The Facebook CEO highly values privacy indeed. As such, Mark Zuckerberg is planning to bulldoze four houses that surround his home in Palo Alto and build four smaller houses instead.
Zuckerberg bought these four houses years ago so he can create a "buffer zone" to help protect his privacy. The 1462 Edgewood Drive and the 1451, 1457 and 1459 Hamilton Avenue properties were purchased for over $30 million.
A letter dated May 16 that was distributed to Zuckerberg's neighbors informed them of his application to the city planners.
"The plans will reduce overall square footage relative to the existing homes and aim to ensure the new structures and surrounding gardens blend seamlessly with the neighborhood," the letter said.
The property list includes two single-story and two two-story homes. In December 2012, when Zuckerberg learned that the developer was planning to build a big house whose second floor will have a view of his master bedroom, the Facebook CEO started purchasing the surrounding properties.
One of the properties was a 2,600-square-foot home whose value was $3.17 million at that time. The original owner sold the house to Zuckerberg for a whopping $14 million.
The said Santa Clara County property is about half of Zuckerberg's current residence. Putting things in perspective, the Facebook CEO bought his 5,617-square-foot home for just $7 million in May 2011.
If Zuckerberg gets his way, the new one two-story and three single-story properties will free up about 20 percent of their currently consumed space.
Zuckerberg might use the new properties or he might end up renting or selling them. Initially, these homes were purchased as parts of his privacy investments.
"I think people look at it like oh that's crazy, but for Zuckerberg to get to those parcels, to actually own them, it's worth it," said real estate agent Eric Boyenga from Intero Real Estate.
Zuckerberg's current home is just 10 minutes away from the social media giant's Menlo Park campus. The property has five bedrooms and 5.5 baths along with a saltwater swimming pool, spa, carport and an outdoor gazebo. Trees partially cover the Zuckerberg residence which is set back from the street.