Theoretically, you can lose money on California real estate. We've just never heard of anyone who's actually done it. But when U.S. congressmen and defense contractors are involved, strange things happen. In November 2003, for example, Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham sold his four-bedroom house in Del Mar, Ca. for $1.675 million to a company owned by a D.C.-based defense contractor. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports:
[Defense contractor] Mitchell Wade bought the San Diego Republican's house for $1,675,000 in November 2003 and put it back on the market almost immediately for roughly the same price. But the Del Mar house languished unsold and vacant for 261 days before selling for $975,000.
Usually, it's defense contractors who overcharge the government, so we're delighted to see this reversal. Still, don't pity Wade. Ever since he lost $700,000 on the Congressman's overpriced home, his company's landed millions in defense contracts. Of course, that's how it goes when you're doing business with the government. It's all about location, location, location. — GREG BEATO
Lawmaker's home sale questioned [San Diego Union-Tribune]