It took a year to find it, but L.A. Lakers legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson and his wife, Cookie, have purchased what they call their "vacation home" in time for Thanksgiving.
And they found the $7.6-million home in Orange County.
Why Orange County? "Because he likes Dana Point better than Malibu," said Shelley Brown, who represented the Johnsons through Prudential California Realty, Beverly Hills.
The couple, who live in the Beverly Hills area, bought a newly built home in a gated community with a private beach, located between a cove and a five-star hotel. The 7,700-square-foot home has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a deck, a wine cellar and a home theater. The three-story Mediterranean also has an elevator and a pool.
From almost every window, there's a view of Catalina Island, the coastline or the ocean. So mesmerizing is the sight of sunlight on the saltwater that, when he saw it, the basketball great was moved to say something that had not been voiced in the couple's vacation-home hunt.
"We walked in, and he said, 'This is it,' " agent Brown recalled.
He may have found his Southern California vacation home, but there's no guarantee that he'll have much time to use it. "He's a very busy man," Brown said. "He's still involved with the Lakers and has a Starbucks and other businesses."
The former basketball star became part owner of the L.A. Lakers in 1994, the same year he became head coach. After playing with the Lakers from 1979 to 1992, he became a sportscaster on NBC-TV and a studio analyst on TNT. Johnson was one of the top players in the NBA for close to a decade.
Brown worked with Renee West of Prudential California's Corona Del Mar office to find the retreat.
Pavin adds L.A. to his home tour
Professional golfer Corey Pavin and his wife, Lisa, are on the ball in Brentwood, where they just purchased a meticulously renovated 1961 home for $3 million.
The one-story home has three bedrooms and four bathrooms in close to 3,000 square feet. There is a water feature inside the house that leads visitors to the backyard and its private gardens.
The Oxnard-born golf star, 47, has 15 PGA Tour victories, including the U.S. Open in 1995.
In 2006, he set a PGA Tour nine-hole record of 26 at the U.S. Bank Championship.
The Pavins also have homes in Dallas and San Diego.
Darlene Hutton-Levine, from Sotheby's Brentwood office, represented the couple in their Brentwood purchase; Nick Segal and Scott Carmody, from the same office, had the listing.
If these walls could tattle . . .
Janet Charlton, former gossip columnist at Star magazine who now blogs at www.janetcharlton.com, has listed her Hancock Park home at close to $3 million. The Midcentury Modern has five bedrooms and five bathrooms in 4,300 square feet. It also has a pool and a guesthouse.
The film "Running With Scissors," starring Alec Baldwin and Annette Bening, used the house as the troubled couple's family home. Gwen Stefani used it as a set for an album cover.
"My home has always been a magnet for celebs," Charlton, 58, said.
Jeff Yarbrough of Keller Williams Realty, Beverly Hills, has the listing.
Along the way to the White House
You know how those plaques that say "so-and-so once slept here" supposedly add cachet to a place? Well, get your cachet-catchers ready, because according to area Realtors, Ronald Reagan and his then-wife, actress Jane Wyman, lived in this Southern Colonial-style Hollywood Hills home shortly after it was built in 1941.
And, it should be noted, Reagan had an operational shooting range in the basement.
The three-bedroom, 2,900-square-foot house, owned by the studios when Reagan lived there, was just sold by veteran TV director Reza Badiyi ("Hawaii Five-O," "Falcon Crest," "Baywatch") for $1.8 million.
The shooting range isn't used anymore, but the pool and hot tub have views of the Hollywood sign, and there are four fireplaces in the home, including one in the master-bedroom suite.
Kevin and Jovana Keyser of Sotheby's Sunset office represented both sides of the sale.
To see previous columns, go to latimes.com/hotproperty.