Every once in a while a project of ours unexpectedly becomes infamous. This was the case for one particular custom home in Los Altos Hills that U&R engineers and surveyors have painstakingly been working on for years. In February of this year, this secluded house on a hill privately sold for a reported sum of $100 million, making it the highest price ever paid for a single-family home in the United States. The news of the sale went national with news media everywhere reporting on this obvious contradiction to the national economic and real estate crisis.

But then, this wasn’t your everyday single-family home. This one-of-a-kind 30,000 square foot mansion was created from the imagination of Silicon Valley high tech moguls, Fred and Annie Chan, a la William Randolph Hearst. Sure, the water flows, the gardens drain, and the cars safely climb the hill. But oh what a hill, lined with 100-year-old olive trees, imported stone pavers, and French chateaux inspired architecture that embraces an expansive view from San Jose to San Francisco. So, in the midst of the greatest economic recession of our time, a single grandiose project emerges. Oh yeah, we are now working for the new owner, making the house even grander. Go figure.