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A $9.3 million smart prefab home in the Bay Area is now on sale and is designed to attract local tech executives — see inside

Business Insider

Brittany Chang

Dec 19, 2021

The 993 Los Robles Ave home's patio at sunset with outdoor seating

One of the latest homes to enter Silicon Valley’s real estate market — 993 Los Robles Ave in Palo Alto, California — may look like any other luxury home in the area.

the exterior of the 993 Los Robles Ave home at sunset

After all, the unit has all of the classic opulent family home amenities — like smart home features and an elevator — all within a 15-minute drive from hotspots like Stanford University and Googleplex.

a bedroom in a room full of windows inside 993 Los Robles Ave

But the house hides a major secret that sets it apart from all the other luxury homes in the neighborhood.

a bathroom next to a bedroom inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

Unlike traditional homes that are built on-site from the ground up, the $9.3 million 993 Los Robles home is a prefabricated house, which means parts of the home were built off-site in a factory.

The 993 Los Robles Ave home's patio at sunset with outdoor seating

Construction technology company Veev is the brains behind the 933 Los Robles home, which has now been on the market for a little over 100 days, according to Zillow.

the lightwell next to a dining table and kitchen inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

The company specializes in prefabricated homes — from multi-family houses to smaller backyard units — with an effort to “bring the housing industry into modern times,” according to its website.

a bedroom inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

“Our modular construction takes the approach of a home as a product, and we designed a [panelized] system that can build anything,” Dafna Akiva, Veev’s co-founder and CRO, told Insider in an interview. “A home is the most important, expensive product anybody has.”

a billiards table and a wet bar inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

Veev’s system, which Akiva compares to a Lego kit, can then create a home of any size and design.

the backyard patio of the 993 Los Robles Ave home at sunset with couches and a grill

Like other prefab home makers, Akiva believes prefabrication can help alleviate the housing crisis: The homebuilding method is often considered more time, cost, waste, and labor efficient compared to traditional construction.

a bathroom next to a bedroom inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

“Traditional construction doesn’t need to be replaced, there just needs to be more ways of building,” she said. “Without innovation in this space, the housing crisis will not be solved.”

The 993 Los Robles Ave home's patio at sunset with outdoor seating

Veev’s full prefab construction system can create the walls of a home while integrating it with electricity, plumbing, lighting, and sensors, all inside of its factory. This system then allows the company to build a home four times faster than traditional construction, according to Akiva.

a home movie theater with a white screen and couches inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

The Los Robles house’s steel structure was fabricated off-site, and its automation system — which Akiva calls the “brain” of the “digital house” — arrived on-site as a “kit” that could be installed.

an office space inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

But because the home was built with an earlier version of Veev’s system, aspects like the walls and paint were still completed on-site via traditional construction methods, Akiva noted.

a bedroom in a room full of windows inside 993 Los Robles Ave

The home was completed about three months ago, but it’ll be one of the company’s last high-end projects.

a bedroom inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

Moving forward, the team wants to shift its focus towards growing the company and alleviating the housing crisis, “and this you can’t do with one-off $10 million homes,” Akiva said.

the living room with seating and a fire place inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

Given the price range, Akiva says Veev’s buyers are often executives and people in their 30s to 50s working in the tech industry, often with a family. But no matter the age, Veev’s buyers are almost all looking for a modern home with integrated technology, Akiva said.

the living room with seating and a fire place inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

Let’s take a look inside 993 Los Robles, which has the prime price tag and location to attract a Silicon Valley executive.

a bedroom in a room full of windows inside 993 Los Robles Ave

The home has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a two-car garage, amounting to a little over 5,380 square feet.

the exterior of the 993 Los Robles Ave home at sunset

The kitchen is right off the garage and leads into the dining and living room.

a modern and sleek kitchen with a large island inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

This floor also has access to the elevator, a lightwell, a half bathroom…

the lightwell next to a dining table and kitchen inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

…three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, and the primary bedroom with a walk-in closet and bathroom.

a bedroom inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

The lower floor then has the final bedroom with a bathroom, family room, media room…

a home movie theater with a white screen and couches inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

…bathroom, gym, laundry room, and mechanical room.

a bathroom next to a bedroom inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

Given its tech-forward location, it should be no surprise that the house is also “digital.”

an office space inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

The home doesn’t have any light switches. Instead, its amenities — like the lights and temperature — can be controlled through a phone or by using the touch panels that have been flushed into the house’s walls.

a billiards table and a wet bar inside the 993 Los Robles Ave home

And there may be no backyard pool, but the home has been permitted for one in case its future owners want their own swimming hole: “This is the kind of thinking that is a product thinking,” Akiva said.

the backyard patio of the 993 Los Robles Ave home at sunset with couches and a grill