Where Ronald Reagan lived (and almost lived) in Sacramento

If you’ve ever wondered where former President Ronald Reagan lived while he served as Governor of California, there are really three properties worth mentioning. He lived in two of these places and almost lived in another.

1) The Former Governor’s Mansion: When Ronald Reagan became Governor in California in 1967, he and has family lived in the Governor’s mansion on 15th and H Street in Downtown Sacramento for three months before moving out. It’s been well publicized that Nancy Reagan felt the residence was not safe, and was more suitable as a museum than anything. Reagan was actually the last Governor to live in this mansion (until Governor Brown had the place renovated and moved in there in December 2015 (note added March 2016)).

Former Govenor's Mansion in California - photo by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Former Governor's Manion in California on 15th & H Street in Sacramento

2) The “Fab 40’s” Neighborhood: After a brief stint at the Governor’s mansion, the Reagans moved to East Sacramento to lease a home in the “Fabulous 40s” neighborhood at 1341 45th Street. This is a very well-established classic neighborhood in Sacramento – not a gated community. The home boasted over 6,000 square feet with six bedrooms and four bathrooms (according to Tax Records). The home last recorded for $1,765,000 in May 2000. The Fab 40’s is well-known for it’s tree-lined streets as you can see in the photo below.

Ronald Reagan's Fabulous 40s Leased Residence while Governor

Ronald Reagan's House in the Fabulous 40s in Sacramento - photo by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Ronald Reagan's House in the Fabulous 40s in Sacramento - photo by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

3) The Mansion Constructed under Reagan: The State of California built a Governor’s mansion in the 1970s in Carmichael, which is about 10 miles from Downtown Sacramento. This mansion began construction under Ronald Reagan’s leadership, and he would have likely lived there, but it was not completed until Jerry Brown took office (Brown refused to live in this house, which he dubbed “The Taj Majal”). This home located at 2300 California Avenue has 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms and is just under 12,000 square feet of living area (11,984). This property sold on the open market in MLS in 2004 for $4.1 million. It was previously listed for 1,429 days at 5.9 million, but when the price was lowered to 4.8 million, there was a pending status in only 41 days. The mansion is still there today, but some of the site has been subdivided for a few custom homes.

Mansion built by State of California for Governor in 1970s

Questions:  If you could own any of these homes, which one would it be? Why? Any other bits of history to share about these properties?

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  1. says

    You have posed a most difficult question, my friend. My fellow broker Erik Berry once reminded me that the Governor’s home on 45th street also enjoyed the parcel to the rear at one time that included a large pool. The parcel maps show different ownership now. Nancy Reagan’s complaint about the 19th century mansion being a fire trap surely wouldn’t differentiate in my mind from the 1926 era home on 45th, unless one had modern wiring…. and I’m not talking about knob and tube. I suspect she was looking for a safer place to raise her children at the time… that wasn’t next to a major event venue.

    While 45th is prime property, 5 acres on the river in a 12,000 sf fairly modern home is unique and difficult to duplicate – almost world class, with a choice of excellent public and private schools nearby and room for my kids to roam, so it would be my choice – but I would accept any of the three!

    While Jerry was making a good point with his frugality, he missed the collection of homes the UCs and CSUs own and operate on behalf of campus presidents, often larger than the homes lived in by the last few CA governors, all which come with extensive operating budgets and are frequently rehabbed and modernized.

    • says

      Very interesting, Jeff. I didn’t know that about the pool. I’d be curious to hear more about Nancy Reagan’s concerns. I bet there are many sources for that type of information. I did read she was concerned about no exits from windows beyond ropes to the ground (not too safe for kids especially). I’d certainly prefer 45th Sreet to Downtown.

      I’m like you in that I would accept either of the three, but I would definitely go for the Carmichael property. The location is incredible and it has such a secluded feel. Well, technically I should say if I was able to sell the Downtown property for more than the Carmichael property is worth, I’d pick that one.

      Do you recall if the tax payers paid for Arnold’s hotel floor he rented or did he foot some of the bill?


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