Palo Alto Home

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Bay Area cities San Francisco and San Jose are regularly considered among the most expensive in the US for home prices. And just south of San Jose, in Silicon Valley’s City of Palo Alto (home of Tesla Motors and Hewlett-Packard, among others) the median home value sits at a cool $2,540,000. But even in this expensive market, an average-looking Palo Alto home raised eyebrows recently when it sold for $30 million.

The four-bedroom and seven-bath estate at 1107 Cowper Street is obviously large at 7,550 square feet. Before the sale, Realtor.com estimated the home to be worth $1.5 million with average home prices in the same neighborhood in the range of $2.5 million. Even after the $30 million sale, brokerage Redfin estimates the property to be worth about $21.3 million, $8.7 million less than the selling price.

During an interview with the Mercury News, real estate agent Steve Mohseni suggested that the high price tag could be because of the sheer size of the lot, as perhaps the homeowner is planning to tear down the current home and build multiple smaller homes on the property.

“The lot, which is huge, is probably the biggest in the entire neighborhood,” explains Mohseni. “Sometimes investors will buy a lot and then subdivide it and build three or four new homes and sell them and profit from it.”

While the property appeared to lack sufficient street access to allow for multiple homes, there’s a small alleyway nearby. Call it a “divide and conquer” approach to pricey Silicon Valley real estate.

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