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Governor Jerry Brown sells Oakland home for a loss

May have to dip into Sutter’s trust fund

Jerry Brown has had his ups and downs, but having now been elected governor of California four times, it’s fair to say he’s regular winner. A loss is possibly even a novel experience for him these days.

Even so, Brown recorded not one but two losing efforts in a single go over the weekend, selling his sprawling Oakland home for a $200,000 discount off the asking, as well as a $50,000 loss on what Brown himself paid for it back in 2007.

The four-bed, 4,000-square-foot house at 7257 Skyline Boulevard with the faux Japanese touches was brand new and still smelling of sawdust when Brown moved in, after buying for $2.4 million. He was just winding up his second term as Oakland’s mayor at the time.

Fast forward to April of this year, when the Skyline house went on the market for nearly $2.6 million, after Brown and his wife finally moved into the Governor's Mansion. (A move he was curiously reluctant to partake in, given that he's courted the privilege a record number of times.) Brown had, of course, been living in Sacramento for some years anyway.

As we noted, the property is a handsome piece, even if Brown’s tastes seem a little old-fashioned. But the home, designed by Sallie Lang, just recorded a sale of only $2,375,000.

Now, that’s a nice chunk of change, and it’s not as if Brown needs the real estate money—he’s got a rather nice deal crashing in a mansion that dates back to 1877, previously home to 13 storied California governors, including his own father. He’s doing all right.

Still, when you add up the inflation (based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics formula), this amounts to the equivalent of a $435,000 loss. Nothing he’ll sweat, we’re sure, but still over two year’s salary, and perhaps a curious return for a designer house that’s still less than a decade old.

But when you’ve been in the game as long as Brown has, you already know that you can’t win them all.