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Pools and Waterfalls of the Wealthy

Pools and Waterfalls of the Wealthy

We all love to see how the wealthy spend their money.  Jets, fast cars, homes….but how about their pools and waterfalls?  This is even more fun to see as there is a big water shortage here in California, so it’s an even bigger status symbol than before as only the very wealthy can afford the water bills for these types of fancy water elements.  This could lead to a post of biggest and greenest lawns of the wealthy, but I’ll leave that until later.

A pool used to be a status symbol; something that told your peers and neighbors that you’d made it.

But no longer — now you need to install gigantic waterfalls and useless reflecting pools to send that same message. These types of water features are increasingly prevalent in real estate listings that crest the $10 million mark, because, in that price range, a Jacuzzi isn’t even worth mentioning (since just about all mansions at that level have Jacuzzis).

With the help of Zillow, the largest real estate network on the web, we’ve found some of the most enormous and extravagant

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Atherton Real Estate owned by several of the Forbes Billionaires

Atherton Real Estate owned by several of the Forbes Billionaires

The Forbes Billionaires list shows that the richest people in the United States call Silicon Valley home and several own real estate in Atherton.

Atherton real estate is owned by Eric Schmidt of Google, whose net worth is estimated at $8.2 billion,  Charles Schwab, financial broker,  at $4.3 billion, George Roberts of KKR at $4.1 billion and Meg Whitman of HP/ebay at $1.9 billion.  Charles Schwab’s home is listed by my office at Alain Pinel and can be seen if you are an interested buyer, please give me a call.  Meg Whitman is a neighbor of mine and I know her house is not currently on the market, but we’ll see how it goes at HP this year!

Atherton real estate is obviously a good investment as the smartest and the richest have put their money down in this prime area. For the complete list of billionaires and where they live, see the link below.

Forbes US Billionaires

I work with a lot of high end clients who want their privacy respected and are interested to buy and sell real estate in Atherton via “off market” transactions as well as on market.  If you are interested in buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 650.543.1202 or gkurtz@apr.com.




Atherton Estate For Sale With Discounted Price

Atherton Estate For Sale With Discounted Price

Yes, it is true.  A high end luxury estate in Atherton is priced to sell and has recently lowered the asking price.  The estate has three buildings on it – main home, guest house and office/artists studio for a total of over 6,200 square feet of living space.  This home is great for extended families, has a beautiful pool with slide, parking for 8 cars, and a large lot with fruit trees and sitting areas.  The main home is centered around the open floor plan of the combined kitchen and family room areas where your family will congregate around meals or entertaining.  Bedrooms are all generous in size and have their own bathrooms for that “suite” feeling and privacy.

The home has been reduced by almost $400,000 to sell quickly and the new asking price is $3,495,000.  Lindenwood Estate homes are in demand and this luxury estate is priced to sell.  Great Menlo Park schools and close proximity to public transportation and freeways.

Call me for a private showing or if you need any more information.

Mark Zuckerberg buys in Palo Alto!

Mark Zuckerberg's New Home

Well, it’s only fitting that Mark Zuckerberg finally buys a house in Palo Alto.  After all, he has made billions of dollars while starting his company in Palo Alto, he might as well officially call it home and buy where he works.  Soon, he will be working in Menlo Park, but Palo Alto has the claim to fame on tech exec’s homes.

The king of Facebook’s home was purchases for just around $7.0 million dollars and the Palo Alto luxury real estate market continues to improve with this sale.  The house is nice, and within close proximity to his work and in a neighborhood where he won’t be bothered as the town is full of tech kings.  Let’s see how long he lives in it or if he calls this home his main residence, after all, a guy like him might just buy the house to keep the press/news world looking in one direction while he secretly buys a much bigger house somewhere else.

Here are some pictures of Zuckerberg’s home, it is very “Palo Alto ish” and nice.  If he wants to buy in Atherton, I have the perfect $6.9 million dollar home listed that he might want to look at due to the size, privacy and great yard for parties or hanging around the pool with the Facebook family.

Call me Mark!

Private Atherton Estate now on the market for $6.99 Million

Private Atherton Estate now on the market for $6.99 Million

A new luxury home has hit the market in Atherton on a private cul-de-sac street.  My new listing has 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and is approximately 7,000 square feet.  It sits on just over one acre and has beautiful landscaping as well as the perfect setup for the family that likes an outdoor lifestyle or entertaining.  There is a pool, hot tub, lots of patio decking for parties, putting green, sand volleyball court and huge grassy area for playing any kind of family games.

The interior of the home is very spacious and light filled.  The six bedrooms are all generous in size and there is also a large office/den as well as bonus room that can be used for a workout room or media room.  The family room is large and just off the kitchen, so it creates the perfect hanging out area, that also happens to lead to the pool and outdoor entertaining areas.  This luxury Atherton real estate listing can be seen by appointment only by calling Gary Kurtz of Alain Pinel Realtors. The asking price is $6.999 million.  The virtual tour will show you more pictures or you can go to my APR website for more information.

Atherton has seen a surge in purchases of luxury real estate recently and homes in the 5-20 million dollar range have been selling, despite the sluggish economy.  Atherton California is one of the most expensive areas in the country, having ranked #2 for highest average listing price.

Luxury Estate in Los Altos Hills Sells for $100 Million Dollars

March 25, 2011 Real Estate News No Comments
Luxury Estate in Los Altos Hills Sells for $100 Million Dollars

Luxury Real estate sales in Atherton just took a back seat to the high dollar sale that happened in Los Altos Hills at 13310 La Paloma Rd. The estate went for a rumored $100 million dollars and is a 25,000 square foot mansion with everything imaginable included, and is almost a twin of the above pictured estate for sale in Southern California. The property sits on over ten acres and has lots of privacy, which is necessary for the Russian billionaire who bought it and is looking to make a big impact in the Silicon Valley digital/tech world.

Luxury real estate in Menlo Park, Atherton and Palo Alto will probably get a bump as more money will probably flow into the area from other Russian comrades who want to join in on the Silicon Valley real estate surge. 145 Josselyn Lane in Woodside recently sold for just over 15 million dollars and there have been several 10 million dollar sales in Atherton as well, so the luxury real estate market is definitely heating up and money is flowing into the local real estate scene.

I have off market listings in the 5-10 million dollar range and many sellers are calling me to sell their property off market to prevent the signs and publicity that goes with listing your home for sale. I specialize in this area and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are looking to buy or sell a luxury property without all the for sale signs, looky loos or neighbors trampling thru your home. This applies to any priced home from 1 million up to 100 million as your privacy is your privacy.

Atherton Sales Prices Stay Strong Despite Drop In Sales Volume

October 15, 2010 Real Estate News No Comments
Atherton Sales Prices Stay Strong Despite Drop In Sales Volume

Sales prices in Atherton of luxury real estate stayed strong in the 3rd quarter of 2010 compared to the 3rd quarter of 2009.  Despite the economy and general gloom and doom news, it was surprising to see the prices jump for the Atherton real estate market.  Prices increased while the number of sales took a big dive, dropping almost 40%.  Since the inventory levels also took a huge increase, this means that the inventory is there, but buyers are being very selective.

Realtors and home sellers are hoping for an end of the year surge in sales.  The best case scenario for a buyer is in place due to the high amount of inventory on hand.  Atherton real estate was just named by the Wall Street Journal as the second priciest area in the country, coming in only behind an area of New York.  So, in essence, real estate in Atherton is the most expensive on the west coast.

Atherton                            Q3 2009         Q3 2010               Change

# of Sales                                  26                        16                       -38%

Avg Price (000)                   $ 3,424              $ 3,972                  16%

Avg DOM                                  94                         64                      -32%

Months of Inv.                     3.2                         13.3                    316%

Real Housewives of New Jersey Home Up For Auction!

August 12, 2010 Celebrity Homes No Comments

Reality TV stars are celebrities too, and they have financial problems just like the rest of us.  And now, you might be able to get the chance to buy her home at auction.

I’ve heard there is an upcoming auction involving “Real Housewives of New Jersey” personalities Teresa and Joe Giudice: The contents of their lavish 10,000-square-foot New Jersey mansion are scheduled for auction on Aug. 22. This luxury estate could be yours, although camera crews are not included.

It was originally a local affair. Auction house A.J. Willner  says it received so many inquiries from around the world, it decided to add an online component.

Potential bidders can sign up  at Proxibid, a website that does as many as 800 auctions a month and reports bidders from 175 countries around the world. Items involving celebrities – or, in this case, reality-TV personalities – can command a premium, says Bruce Hoberman, Proxibid’s president. A $750 silk Mets jacket once owned by convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff commanded $14,500 in November.

A.J. Willner Auctions
The suit of armor is expected to be one of the more popular items.

In this case, it is unclear exactly what will be up for grabs. The Giudices, who filed for bankruptcy protection, formally objected to the auction, says Mike Sklar, a partner with A.J. Willner. A hearing is planned Aug. 16. The couple-who could not be reached because their phone is disconnected–says some of the items scheduled for auction were purchased after the bankruptcy petition, while others belong to relatives, Mr. Sklar says. Such objections are typical, he adds.

If a judge allows the auction to proceed, Mr. Sklar says he’ll rush to inventory the Towaco, N.J., mansion and what’s left of its fancy contents. Items possibly up for grabs include a grand piano–expected to be popular –a suit of armor, snow plow and foosball table.

Mr. Sklar says he hadn’t seen the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” show until recently. “I have no idea who these people are but obviously other people do,” he says. “I’m not really a reality TV person. It’s not my cup of tea.”

This shows everybody is effected, even tv stars.  I guess it actually is a reality show.  Luxury Real Estate from all areas of the country are having their ups and downs.

Joe Montana’s Calistoga Home: Buy It For Only $49 million!

Joe Montana’s Calistoga Home: Buy It For Only $49 million!

Football great Joe Montana has listed his 500-acre estate, with acreage in Sonoma County’s wine country, for $49 million.

The Calistoga property includes a 9,700-square-foot Tuscan-inspired main house, an equestrian center, two year-round creeks, a pond, a regulation-sized basketball court, a skeet shooting range, a caretaker’s residence, a guesthouse, a swimming pool with a spa, a gym, a boccie ball court and a producing olive farm.

The main house has a loggia open to the outdoors, a sitting room in an upstairs tower and a climate-controlled wine cellar and tasting room. There are three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms.

Designed for indoor-outdoor living, the home has a courtyard with hand-painted frescoes, antique statues and fountains. The Montanas often take guests up in the outdoor viewing tower, which has panoramic views of Mount Saint Helena and Knights Valley.

Montana, 53, started his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 and was with the team through 1992. He played two more years with the Kansas City Chiefs. The quarterback was a three-time Super Bowl MVP, among other honors, and a four-time Super Bowl champ.

Atherton real estate can be very pricey, but his estate takes the cake as the highest listing in the area.

Coldwell Banker Previews International and Pacific Union/Christie’s Great Estates have the listing at www.villamontanaestate.com.

Atherton Home Prices on the Rebound

January 29, 2010 Real Estate News No Comments
Atherton Home Prices on the Rebound

Signs of Recovery

On a year to year comparison, the average listing price and selling price of luxury real estate in Atherton were both up in listing and sales prices.  The average selling price was $2,689,000 while the average Atherton home for sale had a listing price of just over $5.5 million dollars.

Knowing that Atherton real estate has about a 93% list to selling price ratio, I’m sure there will be further increases in sold prices for the month of January as well as listing prices.  We are seeing lots of buyers out there looking for luxury real estate in Atherton and many with cash in hand so the loan process won’t impact the sale.  Our office is having more high end sales in Atherton so far in January than it has in the last couple of years for the same time period, so despite the economy, luxury real estate in Atherton is still on the highly sought after list of places to live.

According to DataQuick, the figures were as follows:

1 month
1 Year
15 Months

Nov 09 Dec 09 % Change Dec 08 Dec 09 % Change Oct 08 Dec 09 % Change
Avg. Active Price 5123 5551 8.4% 5434 5551 2.2% 5394 5551 2.9%
Avg. Sold Price 2284 2698 18.1% 1925 2698 40.2% 2337 2698 15.4 %

My Contact Information

Gary Kurtz
BRE# 01710776

Kathy Kurtz
BRE# 01876966

HOM Sotheby's International Realty
1200 Newport Center Drive, # 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660

949.565.5201 (cell)
949.478.7769 (office)
650.796.5507 (Silicon Valley #)

Contact me now with any questions:

Kurtz Real Estate Group

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Real Estate Insider Video Show

Alain Pinel Realtors Silicon Valley

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Alain Pinel Realtors Silicon Valley

We at Alain Pinel Realtors have been releasing high quality videos that give buyers a feel for different areas. Today, we released the Silicon Valley video. Take a look. If you are looking for luxury real estate all along the Peninsula and Silicon Valley in areas such as Los Altos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, […]

Palo Alto Real Estate Update

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Palo Alto Real Estate Update

The numbers are strong for real estate in Palo Alto with this month’s sales figures.  Watch the video to see all key sales numbers for the month of January 2012 compared to January 2011.

Menlo Park Monthly Real Estate Sales Figures for October 2011

November 5, 2011

Menlo Park Monthly Real Estate Sales Figures for October 2011

The average sales price of a home in Menlo Park fell 7.8% for the month of October 2011 compared to October 2010.  The total number of sales for both periods were similar, which is good news, but the home prices were a little lower than expected.  The surprise number is that the average price per […]

Timely News

Pools and Waterfalls of the Wealthy

August 6, 2015

Pools and Waterfalls of the Wealthy

We all love to see how the wealthy spend their money.  Jets, fast cars, homes….but how about their pools and waterfalls?  This is even more fun to see as there is a big water shortage here in California, so it’s an even bigger status symbol than before as only the very wealthy can afford the […]

Off Market Listing in Pelican Hill – $12,500, 000

August 1, 2015

Off Market Listing in Pelican Hill – $12,500, 000

There is a new off market listing in Pelican Hill area of Newport Beach that is sure to get your mouth watering.  The home is 9200 square feet on a 22k sf lot with incredible views.  We have more photos and information, but the asking price is $12,500,000.  If you are a buyer and interested […]

Southern California vs Silicon Valley in battle for tech supremacy

July 27, 2015

Southern California vs Silicon Valley in battle for tech supremacy

Having worked in Silcon Valley for years and also being a native Southern Californian has me with my heart in two places.  So, when I see comparisons of SoCal vs Norcal and especially in the tech world, I get excited to see more movement down to Southern California as tech/startup world is very exciting. This […]

Prices Still Rising In Orange County

June 30, 2015

Prices Still Rising In Orange County

Prices continue to show gains for the areas of Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Newport Coast and Laguna Beach.  Most areas have surpassed their peak prices that occurred in around 2007.  Will prices continue to rise?  It seems the high end luxury homes have slowed a bit but the inventory still is at low levels. […]

Why So Many Chinese Buyers in Palo Alto and Along the Peninsula?

May 22, 2014

Why So Many Chinese Buyers in Palo Alto and Along the Peninsula?

Everybody reads about the large supply of Chinese buyers who are buying homes here along the Peninsula.  There are many agents, one prominent one who we all know and now has a plane to fly his Chinese buyers around, who target the Chinese buyers very heavily.  Buy, why are there so many Chinese buyers and […]