Category Archives: Laguna Beach Real Estate

  • 0

A Potpourri of Local Laguna Beach Information

October Market Update and My Perspective on the lack of houses for sale:

  • There are only 177 homes for sale in Laguna which is the lowest since 2004. There are only 39 homes for sale priced below $1.5m. Yet there were 41 sales in Oct. (30 below $2m Client Short Page, 11 above $2m Client Short Page) which is fantastic and speaks of the depth of the demand.  This is true throughout OC.
  • Why are there so few houses for sale?  Some of the reasons are that many people while their current with their mortgage payments, are upside down, owing more than they can get and they don’t want to do a short sale.  Also, the banks are cutting back on foreclosures which have been a major part of the inventory.
  • THIS COULD BE BIG and put a lot of houses on the market if true.  – A couple agents I’ve talked to have gone through training with the 4 major lenders for a new short sale program they are piloting.  The lenders are going to work through their famous ‘shadow inventory’ by contacting upside down homeowners and tell them that they need to short sell their house for an amount that the bank feels is market value and they need to chose between 3 agents that the bank has chosen.  The timeframes for the process will come down significantly. STAY TUNED.

  • 0

Newly Remodeled House About to Come on The Laguna Real Estate Market

You’re seeing it first – A newly remodeled house about to come on the Laguna Market next week

Located on Coast View in Laguna this 1600 sqft cottage has one of the best Northerly coastal/village views in Laguna.  See the pictures of the ‘work in process’.  It should be on the market next week after it is completed. If you’re interested let me know and I’ll put you on the inside track.

Sean McCracken
Surterre Properties — Ecobroker Certified
Phone: 949-290-5317

  • 0

Auction – Villa Rockledge Laguna Beach Oceanfront Estate – Dec. 15th at Noon

Villa Rockledge Laguna Beach

AUCTION – December 15th at 12pm. Opening Bid of just $10,500,000 (Originally listed at $34,900,000!)

Please note: This property actually has a total of 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms!

Villa Rockledge, originally known as Mariona, was built by Frank Miller, the famed developer of the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA. Begun in 1918, the major portion of Villa Rockledge was designed by architect Arthur Benson, who worked closely with Miller on both this building and the Mission Inn. Miller brought the same architect, crews and artistic ideas that he had used on the Mission Inn to Laguna Beach, where he built his summer home in the then growing coastal resort and art colony. A one unit addition on the northern wing was designed by Laguna Beach architect Thomas Harper in 1929. Miller spent the years 1918 until his death in 1935 developing and evolving Villa Rockledge in much the same way that he had with the Mission Inn.

Roger Jones and his wife Sherill bought Villa Rockledge in 1973 and have meticulously restored the property to its original grandeur. Mr. Jones, a noted author and historian, is the author of the The History of Villa Rockledge: A National Treasure in Laguna Beach, as well as Laguna Beach: An Illustrated, Narrative History, and California: from the Conquistadores to the Legends of Laguna. In 1984, Villa Rockledge, then known as Mariona, was added to the National Registry of Historic Places by the State of California and the U.S. National Park Service.

Villa Rockledge is located in Laguna Beach on a 25,000 square foot oceanfront lot. It has panoramic ocean views from almost every room, including some closets and bathrooms. Villa Rockledge is one of the only homes in Laguna Beach with a private beach, which spans 120 feet. This estate also includes a saltwater pool that is easily accessible from the home. The compound has 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms and private parking for twelve cars. The main home consists of 5 bedrooms and 5 baths over 5,000 square feet. Including the accompanying six villas, the estate totals 8,064 square feet.

To RSVP for our Auction Preview Gala on Sun. November 18th, 2pm-6pm, please click on the Register link on our website:

  • 0
2696 Solana Way Laguna Beach California 9265104

2696 Solana Way Laguna Beach, CA 92651

2696 Solana Way Laguna Beach

It is a pocket listing and will be shown once from 11:30 to 12:30 tomorrow.

The home is listed at $1,579,000. The beach /cottage style home is in excellent condition and located in Woods Cove, has panoramic ocean views, 3 bedrooms/2 baths, large view deck, fireplace, private fenced yard with multiple outdoor entertaining areas, 1 car garage & big storage area, and light & bright home. Approximate dimensions are 1250 sq ft interior and 3650 sq ft lot

  • 0
Ocean View Victoria Beach Trust Sale 2629 Victoria Dr Laguna Beach CA 92651

A ‘Less Than a Million’ Pocket and a Video of a $2m Ocean-Side Fixer

A Victoria Beach fixer with stunning white water and north facing coastal views

This trust sale just fell out of escrow and is back on the market for $2m which is a $500k reduction.  It supposedly fell out since the city would not allow a pool.

Client Short Page + Pictures

A South Laguna Pocket Listing for less than a million.

31555 Wildwood on a corner lot with Eagle Rock

Offered at $945k

The house is about 1600 sq. feet, 2 beds, 2 bath (3rd bedroom is non-permitted and not included in sq. footage) ocean views, new hardwood floors, new kitchen with granite and Viking appliances.

Let me know if you’d like to see it.

Sean McCracken
Surterre Properties — Ecobroker Certified
Phone: 949-290-5317

  • 1
Special Presentation

The Abels – A Father and Son Who Shaped The Architectural Style of Laguna Beach

A Laguna Friends of Architecture Special Meetup

The Abels – A Father and Son who helped shape the architectural style of our fair city both past and present

Come join us for a presentation by Gregg Abel on his and his famed father, Chris Abel’s, work in designing and building homes and commercial centers in Laguna.

Between the two of them they have designed and built an impressive amount of homes in the community. Each one is unique in its own right since while their work is inspired by the craftsman, arts and crafts, and post modern movements each has been tailored to the client’s personality and tastes. An Abel signature.

Some of the best examples of Chris’s commercial works are the village’s Forest Avenue Mall and the Lumberyard Plaza.

The meetup is on Wednesday, October 24 at 6:30 pm. It will be held outside at the Abel residence at 855 La Vista Drive.

Parking is limited so please car pool if possible.

The Laguna Friends of Architecture meet every month on the 4th Wednesday of the month to present topics related to local architecture and will feature a variety of tours, speakers, socials and presentations.

Admission is free and a suggested donation for wine and music is $5/$10.

Please go to our ‘Laguna Friends of Architecture’ Facebook or page to join the community.

For more information, contact Sean McCracken at or call 949-290-5317.

  • 0
Woods Cove Laguna Beach


Woods Cove has a very rich and eclectic past.

Starting with the twin cities – Arch Beach and Laguna Beach

In the late 1800s, the Woods Cove area was originally called Arch Beach and was a separate town from Laguna Beach.

It even had its own post office.

The reason for the twin city effect was that wagons could not go between the two towns due to the deep gullies of Bluebird and Sleepy Hollow Canyons.

So while Laguna Beach could be accessed by the Laguna Canyon, Arch Beach could only be accessed by Aliso Canyon. In fact, to get to Laguna Beach from Arch Beach you had to go all the way around Aliso to El Toro to Laguna Canyon.

Click here to see the properties for sale

As with much of the surrounding areas at the time, it was primarily used for farming, and even had a pier off of Diamond St where they exported barley hay via ship to San Diego for feeding the stage coach horses. Alas this was short lived once the railroad came to SoCal.

The farms were replaced with a resort destination hotel, called the Arch Beach Hotel. The forerunner of the tourist destination town we have today.

It was located at the corner of Diamond and the Coast Hwy. and was very successful until the late 1800’s when a financial and real estate bust be felled the country.

But neve- the- less the word was out. Laguna is a great place to visit, as well as to build your beach house.

For more pictures and a place to submit your stories please visit or

Residential Development

It wasn’t till 1915 through the 20’s that they started building the many summer cottages, artists’ studios and dream homes that we still see to this day.

There was no design review or governing body prior to 1927 so it was fair game to build with has much individuality as you liked.

The spontaneity of development can still be seen in the informal layout of the streets (no curbs or gutters), irregular setbacks, odd-shaped lots and, most importantly, the lack of uniformity among the architecture.

In other words, it was the foundation of the quintessential eclectic Laguna Beach.

Name Change

An interesting tidbit is that the neighborhood’s name was changed to Woods Cove after a businessman from Colorado, Harry Woods, bought the land around the cove.

Note: It’s Woods Cove and not Wood’s Cove

A few of the Historical People and Celebrities that lived in the area:

The famous actress Bette Davis had a home you can still see today on the bluff on Woods Cove.
William Wendt, one of Laguna’s premier original plein air artists had a studio, that is still there, on Arch Street.

Even Woodrow Wilson convalesced in a house on Moss Point after his stroke during his presidency.


There is almost every type of architecture imaginable in the Woods Cove community.

First, there are the big luxury homes that sit on the cove bluffs, then the small bungalows, as well as the craftsman style houses. And that just the beginning with modern, mid century, Tuscan, adobe and normandy also sprinkled in throughout the area.

As of 2012 the prices range from $800k to $15 million+.


One of the other reasons the area is so popular is you can walk to the beach and local stores in just minutes and to the Laguna downtown area in about 15 to 20 minutes via the beach or along the scenic back roads.

It’s about as far South as you can go and still have a comfortable walk to the village.

Also, the locals love to walk their dogs and meander through the neighborhood, especially on Glenneyre, the old goat path, where they’ll pass many of their neighbors doing the same thing.

Ocean Views:

Woods Cove has a mild uphill slope from the ocean providing many homes with an ocean view. This results in the double benefit of view and walkability which is usually sacrificed when living on the steep hillsides.

The Coves:

A unique attribute of Woods Cove, and Laguna in general, is the many relatively small but world class coves, such as Moss, Ruby, Agate and Woods Coves. They have beautiful flora rich cliffs, as well as ocean bluff homes of every shape and architecture.

The crystal blue water is great for diving and exploring the kelp beds.
The locals enjoy walking down to the beach after work, take a swim, hang out with their friends and take the edge off with a glass of wine.

So say ‘hi’ when we see each other walking in the area. Everyone else does.

For more pictures and a place to submit your stories please visit or

  • 1
Laguna Friends of Real Estate – A Jumbo Loan Workshop

Laguna Friends of Real Estate – A Jumbo Loan Workshop

Jumbo Loan Workshop

The current real estate purchasing ‘frenzy’ has moved up from the lower priced homes of less than $1m to the higher price ranges of $1m to $3m.

If you don’t have the cash there is a good chance you’re going to need a jumbo loan of $800k or more, which is more than the conventional loans offered by Fannie, Freddie and FHA.

Please join us for a workshop on the different jumbo loan types available for purchase and refi of real and how you can qualify for one.

Three different lenders from conventional (RTC Mortgage), hard money (Collateral Group) and institutional bankers (Morgan Stanley) will be participating.

Something for everybody.

The workshop will be held Tuesday, Oct. 2nd at 6:30 at the DeBilzan Gallery, 224 Forest Ave, Laguna.

The Laguna Friends of Real Estate meet every month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month to present topics related to the local real estate market.

Admission is free.

Please go to our ‘Laguna Friends of Real Estate’ Facebook or page to join the community.

For more information, contact Sean McCracken at or call 949-290-5317.