Last night, before I went to bed, I re-read my Time Magazine - Person of the Year - edition, you know the one with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg on the cover. Somehow overnight, his face and an idea popped into my head. If you haven't read it, or seen his recent Oprah interview, Mark Zuckerberg is a RENTER!! That's right, one of the most wealthiest men in America, rents his home. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy finding leases for many of my clients. Most aren't ready to make the jump into home or condo ownership and I personally was a renter for many, many years. I think in my lifetime alone (and I'm 40 years old), I have lived at over 15 different addresses in my 20s and 30s, until I bought my first place. However, this is Mark Zuckerberg!! You know the guy that has most of us glued to his Facebook website at least once or twice in a day (if not more, with the invention of Smart Phones.)
Upon some internet research, the previous home he leased, found right here in this Oprah clip, cost over 7K to rent. http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Take-a-Look-into-the-Life-of-Mark-Zuckerberg-Video_1 And now just last month, he upgraded to a bigger pad which if I had to guess, cost closer 9K a month to rent, which you can find here on Gawker http://gawker.com/5725833/this-is-mark-zuckerbergs-new-home
Have you seen the prices in Palo Alto, CA? I did a quick search on http://www.realtor.com/ and found that in the rental section, there is only 7 places for lease. For sale, there are currently only 176 properties. I guess selection is very slim in that area of the Silicon Valley. Compare that to Austin, Texas and Realtor.com lists 4,795 homes for sale and 948 rentals on the market. I know the cost of living is way higher in California, but really almost 10K a month in rental times 12 months is throwing away almost $120,000 a year! You can at least get a starter condo for that price here in Austin. Save another year and you can buy a really nice house. And just think of the Mortgage Interest you could write off every year on your taxes? But you are Mark Zuckerberg, you probably wouldn't need a loan but it's a thought.
So to you Mark Zuckerberg (and I know you must have a Google Alert set up for your name, I would), when your lease is almost up and you are ready to make your first time homebuyer purchase, give me a call or send me an email. Why? The best part of being a Realtor is the out-of-state/city referrals. By being a part of the Active Rain network of agents, I found a great one right here. http://activerain.com/cdimond She can find you the house of your dreams in Palo Alto, CA, where your main offices are located and I receive a referral fee. It stimulates the economy (and my checkbook) and we all end up happy.
And by the way, just in case you come to visit your new Facebook offices in Austin, Texas soon, also feel free to call or email me, and let me treat you to coffee so I can explain the benefits of home ownership. And if you are interested in a second or vacation home in Austin, Texas, I would be happy to sell you a house here too. Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick, and Lance Armstrong would probably be glad to have you as one of their neighbors, I know I would.
p.s. Thanks for reading. And if anyone in Austin, Texas has friends moving out-of-state, or out-of the city, feel free to pass along my name and number/email too. You get a $50 gift card to the establishment of your choice and I will find them a great Realtor to help them with their new home search.