The McLaughlin Group Team

The McLaughlin Group Team

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 233 Sweet 16

Here she is. A fantastic daughter, an awesome sister, a super person, a fierce competitor, a solid student, a trustworthy friend, a great sense of humor and a kind and gentle soul. All these added up equals one really lucky dad and I am one really lucky dad. December 1, 1995 was one of the greatest days of my life and Kinsey, you continue to make my life and all of our families lives better.

Happy Birthday Kinsey!

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, lovin being the dad of Kins, who helps me keep it real!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 232 Need to Get Away

Near the end of the day in the office, my sister was showcasing tropical photos from Zihuatanejo, and the thought of the Southwest Airlines commercial kept popping into my mind. "Need to Get Away" Yes yes yes, I do, but I just got back from Canada and had a great time fishing with the brothers, however, it seems like it was not enough. The last couple years I did not take a vacation and now after taking some time away from it all this year, the desire to take off again is strong. Would it have been better not to leave at all? I wonder if sitting on the beach and being totally unproductive would spawn thoughts or desires of wanting to be productive? The only way to truly know that answer is if you never had to work another day in your life, would you still choose to work? Don't get me wrong, I love my job, my group and all the challenges and people that I deal with but after staring at the turquoise waters, I might be willing to try.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, floating in the TURQUOISE waters (not), keeping it real in real estate!

Monday, November 28, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 231 Bikram Yoga

After a easy going day around the office, I decided to hit the 4:30 class for a little sweat. For those not familiar with this particular style of yoga, it combines heat (105 degrees), time (90 Minutes) and various strength and stretching poses. I am here to vouch for its intensity and fairly simplistic approach to kicking my .ss! There are periods of pain and struggle and periods of rest and calm and in these latter moments, I can't help but think of some of our current escrows. Struggle and calm, struggle and calm, this class parallels our escrows. I laugh about tying in everything into real estate and often wonder if many just say, "please Dave, enough already;" Sports to real estate, family struggles to real estate, songs to real estate, yoga to real estate, does Dave have a life or is everything about real estate? I do and yes, real estate and my life are all intertwined. Now as my limbs are intertwined in yoga, sweating away and my lips yearning for a splash of water, I think of my! I need help.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Driving over to check on rat traps for a lease we handled a few months back, I took this photo near the landing at Westlake. Yea, checking rat traps is part of the job, right? Rat traps are not the blog subject today, today is the subject. Come on, look outside today, it is s-unreal, it's ridiculous. When I took the photo at 11:02, it was 79 degrees and crystal clear. Boaters and kayakers on the lake, bikers, joggers, green mountains, fresh air, fall colors and today is November 27th. I would say a vast part of the country would cry foul, claim it's unfair and demand California, at a minimum, be subject to overcast skies and a healthy drizzle. Get outside, soak it in and have spectacular day.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Friday, November 25, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN - day 229 A Feast

So Turkey dinner was supposed to begin at approximately 5PM, when the entire clan would gather at the lake for the feast. We arrived in the early afternoon and there before us lay a tabletop full of cheeses, hummus, bruschetta, candies and a host of other snack items along with the compliment of beverages. By 3:30 it was over for me. The stomach had reached capacity and staring at the food was no longer an option. Dylan and I grabbed the fishing poles landed a few bass and returned an hour or so later as the main course was about to be served. Looking past the main course I noticed a berry cobbler and pumpkin pie, decisions had to be made. I grabbed a few pieces of dark meat, the dryer ones, chewed on them for an hour and allowed for repositioning of the abdominal area, which enabled the berry cobbler to be enjoyed fully. Talk about an abundance of food. 22 people and I promise we could still be eating into the night tonight and we may not finish it off. Walking around the zoo today with the little ones, I understand how the lions must feel when they get a hippo for dinner...What a feast!

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 228 Quotes for Thanksgiving

A couple of quotes for all of us:

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.
-- Cicero

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
-- Oprah Winfrey

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
-- Melody Beattie

There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy.
-- Ralph H. Blum

and my favorite

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
-- Epictetus

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 227 FIre Country

I was going through some pictures and realized we have been very lucky the last couple of years with the lack of fires. It's already November and usually in October we have had a fire or two and I can't even remember a Santa Ana condition. Above is a shot from 4 years ago when a couple Malibu fires broke out. Multiple helicopters converged on local lakes to fill their buckets fast. Our local lakes are probably the best resource the fire department has and it is something to watch as these guys swoop in to complete their mission.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Monday, November 21, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 226 History of Malibou Lake

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures MONSTER OF MALIBOU LAKE?--A young Marilyn Harris enjoys some quality time with Boris Karloff on the shores of Malibou Lake in the 1931 Universal classic, "Frankenstein." The cinematic and additional history of the lake is documented in Brian Rooney's new book, "Three Magical Miles."

The following article is from The Acorn:

By John Loesing
Acorn Staff Writer
By John Loesing Acorn Staff Writer

For residents of Malibou Lake and the surrounding vicinity, their story finally is being told.
Brian Rooney, a resident of Malibou Lake for seven years until moving to Orange County, recently completed and self-published a definitive history of the three-mile region that covers the lake, historic Cornell and Seminole Springs.
In fact, Rooney named his 100-page softcover book "Three Magical Miles: An Appreciation of the Past & Present of Malibou Lake and Vicinity."
From the construction of the lake and the early clubhouse in the 1920s, to the many famous movies filmed at Paramount Ranch, the area is steeped in rich California history, Rooney says. He compiled most of his information while taking long walks by the lake and visiting with several old-timers who lived in the area for decades. Rooney credits Gordon Thomas, Earl Bennett and Leon Levinson, who are now in their 70s and 80s, for inspiring the book.
"With their 120-plus years of history and stories, and hearing these great stories, I realized that none of the stuff was written down," Rooney said.
"If these stories aren’t written down they were just going to go away at some point," he said. "When they told the stories, it really opened the floodgates and the more I looked, the better it got."
Working on nights and weekends, Rooney took almost three years to complete his work. Proceeds from the book will go to the Cornell Preservation Organization (CPO), a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the land, the history and the quality of life inside the "Three Magical Miles."
"It really for the first time has sort of given an insight to this area and why it’s so much of a jewel," said Colleen Holmes, CPO president. "There’s so much history here and so many people who have lived here for so long."
Early Years
Bertram Lackey and George Wilson built the dam that created the lake in 1922, but the basin remained dry until a huge 1926 storm brought millions of gallons of water from Medea Creek and Triunfo Creek into the lake and filled it for the first time.
"The founding members threw a party that lasted for days," Rooney writes.
Since then, the lake has been dry only once, in 1969, when the dam underwent repairs.
The original Malibou Lake Clubhouse, which was actually a lodge with 24 rooms, was built in 1924, but was lost in 1935 to fire and replaced by the smaller facility that stands by the lake today.
Developer H.I Averill, meanwhile, had begun to offer lots for sale.
"In the 1920s, Lakeside lots sold for $600 to $700," Gordon Thomas recalls in the book, "and during the Depression, they went for as little as $50."
Thomas said by the mid-1950s, a graded view lot with a pre-installed septic system sold for the "hefty" sum of $5,000.
By hook or crook, the homes were finally built.
"One of the great old stories is how many of the original cabins at Malibou Lake were built with stolen lumber from Paramount Ranch back when they were shooting movies there actively," Rooney said. "They would walk over to the ranch from the lake … and pick up a few two-by-fours and sheets of plywood and come back."
The charm of Rooney’s book is the photography that it uses. He obtained hundreds of old pictures from a variety of sources, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Ronald Reagan Library, the Calabasas Historical Society and Malibu Creek State Park Docents.
The liberal use of before-and-after shots gives the reader a good perspective on how the area has changed.
"It’s beautifully documented and has a lot of unusual photos," said Nicolas Noxon, CPO vice president and official distributor of the book. "It’s really amazing," Noxon said.
Rooney said sales of the $20 book are by "word of mouth" only and that the first 100 copies sold out immediately. More are being printed.
Rooney also provides the history of several buildings that no longer exist, such as Crags Country Club, said by the Los Angeles Times in 1910 to be "one of the exclusive social organizations of the country with the wildest and most picturesque surroundings."
Located next to the "Rock Pool" in Malibu Creek State Park, the 7,500 square-foot lodge required $1,000 in annual memberships dues, equivalent to $50,000 today. Only the foundation is left.
One building, the 1926 Cornell School, still stands as a private residence.
Also dating back to the mid-1920s: the legendary Rock Store—and from Steve McQueen to Jay Leno—Ed and Vern’s little store continues to attract motorcycle riders of all stripes.
The oldest building in the area is the Sepulveda Adobe, built in 1863 by California pioneer homesteader Don Pedro Alcantra Sepulveda.
Other landmarks include the Lake Enchanto resort, which is now part of Peter Strauss Ranch, and Seminole Hot Springs, discovered in 1912 by a resident who was looking for oil.
If you enjoy whipping your car or motorcycle through the mountains, you’ll be pleased to know the Paramount Ranch Raceway was home to sports car and stock car races. Sports car historian and guest contributor Michael Lynch said the track immediately established a reputation for crashes and controversy and was closed in 1957.
Holmes said she never realized the area carried so many secrets.
"One of the things that stood out ... there used to be a Maypole down by Malibou Lake that was near the country club they had there, which is now gone, but that Maypole is still standing and they used to have the kids come every year and do their thing and I would have never known that’s what it was for.
"[The author] got a before shot and what it looks like now, and to me, it’s very striking," Holmes said.
Celluloid Heroes
Clearly, much of the magic in the "Three Magical Miles" comes from the movie industry and its colorful personnel, who spent almost the entire the 20th Century gallivanting through the area.
Rooney says of the many films shot at the lake over the years, the most famous by far was the horror classic "Frankenstein," a1931 RKO picture.
"Boris Karloff’s famous makeup job was applied in the backyard of makeup artist Jack Pierce’s home in the San Fernando Valley starting at 4 a.m. followed by a drive out to the lake so that the scene could be shot before the heat of the day hit—which would cause the makeup to smear and the prosthetics to unglue," Rooney writes.
Paramount Ranch, just half a mile from Malibou Lake, included productions such as "Santa Fe Trail" (1930), "Gunsmoke" (1931), "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1938), "The Adventures of Marco Polo" (1938), "The Virginian" (1946) and, of course, "M*A*S*H" and "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" from modern times.
To make Tom Sawyer feel right at home, studio workers placed a temporary dam on Medea Creek and turned it into the Mississippi River. The star of the movie was a young Jackie Coogan.
In 1966, Elvis Presley shot the motorcycle flick "Spinout," a film that includes scenes from Cornell Country Store, Mulholland Highway and Kanan Road.
And before he was governor and president, actor Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, spent weekends at their 250-acre ranch near the corner of Mulholland Highway and Lake Vista Drive. The Ranch is now part of Malibu Creek State Park.
The book also includes an assortment of indexes, topographical maps and photography foldouts. The National Park Service and California State Parks assisted Rooney in preparing his research.
Copies of the book may be obtained by calling CPO at (818) 734-0775

You can also pick this book up at The Old Place or the Canyon Grill.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 225 A day in the life of a

After the "a" fill in buyer or seller. Imagine how different the perspective and view would be of the very same transaction. You would think that a 10 page purchase contract would enable both parties to have the same view or perspective? Wow! That is not the case. Just look at the "as-is" clause in the purchase agreement and watch how buyers and sellers sink their teeth into that. 15 or 20 days into the agreement and you wonder if you will ever get both parties on the same page. Oddly enough after 30-45 days, the buyer and seller shake hands, close escrow and have come to the same mutual resolutions. Bottom line is when two parties want something bad enough, they figure it out. Now after the "a" fill in the word realtor and ask the buyer or don't do that..just enjoy your Sunday.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 224 Kanan

This is another one...Finally it closes on Friday. 489 days later, two companies tried to sell it before us and now our group gets to close it out. Sometimes the 3rd time (agent) is the charm.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 223 Does Your Teddy Need a Bath

Here is a little promo for "Teddy Needs A Bath". Why would The McLaughlin Group promote such a fantastic product? Our group coordinator is Laurie and her daughter Nicole is the inventor and creator of this wonderful new product. You can find this at,, and very soon it will be on You know how I admire people that press on, overcome challenges and realize their dream? Well Nicole is one of those persons who has climbed her mountain.

This is Dave, from The McLaughin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Monday, November 14, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 222 Mountaintop

When coaching the Agoura girls U14 all-star soccer team at the AYSO National Games in Hawaii, I pointed to the mountain and told the girls that is where we are going, to the top. I told them we are getting to the top one game at at time and we will not enjoy the view until we get there. One last look at the mountain and we started our week-long journey to the championship. One game at a time, never looking ahead, only focused on our current opponent. Isn't it true when we set our goals in the business world, it's much easier to focus on one task, one sale or one report and to build on each success or completed task which allows for the overall goal to be realized. Every step up the mountain has potential pitfalls and even setbacks but overcoming and pressing on can take you to the top. If my group focused on selling 65 homes in January, forgetting we had twelve months to do it in, we would have panicked, lost focus and forgot that we needed to sell just one at at time to reach the ultimate number. Jump back to that week in Hawaii and the girls kicked butt one game at a time and we found ourselves at the top of the mountain in the championship game. We eventually lost in double overtime but all the girls left that game knowing they had reached the top of the mountain and found out the views were sensational.

Here is a shot of that amazing team and the accompanying write up: ALOHA—An incredible season for the girls' U-14 Red Bull All-Star soccer team from Westlake and Agoura concluded with a runner-up finish at the AYSO National Games in Hawaii. Pictured in the front is Bailey Byers. Second row, from left: Kelsey McLaughlin, Bridget Brennan, Nicole Davis, Kinsey McLaughlin. Third row: Leah Dehmohseni, coach Rich Clark, Shiroo Ashtari, Maya Aviezer, Jessica Clark, head coach David McLaughlin, Taylor Harmon, Julie Watson, Brittany Cunningham, Natalie Fersht and coach Reza Dehmohseni. Lauren Ashton and Jenna Haffamier aren't pictured.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 221 The Moorpark Zoo

If you are looking for an enjoyable, easy couple of hours with the kids, I highly recommend the Moorpark College Zoo. Lions, Hyenas, Hawks, Eagles, Primates and a host of other animals sure to tickle the little one's curiosity. It is known as America's teaching zoo and every hour the students put on an animal show with their current cuddly and not so cuddly critters. Open every weekend 11-5. Miley and I spent 2 hours today soaking in the great weather and learning about omnivores, herbivores and carnivores. I think Miley was shocked to learn that she was an omnivore especially after watching Bubbles the Pot Bellied Pig perform a dazzling array of tricks.. Below is the link to the zoo, just copy and paste link into browser.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Friday, November 11, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN - day 220- For All The Veterans

From Saving Private Ryan

This is for all the veterans! We are proud, we are humbled and we are grateful for your sacrifice....THANK YOU!

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
Dear Madam,--
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln

This is the group, The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 219 Wednesday Hump Day

I have written about Fridays and of attack Mondays but never addressed hump day. So I will attempt to explain why Realtors do not have a normal Wednesday hump day. What we have is a contingency removal day and what that means is we strive to sell homes, put them in escrow and then work to have all contingencies removed. This form can be received on any day, so Wednesday is not critical but the actual day this form is received is. Once the contingency removal form is sent out or received, we can feel comfortable that we have done all we can do. Then we sit back, shift into cruise control and wait for the closing...Right! Like that ever happens especially with the current lending concerns and overall market conditions. Oops, I am changing my tune, Hump day is when the property closes..yea, okay, nope..Then we hold our breath and hope the buyer doesn't call to complain about their new house. Here I go changing again..I can emphatically state, Realtors don't have a hump day. Yep, that is correct, no hump day..I can't wait until Thursday, on the back side of the hump, heading into a slow, laid back, Martini weekend....Liar

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 218 My Love Screams

Okay before all of you get excited, I will not be screaming about my love. This will be about one of our former clients, in fact my former next door neighbor who relocated to Franklin(Nashville TN). Similar to the Beverly Hillbillies seeking black gold, David and Sheree Grow sought musical gold in Nashville and hopefully with this new song, they have found it. David wrote and produced this song and was executive producer on the video which is exploding on YouTube..Just 6 days and over 1,700,000 views. I would like to say while discussing his septic system and playing a few chords of Lionel Richie for him, he became inspired. Truth be told, we really miss their family and miss the music that often times floated over to our house. After listening to this song, I am sure you will agree that Mr. David Grow is one talented musical man. The McLaughlin Group thinks this song is the bomb and David Grow is the MAN! Available on itunes now.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Monday, November 7, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 217 Boost

Last night most of the group attended the grand opening of Boost Athletics & Sports Therapy in Agoura Hills. What is our connection? I can tell you it's not the athletic prowess of our group. Actually the connection is Shawn and it is her husband Craig and his partner Ty who have opened up this unique facility. Here is their mission:

Boost Athletics & Sports Therapy is a full-service health center and performance training facility that focuses on achieving one's health care and fitness goals. Whether you are a weekend warrior, youth athlete, business executive, stay-at-home mom, high school standout athlete, or professional athlete, Boost will design a program for you. Boost is the rare combination that exists only in a few facilities combining a performance enhancement specialist, physical therapist, and a sports doctor all under the same roof. Different from other facilities, Co-owners Ty Twine (Kinesthetic Specialist) and Dr. Craig Sanchez (Sports Doctor) combine to bring every client/patient the highest level of care with the latest in training, medical, and rehabilitative technology.

Their new address is 29399 Agoura Road # 110 Agoura Hills CA 91301
They can be reached 818-735-4900

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 216 Perseverance


In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm; in the real world, all rests on perseverance. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.
J. Andrews

and my favorite:
Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
Chinese Proverb

So many of my clients, friends and family come to mind when thinking about their successes and failures. I admire those who keep going when it is not easy, who press on though the odds are against them and take ideas, plans or opportunities and persevere to their completion. So many great company stories are remarkable; underlying all the great ideas, inventions, new was perseverance plain and simple.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 215 Remember, Celebrate, Live

This morning at Griffen's memorial celebration, the Grandpa said it best. Just a little background: After Griffen was born he developed a staff infection that nearly claimed his life, Apparently it lasted about 18 days. So grandpa stood up and said what we thought we might only have for 18 days, we were blessed with for 18 years.

Remember, Celebrate and Live.....In honor of Griffen Kramer

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 214 Pieces of Peace

Physical pain is easy to feel but how do you feel the emotional pain of someone else? You don't. I can think about what they are going through but I can't feel what they feel. I can only sit, ponder and hope that a friend's pain passes just as the early morning fog dissipates. Here is the problem with the fog analogy: the sun rises, seasons change and the fog goes away, but the hurt of a lifetime stays and the sun can't burn it off and the winds can't blow it away. I don't know the answers but I hope for my friend's sake, that the fog blows away and my friends will find pieces of peace, like safety in hide and seek or an island in the middle of the sea. Because now, for them, a piece of peace, is what life offers.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 213 Finish Line

Every year we start the same race to achieve the goals set out before the group. Now we are attempting to sprint to the finish and need 6 more houses to get to 65 for the year. The race is more like a 10k but near the finish, you try and pick up the pace to finish strong. But at the same time we are sprinting for the finish, the start of next years race looms ahead. The head is down, focused on the finish but the preparation for the starting gun in January is getting underway. What will our goals be? What new approaches, strategies and technology will we employ? What will our marketing look like? Oh, almost forget, we still have to finish. focus, prepare, plan, focus, prepare, plan, focus, prepare, plan.This is the most challenging time in the race, crossing the finish line heading to the starting blocks.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!