Silicon Valley boy king Mark Zuckerberg dropped $30 million total over the past nine months to buy up four houses surrounding his five-bedroom home in Palo Alto. Zuckerberg reportedly snatched up the homes when he found out a developer was planning to flip a neighbor's house and market it as "next door to Mark Zuckerberg."

Zuckerberg's plans for his new real estate empire are fairly modest, especially compared to fellow Silicon Valley CEOs like Larry Page and Larry Ellison, who have a thing for buying up adjacent properties in order to build bigger homes and insulate themselves from the hoi polloi next door. According to someone close to the deal, the Facebook chief is planning to lease the same houses back to the families already living there, making him the new landlord of Edgewood Drive.

The land grab started sometime last December when Zuck, working through San Francisco financial firm Iconiq Capital, bought up the home behind his current place at 1456 Edgewood Drive. Last month, Iconiq — which handles money matters for other local rich people — bought up three more homes for well above market price. Zuck paid $14.5 million for one of the homes — or more than double what he paid in 2011 for the house he actually lives in. (Which, we should note, was once called "disappointing" by Forbes.)

In addition to the Palo Alto home, which hosted the Zuckerberg nuptials as well as an anti-Chris Christie protest, Zuckerberg also keeps a pied-a-terre in the Mission that just got a makeover. He also bought up a block of luxury condos in Honolulu back in January.

[Mercury News]
[Silicon Valley Business Journal]