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Facebook Founder Spends $30 Million To Buy Homes Of Palo Alto Neighbors

PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) - Mark Zuckerberg is changing his privacy settings when it comes to potentially noisy Palo Alto neighbors.

The Facebook founder has gone on a home buying spree and purchased four houses that surround his own 5-bedroom pad in the Crescent Park neighborhood.

Friday was trash day on upscale Edgewood Drive, where Zuckerberg's entry gate makes it clear that he values his privacy.

"It really does show. There's like a lot of bushes that cover the doorway, and a big gate," said neighbor Cindy Manko, who was walking her dog.

It seems the multibillionaire is taking that to a new level. He recently spent about $30 million buying up four neighboring homes. Three of those are behind his hose, on Hamilton. He spent $14 million on one of the homes. The building was half the size of his own, for twice the price.

Sereno Group Realtor James Yang said the purchases probably won't affect the Crescent park Neighborhood home prices, but the median Palo Alto home price is heading up already.

"This is probably an atypical situation," said Yang. "If you're interested in a very particular piece of property that maybe isn't on the market, then going up to somebody's door and saying 'What do you want for your property,' that's very different than having a seller that has a reason to sell."

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Zuckerberg made the move after hearing that a developer wanted to build a mansion and market it as neighboring the Facebook CEO's home. Zuckerberg reportedly has no plans to redevelop, and the former owners are still living in the homes. None of them were willing to talk Friday.

"They did a really good job at keeping the wraps on everything," said Yang.

Yang said it's not uncommon for sellers to have non-disclosure agreements for high-profile sales.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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