Smilay Properties

New Santa Clarita Town Home Listing

New Santa Clarita Town Home Listing

Lying in the highly desirable Mariposa community in booming Bouqet Canyon location. The two story town home features include new white oak wood flooring, chef's kitchen with all stainless steel appliances and sparkling granite countertops, and an ideal open floor plan.

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Moving On Up...

After 8 great years with the agency I started with in Real Estate, West Los Angeles Realty, I made the difficult decision of moving to a larger agency last week. It was a tough call, as the broker of my former company is more like family than a boss. On top of that, she taught me almost everything I know about being a real estate agent. I have not one bad thing to say about her or the company. I just felt it was time to move to a bigger office for a variety of reasons. After meeting with a couple of companies I liked from afar, I settled on Nourmand & Associates in the Beverly Hills office, and made the move. Nourmand is a great company, much like the situation I had before where the Broker/President is readily available for input, but on a larger scale. It has been around for 37 years, has 3 offices (Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and Hollywood), and is approaching 150 agents. There are some HUGE producers in the office, most notably Myra Nourmand, who currently has in the neighborhood of $60M plus in active listings! Don't know if I'll get to that level, but I am certainly going to give it my all both for myself and my new company. In the end this move should benefit my clients as much as myself, mostly in terms of marketing their properties for sale, as Nourmand has a plethora of resources to assist with "Marketing your property to the world." In the end as a seller that is what you need, to cast the widest net and create the most buzz to ensure that every potential buyer sees your property and it sells for the highest possible price. The world is getting smaller, and now I have the backing and resources available to put your property in front of any and everyone in any corner of the globe. Nourmand-logotagline

If you ever want to come down to Beverly Hills and see the new office and find out how the new company and I can be of assistance in helping you buy or sell in this highly competitve market, please feel free to contact us anytime 310.600.9172 or email I would be happy to assist!

My New Mid-Century Modern Lease Listing in the "Oaks" of Los Feliz

Stylish mid-century modern in coveted "Oaks" area of Los Feliz with head on downtown city skyline views. Property has been recently remodeled and is now stunning with clean white gallery like walls and walls of glass bringing the light and lush surroundings outside in. Home features refinished and new hardwood flooring, open loft like floor plan anchored by classic brick fireplace, and high ceilings. Cool original Youngstown kitchen with metal cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Very large master bedroom with fireplace and two walk in closets (one cedar lined). The large front deck is great for entertaining and soaking up the view, while the backyard with spa, fire pit, and waterfall is great for relaxing. Great lush landscaping completes this dynamic and tranquil property.

2047 E Live Oak, Los Feliz

$6,500/mo 3 Bed 2 Bath 2,162 Sq. Ft 9,532 Lot Sq. Ft

Pictures by Eric Smilay for Smilay Properties

If you would like to see this great property, please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

My New Redondo Beach Lease Listing

Fantastic, two-story, 4 bedroom, 2½ bath house on corner lot in prime location. Property is very light & bright with soaring ceilings in living room & multiple bedrooms. Great open floor plan with kitchen opening up to informal eating area and large family room with fireplace. Huge master bedrm with large walk-in closet and very spacious bathroom featuring a separate tub & frameless glass enclosed walk in shower. Large laundry room w/ washer/dryer included. Large 2 car garage w/ storage space. Gardener included. Less than 10 minutes to the beach! A great lease opportunity just in time for Summer. Available July 15th.

2200 Curtis, Redondo Beach

$3,800/mo 4 Bed 2.5 Bath 2,484 Sq. Ft 3,746 Lot Sq. Ft

Pictures by Eric Smilay for Smilay Properties

If you would like to see this great property, please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Great Brentwood Village Condo Lease

[flickr size="medium" float="left"][/flickr]Lying in the desirable Le Provencal building N. of Montana just steps to all that San Vicente has to offer. This immaculate 1521 sq. ft 2 bed/ 2bath condo features great open floor plan, large rooms, upgraded carpet, and multiple balconies. The master bedroom has a ton of closet space as well. The unit is in the back of the building away from Barrington, so is very quiet and peaceful in the heart of the city. Walking distance to all the goods and services San Vicente and Brentwood Village has to offer. Available June 1st. Offered at $3300/mo.

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Malibu Shabby Chic Lease on the Water

Here is a video walk through I made of a lease deal I just finalized for a new client of mine this past month on PCH overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu. Video quality may not be pro level, but this definitely gives a great sense of the property. What a way to wake up in the morning...

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Hip Silverlake View House For Lease


Offered @ $2,795/mo.

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Know What You Can & Can't Afford Before Looking

[flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr] It is imperative that one speaks to a lender before beginning their housing search. This is true for a number of reasons, but mainly for knowing the actual costs associated with various purchase prices. Most people are mainly concerned with how much is the place going to cost them every month. A lender can look at your situation in less than 15 minutes, get you pre-approved for a specific amount, as well as discuss what the current interest rates are. This last point is the key point. Just a few tenths of a percentage point can significantly increase or decrease your monthly outlay. I have previously written on this topic that available financing is just as important as the purchase price.

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Also, you don’t want to look at million dollar homes, if you can only qualify and afford half a million dollars. Not only is this a waste of time for you, your realtor, the listing agent, etc, but once you see those homes, all of a sudden the half as nice homes aren’t going to be nice enough anymore. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you can only afford a certain level, as I am sure most people wish they had $20M plus homes, but for most (including me), this just isn’t an option, and so it is not even worth discussing. When searching for properties, one must be real about what they can and can’t do, and take it down from the hypothetical to reality.

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With that information in hand, one can then go out and find the best available home in or close to the area where they want to live. Once you find the home you like and are ready to make an offer, including a pre-approval letter with your offer will make it all that much stronger. It shows the seller that this person is serious, has done their due diligence, and if we accept, they are more likely to be able to close the deal. At the end of the day, closing the deal is what everybody involved in the transaction’s main concern is.

Searching For & Recognizing Value in Today's Real Estate Market

[flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr] In todays economic, and specifically real estate, environment every buyer/leaser wants to negotiate. No matter what the price is, people want to offer less, just because they feel like they can. There are many instances when homes are priced well, and are deals at the asking price. I would caution against missing out on a deal, while trying to negotiate a steal. That is very important. I understand the concept of buying low and selling high as well as anyone, so trust me I get it. Negotiating on behalf of my buyer client’s is on e of my favorite parts about being a real estate professional. In some instances one can negotiate much lower than the asking price, but in others they may just lose out on the house they really wanted. The thing is, every seller on the market is not necessarily desperate, and with a plethora of information available, Los Angeles is one of the most knowledgeable markets in the country in terms of people knowing what houses are worth in the areas they are looking. Let me give you a specific example.

Recently, I represented buyers on a purchase of a foreclosed property in the Hollywood Hills. The asking price was $700,000 and the listing described it as a “fixer”. The listing agent for the bank told me he never even visited the property. I knew the house very well having previously met the original builder, as well as leased out the home twice for the investor /buyer that eventually foreclosed. It needed new carpets, but was not a fixer at all, and had designer baths, imported stone work, and a gourmet chef’s kitchen. It also had the roof engineered to be a deck, but did not have stairs to go up there; nobody could have known that but me, since I met the original builder when it was first completed. I told my client’s that I am not a hard salesman type, but this is an absolute deal and if you are interested, you will need to act quickly as this will sell fast. That was not just salesman jargon, but a real fact. They recognized the value and called me 20 minutes after we saw it to make an offer. We ended up offering $720,000 (yes, $20,000 over asking price) as there were 7 offers in a matter of days. Some of those offers were under asking, which is my point. We got it, and the property appraised by a bank at $850,000. Banks are conservative by nature, so the home is probably worth closer to $950,000. While some were negotiating off the asking price trying to get a steal, my client’s knew I was telling them the truth, recognized the value and offered over asking and got an amazing deal!

Beyond the basic dollars and cents of the deal, it is also not like buying stock, and if it is the home where you want to live, that has intrinsic value in and of itself. In closing, definitely use your negotiating power as a qualified buyer/leaser in today’s market, but when a deal arises, don’t miss out on it thinking you can negotiate it down even lower. If you find the house you like, it is priced well, and you want to live there with your family for years, then take advantage of historically low interest rates, lock it down and enjoy.

The Calm After The Storm

Some really nice pictures taken of the sky and the Hollywood landscape after the storm stopped last night in Los Angeles. [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

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It's a Deal (Vision Required)

I have had this listing at 621 Barrington for a little over 2 month's now, and buyer's keep calling to see it daily. I have shown the property on private appointments close to 30 times now (have another appt scheduled for later today in fact), plus the 30 or so people that have come through to the 3 open houses I have held. Everyone of those people have said that the property needs work. This is absolutely true, as the kitchens & baths are not modern; however, that is why the price is what it is. I understand if they are not the types interested in a minor remodeling project, but they must recognize the value in the price. We are now asking $810,000 and are open to all reasonable offers, when there are the same level of finishes in the building next door with no high ceilings and no wood flooring asking $950,000! To me, if someone can have a little vision, they can purchase this property right around $800K, put $40K into it and have themselves a $925,000 property! To me, that is a deal. It does require vision and maybe a little bit of patience, but in the end someone should recognize that it is a deal, plain and simple, and take advantage! Loaded with Potential, Just needs Updating in Kitchens & Baths

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Can see a detailed tour of this property at

Newly Listed Modern Architecturals in Mar Vista

Today is Tuesday, which means it is Broker Open House day from 11-2. I don't always go to these, unless I have a buyer for something, or a competing listing, but I am glad I did today. It was interesting, and good to see the new homes out there. They all range from $1.9M-$2.2M and have their pluses and minuses. In general though, except for the first house below, I all thought they weren't really as cool or designer as the prices suggest. They were definitely nice, but none of them really had the top tier finishes. The builders, and even their agents, may think they are the best of the best, but to be honest they really weren't. In general, except for the first one, they didn't have that "WOW" factor I guess is the best way I can put it. What do you think? Greenfield Modern Listed at $1,895,000 in the Westside Village, this 2600 sq. ft award winning architectural had a real point of difference, and was easily the best of the day. [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

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The best part, how the walls literally disappear, and make the space feel larger as well as that Cali indoor/outdoor feel.

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Maplewood Listing Listed at $2,195,000 on a hilltop in a great location, this 3000 sq. ft home had some real nice outdoor space no question, but in general I though the finishes used were nowhere near top of the line. For this price, in this location,they should be. Master bedroom was quite small as well, which will be a problem for selling I believe.

On a side note, this gentleman fell off his bike right after I took this pic. He was 70 years old, and was super nice, and appreciative of me helping him up. [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Huge rooftop deck with nice views. [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Brooklake Modern Listed at $2,199,000. This house is 3800 sq. ft and was okay. It is big, but it tried to be architectural and designer and frankly it just isn't. I actually liked the inside better than the outside. The master was nice though, very large, and again with the pocket doors that slide away and lead out to a nice deck with views.

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Mountain View "Green House" This property was listed at $3.4M and boasting of "green" features in 2008, but is now in foreclosure and listed at $1,930,500 by the bank. It is still a mammoth house at 5,000 sq. ft, and in a great location (arguably the best location compared to the others). It needs some touching up, and as you can see has great views, but the developer took out most of the fixtures to probably use on another house. This is not uncommon for developers to do. May be the "best buy" of all enclosed on this list, due to location and size.

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Appliances Gone. [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

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Mar Vista Modern Lease

[flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]Lying in the coveted "view" streets is this gated and private architectural masterpiece. Created in Aug. '05, this 3500 sq. ft is the perfect blend of style & substance. Home features loft like open floor plan downstairs with soaring exposed wood beamed ceilings giving warmth to the cool concrete flooring. Huge glass doors allow an abundance of natural light into the property. Gourmet chef's kitchen features Viking six burner oven, Fisher & Paykel dishwasher, and an abundance of work space. In contrast, upstairs has dark rich wood flooring and features sprawling master suite with two walk in closets, spa like master bath, fireplace, and sitting area. Each of the upstairs bedrooms have large private decks for saoking up the ocean & mountain views. This is a great opportunity for someone who appreciates design, style, & privacy--a must see!

Offered @ $7,000/mo

For a detailed tour, please visit

New Apts Coming to Hollywood

In the next few month's there could potentially be thousands of new residents and visitors flocking to Hollywood to either stay at the new W hotel or call the area home, as multiple new apartment buildings are coming. I have previously posted a picture of the apartments at 1600 Vine, and now here is a look at the construction activity of two more apartments underway just north of Hollywood Blvd & East of Highland. Here is also a first look at the stucco exterior of the one closes to Highland, Jefferson at Hollywood.

Jefferson At Hollywood (see for more info). [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Jefferson At Hollywood Apt [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Construction On Both Sides of the Street [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Apt Building Across from the Jefferson [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Tale of Two Sides The 6600 Block of Hollywood Blvd

As Hollywood continues to grow and redevelop I thought it would be interesting to show the transition process. This transition is clearly prevalent in the differences of the type of restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues that reside on the north side of the 6600 block of famed Hollywood Blvd. versus those on south side of the street. Besides Kress (restaurant & nightclub), there are really no name brand stores or modern upscale venues on the south side, but instead the buildings are still occupied by an abundance of tattoo shops, smoke shops, costume stores, and other "mom and pop" retail spots. This is in contrast to the north side, which is flourishing with several newer high end restaurants, name brand retailers, & modern updated architecture. North Side of the Streeet

East Restaurant [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

American Apparel [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Lucky Devils Restaurant [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Napolean Beauty Shop [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Loteria Restaurant & Formerly Mood Nightclub Being Remodeled Currently [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Geisha House Restaurant Front [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Essex House Restaurant [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Bella Restaurant [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

South Side of the Streeet

Various Shops Surround Vacant Ritz Theatre [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Wig Shop & Others [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Small Shoe & Clothing Stores [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Supply Store & Others [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

Hollywood & Vine Expansion Pictures

Just a few of the pictures I took today of the Sunset/Hollywood & Vine area of booming Hollywood to visually represent previous posts about the area's rise. This is obviously just a snapshot of a small area, and I will have more of new shopping on Cahuenga, new loft buildings, hotels, and more soon. I live in and around this area, so shooting in Hollywood is easy. [flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]

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The Art of Pricing

[flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr] When placing a property on the market for sale, it is so crucial to come out of the gate with the right price from day one. As a listing lingers on the market for over 30 days, and price reductions must occur, this makes the listing appear stale and as if nobody wants it. But how do you come to the right price? Since every property is essentially different, there is somewhat of an art form to accurately evaluating property values. Depending on the type of property (ie income property, condo, single family home, etc) most will use the standard dollar per sq. ft averages of the recent sales in the immediate area. This is effective to give a starting point; however, one must delve deeper. You have to look at the size of the lot, quality of finishes, perceived value from a buyer's perspective, along with the condition of the market & desirability of the location.

Once, as an agent, I feel I have the right value, then the information has to be clearly expressed to the owner/seller to show them how you came to a particular number. This can be a tricky proposition, as obviously seller's want to maximize their profits, but they also often have a skewed view of the value of their own property. Emotions definitely factor in, and can often overshadow empirical evidence. I do understand the thinking that it is easy to come down, but you can't really go back up; however, again, the longer a property lingers on the market with little to no activity the worse it is perceived by other agents and their clients.

This is why one really needs to come out from the gates with the right amount from day 1. It is imperative!

Readying Your Property for Sale

Before officially listing your property on the market for prospective buyers to come and view it, one would be wise to do a couple of small things to ready the property. These efforts, with their minor costs and work, could end up paying back large dividends. Please see below for a few of the most important steps: 1. Clean. Your property needs to show at it's best, so give it it's best foot forward by showing it in an immaculate state.

2. Remove/Put Away. A buyer will want to move right in, and have the ability to picture themselves there. Many people are 100% visual, and will have trouble looking past what is in front of them; thus, you definitely want to put away excess items that make the property appear cluttered and smaller. It may even be worth it to get a small storage unit on a monthly basis if you don't have the room. Look at the below pic, as it is a perfect example, and looks like a model home.

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3. Painting. Depending on what condition the property is in, it may be wise to consider painting the interior to give it that clean and new look. Stay away from any non-neutral colors, as you want to appeal to the broadest percentage of buyer's as possible--white is usually best.

4. Gardening. If the property is a house, curb appeal is very important. You want the buyer to arrive and instantly think the outside looks great, and I can't wait to enter. If you think about it, you don't want the buyer "turned off" before even entering the premises. So definitely do what you can to manicure the lawn.

These are just a few items that could cost a few hundred dollars and a little bit of time and energy, but could yield many ten's of thousands in terms of enhancing a buyer's perceived value. Remember, perception is reality. Show buyer's the property in it's absolute best condition and increase your chances of selling your home faster and for more money. As the saying goes, ''you never get a second chance to make a first impression," and this applies to real estate as much as dating.

Brentwood Penthouse

[flickr size="small" float="left"][/flickr]Lying in prime Brentwood village N. of Montana is this huge contemporary 1,920 sq. ft top floor penthouse. Unit features soaring ceilings adding volume in living room, newer dark rich wood flooring, & large private master bedroom. Other features include cool fireplace & wet bar in great room, Loft (could be 3rd bed), in unit washer/dryer, & multiple large balconies. Great property in an unbelievable location just steps to Katsuya, upscale shopping, whole foods, & more. This one is special. Offered @ $875,000.Click here for more images...