Elon Musk used to own plenty of real estate in California. But in 2020 he went on a huge selling spree, parting ways with his multi-million dollar properties one by one by one by one. In total, he’s sold seven houses. His eighth and only remaining home – a beautiful, Bay area estate that he describes as a special place – hit the market in June. The price: $37.5 million. Not long ago, Musk packed his bags and moved to Texas – which, by the way, has no personal income tax. Whereas the Golden State imposes the highest level of income tax on its richest residents.
There are plenty of fancy homes in south Texas a half hours’ drive from Boca Chica where SpaceX built its rocket facility for Starship. But the second richest person in the world says instead, he’s chosen to rent a small home from his company located by the production site worth a mere $50,000. He reportedly lives in a foldable house in a box like this according to Teslarati. The windows and walls unfold into a 400-square foot space complete with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room.
They’re built by a startup called Boxabl which had no comment about Musk’s living situation when I reached out to them. But the company has certainly been dropping hints about a new customer. In a promotional video from late 2020, Boxabl showed off one of its units with a photo of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and had this to say about a special delivery. “We just installed in Boca Chica, Texas for a top-secret customer”. Pretty exciting to have these guys of our initial customer.
The portable homes have a starting price of $49,500 and are light enough to be towed by a Model X which costs twice as much. By living on-site – Musk has 24/7 access to all of SpaceX’s developments as it powers full steam ahead in the hopes of sending humans to Mars. Musk has famously signaled his commitment to his companies by placing himself right in the center of the action. Like the times he sleeps at Tesla’s factories which I talked about in another video. Or further back, when he and his brother started their first company, he slept at the office and showered at the YMCA.
In this case – his vision of a factory line of fully reusable launch vehicles supersedes any desire for luxurious living. Downsizing his house is a metaphor for downsizing his life in order to focus on his ambitions. And if making life multi-planetary weren’t enough, he’s trying to solve traffic congestion with the Boring Company, wants to make humans smarter by implanting tiny wires with Neuralink, and then of course there’s his electric car company Tesla which has a Gigafactory under construction in Austin. His girlfriend Grimes confirmed she has also moved to the Texas capital.
Musk is not the only billionaire to live frugally. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg famously has a wardrobe of simple, gray shirts. One of the most successful investors of all time, Warren Buffet, often eats breakfast at McDonald’s. And still lives in the same house in Omaha that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500. Still, it’s nothing like a tiny home in a box. Musk has also been seen at another property in Boca Chica village right next to SpaceX’s site. The CEO has been spotted staying at this house that SpaceX remodeled and is said to be one of the nicest in the neighborhood.
It was appraised at $47,000 in 2020 and is now worth more than three times that according to the Wall Street Journal. Real estate in Boca Chica has soared in value since Musk appealed for people to move to the area and said SpaceX would have thousands of job openings in the next few years. Boca Chica is a tiny community. There are only about 40 houses here with no shops, restaurants, or even water pipes. Water is trucked in. The people who live here are mostly retired and come to spend the winters. SpaceX has been offering to buy all the houses.
Some residents have taken the money while others have refused and have complained of bullying by SpaceX to try and get them to sell. South Texas is precious to SpaceX because of its proximity to the equator which gives rockets a boost in speed due to the rotation of the Earth. The company also has a long history in the Lonestar state. It’s had a rocket engine testing site north of Austin for two decades. SpaceX has hinted that it wants to develop the Boca Chica area into a resort. It posted a job for a resort development manager in 2020.
Musk envisions a city called Starbase that would incorporate the small community. Boxabl has even pitched the idea of more housing units for the expansion of Starbase. As for this $50,000 humble abode? Musk is unlikely to buy million-dollar digs in the future. He has said his plan is to not own a home. Who needs one when Mars is calling? To call Musk a busy man is an understatement. He reportedly plans his day in five-minute slots in order to make the best use of his time.
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