The world’s richest man, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has followed through on his vow to own “no house” by selling all seven of his California homes for a total of $128m, raking in an estimated $25m in profits from the sales.
Mr Musk claims the vow came from his desire to focus fully on his mission to send humans to Mars.
Though many are sceptical of Mr Musk – who has a penchant for sticking his foot in his mouth – his ex-wife, the singer Grimes, claims he is sincere about his goals.
In a recent interview in Vanity Fair, Grimes said that Mr Musk “might say a lot of stupid s*** but he does the right thing”.
“The Mars project is hard. There’s no income for it. There’s no way for it to make money,” Grimes, said. “It’s for the benefit of humanity, and it’s dangerous and it’s expensive, and people are like, ‘He’s hoarding money!’ No, he’s spending everything on R&D.”
She claimed Mr Musk does not “live like a billionaire” and at times lives “below the poverty line”. She recalled living in a “very insecure $40,000 house” where neighbors filmed the couple and claimed she ate “peanut butter for eight days in a row”.
With the sale of his final house, Mr Musk is now living in a small rental home worth $50,000 near SpaceX’s headquarters in Boca Chica, Texas.
One of the homes Mr Musk sold was the former residence of actor Gene Wilder, star of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Blazing Saddles.
He stipulated that he would sell the house only on the condition that it not be torn down or “lose any of its soul”.
He agreed to sell the home to Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, so the house would stay in the Wilder family’s possession.
Mr Walker-Pearlman praised Mr Musk for selling the home practically at-cost. Mr Musk paid $6.75m for the home and asked $7m for the sale, offering Mr Walker-Pearlman a $6.7m loan so he could afford to purchase the residence.
“He could have sold it for so much more,” Mr Walker-Pearlman told the Wall Street Journal. “His sensitivity to me can’t be overstated.”
Despite the changes to his real estate portfolio, Mr Musk remains a divisive figure thanks to his controversial statements. He praised the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” the shut down border crossings in Canada and flooded city streets in Ottawa in an attempt to end vaccine mandates in the country, and on Monday challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to single combat for the sovereignty of Ukraine.