Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/11/zuckerberg_real_estate_spree/

Wanna be Zuckerberg's neighbor? Tough luck, he bought the block for $30m

So THAT'S how much privacy costs

By Neil McAllister

Posted in Networks, 11th October 2013 22:43 GMT

How much would you pay to live next door to Mark Zuckerberg? Answer: Probably not as much as Zuck himself has paid to make sure you don't live next door to him.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the Facebook founder has shelled out more than $30m to buy four houses adjacent his five-bedroom residence in an upscale neighborhood of Palo Alto, California - after learning that a developer planned to build a large house on one of the properties and market it to buyers who liked the idea of being Zuckerberg's neighbor.

According to public records, the social media mogul plonked down $14m on just one of the houses, at a cost of around $5,400 per square foot – a figure that a local real-estate agent described as "absurdly high."

An average sale price of $7.5m per house is just a drop in the bucket to the 29-year-old Zuckerberg, however, who has an estimated net worth in the realm of $19bn.

Zuckerberg bought his Palo Alto residence in 2011 for about $7m, and he and wife Priscilla Chan snapped up a 5,500-square-foot, $10m house in a tony neighborhood of San Francisco earlier this year.

He reportedly started buying up the properties around his Palo Alto pad in December 2012, via companies associated with San Francisco firm Iconiq Capital.

But Zuck is no Charles Foster Kane, sources say. Rather than leveling the houses to build himself a palatial estate, he plans to lease them back to the families that are already living there.

It seems that a man who made his fortune from a website where people share every aspect of their lives believes there is some value in privacy, after all – as long as you have the money to pay for it. ®