - Amazon
Carpet - Home Goods
Bench - Target
Bedside lamps - Target
Nightstands - Target
Artwork - my own photography
Pillows - Target
Bedroom 2
Headboard - Amazon
Bed base - Tempur-pedic
Carpet - Home goods
Nightstands - Target
Bedside lamps - Target
Dresser - vintage, thrifted
Gold Metal Wall Art - Target
Shell chair - vintage, thrifted
Pillows - Home Goods
Bedroom 3
Bed - Amazon
Pillows - Target, TJ Maxx, Home Goods
Nightstands - Target
Bedside Lamps - Target
Wall art - Target
Closet - Ikea, Target handles
Mirror - Home Goods
Sitting chairs - Orchard Supply Hardware
Dining table/chairs - IKEA

Firepit - Lowe's 

Feb. 16, 2018

Moving to Los Angeles

"I was so fortunate to find Samira! Not only was she a great realtor, but she is so incredibly knowledgeable about the ins and outs of living in Los Angeles--something that has been totally invaluable to me as a transplant from the east coast. I would absolutely recommend her without hesitation.  She's the best!" - Y. Cardinal, buyer in Hollywood Hills.

If you're moving to Los Angeles, I would love to welcome you to this city and find you the best place for you to buy your new home. I know this city better than any native Angeleno, yet have the perspective of moving here about 20 years ago. Los Angeles is a city made up of small neighborhoods and it can be overwhelming navigating the pros and cons of each area.

While you set up your new life here, I can provide recommendations on restaurants, shopping, vendors for your new home and anything else that you need. Clients consider me a mix of a real estate life coach and an incredibly connected concierge, making your move here smooth and rewarding.

And if you decide to move out of Los Angeles, I also have an incredibly connected network of amazing Realtors in other parts of the country.

Let's talk about how I can help you find your new home in the sun.

Posted in Los Angeles, Relocation
Jan. 25, 2018

Is it the right time to buy in Los Angeles?

Is now a good time to buy a house in Los Angeles? And I know what you're thinking...she's a Realtor! Of course she's going to say yes! I'm also a real estate investor that knows the market really well, so I'm going to give you some background on why it's a good time to buy (unless you have a time machine, in which case I will tell you to go back to 2012 and buy up all the Highland Park real estate you can. Trust me.)

Are we in a bubble? The short answer is no. And the long answer is no, so let's examine it from quotes by people far better at math than I am:

As per the LA Times: "Economists have said today's upswing is more sustainable, driven not by risky lending but by an improving economy, historically low mortgage rates and a shortage of homes for sale. Adjusted for inflation, prices in all counties are under their 2007 peaks; the Southern California median is about 13% below its peak.

In addition, it's not expected to get better "Economists generally agree that's because developers for decades have built too few homes for population and job growth. Experts have cited a variety of reasons for the slow pace of construction, with neighborhood opposition and tight environmental regulations among the major factors.

To help address that problem, Gov. Jerry Brown this year signed a handful of housing-related bills, including ones that would ease some development restrictions and raise money for below-market housing.

However, housing groups and state officials noted the proposals were modest compared with the scope of the housing shortage, and hardly a cure."

A little more analysis echoes that it's a supply issue.

"If you are looking to buy a home – but you’re worried that the housing market is “in a bubble” – then please, stop worrying. That “excuse” is no good with me.

There is no bubble. And because the current supply of homes can’t meet the demand, prices can go dramatically higher from here. Now is still a great time to buy a house in America! With low interest rates, and no supply, prices can still go a lot higher. Don’t hesitate. Take advantage of it!!! Good investing."

Ok, so you're reassured that you won't be massively overpaying for a house and you're wondering what to do next? There are still deals to be had and there are still houses sitting on the market. From deep in the trenches, I have advice for those looking for a home they can afford:

1. Keep an open mind about location.
This is your first home, not your forever home. On average, homeowners move every 5-7 years. This is your way to get into a market that has people moving to this city every year, with a hot tech industry spurring even more migration and wealth. In a city with limited land and a system that makes it difficult to develop more density, you need to get into the market as soon as you can. Prices will be on an upward trajectory, no matter the short term ups and downs.

While you do want to be relatively close to work to avoid a painful commute, start exploring neighborhoods you may have written off. Fear keeps a lot of people from exploring really fun, vibrant parts of this city. Volunteering in and being part of the community go a long way towards alleviating fear of the unknown - look for opportunities to volunteer in a target neighborhood.

Believe it or not, you can still buy a house for under $650,000 in the Los Angeles area. Some areas to look at are : Reseda, North Hollywood, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, Altadena, Tujunga and parts of South LA such as Hyde Park. I wrote a little more about undiscovered Los Angeles neighborhoods here.

2. Be willing to do a little work.
If you only put offers on the pretty places that are completely fixed up, be prepared to pay significantly more than comparable properties and prepare to be outbid. Often.

Some houses require a lot of work, but many others are simply outdated and are in need of a coat of paint, floor refinishing and a new kitchen. I have worked on numerous kitchens myself and can reassure you that it's one of the easiest rooms to remodel. Keep the existing layout, and you can demo a kitchen in one day and assemble/install the new kitchen the next weekend. Many designers rave about IKEA cabinets, and I still love the ones we installed 8 years ago. Stick with lower cabinets and use upper open shelving to keep the costs down.

You know those teen movies where the gorgeous model wears glasses and everyone seems to not recognize how beautiful she is until she takes them off and shakes out her hair? That's how I feel about these outdated houses - look behind the glasses and see the beauty! Many of them are priced SLIGHTLY too high for flippers, so take that advantage and flip your own house! I even have lenders who can give you a mortgage that can fold in the costs of your renovation with as little as 5% down. I did it myself - you can check out my experience with a rehab loan here.

Remember, it doesn't have to be instagram-worthy on day one. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You have plenty of time to fix up your house as you build back your reserves.

3. Understand your school options.
Don't feel like your are limited by school districts. You may many school choices in Los Angeles, so you may want to research target areas and understand your options. Each Los Angeles neighborhood has it's home school that your child is assigned to, but you also have magnet schools, charter schools and the option to transfer to a school that has open spots. Perhaps a school near your office has a majority of residents sending their kids to private schools? Then you may have the option of sending your child to that school through an intra-district permit. Gomamaguide has been invaluable resource in figuring out our own options, as our toddler starts growing up.

On a personal note, I volunteered in LAUSD Schools for many years with my certified therapy dog Chili. While some of these schools may have had Great Schools 2 ratings, the teachers and staff were incredibly engaged and supportive of all of the children. Tanya Anton from Gomamaguide encouraged us to visit our local schools to see how our child would fit into that environment. Perhaps that Great Schools 10-rated school drills the kids to boost test scores and your child would not respond to such tactics. Perhaps your child has a talent that would be perfect for a magnet school with that speciality. Unhappy with the performance of your local school? A group of local moms has banded together to send all of their kids to the local school and volunteer in order to help the school improve their programs. How great to get involved in your community in order to improve it!

Bottom line: Even if you are currently pregnant, you have more than 5 years to figure out your plans. Schools can change a lot in 5 years. You have options, don't worry!

4. Have a rock solid offer plan.
I'm going to give away one of my secrets to getting offers accepted: get pre-approved with a direct lender that can give you a loan commitment.

This means that the underwriting department goes through all of your financials BEFORE you are in escrow. But Samira, wait - isn't that what a pre-approval is? The dirty little secret of the financial world is that many pre-approvals are generated by a system and not by an underwriter that has personally combed through your financials. They could miss that you had some blips in your finances a few years ago. A pre-approval is not a guarantee, and YES, loans have been denied to folks with pre-approvals. Imagine being 21 days into escrow, having given notice your landlord and all of a sudden losing your loan AND your earnest money deposit.

By getting pre-approved by a direct lender who has underwriting review your financials before giving you a pre-approval, I make sure that you 1. are completely underwritten and that no surprises pop up during the escrow process and 2. it allows you to waive your loan contingency in order to compete with cash offers. Now we're talking, right? I'm happy to walk you through the process, as I know it can sound overwhelming.

As you can tell, I am incredibly passionate about real estate and I love to talk about this stuff. Thinking about buying or selling? I would love to chat with you. No pressure. Promise! Message me to set up a time.

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec. 5, 2017


The busy fall season continues with the Verdugo condo selling for way above asking after multiple strong offers, and my Riverton seller's closing on their new Altadena dream home with a huuuuge yard! So happy for all of my clients.

Posted in Uncategorized
Oct. 5, 2017

Scandinavian flair in the Verdugo Woodlands

2940 N Verdugo Rd #102 Glendale CA 91208

2 bedroom + 2 bathroom 1,036 sq ft with pool
Low HOA $300/month
Parking is just steps away

Open houses:
Thursday 10/12 - 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Sunday 10/15 - 2 to 5 pm

Overlooking tree-lined Glorietta Park, this Verdugo Hills 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo stuns with both an incredible view and gorgeous style. Feel like you just stepped into a interior design magazine, with a fresh remodel featuring beautiful new floors and a gorgeous kitchen featuring calacatta gold quartz counters.

The stunning open concept living area includes areas for relaxing, cooking and eating. Open the sliding doors to entertain on your relaxing private balcony and enjoy the beautiful shady trees, fresh breeze and mountain view.

Relax by the sparkling pool, complete with spa and relaxing pool deck. Host larger parties in the recreation room which boasts a pool table, fireplace, and bar. Central HVAC, newer windows, updated plumbing and low HOA fees complete this home.

Stunning views, amazing local schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants and freeways. Montrose is a hop and skip away, with local festivals and a charming main street. Enjoy an afternoon at Descanso Gardens, hop over to Pasadena for dinner and brunch in Glendale at the Americana.

If you are an unrepresented buyer, I would love take you on a tour! Email me at samira@theartofhouses.com

Sept. 20, 2017

SOLD Listings

It's been busy, with my listings selling quickly! I'm proud to have secured multiple great offers for each of my listings and selling over asking! Many of my sales also had contingencies waived, with appraisal, loan or even inspection contingencies waived and paving the way for a quick and smooth transaction. Congratulations to my amazing sellers, I'm honored to have helped you sell your home.
Interested in hearing more about how I can maximize what you get for your home? Email me at samira@theartofhouses.com

Aug. 20, 2017

Verdugo View condo with pool

2940 N Verdugo Rd #323 Glendale, CA 91208

Beautiful view condo with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, offered at $439,000. See more at www.verdugoview.com

Step into this top floor 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home overlooking the beautiful Verdugo Hills and Glorietta Park. Wall to wall sliding glass doors lead to a balcony with an incomparable view of the Verdugo Woodlands.

See downtown LA on a clear day and enjoy a full view of the gorgeous sunsets. Stunning views, amazing local schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants and freeways. Montrose is a hop and skip away, with local festivals and a charming main street. Enjoy an afternoon at Descanso Gardens, hop over to Pasadena for dinner and brunch in Glendale at the Americana.

Step into your gourmet updated kitchen to chat with your guests while they sip cocktails at the breakfast bar. Relax by the sparkling pool, complete with spa and relaxing pool deck. Host larger parties in the recreation room which boasts a pool table, fireplace, and bar.

Two parking spaces with storage, central HVAC, newer windows, updated roof, updated plumbing and low HOA fees make this home irresistible.

Aug. 3, 2017

Adorable Noho Bungalow with entertaining-ready backyard

I'm excited to present our new listing at 5840 Riverton Ave in North Hollywood 91601.

Down a tree-lined street sits a sunny bungalow with grace and style. Walk up the gracious driveway path and enter into a home that retains the style of yesteryear yet is updated for the way we live today. The open concept living area includes areas for relaxing, cooking, eating or just a place to chill.

Step down into a den that opens to a sweeping expanse of outdoor living, large enough to build your dream pool. Entertain in your relaxing private paradise with fruit trees and hammock. The interlocking brick patio undulates through the yard, creating pockets where you can enjoy the beautiful shady trees and fresh breeze.

The updated kitchen features quartz counters and upgraded appliances. Newer windows, roof, sewer line, copper piping, hardwood floors, automatic sprinklers and central air conditioning complete this home.

Close to the Noho Arts District, Chandler bike path, the upcoming NoHoWEST shopping/entertainment development and studios. Welcome home. Relax. Create. Entertain.

This home is offered at $550,000. Please contact us at samira@samira.net or 818.642.9622 for showings. If you're an unrepresented buyer, I would love to work with you!

Listed by Samira Mahjoub Tapia and Monique Carrabba, Keller Williams Beverly Hills.

July 6, 2017

Splash into Summer with these LA Homes

In honor of this beautiful summer, let's review some favorite listings with pools - available now!

712 Woodlawn Ave Venice, CA 90291
This house reminds me of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and makes me giggle when I see that garage because I remember their shenanigans! It's so incredibly cool with the full window to showcase your ride. Offered at $2,099,000, and features 3 bedroom and 2 bathrooms.

Listing courtesy Coleman Eisner, Deasy Penner & Partners

5337 Shenandoah Ave Los Angeles, CA 90056
This midcentury masterpiece is offered at $2.1 million. Featuring 3 bedroom, 4 bathrooms and an amazing courtyard pool, this house is screaming for you to create your own James Bond film.

Courtesy Kevin Bacher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties

5206 Los Bonitos Way Los Feliz, CA
This 3 bedroom 3 bathroom home is offered at $2 million and continues with the mid mod vibe.

Listing courtesy Mina Reynolds Bricot, RE/MAX of Valencia

6520 Moore Dr Los Angeles, CA 90048
Offered at $2,250,000, this 4 bedroom 3 1/2 bathroom Spanish Revival stunner boasts over 2,000 square feet in the middle of the city.

Courtesy Heidi Davis, Keller Williams Larchmont

1469 Westerly Terrace
Offered at $1,175,000, this home features 1 bedroom with a ton of style. Those pink appliances, swoon!

Courtesy Laura Marchetti, Sotheby's International Realty

480 Westgate St Pasadena, CA 91103
Offered at $1,298,000, this home is almost walking distance to the Rose Bowl. Or simply stay home to enjoy that pool and cabana.

Courtesy Katherine Gallivan, Figure 8 Realty

601 South Windsor Los Angeles, CA 90005
Move up to Hancock Park and enjoy this stately 8 bedroom, 8 1/2 bathroom 11,826 square foot home offered at $11,695,000.

Listing provided courtesy of H. Blair Chang, The Agency