The world’s richest people are known to live the most extravagant lives. Any one of us would probably do the same: work your way to a considerable fortune, and you’d splurge on luxury accommodation, luxury cars, luxury vacations, luxury everything. As far as Musk is concerned, billionaire or not, he can do very well without a couple of items on that list—including luxury accommodation.
A while back, Musk caused a lot of buzz online by announcing plans to sell his entire real estate portfolio, which was predictably impressive. He went ahead with the plans, and, as far of the world knows, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is now homeless, more or less. According to one of his tweets from earlier this month, he now lives on SpaceX property in a house that’s worth some $50,000.
“My primary home is literally a ~$50k house in Boca Chica / Starbase that I rent from SpaceX. It’s kinda awesome though,” Musk wrote. “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 some day.”
The fact that Musk doesn’t even own the cheap house he lives in when in Texas is just the icing on the cake. According to Teslarati, that house is actually a prefabricated, towable tiny home called Boxabl Casita—the cheapest model (and the only one available for preorder as of the moment of press). Boxabl actually hinted at this back in November 2020, when they revealed they had delivered a unit to Boca Chica for a then-mysterious A-list client.
The Casita is as adorable as the name suggests. It’s a 20x20 foot (6x6 meter) home made of concrete panels, steel and EPS foam that can be shipped or towed (even by a Model X, as one of the tweets available at the bottom of the page shows) directly to the buyer. Setting it up takes between one hour and one day, depending on the setup the owner wants: the Casita can be made for off-grid living or hooked up to utilities. Also depending on this, the setup can imply a variety of additional costs.
Still, the Casita itself starts at $50,000 and is made to “last a lifetime.” The walls, floor, and roof are structurally laminated panels rated higher for insulation and durability than everything else on the traditional home-building market. The Casita is hurricane and storm resistant, fire-resistant, flood-resistant, and 90% rated for snow. It’s cheap to maintain and can be made even cheaper by means of solar panels, backup batteries, and smart tech.
The base model is perfect for a small family, being more of a studio apartment: it’s basically a square space divided into four living areas. You have a master bedroom area, a kitchen area, a bathroom, and a living slash dining area. That said, it’s well organized, quite good looking and airy due to the high ceiling. More importantly, it's well equipped: you have a large fridge, a washer-dryer unit, a dishwasher, a double sink, an ironing board, and an oven and microwave in the kitchen; the bathroom has a deep shower tub, and a sizable counter; you get heating and AC as part of the standard package.
The idea is for Boxabl to start offering larger models soon, variations on this tiny Casita, while also including this one as a module for larger constructions. Boxabl believes that the housing industry needs to evolve and head into mass production to be more efficient and more affordable. The only way out of the housing crisis, the company CEO says in one of the videos below, is by offering units that are more durable, more affordable, and with shorter delivery dates.
Clearly, the Boxabl Casita unit is awesome enough to have caught the eye of Elon Musk. But Boxabl likes to dream of a future well beyond building on Earth: they recently unveiled a concept for a Mars unit, based on the idea that the Casita can also serve for medical or military use in disaster or conflict areas. Why not think ahead into the not-too-distant future in which Musk leads humanity on a mission to colonize Mars?