Before SpaceX bought up the majority of the properties and launched enormous rockets from its beach-front test facility two miles away, Boca Chica was a peaceful retirement community.. But now, it has turned into something else entirely as we take a look at photos of Elon Musk’s $50,000 house in rural Texas.
Elon Musk’s modest $50,000 Texas home, equipped with a rocket-shaped kids’ playhouse, Tesla solar panels, and CCTV cameras disguised in palm trees, has been shown for the first time by DailyMail.
After resolving to sell his property holdings and most of his belongings, the world’s wealthiest man and new Twitter owner has liquidated seven Californian mansions within the last two years.
‘My primary home is literally a $50k house in Boca Chica/Starbase that I rent from SpaceX … it’s kinda awesome though,’ he said, denying accusations that he secretly stays in a friend’s $12 million estate in Austin.
Before SpaceX bought up the majority of the properties and launched enormous rockets from its beach-front testing facility two miles away, Boca Chica was a peaceful retirement community.
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Last week, DailyMail went to the desolate coastal hamlet near Brownsville, Texas, to find Musk’s allegedly sparse lodgings and see if the $219 billion-dollar Tesla CEO indeed lives there.
Neighbors confirmed that the 50-year-old lives in Boca Chica, barely two miles from the Mexican border, in a three-bedroom ranch-style home a block from his space firm’s Starbase production facility – at least part of the time.
According to county records, SpaceX purchased the single-story waterfront property, as well as the neighboring empty lot and standalone garage, in October 2019.
Musk indicated it as his home address while registering to vote in the 2020 General Election.
‘You know Elon Musk is coming because you see the SpaceX people picking up trash and sprucing the place up,’ said 76-year-old neighbor Jim Crawford.
‘He’s never alone, he always has his bodyguards with him. He normally arrives late at night, he goes straight inside and rarely comes out.
‘He waved one time but he’s never invited us over or said hello. You don’t go and knock on his door because the bodyguards would be out in a heartbeat.’
Since an intimidating 8-foot fence was built around the entire property in 2021, locals refer to the 1,580-square-foot area as ‘the compound.’
Musk, who paid $44 billion for Twitter earlier this month, has repainted the walls, planted new trees, and covered the whole roof in Tesla-made solar roof panels.
His security detail lives next door, and the 1970s home is protected by a dozen or so cameras, some of which are hidden in the tops of palm palms high above the street.
The three-time divorcee, who recently welcomed his seventh and eighth children with on-again, off-again partner Grimes, has also constructed a custom-made SpaceX-inspired playhouse and swing in his backyard.
‘They have a patio and chairs out there also. I saw him one time with two ladies and a small child, I presume that was his young son,’ said Jim, one of the so-called ‘holdouts’ who have thus far refused to sell up to SpaceX.
‘I don’t like rockets and I’m a little too old to be thinking about going to Mars,’ he added. ‘I’m more concerned with the things SpaceX are doing here on earth.
‘This year we’ve only had a handful of migrating birds because of the noise and the lights from the construction.’
Musk, unlike former owners Richard and Patricia Heaton, will not have to deal with sporadic internet because his home is fitted with a Starlink satellite Wi-Fi antenna.
However, until SpaceX develops its projected desalination facility, he will have to drive 20 miles to the nearest store and rely on Cameron County to deliver his drinking water once a week.
The corporation is said to have spent roughly $200,000 on the property, which is more than three times the $62,334 assessed by county tax assessors last year.
‘We were very satisfied with the offer we received. It truly was quite generous,’ Richard, 75, said.
‘I’ve seen the fence he’s put up but you can understand why privacy is a huge deal with this guy. I sincerely hope that whoever is living there now enjoys it as much as we did.’
Musk, who has long hoped to build a human settlement on Mars, said in May 2020 that he was downsizing his living quarters, tweeting: ‘I am selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house.’
According to the Wall Street Journal, he sold seven California properties for $127 million between June and November of that year.
In a recent TED talk, Musk also said that he couch surfs with pals based on which place he has to be in.
He also shot off a report in the Journal that said he secretly lives in a luxury lakefront property in Austin owned by his PayPal co-founder and fellow billionaire, Ken Howery, writing, ‘I don’t live there and am not looking to buy a house anywhere.’
Howery issued a similar denial, adding: ‘Elon does not live at my home, he lives in South Texas. He stayed at the house as my guest occasionally when travelling to Austin.’
Musk’s ‘legal’ domicile is in Brownsville, Texas, about 170 miles south of Austin, where Tesla is situated.
It is a short 50-minute ride in his $70 million Gulfstream private jet, which he refuses to give up.
Musk is frequently picked up at the city’s airfield by a chauffeur-driven Tesla and transported to Boca Chica, a 30-minute drive down a short spit of land running next to the Rio Grande and the Mexican border.
However, over the last few ‘holdouts’ in Boca Chica, like Trump supporter and former finance chief Rosemarie Workman, 74, Musk remains a divisive figure.
She is glad the self-described “free speech absolutist” has promised to make Twitter more conservative-friendly, but she despises what SpaceX has done to her retirement haven.
‘The term holdout is offensive — we were here first,’ spat Rosemarie, who has lived in the property across the street from Musk for the past 20 years and divides her time between Texas and Minnesota.
The seaside idyll of 35 residences strung along a single street was famed for its rich animals, beautiful marshes, and unspoilt, golden beach before SpaceX set up operations in Boca Chica.
Residents were allegedly offered three times the current rate for their homes, although some said that the corporation first undervalued the properties and only offered them a fraction of their genuine value.
Despite this, SpaceX now owns all but nine of the residences, painting everything it buys in the same bleached, futuristic color palette and converting the structures into staff housing units.
‘This used to be such a peaceful area. We knew all the neighbors, once a week we had game night and we filled two tables. Now we see new faces every week,’ Rosemarie lamented.
‘Musk put a big fence around his house and completely ruined everyone’s views of the bay. But what can we do about it? He’s a billionaire.
‘I came here for one reason, retirement. If he’s the richest man in the world, surely he could have made a fair offer.’
Today, the neighborhood is bustling with construction workers and throngs of space enthusiasts who visit to Boca Chica to photograph Musk’s massive rockets.
Security agents drive around the site in SpaceX branded Teslas with police-style flashing lights, and employees dwell in a fleet of fashionable Airstream caravans.
Musk’s interplanetary quest, Rosemarie and her husband Jim believe, will eventually overwhelm the town, and he will turn it into a space-themed resort altogether.
‘People are constantly coming here from all over the world. We call them the space nuts,’ she laughed.
‘One of them came over to us and offered to buy the house. We’ve had two offers this month.
‘It’s easy, we say, the price starts at a million. We never hear back.’