LOS GATOS -- A six-bedroom, six-bath home formerly owned by Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak -- complete with a bedroom mural of the "Little Mermaid," outdoor grotto and firefighters pole for the kids -- is up for sale for $4.4 million.
The 7,500-square-foot home on Santa Rosa Drive near Shannon Road includes lots of high-end finishes and a few low-end personalized touches from Wozniak, such as the initials "S" and "W" that were scratched inside a drawer in the music room, said realty agent Arthur Sharif of Sotheby's International Realty, who is listing the property.
In a brief telephone interview from an airplane as he prepared to fly from Florida to San Francisco on Monday, Wozniak told this newspaper that he liked the original three-bedroom home when he bought it for more than $1 million about 1986.
"I liked the architecture very much but the home kind of grew as my family extended," Wozniak said.
With three children and three stepchildren, Wozniak added bedrooms, bathrooms, secret passageways through the walls for his kids and "turned one huge area into a playroom." He also connected the garage to the house.
Suzanne Yost, past president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors who works for Alain Pinel Realtors in Los Gatos, said that marketing a home once owned by a celebrity like Wozniak "definitely drives interest. ... I don't know that that interest translates into buyers. It's not, in my opinion, going to change the market value."
Two people have owned the home since Wozniak, who said it "now looks nothing like when I lived in it."
At one point in 2008, the homeowner who followed Wozniak listed the property for $10 million. But Sharif said the owner "got caught up in the bad market of 2008 and went bankrupt."
Then five years ago, Sharif's client -- a patent attorney from Detroit -- bought the house and its nearly 52,000-square-foot lot out of bankruptcy. The home has sat vacant since, with some remodeling work from the previous owner still unfinished, Sharif said.
But flourishes of Wozniak remain.
"Most of the interesting stuff is Woz's stuff," Sharif said. "He commissioned science museum folks from San Francisco to build a cave for his kids. The cave (or grotto) has a window into the koi pond and dual waterfalls. His kids must have been the most popular kids in the neighborhood."
The attic includes a firefighters pole and firehouse-type stairs. The attic's ceiling is carpeted and inset with LED lights that give people the impression they're looking into the Milky Way galaxy, Sharif said.
Otherwise, the property carries many of the usual touches of a multimillion-dollar Silicon Valley listing: European chef's kitchen; terraces outside every room; wall safes in most rooms; and 270-degree views of canyons, the sunrise and sunset and a nightly view of the city lights of San Jose.
And don't forget the initials of Wozniak himself tucked inside a music room drawer.
"It looks like they were scratched by hand really hard, like he was using a pen," Sharif said.
Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.