Why Mark Zuckerberg buys up properties that surround his 10 homes

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has bought 10 properties, including two waterfront homes beside Lake Tahoe, near the San Francisco Bay Area, and two Kauai Island homes in Hawaii. Photo: Drew Angerer

American billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, the social networking website, has recently expanded his property portfolio and summer holiday options.

Zuckerberg, 34, spent more than US$59 million last winter on two adjacent properties in Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada, between California and Nevada – an area known for its beaches and ski resorts, according to reports.

The purchase took place privately, through a limited-liability company and a high-end wealth manager, to keep the deal secret, the reports said.

It’s the fourth location in western US where Zuckerberg has bought real estate. He also owns properties in Palo Alto, California; San Francisco; and the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Collectively, Zuckerberg has bought 10 properties, although he has a knack for also buying surrounding properties to ensure his privacy. He has bought the four homes surrounding his main Palo Alto residence and a stake in a beach next to a plantation he purchased in Kauai.

Zuckerberg is also known for getting embroiled in a bit of real-estate conflict. He was involved in a dispute over the ownership of landlocked parcels of land on the plantation, and neighbours reportedly were not pleased with the effects of Zuckerberg’s year-plus renovation of his San Francisco town house.

Check out Zuckerberg’s real-estate portfolio.

Palo Alto town house

Zuckerberg lives in a 5,000-square-foot (460-square-metre) home in Palo Alto.

Photo: Zillow

He bought the five-bedroom, five bathroom house in the Crescent Park neighbourhood in May 2011 for US$7 million, which has since had a “custom-made artificially intelligent assistant” installed, according to reports.

Compared with Zuckerberg’s estimated net worth of US$71.5 billion, the property is quite modest.

The spacious kitchen at Mark Zuckerberg’s Alto home in Palo Alto, California. Photo: Realtor

Architectural Digest, a monthly interior design magazine, described it as a “no frills abode” that chooses function over extravagance.

Inside, there is a spacious kitchen and plenty of windows allowing for sunlight.

The house also has a large back garden and swimming pool, and lush, detailed landscaping.

Photo: Realtor

The following year, Zuckerberg reportedly began buying four homes surrounding his Palo Alto home.

He spent more than US$43 million on these properties, a report, citing public records, said.

After leasing the homes back to their former owners, he planned to demolish and rebuild them in 2016.

However, city officials reportedly did not approve this plan, and Zuckerberg filed a new plan that allowed him to renovate two of the homes and rebuild the other two as single-story homes to create a sort of compound.

San Francisco town house

Zuckerberg also owns a 5,500-square-foot town house in San Francisco.

The Mission District, near Mark Zuckerberg’s San Francisco town house. Photo: Business Insider

He reportedly bought the home for US$10 million in 2013. The house, which dates from 1928, is on a 9,800-square-foot site and features 70 square feet of pavement frontage.

According to Google Maps, it is situated in 21st Street in Dolores Heights, between the Noe Valley and Mission District neighbourhoods.

The street where Mark Zuckerberg’s San Francisco town house stands. Photo: Google Maps

Local property agent Natalie Hatvany Kitchen said it's “a slightly grittier area and certainly not where you’d expect to find someone of his wealth and stature”.

Zuckerberg later spent more than US$1.6 million on renovating the property, including a reported US$65,000 to remodel the kitchen and a bathroom.

He also added a new media room, a wine room – and a greenhouse, which reportedly cost US$60,000.

The renovation work lasted 17 months, according to the American property blog, Curbed, and left his neighbours with torn-up pavements and no street parking.

Neighbours reportedly distributed a letter complaining about where he had parked his SUVs.

Two Kauai Island homes, Hawaii

In 2014, Zuckerberg’s property portfolio expanded to the Pacific with a US$100 million purchase on two properties on Kauai Island.

These properties reportedly cover an area of 750 acres (300 hectares) on an isolated stretch of beach.

Zuckerberg said he and wife, Priscilla Chan, bought the land because they’re “dedicated to preserving its natural beauty”.

Photo: Trulia

In 2017, he reportedly bought another 89 acres for more than US$45 million.

He first paid US$49.8 million for an 89.2 per cent stake of Pila’a Beach, an isolated oceanfront property.

The site of the property reportedly covers 393 acres and is not publicly listed.

The beach, which is open to the public, is difficult to access, with a half-mile (0.8km) path that leads down to the shore.

Zuckerberg's land is reportedly set back from the shoreline.

Kahu'aina Plantation

Zuckerberg reportedly paid US$66 million for Kahu'aina Plantation, which is situated next to the beach.

Photo: Trulia

The 357-acre former sugar cane plantation includes 2,500 feet of white-sand beach and has a working organic farm, ripe with crops, including ginger, turmeric, and papaya.

The farm is also home to goats and turtles, according to Zuckerberg's Facebook page.

The plantation reportedly had planning approval for up to 80 homes, but Zuckerberg is believed to be planning to build only one.

He reportedly plans to build a 6,100-square-foot two-bedroom house, with a 16-bay garage complex and a “ranch administration building” featuring keycard-protected offices and security headquarters.

Zuckerberg bought as many as two dozen landlocked parcels of land on the plantation.

The rights to those parcels are known as “kuleanas”.

There was a dispute over four of these parcels, which were granted to native Hawaiian families, and Zuckerberg later dropped his ownership claims, reports said.

Two adjacent Lake Tahoe estates

Last winter, Zuckerberg spent US$59 million on two adjacent private waterfront estates on Lake Tahoe, which is a popular holiday destination for San Francisco Bay Area residents.

An aerial view of one of Mark Zuckerberg’s Lake Tahoe waterfront estates. Photo: Listings/YouTube

Zuckerberg’s estates are on the west shore outside Tahoe City, which according to reports is an area known for “old, understated money – less flash”.

The families of the late Hewlett-Packard founder Bill Hewlett and the late publishing icon Charles McClatchy are said to be neighbours.

Zuckerberg’s purchases, which were carried out secretly, were not made public until the following May.

Photo: Listings/YouTube

Property agents signed nondisclosure agreements and removed photos of the properties from their websites, to ensure the deals stayed private.

Brushwood Estate

Zuckerberg’s Brushwood Estate sits on a 6-acre plot and dates from the 1920s.

Photo: Listings/YouTube

At 5,322 square feet, the Brushwood Estate includes six bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Inside the house are high-beamed ceilings and picture windows; outside are lush trees, a private dock, and a hot tub. There’s also a 2,293-square-foot guest house.

The estate has had several owners over the years, including a novelist, several socialites, and a philanthropist who used to host Oscar de la Renta shows on the property.

Carousel Estate

The other property Zuckerberg bought is the US$22 million Carousel Estate.


Situated on 3.5 acres, the property, which exudes “Old Tahoe” ambience, has eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, high ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace.

The Carousel Estate, which is all under one roof, is separated into three living quarters, but is connected by “breezeways”.


The property has 200 feet of private waterfront, with a “marina style” pier that can accommodate yachts that are more than 50 feet long and an outdoor patio that overlooks the lake.

There’s also a caretaker’s home on the property.

Between the two properties, Zuckerberg owns 600 feet of Lake Tahoe’s private waterfront.

Yet that total area could soon expand as he is reportedly in talks to acquire a third property across the street.

It is not known whether Zuckerberg will keep the two homes as they are or redevelop the sites.

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This article originally appeared on  Business Insider .
Luxury CEOs
  • The billionaire, with an estimated net worth of US$71.5 billion, most recently spent US$59 million on two next-door waterfront homes in Lake Tahoe, in Sierra Nevada