Inside the most expensive zip code in Silicon Valley, where tech moguls like Eric Schmidt and Paul Allen have their mansions


Melia Robinson, provided by

Published 7:45 am, Sunday, October 1, 2017

From the looks of it, Atherton could be any ritzy suburb in America.

But it isn’t anywhere. Atherton is an idyllic town located on the San Francisco Peninsula, where even modest homes go for millions of dollars. It is the third priciest zip code in the US and the most expensive in Silicon Valley, according to Forbes.

It’s no surprise that tech billionaires – including Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, HP CEO Meg Whitman, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt – come home to Atherton’s 94027. The town’s prestige, privacy, and proximity to major tech companies draw ultra-rich homebuyers, who often pay all cash and bid hundreds of thousands of dollars above asking price .

Here’s what it’s like inside Atherton.

Atherton is a small, mostly residential town located about 45 minutes south of San Francisco and less than 20 minutes from the headquarters of Facebook, Google, and Tesla.

Google Maps screenshot

Mega-mansions line nearly every block. Many homes have fences or landscaping that prevent prying eyes from looking in. Each lot feels like its own gated community.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The median sale price in Atherton was That figure is highly conservative, $5.42 million in 2016, four times higher than that of San Francisco. according to local realtor Tom LeMieux .

The ranking by Forbes probably did not take off-market sales into account, which made up one-third of home sales in Atherton in 2015, LeMieux told The Almanac. Those exclusive deals are transacted through real-estate agents but are not publicly advertised.

Despite their walls, Atherton estates still have an imposing presence from the street.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

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