Dot-com millionaire auctioning home on eBay

Online travel pioneer Dan Whaley, who founded one of the first Internet travel sites and made millions when he sold it five years ago, is auctioning his "waterfront bungalow" in San Mateo, Calif., on eBay.

The 1,650-square foot house, built in 1957, sits on San Mateo Lagoon, which feeds into the San Francisco Bay. It has three bedrooms, a koi pond, a Mediterranean style pool, a stone hot tub, a dock, electric skylights and a Moroccan style fireplace.

The current bid for the house was listed as $12,100 on Tuesday, with another week remaining. That was up from 99 cents the day before, Whaley said.

Whaley, 36, said he has not had the house appraised recently but that comparable properties are valued at more than $1 million. He said he was not worried about getting full value for the property.

"I'd like to see what the marketplace wants to place it at," he said in an interview. "I'm a big believer in the online model and letting people participate a little bit more actively in the transaction."

Whaley said he plans to donate the amount he would have spent on real estate commissions, about 4 percent to 6 percent, to Books not Bars, an Oakland prison reform group.

He founded The Internet Travel Network in 1994, which was renamed GetThere.com before he sold it to Sabre/Travelocity for $750 million. "The first travel reservation over the Web went through my living room in June 1995," he said.

Whaley said he is looking to buy property in San Francisco, where the average single family home is selling for about $740,000 and the average purchase price of a luxury home is hitting $2.7 million.

Given talk of a housing bubble, Whaley may be better off waiting, although I'm sure he's got plenty of cushion.

 

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