Human Interest

SOLD! Stylish Hollywood Hills Home w/ Stunning Landscaping & Pool (Represented Buyer)

I've been a bit busy working on deals, taking care of my 9 month old son, etc and have been away from the blog for awhile, my apologies to all the readers. I will try to get back into the routine and be more "on it" in this medium.

I am pleased to come back to show a great property that I just closed escrow on yesterday for a Buyer client of mine. This particular client resides out of the US, has never seen the property (her representative here did), and I never met them. Interesting huh? I actually really appreciate the trust that they placed in me, seeing as how they are not here, and I am their eyes and ears on the ground so to speak. This is the second International client I have assisted this year, and I have enjoyed meeting and working with both immensely. I hope to do many more in the future with different Buyers and Sellers from all over the world.

This particular property is stunning. It has a great open floor plan with walls of glass all leading out to a spectacular backyard complete with landscaping/hardscaping done by an AIA award winning architect, which makes it a bit "special." The saltwater pool is extra large and the Ipe wood deck, wood gates, and grounds are all done to the 9's.

3400 Blair Dr, Hollywood Hills

$930,000 ($5,000 over asking price) 3 Bed 2 Bath 1,795 Sq. Ft/ow 6,135 Lot Sq. Ft/ow

Upon entry one is immediately struck by the modern facade, and enters past a tranquil waterfall, and into a wide open floor plan with wood flooring throughout. The living room/dining room with fireplace opens seamlessly into a light filled family room with walls of glass leading out to the deck and peaceful canyon views.

Listing Courtesy of Charmaine Degrate - Coldwell Banker BH South

Pictures by Eric Smilay for Smilay Properties

There were half a dozen offers on this property within days of it hitting the market, but we were able to beat out those others to get this great home. Even though we had to go a hair over asking price, I believe my Buyer got a deal. I think it could have even sold for more!

If you would like to find a similar home in and around this area, please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email We would be happy to assist!

Dexter Star Lists Former Starchitect Hal Levitt's Personal Residence

I visited this property this week and was impressed. I actually showed the Outpost Estates area home to a buyer client of mine back when it last sold in 2008 for $1,750,000. They should have bought it then, but instead the star of Showtime's Dexter Michael C. Hall was the lucky purchaser of this great home. This home was the personal residence of architect to the stars, Hal Levitt, from 1964-2004 according to the listing. Mr. Levitt has done some fantastic homes, most recently and notably the home that Jennifer Anniston just sold for a whopping $35M. It was Mr. Hall that took this home to the next level though. He did some great improvements, including all new oak flooring, modernized kitchen, and redone pool. The improvements definitely show, and I don't see this one remaining on the market for long.

7039 Senalda Rd, Hollywood Hills

$1,995,000 4 Bed 5 Bath 3,525 Sq. Ft 10,308 Lot Sq. Ft

Listing & Photos by Joshua Myler & Jeff Kohl - The Agency

At over 3500 sq. ft in a prime location, this is a good value on a very cool house. If you would like to see this great home rich in architectural history, please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Ryan Seacrest Lists Hollywood Hills Mediterranean Mansion

One of the hardest working people in Hollywood has listed his mansion for sale high atop the Hollywood Hills. Ryan Seacrest, American Idol host and Radio DJ, among other jobs, is selling his Mediterranean estate. It is rare to have this much land in the hills, and this home comes with just shy of an acre of "Beautiful grounds, pool, championship tennis court, and much more." It also has a guest house and incredible views. This one is rich in Hollywood history, as it was previously owned by Kevin Costner, and is now ready for the next star or international mogul to reside here. Is this you?

Nichols Canyon, Hollywood Hills

$11,985,000 6 Bed 6.5 Bath 10,000 Sq. Ft 40,946 Lot Sq. Ft

Listing & Photos courtesy of Kurt Rappaport - Westside Estate Agency Inc.

It is shown to pre-qualified buyer's only, but if you are qualified and would like to see this home, please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Sleek Spanish, Great Mix of Vintage & Modern; Hollywood Hills

Unfortunately my client's and I got outbid on this one this week and it is now in escrow, but I still thought it was worthy of posting as it a great mix of vintage elements of a 1926 house and sleek modern finishes. I am not even a huge fan of Spanish style homes in general, but my wife is, and we joked that this would be a great compromise for us. I definitely liked it a lot, and do think it appeals to a wide range of buyer's. It has that character in a home people like, but mixed with sleek modern finishes, which team up to make it a winner. I believe it went very close to the current asking price, which is a fairly high number I think for it, but goes to show both the market strengthening, as well as that people will always pay more for a nicely upgraded designer done property oozing with style. Style and views (they don't show in the pics but there are great views above Hollywood and out to the ocean from this house) are somewhat subjective values, as some people may not care about them, but for the right buyer they can be worth a lot. The seller certainly did a great job, no corners were cut, and top notch finishes were chosen. Well done. Congrats to both the seller and eventual new buyer. They both did well for themselves.

2653 Hollyridge Dr, Hollywood Hills

$1,599,000 (reduced from $1,679,000) 4 Bed 4.5 Bath 2,754 Sq. Ft 5,510 Lot Sq. Ft

Listing & Photos courtesy of Imraan Ali - Keller Williams Larchmont

If you would like to find a similar property in the Hollywood Hills area, please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Reason for Lack of Recent Posts -- Jayden Martin Smilay aka The Future

I apologize for the lack of posts recently on the website, but have been otherwise preoccupied with my Wife and the birth of our first child; Jayden. Being a father for the first time sure puts things in perspective real quick, and what's really important surely stands out. I will get back on the website and pay attention to it moving forward, even with the lack of sleep around my house these days. To get started and back in the swing of things, I thought I would post a few pictures from baby Jayden's first days in this crazy world we all live in. I have a million of them, but don't want to fully be "that guy," so will just post a few. Thank all of you readers, especially the consistent ones, for your patience and understanding.

A happy Grandma meeting her new Grandson for the first time

Three generations of Smilay men together

His favorite pose it seems...'Stop, don't shoot!'

Stylin' hair

International Yoo Designed Modern Building; Berlin

Those of you that follow the blog know that I am a big Phillipe Starck fan. Having previously posted about Starck's design in India, this is the latest project from yoo, a large International design and development firm. I don't do any real estate in Berlin, Germany; however, had to post this as I love the whimsical interior design of Starck. I also love all the modern details throughout the building, including the entryway, lobby, and pool (pictures after the break). The projects website describes the building by saying,

"Occupying the last of Mitte’s choicest downtown river front locations, yoo berlin is the newest, most prestigious address in the heart of the city. Yoo berlin’s facade captures Berlin’s love affair with the dramatic. Within, yoo inspired by Starck designs juxtapose modern with classic, satire with passion and shape with form to create an extraordinary living experience."

If you like the furnishings, here is a link to some of Starck's designs available for purchase.

Berlin is lucky to be getting this instant classic. We need more modern chic buildings in Los Angeles. Perhaps I will build one one day.

Pictures courtesy of Yoo Berlin

Futuristic Newly Built Modern Architectural

Take a look at this futuristic modern home just built and listed for sale on famed Mulholland Dr. in the Hollywood Hills. Positioned on a knoll and designed like a space ship ready to take off into the view. Designed by Michael Rostami of Unicon Builders, this home is stunning combination of disappearing walls of glass, steel, and concrete. The views are out of this world, as one looks over all of Los Angeles from the perch of this fine home. The living room with fireplace flows out to the 33 foot infinity pool, and when the glass is removed, the lines become blurred between indoors and outdoors for that true California living experience. High end everything with only the sleekest finishes used. The master suite is enormous and is positioned over the city with an ultra-hip bathroom and a roof top deck. There is also a 1,100 sq ft permitted guest house or office with full bathroom. The listing describes this home as, "The ultimate trophy compound & work of art." They may be right.

7691 Mulholland Dr, Hollywood Hills

$6,750,000 5 Bed 6 Bath 6,000 Sq. Ft./ow 17,859 Lot Sq. Ft/ow

Listing & Photos courtesy of Joshua & Matthew Altman - Hilton & Hyland

This is a rare home that is tough to duplicate, and in short, may be special. If you would like to see this futuristic modern home in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Sleek Modern Outpost Architectural; Hollywood Hills

Chic modern architectural home in the desirable Outpost Estates area of the Hollywood Hills. Designed by an Architect for their personal home, and now available. The home features a double height living room, ideal open floor plan, Brazilian walnut hardwood flooring, and high end kitchen and baths. The outdoor space has been utilized remarkably well, and flows out from the living room. It is a secluded private yard with a pool, sitting areas, and great landscaping. I have shown this property previously, and it is very well designed. If you like modern architectural homes, this is a great area, and could be the one...

2613 Carmen Crest Dr., Hollywood Hills

$2,749,000 3 Bed 2.5 Bath 3,480 Sq. Ft. 5,652 Lot Sq. Ft

Listing & Photos courtesy of Louise Leach & Juan Longfellow - Sotheby's Int'l Realty

If you would like to see this sleek architectural home in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Cool Mid-Century Modern Flip in Los Feliz

This mid-century home has just undergone an amazing transformation, and in an unbelievably short time, and now looks stunning. Lying north of Los Feliz Blvd in the Los Feliz Estates, is this architecturally designed 1969 wow house. The property recently sold for $1,175,000 in March of this year, well above it's asking price of $975,000. Here is how it looked when the current owner's purchased the fixer. In less then 3 month's the property has been completely redone, upgraded, and even put in a pool. They also added another bedroom, and one and a half bathrooms. I must say these guys did an amazing job with the home in a very short time. Assuming they did not cut a ton of corners and the workmanship is solid, this is a very impressive flip. I guess you can't call it that until it sells, but by the looks of it, I don't think they will have any trouble making that happen.

2251 N Hobart, Los Feliz

$1,599,000 3 Bed 3.5 Bath 2,483 Sq. Ft. 15,313 Sq. Ft. Lot

Listing and Photos courtesy of Boni Bryant & Joe Reichling - Sotheby's Int'l Realty

This is a great looking property with a ton of outdoor space and explosive views of the city in a prime location. Don't delay on this one. If you would like to see this property in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Franklin Hills Mid-Century Opportunity

An attractive new mid-century home has hit the market in the highly desirable Franklin Hills of Los Feliz. This is the neighborhood I personally live, so know it well, and am definitely a fan of the location for a multitude of reasons. This particular property looks nice with an open floor plan, floor to ceiling walls of glass leading out to the outdoor space, and many original built ins. The listing states that, "A central brick fireplace, wood paneling, cabinetry and other period details are just some of the features that embody the modernist movement of the era." The bedrooms are a bit small, and I wish it had one more bathroom; however, this is a stylish home with great roots that lies on a 7,210 lot which affords the owner future possibilities. There are also multiple patios to relax on and take in the views from the hills. This is a great opportunity to own in a fantastic location.

2000 Mayview, Los Feliz

$799,000 3 Bed 1 Bath 1,111 Sq. Ft. 7,210 Sq. Ft. Lot

Listing and Photos courtesy of Robert Carey & Katrina Webb - Sotheby's Int'l Realty

If you like mid-century homes and this is your price point, this one could be perfect. There is a finite supply of these style homes, so I wouldn't delay, as I am sure this home will attract significant attention. If you would like to see this property in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Interesting Design Ideas

While looking through the MLS, I found some interesting pictures and design ideas from various homes currently listed for sale. These are all from high end homes; however, no matter what type of property you live in, you may be able to incorporate a variation of these ideas into your space.

I absolutely love the first shot, as the walls of glass simply disappear and make it seem as if from one's bed they could just hop to one of the skyscrapers off in the distance. Talk about bringing the outside in right.

I have not seen the circle back splash detail in the kitchen before, and like the way it pops against the all white kitchen.

I like the texture of the walls, which really brings the bathroom to life.

A good idea on how to break up a large room, and can put either the bathroom or closet behind the bed area.

If you have a rooftop deck, why not work on your putting stroke while enjoying the views? All pictures courtesy of the MLS

Hollywood Hills Stylish Mid-Century Home

Stylish Mid-Century home just listed in the Hollywood Hills. This one is in a nice location above booming Hollywood, and features an open loft like floor plan in the main living area with dark hardwood flooring. The recently renovated kitchen features Caesarstone counters, Ann Sachs tiles and appliances by Miele, Viking and Liebherr. Two bedrooms upstairs, and one on the lower level, which is currently configured as an office/media room. It's got a nice mix of vintage elements and modern touches, and is a nice looking home in a good location with a pool just in time for the summer.

What are your thoughts on this home, finishes used, and the price?

6309 Ivarene Ave, Hollywood Hills

$999,000 3 Bed 3 Bath 1,926 Sq. Ft 7,140 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing & Photos courtesy of Geoff Clark - Deasy Penner & Partners

If you would like to see this home in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Exploring The Los Feliz Village

I had to go to a real estate office today to drop off some paperwork on a deal I just finalized in Los Feliz, and it is such a beautiful day out I took out my camera and started walking. Being a "Hollywood Guy," I have obviously been to the Village here and there, but mostly infrequently so was exploring a little bit. There were many people out and about today on both Hillhurst and Vermont, having lunch, walking, shopping, or riding bikes. There are a ton of restaurants and some boutique shopping in a close proximity to one another, which makes for a great neighborhood feel. In general I really enjoyed the vibe, and look forward to venturing into the area more often.

A notable restaurant is the Alcove Great outdoor area at the Alcove

You can guess that the shopping center next door to the Alcove gets a ton of people trying to park there and go to the Alcove

In this one mixed-use building, there are Italian, Sushi,& Brazilian restaurants, with loft style apartments above.

Pizza spot Sandwich spot

Several small boutique shops from up and coming designers

The Library

Interesting religious neighbor pairing

Took this pic of the Dresden while driving, which I don't recommend, but it produced an interesting effect

View up Hillhurst towards the Hills

Great day for a bike ride

Palm tree lined street just off Hillhurst

New Hollywood Hills Modern Architectural

This interesting modern architectural home in the Hollywood Hills has just hit the market today. The home is over 2500 sq. ft and has been totally redone with all new electrical, plumbing, and of course high end fixtures. The flooring is travertine throughout the property. The kitchen is all new as well with Caeserstone counters and all Viking appliances. The home lies high up in the hills and according to the listing, "From the Master bedroom you can see the City, Ocean on one side and Hollywood sign, Canyons on the other." The views are great, but another added bonus is that area of flat grassy yard, which is somewhat rare in the Hollywood Hills.

What do you think of the design and selection of finishes?

8841 Appian Way, Hollywood Hills

$1,875,000 4 Bed 3.5 Bath 2,503 Sq. Ft 7,110 Sq. Ft Lot

Is that a bathtub in the Master Bedroom?

Listing & Photos courtesy of Celeste Andrews Drum - Real Estate eBrokers Inc.

If you would like to see this property in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email Also, should you like the idea of owning a modern architectural, but maybe this one isn't quite it, we do know of others currently available.

Christina Aguilera Lists Beverly Hills Home for Sale

Lying on a half acre lot in a prime Beverly Hills location just north of Sunset is this gated and private celebrity estate recently listed for sale. Owned by the multi-platinum singer Christina Aguilera, this property boasts a dramatic entryway, a nice mix of modern and classic, and updated everything fit for a star. I like the way Ms. Aguilera has the property sort of whimsically decorated with a definite nod to the Phillipe Starck aesthetic. The property has a great master suite with fireplace, lounge area, and his and her walk in closets. The listing describes "This magnificent home also includes a gym, game room, gift-wrapping area, a gorgeous and lush movie room, beauty salon, and guesthouse with recording studio. Fantastic pool with water slide and grotto spa, BBQ, and incredible custom pagoda make the backyard ideal for fun and entertaining. A spectacular private oasis within the city." With the price, location, and celebrity owner, you can imagine and bank on the fact that everything is done with a great attention to detail and is very high end.

513 Doheny Rd, Beverly Hills

$13,500,000 6 Bed 9 Bath 10,000 Sq. Ft 27,860 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing & Photos courtesy of Brooke Kaufman - Hilton & Hyland

This property pretty much speaks for itself. If you want to live in a private Beverly Hills Mediterranean estate, you would be hard pressed to find one nicer with this level of pedigree. According to the listing, you must be pre-qualified, but if interested in seeing this celebrity home in person please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Jennifer Aniston to Sell $42M Beverly Hills Home

The internet has been a buzz this week with reports that Jennifer Aniston is privately listing her Beverly Hills home for sale at a whopping $42,000,000. Man that is a lot of zero's. Aniston recently gave a glimpse into the home in a March feature by Architectural Digest. Built in 1970 by Architect Harold W. Levitt with sweeping views of the city, Aniston calls the house "Ohana," a reference to the Hawaiian idea of extended family. She purchased the 9,000 square foot home in 2006 for $13.5M, and underwent a two and a half year gutting and remodeling of the property with her designer Stephen Shadley. Mr. Shadley was quoted in the Architectural Digest feature as saying, "I’ll be lucky if I ever do anything with this kind of team and freedom again." The home is full of "green" energy efficient touches, wide open spaces, and zen inspired touches. I will be honest and say that I have not had much real estate experience in this price range to this point in my career; however, my only question is that from the overview shot, is the lot big enough to garner the asking price? I am sure the cache of owning arguably the most famous "Friend's" star is worth a lot to the right buyer though. It is being shown to pre-qualified buyer's only, so no open houses to take a peak unfortunately.

Thinking of Living in Hollywood? My Blog Post for Dale Siegel's Blog

I recently published a guest blog post about Hollywood on the website. Using their format, I wrote about the recent growth and transition of new Hollywood, the Real Estate industry and the technology used, and gave tips for buyers and sellers. I also included a story where one of my buyer client's got themselves the once in a lifetime deal.

Read the entire post here:

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