Cliff Peskin


Oct 16, 2010

Add Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg to the list of wealthy individuals who just aren’t interested in owning real estate.

“The Social Network” CEO rents a month-to-month apartment in Palo Alto, California. To boot, he also wears inexpensive clothes and drives an Infiniti Sedan. says news of Zuckerberg’s rental status initially hit the headlines as part of a legal battle with a man who claims that he is entitled to 84 percent of Facebook, Inc. At issue in the case is Zuckerberg’s status as a renter in California, which lawyers are using to say that his true home is in New York State – which means the case would be tried there.

Bob Gerlach, vice president and manager of Alain Pinel Realtors in the Silicon Valley community of Palo Alto, says Zuckerberg’s renting is “unusual.”

“Most tech guys do well and buy a nice property. One of the first things someone does is buy real estate. I think everyone wants to be a homeowner,” he says. “Sure, we have execs who move in and rent for a year and decide what to buy after getting to know the area. But most people invest in real estate, especially in high-end.”

Personally, I know several successful finance guys who rent their homes and aren’t concerned with real estate and it makes sense.

These guys are so focused on what they do and are so successful doing it that researching, purchasing and managing real estate would be a distraction. Zuckerberg is worth $4 billion and is changing the world with the fastest growing company ever – he doesn’t need to own a home.

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