Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg buys four Palo Alto homes for $30M in pursuit privacy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote address Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote address during the Facebook f8 conference in San Francisco, Calif. (Sept. 22, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg purchased four homes adjacent to his house in Palo Alto, Calif., according to a person with knowledge of the transactions.

The co-founder of the world’s biggest social network bought the properties after hearing rumors that a developer wanted to purchase one of them and market it as being near Zuckerberg’s house, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. The 29-year-old billionaire spent about $30 million on the purchases since December, the San Jose Mercury News reported earlier today.

Zuckerberg’s house cost $7 million in March 2011, and was purchased in the name of a limited liability company, according to a deed filed with the Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder. Palo Alto, where Facebook was founded before its move to nearby Menlo Park starting in late 2011, counts Google Inc.’s Larry Page among its residents and was the longtime home of Steve Jobs, the Apple Inc. co-founder who died in 2011.

Zuckerberg’s home is modest in relation to his wealth and isn’t located in Palo Alto’s best neighborhood, said Steve TenBroeck, an agent at Alain Pinel Realtors who said he was aware of the purchases through industry contacts. Zuckerberg doesn’t have to worry about nearby homeowners tearing down and rebuilding because Palo Alto limits residential construction to about a third of lot size, TenBroeck said in a phone interview.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, also own a house in the Dolores Heights district of San Francisco that they bought this year for about $10 million and have been renovating for $1.6 million, the San Francisco Chronicle said on Sept. 15.

The five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath Palo Alto house was built in 1903 on a 9,011-square-foot lot, according to Redfin Corp. The two-floor, white-wood-sided home is ensconced behind a gated drive and a wall of groomed shrubbery, about three miles from Stanford University and three miles from Facebook’s headquarters. Zuckerberg was married to Chan in the backyard in May 2012.

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