Dec 19, 2021
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.
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.
But the house hides a major secret that sets it apart from all the other luxury homes in the neighborhood.
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.
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 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.
“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.”
Veev’s system, which Akiva compares to a Lego kit, can then create a home of any size and design.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
The home was completed about three months ago, but it’ll be one of the company’s last high-end projects.
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.
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.
Let’s take a look inside 993 Los Robles, which has the prime price tag and location to attract a Silicon Valley executive.
The home has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a two-car garage, amounting to a little over 5,380 square feet.
The kitchen is right off the garage and leads into the dining and living room.
This floor also has access to the elevator, a lightwell, a half bathroom…
…three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, and the primary bedroom with a walk-in closet and bathroom.
The lower floor then has the final bedroom with a bathroom, family room, media room…
…bathroom, gym, laundry room, and mechanical room.
Given its tech-forward location, it should be no surprise that the house is also “digital.”
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.
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.