Elon Musk’s $50,000 Box Home Exists, But, Surprise, He Kinda Lives in a Billionaire Friend’s Mansion

Elon Musk reportedly lives in a mansion owned by his friend, PayPal cofounder Ken Howery, in Austin.

Elon Musk and son X Æ A-12 on stage TIME Person of the Year on December 13, 2021 in New York City. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME

Elon Musk is the TIME person of the year, the richest man in the world, and he lives in a rented $50,000 instant home in Texas, close to his beloved SpaceX, right? Well, he may rent the $50,000 mass-produced, prefabricated house from his company, but he actually lives in a friend’s mansion in Austin, Texas, according to The Wall Street Journal. The friend is fellow “PayPal Mafia” billionaire Ken Howery, a co-founder of PayPal Inc. where Musk was an executive at the beginning of his career.

Howery’s home near Austin, Texas. Map data ©2021 Google

In addition to an “extended stay” at the opulent 8,000-square-foot home, the Journal reports that Musk has engaged several real estate agents in the search for a Texas property, despite previously bragging on Twitter that his personal goal was to “own no home.” He later said that he’d sold all his houses except one that is rented out for events.

After the WSJ story was published, Howery told the paper in a text message, “Elon does not live at my home, he lives in South Texas. He stayed at the house as my guest occasionally when traveling to Austin.” Musk denied living in the mansion to Insider, and said he is not looking to buy.

Musk has been known to take up residence in unusual places. For a time he was sleeping under his desk at Tesla’s factory with only a pillow, sans case, and the Journal reports that he is now registered to vote at a modest property in Cameron County, Texas, built in 1971 — an entirely different property from the 20 x 20′ foldable “box” home created for him by Boxabl, a startup that makes instant houses. Musk has repeatedly announced his intention to die as a resident of Mars, so it seems he still has a long way to go on that front. Elon Musk’s $50,000 Box Home Exists, But, Surprise, He Kinda Lives in a Billionaire Friend’s Mansion