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Snapchat’s David Kravitz Goes Off the Grid in Topanga

Topanga, Calif.
$5.4 million
38 acres with a 2,545 square foot house

Although he’s nowhere near as high-profile as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel or even co-founder Bobby Murphy, computer science whiz David Kravitz was Snap, Inc.’s very first employee, according to Business Insider. A Stanford University classmate of Murphy and Spiegel, the Sacramento, Calif. native likewise came into an enormous fortune when the social network went public in 2017, though the longtime software engineer — still in his 20s — remains faithfully employed at the company despite his newfound millions.

Kravitz, did however, run into unwanted publicity after posting some choice, and likely unwise, remarks about sorority girls and a photoshopped picture of himself laughing at D-Day soldiers to his personal Facebook page. But that was nearly six years ago — several eternities in the world of Snapchat, where pesky mistakes like drunk late-night messages (“sexts”) can disappear by the next morning.

Unlike Spiegel and Murphy, both of whom have established themselves as budding Westside L.A. real estate moguls, Kravitz is taking his Snapchat cash further north, to the untamed wilderness of hippie chic Topanga Canyon, tucked into the remote mountains between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley. There, in a particularly secluded and unspoiled cranny of the rugged hills, the tech tycoon has shelled out more than $5.4 million for a hidden ranch that spans approximately 38 acres.

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Ultimate privacy envelopes the property, accessible only via a treacherously narrow, long and winding private road. A driveway gate guards an extravagantly lengthy driveway that finally ends at the ranch’s main residence, a vaguely Mediterranean-style villa originally built in 1990 with about 2,500 square feet of living space, three bedrooms and three baths.

The house has renovated interiors with trendy neutral finishes and furnishings, and there are welcome amenities like stainless Wolf and SubZero kitchen appliances, at least two fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and a library/study. From the back door, a stone pathway leads through an overgrown thicket of lush plantings to a patio with a lagoon-style swimming pool and spa. Well behind the pool area is an array of solar panels that sustainably power the home, and beyond that is a full-size tennis court for exercise and fun.

But the real value of the Kravitz ranch lies in its near-countless acres of unspoiled terrain and its astonishingly scenic views of the surrounding rugged mountain ranges. The property is essentially neighbor-free, a good or bad thing depending on one’s point of view, although the animal neighbors — deer, foxes, coyotes, hawks, bears and even the occasional mountain lion — roam the estate at will.

The vase spread is also chock-full of food-bearing gardens — there are banana, orange and lemon trees along with a wide variety of other fruit and vegetable plantings for that true farm-to-table lifestyle. That’s an especially necessary thing, too, considering Kravitz’s estate is likely a good 30-minute drive (or so) away to the nearest supermarket. Postmates? Forget about it.

Paul Ferra and Michelle Oliver at Coldwell Banker held the listing; Kirsten Bohman at Pritchett-Rapf repped Kravitz.

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