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 you are limited by school districts. You have 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. 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

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

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

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 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

June 13, 2017

Mid-century Modern Madness

4140 Scandia Way Los Angeles, CA 90065

Ooooh! This amazing Mount Washington mid-century goodness! Swoon - that bathroom! Those high ceilings! That view! This 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1,486 square foot home screams - grab your tiki torches and let's party!

That oven is so adorable, I want to hug it.

Those ceilings! I can't wait to explore under that carpet to see if it's hiding hardwood floor secrets!

When you have a quarter acre lot, you can be splashy about driveway space. My word, that's enough space to park both our 1956 and 1960 Buicks back to back!

Enough flat space for a party!

That view! I'm so speechless, I can't even continue typing. Let's just all have a moment of silence for this view.

Offered at $859,000. Interested in buying this gorgeousness? I'd love to chat about how we can get you into your very own Mad Men episode!

Courtesy Carolyn Wilson, BMR Enterprises

April 18, 2017

Craftsman in Leimert Park

4147 S Van Ness Ave Los Angeles, CA 90062
This 1913-built Craftsman has all the charm of the era plus an updated kitchen and bathroom. Contrasting trim highlight the details on this adorable home.

Original mouldings abound in the living room and dining room.


Enjoy the spacious, landscaped backyard!

Are you looking for an agent and would like to see this home? I would love to help you! Contact me at or 818.642.9622.

Listing courtesy Judi Reimer, Re/Max Estate Properties

Feb. 27, 2017

Stylishly updated 1920s Mid-Wilshire California Bungalow

1230 S Mullen Ave Los Angeles CA 90019
Mid-wilshire california bungalow
Our new listing is live and ready for visitors! We have open houses Tuesday 2/28 - 11 to 2 pm, Sunday 3/5 from 1-4 pm and Sunday 3/12 from 2-5 pm. Come say hi!

This updated, hip 1922 California Bungalow in the Queen Anne village area of Mid-Wilshire is a steal at $799,000 for three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus bonus room. Charming wood siding exterior.

hip los angeles bungalow
Charming original mouldings throughout. Ready to move in with new appliances, central HVAC and updated systems.

1230 S Mullen Ave 09
The formal dining room is begging you for a dinner party!

1230 S Mullen Ave 16
The home was updated by the current owners, who added a master suite with walk in closet and full bathroom.

1230 S Mullen Ave 24
Enjoy any one of the spacious three bedrooms and three bathrooms, all featuring gleaming hardwood floors.

1230 S Mullen Ave 32
Zoned R2, there is opportunity for expansion and room to do so.

1230 S Mullen Ave 33
The bonus room has soaring high ceilings and a glass door to the beautiful backyard.

mid-city bungalow for sale
Walking distance to the new City Target and Sprouts that have broken ground on the corner of San Vicente and La Brea.

Wondering what the payments would look like? We have a lender who is offering a 2.97% loan rate with 20% down. Your monthly payment would be around $3150/month including property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Would you like a tour or to chat further about this property? Contact me - Samira at 818.642.9622 or