Category Archives: Laguna Beach Real Estate

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Another Laguna Character turns the Village upside down


Tucson Daily Citizen: March 1961: “Thinking big: Cowboy actor Pat Hawley, 39, leaves the county recorder’s office at Santa Ana, Calif., yesterday after filing a claim to the entire city of nearby Laguna Beach, Hawley, who last month staked a claim to most of the Laguna Beach ocean frontage because he says “Nobody knows who owns it, now says that part of the downtown land also is in question, so he’s claiming the whole town. The actor in a big-hearted gesture today offered to sell back to residents this beach city–for $90 million. He filed a notarized claim at the Santa Ana County Courthouse covering all the ground of and “any buildings, parks, public of- the wealthy city houses, business offices, schools and chicken coops therein.” The claim also covered all mining and mineral rights in .the city. Only last month Hawley laid claim to a valuable 3,000- foot stretch of beach in the city after he heard city officials were trying to find its owner so the city could buy It for a public park. Hawley, drawing on his knowledge of squatters’ rights learned from acting in TV westerns, staked out the beach section. The city ever since has been trying to disprove his claim. His latest land grab was inspired he said, when he learned a water main broke under a bank in the city last week and officials were unable to find the owner of property, which the lines crossed. With the care of a planned infantry assault, Hawley, a father of five, got his family and one friend to stake out and guard the four borders of the city early yesterday. Then he showed up at the county recorder’s office where Deputy Mrs. Lillian Edgar gasped “What”!? “the whole city?” She called assistant recorder Wylie Carlye. “My,” said Carlyle. “you are claiming quite a bit”. Carlyle then called County Recorder Mrs. Ruby McFarland who carefully read the claim. “It’s a properly executed document and I can’t refuse to record it,” she said. “That will be a $2.80 filing fee.”

LA Times: March, 1961: Laguna Beach Ca.: Hawley Tricks Local Citizenry
“Homesteader Pat Hawley again has outwitted harassed city fathers of this seaside artist colony simply by being an early riser. Hawley, a television bit player , claimed the entire beachfront of the 238-square-mile town of Laguna resort under the Homestead Act, after learning that no one actually knew who had title to a right of way traversing it . Under the act a claimant may move seven- cubic yards- of earth within 60 days to make the claim valid. City officials countered by barricading barricaded all entrances to the public beach. Hawley made a public announcement that he would move the earth at 10 a m the following day. Then he rented a two-ton truck and drove onto the Beach before dawn via a non-barricaded alley. He had two other men loaded the truck with twice enough sand to meet the requirements of the Homestead Act .When- police arrived at 10 am on Tuesday they found Hawley , smiling , standing- next to the huge mound of sand he had moved”.

Charleston W.VA. –

Sarasota Journal –

Patrick Hawley was born on August 7, 1920 in Ireland, UK. He was an actor, known for Arrest and Trial (1963). He died on July 11, 1997 in Huntington Beach, California, USA.

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Pocket Listings


Woods Cove - 200 block in Woods Cove, 1,450 sq. ft., 7,500 sq. ft. flat lot,  Single Family Residence but zoned R2, Corner Lot, 2 Car Garage, House is clean, could be dramatically expanded -$1,995,000 Will come on market next month.

Old Top of the World – 3,000 sqft home with huge panoramic views of OC canyons and mountains. $1.6m. Request pictures if you’re interested. A really unique and special place. Will come on market in March.


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New Ocean Front Listing


Watch the waves break on the sand from this stunning oceanfront home. Situated in an exclusive, gated enclave with just three homes, this 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath masterpiece provides the best of the Laguna Beach lifestyle. Offered at $5.995m

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Laguna Market Review as of January 2015

 It’s still a seller’s market for homes less than $2m with less than 3 months on market.


  • 26 Homes sold in January which vs. 16 last year
  • The median price of homes sold in Laguna Beach last year neared $1.8 million, exceeding the previous peak median price of $1.7 million achieved in 2006.
  • In a year-to-year comparison, the median sales price for single family homes in Laguna jumped 16 percent in 2014.
  • There are 180 homes on the market which is low. Very slight uptick of new homes on the market this year but spring time is right around the corner. Seems on comes on a one gets sold
  • The Montage recently sold to the owner of the Ritz-Carlton for a record $1.4m a room. I guess they believe in Laguna

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First, let’s examine the facts…………………

According to a recent survey by Zillow, self-employed borrowers generally have higher incomes than salaried workers but they have more difficulty qualifying for a mortgage. Judging by the number of people that contact me after being denied a loan elsewhere, I don’t dispute this fact.

Zillow also reported that salaried workers that use their website generally get 10 responses from lenders for every six responses self-employed borrowers receive, adding credibility to the fact that self-employed borrowers get turned down more.

It’s not due to income. The self-employed customers that use Zillow’s website have an average household income of $145,000 compared to $80,000 for the other borrowers. And the median property value for mortgage requests by the self-employed is only slightly higher at $352,000 compared to $315,000 for the other borrowers. Furthermore, Zillow’s analysis also found that self-employed persons have experienced rising household incomes up 28% over the past two years, while salaried borrowers who visit Zillow’s website are up only 17%.

From these statistics you would think that self-employed borrowers with higher incomes are better-qualified than salaried borrowers yet, they are turned down more often.

The Answer:

The short answer is that many loan officers, processors and underwriters just don’t know what they are doing when it comes to self-employed borrowers! It’s much easier to process and underwrite a loan for a salaried, employed worker than it is for a self-employed business owner.

To process and underwrite a self-employed borrower it takes a lot more training, knowledge, and expertise. In most cases minimum of two years personal and business tax returns plus a Year-To-Date Profit & Loss Statement must be analyzed. And, many self-employed borrowers own more than business. There could be Partnerships or partial ownership in multiple businesses too. Tax returns will be required for each entity in which the borrower owns 25% or more. A thorough knowledge of tax return analysis is required to know which sources of income can be used to qualify, whether certain expenses can be added to or deducted from the borrower’s income, etc. And in most cases the income must be averaged over a two-year period.

Next, if the loan officer, processor and underwriter aren’t properly trained and don’t work with self-employed borrowers on a regular basis, they won’t likely have the expertise to properly analyze the income and arrive at the proper figures to qualify the borrower. A self-employed file takes much more work than a salaried workers file.

Another factor is that bigger banks and mortgage lenders tend to centralize their processing and underwriting services in distant locations where their staff has no direct contact with the borrower. Accordingly, there is no personal relationship or rapport established with the borrower.

Much of my business is referred to me after someone has had their application declined elsewhere. And the majority of the time I am able to obtain an approval where others have failed. Being located in a high-priced market where the majority of my applicants are self-employed requires me and my staff to have a thorough knowledge of tax return analysis and lenders underwriting guidelines.

Providing experienced and local customer service is the key to getting the self-employed applicant approved.

It’s exciting to see so many Jumbo products returning to the mortgage market, including even a “Stated Income” loan.

Please call me for more details.

Other Products:


Mortgage Rates This Week: Rates at 19-month lows!

Despite all the talk about the Fed raising the Fed Funds rate soon and interest rates predicted to rise, mortgage rates have fallen in the past few weeks, albeit with more volatility.Market volatility is on the increase and will probably get even more so between now and the end of the year. With stock indexes at record levels and interest rates at record lows, and crude oil in a freefall so far; those markets are ripe for wide swings. The U.S. stock market is about the only place in the world that offers hope for profits, crude oil likely to fall more in an extremely volatile trade that we expect to begin any day now with a huge short-covering move (it is way over-sold), interest rates should remain low and possibly move lower. Like the US stock market, the US debt market is the best place to go for safety and higher rates than other G-7 countries. Mortgage-Backed Securities are part of the US debt market.

Freddie Mac Interest Rate Survey:

This weeks’ Freddie Mac survey announced that the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate loan of $417,000 is 3.93% + .5 points. But, keep in mind that the weekly Freddie Mac Survey is only an average of rate and points offered by surveyed lenders Monday – Wednesday. By the time it is published every Thursday it is old news since mortgage rates change every day. Additionally, lower rates are always available with higher costs and no-cost loans are available with higher rates. And, not everybody is entitled to the same rate. There may be adjustments to anyone’s rate for certain factors such as credit scores, equity, loan amount, length of the lock-in period and many others.

To see what factors are influencing the daily activity of the mortgage market, click on the following link:

Commercial Property Loans | Beach Cities Commercial

We now lend on Commercial Property! I have teamed up with long-time commercial mortgage originator Jeff Redeker to form a new company specifically to finance commercial property. We can finance Multi-Family, Mixed Use, & Office Buildings in addition to handling SBA loans.

Give me a call for any type of Residential or Commercial property loan! And Visit us at

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Music and clientele

Folk[6] and Jazz music[7] emanated from the inside out onto the porch, with singers such as Judy Henske, Steve Gillette (who later wrote songs for the Stone Poneys) and Lee Mallory (later with Sagittarius, Millennium) performing here during the early ’60s. Dave Myers sang folk songs at Café Frankenstein before forming his Del-Fi surf band, Dave Myers & the Surf-Tones. Comedian Lord Buckley performed here.[8] Famous photographer Lewis Baltz was also an early regular.

A legendary Beat era hangout in Laguna Beach, California, Café Frankenstein opened in 1958 under the stewardship of folk singer Doug Myres, writer George Clayton Johnson (of Twilight Zone fame) and artist Burt Shonberg. The building housed a “European” coffee shop, a bookstore and a leather goods and sandal shop.

Shonberg contributed an interior mural and a fabulous stained glass front window featuring the Frankenstein Monster. You can glimpse the window art in color, as seen from inside the club, in the picture here, if you can peel your eyes away from model Barbara Kellogg.

The nude photo session, in fact, brought charges of “lewd and obscene conduct” against the Café’s owners, just one of the many attacks by a very conservative community against the alternative club and its bohemian clientele of beatniks, surfers and folksies. It is said that two of the Café’s regular clients were undercover cops on the lookout for illegal activities and that both men eventually became supporters of the club.

Squaresville opposition to the hep establishment reached its hysterical apex when a local Church group protested against the window art on the grounds that stained glass was an art form exclusive to churches. Shonberg greeted them with a threat to erect a crucified Frankenstein.


Café Frankenstein was sold in 1960 and operated as Club 480 until 1962 when it was demolished, along with the Shonberg art, to make room for a parking lot.

The images here are from a wonderful article on early Pop Surf Culture posted on Dumb Angel. Click through to read the Café Frankenstein story in greater detail along with more pictures, including one of the building itself.

Burt Shonberg painted murals for coffee shops, bars, restaurants and Beat clubs up and down the coast. He contributed covers and illustrations to science fiction magazines. His art was also used on an album by Arthur Lee and Love and a commissioned set of paintings was famously featured in Roger Corman’sFall of the House of Usher (1960).

Here’s Shonberg’s website, with a gallery of paintings that includes the House of Usher art.


As tastes changed, a new scene grew up in Newport. O.C.’s first bohemian beatnik coffee house, Café Frankenstein, opened in Laguna Beach in 1958. A café employee, Sid Soffer, started his own place, Sid’s Blue Beet, and in 1959 moved it from Laguna to the peninsula. Everyone from Mississippi bluesman Son House to jazzman Art Pepper (who was busted for heroin outside the club) to future Monkee Peter Tork played at Sid’s.

However, it could easily have been a totally different story. It’s probably easiest to begin by explaining that McGuire stumbled into singing almost accidentally. Born in Oklahoma City in 1935 Barry’s background was decidedly blue collar. He remembers, “My life was kind of a mixed bag of different things. My stepfather was a construction worker so every time he would finish a job we would move to a different town and so I went to about five primary schools. Then when I was 16 years old I quit school and lied about my age and joined the Navy. Then they found out I was only 16 and they told me they appreciated my patriotism but told me I should go home and grow up. When I got out of the Navy I didn’t want to go back to school so I started working in construction, and I worked in commercial fishing for a while. Then I got into pipe fitting and put in overhead fire sprinkler systems for five years. Then one evening I just happened to stumble into a little coffee house in Laguna Beach, California, in a place called The Frankenstein Café. This was before hippies, back in the beatnik generation. It was kind of a Beatnik hangout where they would read poetry and there was a guy over in the corner playing classical guitar singing folk music – English and American folk songs. I just fell in love with it. I couldn’t believe how accessible the songs were and how they just resonated inside of me. I wanted to learn how to do that. So I bought a guitar and first thing I knew I was offered a job to go sing. I couldn’t believe it. It was like going to a party and getting paid for it! So I never auditioned for anything. I didn’t set out to be a singer, I just liked doing it and people liked listening to me.”



One of the Cafe Frankenstein players will be ’60s survivor Barry McGuire.