Step by Step

Christopher James vividly recalls when he and his wife, Kristin Beinner James, first laid eyes on the pink and maroon house in L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood in 2000. Divided into upstairs and downstairs apartments, the house was a wreck, and the three bungalows out back weren’t much better. “The sewer in the main house was disconnected, there was no heat, and rain streamed in through broken windows,” says Chris.

Built between 1906 and 1926, the structures, which locals say

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