Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said his primary residence is a simple home worth $50,000 that he’s renting from SpaceX near its spaceport in Texas, but the eccentric billionaire is actually living in a luxury mansion in Austin owned by his wealthy friend Ken Howery, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In June, Musk tweeted his primary home “is literally a ~$50k house in Boca Chica / Starbase that I rent from SpaceX,” adding that “it’s kinda awesome though.”
However, the Journal reports that for about a year, Musk has been living in a nearly 8,000-square-foot estate owned by Howery, the co-founder of PayPal and former U.S. ambassador to Sweden — when Howery bought it in 2018 for $12 million, it was the most expensive property then on the market in Austin.
Musk has also viewed mansions in Austin to buy, according to the Journal, which cited anonymous sources said to know about Musk’s living arrangements.
A common link between Musk and Howery is PayPal Holdings, which Howery co-founded and where Musk served as an executive.
Musk and Howery didn’t respond to Forbes’ request for comment by the time of publication.
What We Don’t Know
If Musk is paying his friend for living in the mansion.
$261.9 billion. That’s Forbes’ estimate of Musk’s net worth as of Wednesday. The 50-year-old is the richest man on the planet, followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Bernard Arnault and his family. Musk is the only billionaire whose real-time net worth exceeds $200 billion.
Last year, Musk expressed dissatisfaction with California over its Covid restrictions that restricted operations at the Tesla factory in the Bay Area, and sold off several properties in that state. A few days after the June tweet where Musk said he only owns one house in the Bay Area, he put it up for sale. In October, Tesla moved its headquarters to Texas from California.
Musk has recently engaged in a tit-for-tit with Democrats over taxes on Twitter. In his latest tweet, Musk said Sunday that he would pay more than $11 billion in taxes this year. Last week, in a Twitter spat with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), he claimed he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” Musk likely owes the federal government at least $8.3 billion for 2021, according to an estimate by Forbes.
Elon Musk Says He Lives in a $50,000 House. He Doesn’t Talk About the Austin Mansion. (Wall Street Journal)