GO
Loading...

Invasion of Privacy: Rent the Facebook CEO's House

Friday, 3 Dec 2010 | 10:38 AM ET

Feel like snooping around Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s house?

zuckerberg apt palo alto
Source: craigslist.com
zuckerberg apt palo alto

Well, now you can do it legally: The house that the social-networking boy wonder was renting near the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Calif., is back on the market for the low, low price of $7,850 a month.

An ad on Craigslist boasts that the “gorgeous” four-bedroom, three-bath single-family home is in a “Prestigious location!” with “Charm and functionality!” It features a chef’s kitchen with gas stove, a wood-burning fireplace and a huge family room “with the view of Kitchen.” (That must be some kitchen!)

There was some confusion on Thursday about whether or not the house had already been leased but the owner of the property, Stan Wu, confirmed that the house, located at 2073 Princeton Street, is available. He wouldn’t confirm that Zuckerberg was his most recent tenant, though it is well documented that the home was rented by Zuckerberg for the past few years. (He recently gave Oprah a tour.)

A newly renovated home like this is a rarity in this college town, known for its old homes that are split up and rented by several students at a time.

Realtor Anne Arjaniwith Keller Williams said $7,850 a month sounds a little high — most homes this size rent for around $5,000. Still, she said, it’s conceivable the owner could get that much, given the size and prestige of Stanford — and all the wealth floating around in Silicon Valley.

The fact that the home had a famous former resident could make it even more attractive to some buyers.

“For some people, that could ring their bells,” Arjani said.

She said some clients would look at it as good feng shui, or Vastu Shastra, as it’s called in the Hindu culture.

“They think, ‘This was a prosperous place for someone so it could be a prosperous place for me,’” she said.

So far it hasn’t been good luck for the owner: The property is currently worth about $1.4 million, according to Zillow, down from $1.9 million when Zuckerberg moved in.

Call him the half-a-million-dollar man — and not in a good way.

Though, I don’t suppose he loses any sleep over it: He created the second-most visited site on the Internet (behind Google ) and has an estimated net worth of $6.9 billion, earning him the No. 35 spot on Forbes’ list of the richest people in America.

Funny, for all the privacy violations he’s been accused of, his own privacy seems to be very closely guarded. The owner of the property treated him like Lord Voldemort, refusing to even mention his name, and instead delivered one of the most boring interviews in the history of interviews, mumbling about the “expensive area” and “square footage,” before lamely asking to be excused from the conversation like a boy who finished his supper and wanted to go outside and play.

And, while most real-estate agents are usually a raging sewer of self-promotion and salesmanship, even Arjani hurriedly hung up the phone the first time after the mention of Zuckerberg’s name. Only on the second call, when the conversation was focused solely on the local real-estate market did she open up. And Gawker points out that the “street view” image of the home has been taken down from Google Maps.

Of course, all that secrecy just makes you want to snoop around even more, doesn't it? See if maybe he left behind a phone bill. A to-do list scrawled on a crumpled post-it note. A love note to his girlfriend, who also lived there. Anything, really, that would make you feel like somehow you invaded his privacy — even just a little bit.

In the meantime, you can stalk him on Facebook at Facebook.com/markzuckerberg.

"Like."

Questions? Comments? Email ponyblog@cnbc.com or drop a line in the comment box below.

More from The Pony Blog: ponyblog.cnbc.com

  Price   Change %Change
GOOGL
---

Featured

Contact Pony Blog

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

Humor