With the incredible salaries paid to folks high up in tech firms, owning not just one house, but all those in near periphery isn’t an issue. Witness the duplicate-homes-on-one-block buying spree of both Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.
Zuckerberg quadruples his real estate
The face of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg recently bought the three homes adjacent to his main residence in Palo Alto– a move Trulia reports was meant “to protect his privacy and to stop a developer from marketing a home as being ‘next door to Mark Zuckerberg.’” To create this private compound in one of America’s priciest areas, Zuckerberg dropped $30 million, now owning four homes in close proximity (when we include his original $7 million estate).
Mayer buys a funeral home
Zuckerberg tends to set trends in the tech community and this “buy the block” concept may be another such trend. According to reports by The Silicon Valley Business Journal and Palo Alto Weekly, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer Mayer just bought the large lot upon which Roller & Hapgood & Tinney have operated their business for decades. To the uninitiated, that location housed Palo Alto‘s oldest funeral home. The funeral home closed for business on Oct. 31; and now, for $11.2 million, Mayer is the new owner. We can’t say for sure what Mayer plans for the location, but she’s unlikely to re-open the facility for funerals. Her own home, incidentally, is “just a short block from her new purchase,” reports Trulia Luxe.
Did she buy it to put the kibosh on future development near her home or is she making a savvy investment? A 2012 Palo Alto city planning document identified the funeral-home property as “a potential site for up to 21 residences.”
Either way, the footprint of Silicon Valley is getting bigger in Palo Alto’s residential real estate– daily.
Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert