The third-richest person in the world currently lives in a tiny flat-pack home in Texas that cost under $60,000. After promising to sell off virtually everything he owns, including all seven of his mansions in California, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has revealed that his primary residence is a prefab by Boxabl, which he rents from his company SpaceX. The model in question is the “Casita,” a home that ships with everything you need already built-in. When it arrives on site, a crane unfolds the walls and roof, and within 90 minutes, you have a complete residence ready to live in.
Needless to say, Musk’s announcement has generated a lot of interest in this 400-square-foot abode. Luckily, Boxabl offers a virtual tour of the Casita, as well as a video showing off just how quickly it can be to set up. Within its 20-by-20 footprint is a layout similar to that of a studio apartment, featuring a full size kitchen with a double sink, oven, dishwasher, large refrigerator, and Shaker cabinetry, a bathroom with a deep shower or tub and a sliding barn door, and a generously sized living room with 9’6”-high ceilings. A storage cabinet separates the living area from the open bedroom.
Musk’s Casita, which has reportedly received an upgrade package putting its total cost a few thousand dollars over the list price of $49,500, is set to be the first of many produced by Boxabl. The company’s new headquarters in Las Vegas will soon be producing the units en masse for shipment all over the United States. While many other technology-focused housing companies see 3D printing as the wave of the future, Boxabl’s design uses factory-built modular components that can be flattened into an ultra-compact package for shipment on existing tractor-trailers. Another huge benefit of this model is affordability. Boxabl’s founders aim to help significantly lower the cost of homeownership for all, though of course, you still need land and utility hookups. Still, the Casita costs significantly less than the average manufactured home, and, in fact, less than a Tesla.
Located in Boca Chica, Texas, Musk’s new home is on “Starbase,” the new SpaceX rocket-building facility he hopes will one day become a city in its own right. Set on remote mudflats at the state’s southern tip, Starbase has become a point of contention for locals and bird lovers due to its bright lights, noise, and proximity to sensitive nesting areas for migratory shorebirds like plovers and red knots.
The homes Musk offloaded in California include a mansion on Chalon Road, which he sold for $29 million in June 2020; a home that once belonged to Willy Wonka actor Gene Wilder, which he sold for $7 million with the stipulation that it “cannot be torn down or lose any [of] its soul”; four Bel Air properties worth a combined $61.89 million; and a 47-acre compound in Hillsborough with a century-old mansion. Musk, whose net worth is estimated around $169.8 billion, isn’t exactly taking a vow of poverty here. He’s just freeing up assets to put them toward SpaceX and its mission to revolutionize space technology.