Los Altos Real Estate Blog


Billionaire's Los Altos Hills mansion loses $50 million value?

Yuri Milner billionaire mansion Los Altos HillsThe Santa Clara County Assessor, Larry Stone, has determined that the value of Yuri Milner's 25,545 square foot mansion in Los Altos Hills is worth $50,270,000 - almost exactly half of the price reportedly paid in Spring 2011.  Stone is quoted as saying "He paid more than fair market value."  I disagree.

How does one determine fair market value on a home that is essentially...unique.  While there are plenty of homes across the state with valuations in a similar price range, because the properties are in different markets and geographies it would be nearly impossible to establish an accurate valuation using conventional appraisal methods.  The valuation of a unique product in a market by itself is exactly what the buyer will pay for it - nothing less.

There are so many factors that go into evaluating the market value of a home of this type, beyond the typical parameters.  The materials and craftsmanship far outstrip the typical measures used in other luxury homes.  It's an engineering marvel worthy of whatever price was paid.

The property taxes on the home, based on the $100 million purchase price, would have been $1.2 million and a portion of that would go to local schools.  Districts are all in need of cash so the reduction will be a blow to the Los Alos School District. 

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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022



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Comment balloon 8 commentsBryan Robertson • July 04 2012 03:11PM


Hi Bryan - I can't imagine the challenges of actually appraising a home like that - at that level, so much becomes a matter of subjectivity. And I wouldn't think that any assessor anywhere in the country really has the resources to take on that job. I completely agree that it's hard to argue against the supposition that the market has spoken and the transaction in fact identified the value.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 6 years ago

Yes this is way above my imaginary thoughts to even "visit" a home like this.  I would not venture to challenage any expert in their report of what this one is worth, what it lost or any future values. I mean really?

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) over 6 years ago

Well I guess that's good news for Yuri - he pays less taxes, but not good for Santa Clara County or the schools that could have used that money.

Posted by Eva Aliaga, Boca Raton & Delray Beach: SE Florida Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Boca Raton IdealFloridaLiving.com) over 6 years ago

All I can say, is that if I had that much money, I would NOT buy one rediculously large house with it! This guy apparently has more money than he knows what to do with.

Posted by Jenny Durling, For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758 (L.A. Property Solutions) over 6 years ago

Yes, this doesn't seem right at all.  It really seems like someone is trying to cheat the system.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

I presume he paid all cash for it and it was never appraised.  If it was, what was the appraiser smoking at that time :)

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 6 years ago

Bryan: In California, it should be 1% of the purchase price. The buyer must have fought for that reassessment to get his annual payment down. But he must have known he was going to do that when he OVERPAID for it.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 6 years ago

Bryan - I just came across this oldie in a link from one of my old blog posts. It still amazes me that someone who has amassed that much money would blow it on a house like that. I guess it's all about prestige. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 3 years ago

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