SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. File picture: Valley Morning Star, David Pike/AP
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. File picture: Valley Morning Star, David Pike/AP

Elon Musk - the world’s second-richest person - lives in a 38m² rented home. This is what he gave up to rent it

By Vivian Warby Time of article published Jul 27, 2021

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Imagine having enough money to go to space and being one of the richest men in the world like Elon Musk. Now imagine the house he must live in?

Lavish with all the trimmings, you would imagine.

But no! Elon Musk - who has an estimated net worth of $160.4 billion - lives in a tiny home - believed to be about 38m² - valued at $50 000 (about R740 000) in Boca Chica, Texas, where his SpaceX headquarters are located.

It is reported he doesn’t even own it, but rents out the house - a foldable, prefabricated homemade by a housing startup company and touted to be the answer to affordable housing. The house can be erected in a day.

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Renting is nothing new for Musk who first rented a colonial-style house in 2010 in Los Angeles where he lived with his five sons before buying it. He had since then bought six other homes.

More than a year ago however Musk told the world via a tweet that he was selling almost all physical possessions and that he would own no house. It was his attempt to respond to criticism of his wealth, and alleged tax evasion. He also moved to Texas where he pays $0 in state income taxes.

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And on owning no homes - he’s kept his promise.

Musk, the co-founder of electric automaker Tesla, went on a selling spree getting rid of most of his property portfolio - most listed on a property portal and snapped up.

He sold his main Los Angeles home to start with and says he now has almost no property of great value other than company shares.

His huge mansion in San Francisco - the last of the portfolio to go - is still on the market for $37.5 million but once that is gone he will be well, like many of us who don’t own homes, except he is, well very rich.

This move is in sharp contrast to Musk who spent years buying up properties adjacent to each other in Bel-Air in Los Angeles in an attempt to ensure his privacy.

And anyone who still thinks property is not a good investment - overall, Musk is reported to have made an estimated profit of $19.2 million on his home sales over the past year.

Screengrab: Boxabl/YouTube

It’s hard to imagine someone, who is used to space and privacy, is adapting to the new tiny home he is renting.

It’s reported to have a 20×20 footprint, 2.8m high ceilings and comes with a fridge, stove, washer/dryer, bathroom, kitchen, and more. - all very probably the size of a living room in one of Musk’s old homes!

Screengrab: Boxabl/YouTube

For instance one of Musks’ sold homes had 1881m² of space divided into different wings, with a total of seven bedrooms. It also had a two-story library.

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The start-up company - boxabl - who made the home Musk rents says they are using a new construction method that makes them resistant to fire, floods, rot, pests, high winds and more, and also more durable and efficient than traditional homes. And probably an ideal home for emerging markets, such as South Africa where makeshift homes of the poor are mostly constructed with corrugated iron and plastic as roofs.

Galiano Tiramani, business development at boxabl says the product could potentially improve the lives of millions of people.

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