Elon Musk – the richest person in the world – says he doesn’t own his own house right now. The Tesla and SpaceX mogul has in the past said he does not own the mega mansion you’d expect. Instead, he couch surfs, he said in a recent interview with with TED’s Chris Anderson.
“I don’t even own a place right now, I’m literally staying at friends’ places,” Musk said during the interview, shared on TED’s YouTube on Sunday. “If I travel to the Bay Area, which is where most of Tesla’s engineering is, I basically rotate through friends’ spare bedrooms.”
Musk, a father of seven, has an estimated net worth of $270.1 billion, according to Forbes. Still, Grimes – the mother of two of his children – admitted during a recent Vanity Fair interview they lived in a “very insecure $40,000 house.” The singer dug further into Musk’s money matters, saying at one point he had a mattress with a hole in it and didn’t want to buy a new one.
She said their house had “no security” and that she ate “peanut butter for eight days in a row.” During this interview,she and Musk welcomed their second baby – secretly – and that although it was reported they had broken up, that wasn’t entirely true. They’re “fluid” and live in separate houses, she said.
It is unclear where Grimes lives now, but during his TED interview, Musk said where he lives is generally at other people’s houses. Musk dropped this detail when answering a question about the wealth disparity in the U.S. between average Americans and billionaires like himself.
“For sure, it would be very problematic if I was spending billions of dollars a year in personal consumption, but that is not the case,” he said.
“It’s not as though my personal consumption is high,” he continued, admitting there is one exception: his private plane. “But if I don’t use the plane then I have less hours to work,” he said.
While Musk claims his abode is nothing more than a friend’s spare bedroom, there are reports that he does dwell in a luxury mansion – sometimes.
Last year, Musk tweeted that his primary residence is a rental from SpaceX, worth $50,000 and conveniently near the space exploration company’s Texas location. In the June 2021 tweet, also admitted to owning an “events house” in the Bay Area.
But in December 2021, it was reported Musk was actually living in an Austin mansion owned by Ken Howery, according to the Wall Street Journal. Howery, who co-founded PayPal along with Musk and others, bought the 8,000-square-foot home in 2018 for $12 million – when it was the most expensive property in Austin, according to Forbes.
Musk’s claims of a minimalistic lifestyle go even further back. In May 2020 he tweeted: “I am selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house.”