Category Archives: Laguna Beach Real Estate

  • 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.

  • 0
Woodland Road today – former Dodge City in Laguna Beach

The Brothers of Eternal Love – In late 60’s they were the world’s center of LSD, Hashish, Leary, and Art


During the late 60’s and early 70’s there were so many police raids on Woodland Drive, in the Laguna Canyon, that it got the nickname ‘Dodge City’.


What were the police after?

The biggest LSD, hashish and marijuana distributors in the US. The Brothers of Eternal Love.

One of these ‘raids’ resulted in the arrest of infamous Timothy Leary, who was living with the Brotherhood at the time.

It all started back in the early 60’s in Anaheim when a tight knit gang of hoodlum teenagers gave up their ways of drinking, stealing, heroin taking, weed selling and fighting for the enlightenment of LSD (acid).

The ‘mind expansion and ego-death’ of LSD had such profound effect on the gang’s charismatic leader John Griggs that he saw ‘God’ and the errors of their ways.

Consequently he dedicated his life to not only changing the ways of his gang of 20 or so guys but also to ‘enlightening’ the whole country.

How? By ‘dosing’ everyone with LSD, which in 1965 was legal. Oh, and marijuana was fine as well. They truly were going to follow Leary’s mantra of ‘Turn on, tune in and drop out’ which was laid out in his book The Psychedelic Experience which became the group’s bible to follow.

They changed their name to the Brotherhood of Eternal Love and hung out and ‘tumed on’ at Modjeska Canyon, a rustic secluded part of Orange County, and Tahquitz Falls outside of Palm Springs.

They later were also called by authorities as the ‘Hippie Mafia’. The Brotherhood name was not said out loud too often, and still kind of ‘hush hush’ to this day.

A number of the gang, including Griggs, worked for the Laguna Beach maintenance department, and they decided to move the group to Laguna Canyon’s Woodland Street.

If you haven’t been back there you should check it out since it hasn’t changed much with log cabins, clap board houses and a general earthy feel. There still houses that have no road and you have to walk down a path, Victory Walk to get to them. (Check out the pictures)

image018 image019

So at the same time, the hippie movement was starting and The Summer of Love was happening in San Francisco Haight-Ashbury district which was fueled by this great acid.

But that came to an end after the movement started attracting ‘runaways’ and ‘ne’er-do-wells’ that just wanted to party and weren’t looking for spiritual enlightenment.

When Haight-Ashbury lost its appeal, many of these hippies heard about how Laguna had become a haven for drugs and they came in droves.

Laguna Beach, which was conservative like the rest of OC at the time, was now a major center of the hippie movement.

They were living everywhere including the ‘Living Caves’ below Laguna’s Top of the World.

The runaway girls would do anything for some drugs and support resulting in a lot of ‘free love’.

So you can imagine that the relatively sleepy town like Laguna Beach was starting to get alarmed and they brought a cop, Neil Purcell, from Newport Beach to straighten things out.
He had no idea at that time what this stealth brotherhood in the canyon was up to. He was soon to find out.

One of the skills the brotherhood learned earlier as a gang in Anaheim was smuggling marijuana from Mexico.

Well they took it to a whole new level.

They were among the first to fly to Europe, drive to Afghanistan and buy huge quantities of hashish and hide it in the cars and ship the cars back. They did the same thing with hallowed out surf boards since many of the brotherhood were surfers. This went on for years.

As a matter of fact, the surfer in the legendary ‘Endless Summer’ movie, Mike Hynson was a member was smuggling hashish in his board as he traveled around the world in the movie’s search for the perfect wave.

Besides surfers there were also artists in the group and the ‘Dodge City’ community who went on to start the Sawdust Festival which is still a mainstay for Laguna and only a couple blocks from their enclave.

Well in 1967 acid became illegal and the product was not as stable as it had been, since you didn’t know who the source was, resulting in the infamous ‘bad trips’.

The brotherhood quickly responded in a few ways.

They became a legal tax exempt church, they opened the Mystic Arts World, a metaphysical head shop which is at 607 Coast Hwy (see pic) and they hired a chemist to make a super strong dose of acid called Orange Sunshine, which they sold for 10 cents a tab.

They made so much acid it ended up being used throughout the US from big cities to small towns, changing the whole landscape of America.

There was so much money and drugs in Dodge City that the local families dug holes all through the community and hills to hide their bounty from the raids that Purcell and his new partner were continually conducting.

Purcell was beside himself when he started finding out the extent of what was going on.

People were openly smoking joints throughout Laguna and hippies would be selling pot in front of Taco Bell which was near the Mystic Art World store.


Furthermore, Timothy Leary became a guest of the Brotherhood and was preaching his stuff all over the place. He even ran for California governor against Reagan.

Finally, one time Purcell was cruising ‘Dodge City’ and he stopped a car which resulted in Leary getting popped for a joint.

He was later sent to jail and the Brotherhood gave $25k to the Weatherman to break him out of jail, which they did.

It resulted in him exiling to Algiers where he lived with Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers until they kicked him out since he smoked weed and that was against their rules.
Meanwhile Purcell was rewarded with police chief status.

By 1968 the utopian aspects of the movement was started show cracks and the law was now making inroads.
The Mystic Art shop mysteriously burnt down.

By 1970 most of the brothers split Laguna for Maui and other areas of the world.

But the Brotherhood was going to leave Laguna with a bang before they continued their journeys elsewhere.

A ‘Woodstock’ like concert was thrown by El Toro Rd and the Laguna Canyon Rd and 25,000 people showed up. The cops searched everyone and were nice enough to say if you put your ‘stuff’ in the provided trash bins they wouldn’t arrest you.

The cans were overflowing with everything you can imagine.

But during the concert a cargo plane, with its identification numbers covered, dropped thousands of Orange Sunshine tabs on the grounds making for a very interesting event. While the fact that there were tabs there is a question about how it got to the concert, helicpotor, plane, or smuggled in. For some reason no one can remember.

Meanwhile, some bad guys were claiming to be part of the sacred brotherhood, which was the original gangster core from their days in Anaheim, and conflicts, busts and deaths ensued.

John Griggs had held things together within the group but he died from an overdose of a new drug ‘synthetic psilocybin’ and the conflicts only grew.

There is so much more to the story outside of the Laguna ‘Dodge City’ days.

They built and lived on a commune on a ranch around Idyllwild and another in Oregon, and later they moved in mass to a lightly populated Maui, where Jimi Hendrix joined them in some movie making ventures and the advent of ‘Maui Wowie’ which actually was from Mexico and brought on a boat sailed by members of the Brotherhood.

If you want to learn more I recommend reading Nicholas Schou’s book ‘Orange Sunshine’.

Pretty incredible huh.