Technology for a Smarter Home: 5 ways to make your home smart for under $1,000 bucks!

Nowadays all you hear about is new technology, from electric cars that park themselves to commercial flights bound for space. Well in real estate, Smart Homes are the “new thing”! Smart-home systems start at around $2,000 and top out at more than $1 million, offering homeowners remote-controlled lighting, window shades, swimming pools, door locks, thermostats and security cameras – not to mention cutting-edge sound systems and home theaters. I’ve even seen a system that turns a regular TV room into a nightclub with the touch of a button on your iPad. Innovation is the key to growth and from my experience as a Realtor; it pays to trick your house or business out with the latest gadgets.Don’t just do it to impress friends, family, and customers, but think of potential buyers, as well! In working with clients of all budgets, all over Los Angeles, and in both commercial and residential real estate, I’ve come across some interesting technology and trends. Some of these trends and gadgets are unimaginably expensive, others I find useless, while some are pretty impressive and tangible for home and business owners. Below are some of the smart home trends I’ve seen, which are useful and affordable, and will increase the value and “It Factor” of your property almost instantly!

1. NEST: The smart version of your everyday thermostat, designed to learn the temperatures you prefer while switching to energy efficient settings while you’re away. The more I look at homes, in all price ranges, but mainly those that have been recently updated, the more I see this Nest feature that sellers and agents are always bragging about or pointing out. Essentially it gives new life and sleekness to the boxy, outdated, boring old thermostats you see and throws in a feature that allows you to control the temperature of your home while you’re away, learns what you like, and helps you save a few bucks on your energy bill. Nest runs about $250 and seems to be worth every penny from what I hear.


2. Cyber Rain Sprinkler System: This is a sprinkler controller with a brain. It uses the internet to check the weather and automatically adjusts run times. This system is ideal for the homeowner who wants to conserve water and be alerted to problems with their landscape. The Cyber Rain Pro checks your controller status every time it waters and emails if it detects a problem. If an optional flow meter is attached, the Cyber Rain Pro will also email you if you have a broken sprinkler head or a leak in your irrigation pipes. The system can also be remotely accessed by your landscape professional. Considering the costs of water and the serious drought problems in CA, this sounds like a smart investment. I’m surprised more people aren’t using technology like this to conserve water and save cash! It’ll run you about $700 bucks, but I’ve seen some of my clients’ water bills and trust me…it’s worth it!

Cyber Rain

3. Phillip Hue: Combines brilliant LED light with intuitive technology. Puts both in the palm of your hand. According to the company site: “Together, the bulbs, the bridge, and the app will change the way you use light. Forever. Experiment with shades of white, from invigorating blue to soothing yellow. Or play with all the colors in the hue spectrum. Hue can wake you up. Help protect your home. Relive your favorite memories, and even improve your mood.” This is a smart LED lighting product that you control from you iOS device. Basically this system takes your home’s or business’ mood lighting to the 21st century. So when you’re putting your home on the market or planning a big restaurant opening, consider “setting the mood” and see what transpires! Costs $200 and you can buy it at the Apple Store.

Phillip Hue

4. Yale Smart Locks: Sleek Motorized Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt for Remote and Automated Access Control. Runs about $250 and combines a highly secure lockset with an illuminated 12-button touchscreen keypad, which allows users to lock and unlock their home via manual control or Z-Wave compatible home controllers. The lock stores up to 25 custom entry codes for easy manual locking and unlocking, plus an automatic deadbolt lock function. It’s designed for seamless integration with any Z-Wave product or central home controller to allow for monitoring of the lock’s status and remote lock/unlocking of your doors. An upcoming Yale lock will feature NFC (near-field communication) tech that will allow you to open it by waving your smart phone over it Jedi-style. With devices like this, you’ll never get locked out again!


5. The iSmartAlarm System: The system is modular, letting you buy the pieces you need in order to put together the perfect system for your home. You’ll need a CubeOne, which is the brain of the system, and then you can add sensors for doors and windows, cameras, motion detectors and remote control keyfobs. If any alarms come up, you’ll get an alert on your phone, and you can see what’s happening through the app in order to respond appropriately. You can also use iSmartAlarm to see if your family is home — even when you’re working late — and check that all of the doors and windows are closed and locked before heading to bed. Starts at $199, while safety and peace of mind are definitely priceless!


These days, you can automate just about everything, depending on your budget and needs. The smart home & business trend is something new today, but soon it’ll become the norm and be expected, so get ahead of the game and turn your home or business into a smart one! We may not be living quite like the Jetsons yet, but we’re getting there! If you’re looking for tips or recommendations for home automation, please contact me.

As always, if you or someone you know is in need of real estate assistance, commercial or residential, I am happy to help! Please contact me direct or pass my information along!

Julie Kryukova
Tel: 310.402.8181

Americans build larger, more costly homes


Newly built single-family homes in the United States are getting bigger, costlier to build and more expensive, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. This news comes on the heels of news that home prices climbed 11.8% between November 2012 and November 2013.

In fact the only thing shrinking for new construction is the size of the lot they’re built upon, according to NAHB’s most recent construction cost survey of 3,019 builders. The survey was conducted in August and September of 2013.

The survey shows that this trend is happening across all levels of homebuilding. That is to say, the increase in the average price, cost and size is not a result of high-end homes gains pulling the average up or lower-cost and mid-level homes gains pushing upward.

“It’s an across the board gain,” says Heather Taylor at the economics and housing policy department at NAHB. “In fact we factor out the high end market since it can skew the results.”

The cost to build a single-family home was $246,453 in 2013, which is the highest cost since 1998. Newly constructed home prices jumped 25% to $399,532. That is below the peak of $454,906 in 2007.

While the cost of building a new single-family home in 2013 represented a 34% increase from the cost, profits jumped to 9.3% from their 2011 all-time low of 6.8%.

The average size of the home in the 2013 construction cost survey was 2,607 square feet, which is about 300 square feet more than the average size of the homes reported in the 2011 construction cost survey, but still about 100 square feet less than the peak reported in the 2009 survey.

The average home in the NAHB survey was built on a one-third acre lot, as opposed to a half-acre lot average found in the 2011 NAHB survey.

By type and percentage of construction costs, interior finishes accounted for 29.3% of construction cost, with the balance spread among framing (19.1%), exterior finishes (14.4%) and the combination of plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (13.4%).

The average share of the home’s sales price which goes to construction cost jumped from 59% in both 2009 and 2011 to 61.7% in 2013. Finished lot costs, accounting for the second largest share of the sales price, dropped from 22% in 2011 to 19% in 2013.

Although the cost of construction per square foot remained relatively stable in 2009 and 2011 ($82 per square foot, and $80 per square foot, respectively), it jumped to $95 per square foot in 2013.

These results, NAHB reiterate, are national averages; the survey sample is not large enough for a geographic breakdown. Building practices, the cost of labor, the cost of land, and to some extent the cost of the materials can vary from place to place and depend on the nature of the particular home being built.

If you’re looking for real estate assistance, both commercial and residential, please contact me directly at (310)402-8181 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (310)402-8181 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting or

Source: housingwire

Incredible Downtown LA Restaurant Space for Lease!

Downtown LA Commercial

1036 Grand St. Los Angeles, CA

  • 1036 S Grand Ave has the wow factor that restaurant patrons desire when dining for business and pleasure
  • Located in the heart of South Park, Downtown Los Angeles’s most desirable and fashionable cosmopolitan neighborhood
  • A few blocks from Staples Center and LA Live
  • Built in 1912 and 7,100 sqft large
  • 25 foot (estimated ) truss ceilings, massive skylights, floor to ceiling brick walls, concrete floors
  • Free standing so a restaurant operator can avoid the hurdles often times experienced when located on the first floor of a building with tenants and residents.
  • Parking for five to six cars in the rear of the building and there are many public parking lots in the immediate vicinity.
  • Structural retrofit already completed to accommodate a 194 person occupancy load
  • Conditional Use Permit is in progress for full alcohol as well as off-site sale of beer/wine.

For price, terms, showings – contact me at or 310.402.8181

If you’re looking for industrial, retail, creative, or other commercial space for lease or sale please contact me.

Downtown LA Commercial Downtown Los Angeles Commecial Space

Listing Courtesy of Tony Diamond.

Ceiling and Brick Walls

4811 Bonvue Ave. Los Feliz $3,495,000

4811 Bonvue Ave. Los Feliz, CA

Prime Los Feliz Property Just listed at $3,495,000

There is always lots of talk about “home as art.” While most houses fall short of any true artistry, this Los Feliz residence is worthy of the moniker. Original Spanish details have been artfully combined with the very best of contemporary design.

Rebuilt, remixed, and re-mastered by renowned Los Feliz developer Brendan McDermott and designer Cristina Gulino, this property has been meticulously re-appointed. Gulino’s taste and style permeate more than just the furnishings. Her thoughtful attention to detail makes the house’s materials, floor plan, and spaces versatile and functional, as well as highly stylish. McDermott’s understanding of how people live in today’s homes boosts the levels of technology present and ensures a construction quality that’s built to endure.

Nothing currently on the market (or in the area) rivals 4811 Bonvue’s thoughtful renovation. Here are some of the properties features and upgrades…


– Thermador 48” Professional Series Pro Harmony with Professional Custom Hood Insert

– Thermador 48” Built-In Side-By-Side Refrigerator

– Thermador Professional Star-Sapphire 24” Dishwasher

– Bosch Evolution Ascenta 24” Dishwasher

– U-Line Wine Captain

– U-Line Beverage Center

– Two sets of front loading, large capacity washers and dryers – main floor & downstairs


– New plumbing to the street

– 75 Gallon hot water heater (with timer controlled circulating pump for instant hot water)

– New electrical (with Leviton fully automated system)

– Panel upgrade to 400-amp service

– Dual-zone HVAC system – Rheem high efficiency units & Slim ultra quiet condensers

– Dual-zone Nest thermostat system (iPad or iPhone controlled)

– New low-voltage wiring – Ethernet (cat 6), coax cable, telephone

Kitchen & Bar:

– Carrera and Statuary Marble counter tops

– Custom designed and fabricated cabinets and built-ins

– Phylrich fixtures in chrome finishes

– Hand-made Ogassian concrete tile floors (kitchen)

Master Bathroom:

– Hand-made Ogassian concrete tile wall tile

– Double sink vanity with Carrera Marble counter tops

– Calacutta Marble tile floor

– Free-standing Resin Tub with hand shower

– Custom glass-enclosed shower for two with rain fixture and hand shower

Jack’n’Jill Guest Bathroom:

– Carrera hexagon tile floors

– Carrera counter top

Pool Bathroom:

– Limestone Floors

– Ceramic pillow tile shower surround

Outdoor Entertaining Areas:

– New automated in-ground irrigation system

– New in-ground pool/spa with top of the line pool equipment

– New Mangaris wood deck

– New landscaping and retaining walls


– New roof

– New 3-stop dumbwaiter (garage to den to kitchen level)

– New room-by-room speaker system

– Surround-sound speaker system in den

– New firebox and chimney/flu

– New hand-made designer fireplace mantle tile

– Master deck – with glass enclosure and Pebble Tec surface

– Custom metal and glass railings

– New garage door and drive motor

– 5-zone security camera system

– Entry intercom system (GSM)


– Los Feliz/Hollywood: Walking distance to Los Feliz Village, restaurants, Griffith Park, Greek Theater & Hollywood Bowl, Observatory.

– Major Studios: Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney, Paramount, CBS, NBC (7-12 minutes)

– Freeways: Quick and easy access to the 101 Hollywood Freeway, I-5, 170 Freeway, and 134 Freeway.

o Downtown LA – 15 Minutes

o Burbank Airport – 15 Minutes

o Burbank – 15 Minutes

o LA Zoo and Autry Museum – 8 Minutes

o Ventura Boulevard – 10 Minutes

o Sunset Strip – 10 Minutes

o Beverly Hills – 20 Minutes

o Pasadena – 20 Minutes

Please contact me for showings and more information at or (310)402-8181.

4a 4811Bonvue-009-web 4b 4811Bonvue-053-web copy 12 4811Bonvue-017-web 18c 4811Bonvue-054-web 30 4811Bonvue-049-web

2332 Canyon Drive – Great 1920s Era Home in Los Feliz Village $939,000

2332 Canyon Drive Los Feliz, CA 90068

This Los Feliz retreat rests on a knoll above sought-after Canyon Drive. At one end are trendy boutiques and restaurants, and at the other, a peaceful park for hiking, kids, and pups. Inside the Roaring 20’s home are gleaming hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, a charming dining room with period built-in book cases, a living room with fireplace, a kitchen full of stainless-steel appliances, and a unique screening room. A walled and gated outdoor living area is perfect for entertaining!

Asking price: $939,000

2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, bonus room, separate dining room, large living room with high ceilings


Please contact me at or (310)402-8181 for more information, private showings, or for any of your real estate needs.


6 Canyon night 2 7 Canyon night 3 008 024 007 020 019 002 018 017 015 010 001 009 1 Canyon night 2332 Canyon Drive

JUST LISTED: Private Celebrity Retreat In Outpost Estates (Hollywood Hills)

Address: 7009 Senalda Drive Hollywood Hills, CA 90068
Price: $2,479,000
Stats: 5BR/3.5BA; 2,884 sq.ft., 13,608 sq.ft. lot


This exclusive property is tucked above and away from Outpost canyon’s main drag, but is close enough to access all of Hollywood’s offerings. Located in a celebrity enclave (with A-listers sharing property lines), the property features elevator access from the 2-car garage to the kitchen, designer-landscaped serenity gardens, remodeled kitchen and bathrooms, updated systems, ultimate privacy, and fantastic canyon and mountain views. Get away from it all…in the middle of it all.

A 001 E 026 M 016 Z1 006 Z3 005 Z8 010


Please contact me at (310)402-8181 or for details and showings. 

3961 Farmouth Drive Los Angeles, CA 90027

3961 Farmouth Drive

Asking Price: $1,079,000

2bedrooms plus Den

2 Bathrooms

7,554 Sq. Ft Lot

2,156 Sq. Ft. Interior

One of the area’s most-desired developers struck gold with this 1980 architectural wonder. Modernist builder Steven Hill’s elements and style are intact on the inside and outside of this unique, loft-like residence. Soaring light-filled spaces permeate the home. A contemporary, open floor plan showcases a two-story living room, dining room, kitchen, cocktail lounge, convertible den, balconies, decks, and spectacular city lights views from almost every room.

Enter the home through a unique vestibule. To either side of this ante room are two one-car garages (direct-access parking for two cars total). Ascend a light-flooded staircase to the first level of the home, which centers around a living room with fireplace, vaulted ceilings, walls of glass, and dynamic views. Adjacent to the living room is an intimate cocktail lounge with built-in bar. This area could be modified and used as a screening area.

The house’s dining area also faces easterly views. High ceilings and glass brick add volume and brightness to this room. Bamboo floors accentuate the space. The custom dining table is rumored to have been crafted by Steven Hill, as well.

Hill was not afraid of angles–“right,” 45-degree, or otherwise. The home’s kitchen is an example of Hill’s fascination with intersecting lines. Plenty of cabinet space, original grey ceramic tiles (a Hill obsession), and a clerestory window complete the room.

Up a half-level is a guest bedroom, a large convertible den (which could be used as a bedroom), and an angular full bathroom lined with Hill’s favorite grey tiles.

Higher up is the home’s master suite level. A large bedroom features a fireplace, walk-in closet and a sliding glass door which opens to a view across the city’s lights to the San Gabriel mountain range. The master suite’s over-sized bathroom features a separate tub and step-in shower large enough for two. Bonus alert: Bathe or shower while taking in city lights views through a picture window! A stack laundry unit is also on this level.

Outside is a steel sky bridge that leads to a large lot with three decks. There is also a yard area past the decks that provides plenty of room for the possibility of a pool or grassy lawn. Over-the-top views abound from these outdoor areas.

This creative space is located north of Los Feliz Boulevard on a quiet, coveted cul-de-sac that features more expensive homes. Griffith Park is a few steps from the front door.

According to public records, there have only been two owners of the property; Hill himself (from 1980 to 1984) and the current trust. Are you ready to be the third owner?

TRUST SALE. Court confirmation is NOT required.

3961 Farmouth Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90027 3b 009 15 029 (2) 3961 Farmouth Drive Los Angeles, CA 90027