Remember when a house in Palo Alto was purchased for $30 million back in 2017? Real estate agents were all over the place admitting that they were indeed surprised over the astronomical price tag.
The structure, while being humongous and attractive for sure, was worth only $1.5 million according to assessors. One cynic even claimed that the $30 million must have been a typing error.
However, it has since been confirmed that the 7,550 sq. feet of space indeed changed ownership for $30 million, tying up with the already existing record of the highest amount a piece of property in Palo Alto has sold for.
Given by the neighborhood’s residents, we shouldn’t even doubt for a minute that one could spend that much on a compound valued for much less. After all, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Laurene Powell Jobs all call Palo Alto home.
When news about the sale first broke, there was speculation that the buyer, listed only as Jones Family Trust, was looking to tear down the property and develop it, after subdividing the lot.
The house was indeed demolished, but the man behind the purchase wasn’t anyone anywhere close to being a real estate developer.
The 47-year-old is more of a tech genius, and he goes by the name Brian Acton. Does the name ring a bell?
Acton co-founded WhatsApp Messenger, a messaging app that took over the world, and one that he sold to Facebook for an insane amount of money. What’s more, the $30 million purchase is just a tip of the iceberg.
Hitherto, Acton has spent a collective $86.25 million on several houses in Palo Alto. All purchases have been fairly quiet, with this being fueled by the fact that they’ve all been off-market save for one.
The seven houses the tech mogul has acquired are also all from Professorville, with this not being uncommon in Palo Alto.
The anomaly, however, is what Acton has been paying for these houses. It appears that the billionaire pays in excess of almost three times the property’s value, leaving experts wondering what he plans to do with these acquisitions he pays so much for.
Sweet to Sour
Remember that WhatsApp sale I had mentioned? Acton and co-founder Jan Koum sold the app to Facebook for $19 billion, increasing their net worth significantly.
He originally opted to remain with WhatsApp, but things turned sour when he, Sheryl Sandberg, and Mark Zuckerberg disagreed on how to monetize the app.
It was a pretty nasty affair, with the billionaires not withholding their issues from the public domain.
It seems that Acton’s relationship with Zuckerberg and Facebook has never been the same, with the tech genius going as far as promoting the #DeleteFacebook hashtag on Twitter.
Despite their sour relationship, Acton has no intention of leaving Palo Alto, despite his home being just a mile from Zuckerberg’s property.
With his $86 million acquisitions that no one knows what he plans to do with, we can only hope that Acton has something in mind that will mesmerize us all.