After promising to sell nearly everything he owned last year including six mansions in California, Tesla’s billionaire CEO has taken up residence in a studio-apartment sized rental – here’s what it looks like inside and out.
If you’re looking for the world’s third-richest person, you won’t find him living among the billionaires. After selling off most of his real estate assets and moving to Texas in the past year, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed in early June that he now only owns one house (in the Bay Area)—and that his primary residence is a tiny box house that he says he rents from his rocket company, SpaceX.
The house, which is around 400 square feet, is located in Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX produces its Starships. Musk, who has a net worth of $169.8 billion according to Forbes, rents a “foldable, prefabricated home” made by Boxabl, a housing startup company. The house, which Musk tweeted sells for about $50,000, typically has a setup akin to a small studio apartment: One large room partitioned into a living room area, bedroom area, kitchen and bathroom. In contrast to many other billionaires who own lavish mansions, Musk lives in an easily transportable 20×20 foot unit.
“It’s kinda awesome though,” Musk said on Twitter last month.
The 50-year-old mogul first announced plans to sell all of his homes and most of his possessions last year, in response to criticism of his massive wealth. Musk has now nearly made good on his promise to do so,selling six of his seven properties.
“Only house I own is the events house in the Bay Area. If I sold it, the house would see less use, unless bought by a big family, which might happen someday,” Musk said on Twitter last month.
A few days later, he confirmed he had put it up for sale: “Decided to sell my last remaining house. Just needs to go to a large family who will live there. It’s a special place.”
The 47-acre property is located in Hillsborough, California—around halfway between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The “over 100-year-old mansion” is a 16,000 square foot house that boasts nine bedrooms and ten bathrooms. It’s the last piece of real estate that Musk owns: He has listed it on the market for $37.5 million, having originally bought it for $23.4 million in 2017.
Musk has offloaded his Los Angeles real estate in the past year, often at slim profit margins—if any. He sold his first mansion, located on Chalon Road, for $29 million in June 2020; he had purchased it for $17 million in 2012.
In October, he sold a 2,700 square foot ranch-style house that used to belong to Willy Wonka actor Gene Wilder for $7 million (Musk bought it for $6.75 million in 2013), with the stipulation that the house “cannot be torn down or lose any [of] its soul.”
In December, Musk sold four Bel Air properties for a combined $61.89 million; He originally spent nearly $55 million on those properties, purchasing them between 2015 and 2019. Overall, Musk has made an estimated profit of $19.2 million on his six home sales over the past year.
Musk’s offloading of real estate comes after a battle with the state of California. The billionaire criticized the state’s coronavirus-related restrictions on operations at the Tesla factory in the Bay Area last year—leading to a lawsuit that Tesla later dropped—and also claimed that the state takes entrepreneurs for granted. In early December 2020, Musk confirmed that he was moving to Texas, citing the fact that two of his biggest projects—Tesla’s new factory and a SpaceX facility-are located there.
It remains unclear whether Musk is renting any other houses in Austin, though. It’s also unknown if he stays with his girlfriend, 32-year-old singer Grimes (who lives in Austin) and their 10-month-old child, X AE A-XII. Musk has five other children with his first wife, Justine Wilson, but it’s unclear where they live.
954 Somera Rd, Los Angeles
Sold December 22, 2020 for $29,719,000
Purchased September 30, 2016 for $24,250,000
955 Somera Rd, Los Angeles
Sold December 22, 2020 for $4,443,000
Purchased July 10, 2015 for $4,300,000
958 Somera Rd, Los Angeles
Sold December 22, 2020 for $6,774,500
Purchased January 15, 2019 for $6,400,000
10947 Chalon Rd, Los Angeles
Sold December 21, 2020 for $20,948,500
Purchased July 28, 2015 for $20,000,000
10930 Chalon Rd, Los Angeles
Sold October 8, 2020 for $7,000,000
Purchased October 24, 2013 for $6,750,000
10911 Chalon Rd, Los Angeles
Sold June 12, 2020 for $29,000,000
Purchased December 21, 2012 for $17,000,000
By Sergei Klebnikov, Forbes Staff