Inside Elon Musk's $100 Million California Mansions
Elon Musk has decided that his many million-dollar houses are no longer necessary. And apparently, neither are any of his other worldly goods.
In May, the billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO tweeted that he would be "selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house." A few days later, he listed four mansions in the Los Angeles area up for sale for a total of $137 million.
Hey, when it comes to real estate, the 48-year-old billionaire keeps his word. Among Musk's real estate portfolio are Gene Wilder's former home, a $30 million mansion in Los Angeles and a historic 100-year-old mansion on the San Francisco Peninsula with an amazing history.
Come take a look at Musk's seven homes in California and find out why he decided to become the world's first billionaire renter.
A $30 Million Mansion in Bel Air
First up is this mansion located in Bel Air, near the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.
The house is 16,251 square feet with seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and is up for sale at $30 million.
A Sprawling Estate
The estate is massive and is surrounded by additional homes that Musk has been collecting.
Billionaire Should Not Be a Bad Word
So why would Musk decide to just offload all of his houses?
Appearing on Joe Rogan's podcast in early May 2020, the billionaire said that he felt people define him by his wealth, saying that "in recent years, 'billionaire' has become pejorative like that's a bad thing."
He went on to explain to Rogan that it shouldn't be a bad word because, essentially, if someone can make a company that can make a bunch of money better than the competition, that's not a bad thing.
A Moment of Realization
Rogan asked Musk if he had a "moment of realization" about wanting to ditch all of his possessions.
"Yeah," Musk replied. "Like I have a bunch of houses, but I don't spend a lot of time in most of them. That doesn't seem like a good use of assets. Someone could be enjoying those houses and get better use out of them than me."
Selling So Others Can't 'Attack' Him?
Musk also said that possessions "kind of weigh you down and they're kind of an attack vector. They say, 'Hey, billionaire, you've got all this stuff.' Well, now I don't have stuff. Now what are you going to do?'"
He's now looking to rent.
His Main House
From his interview with Rogan, this house in Bel Air appears to be Musk's main house.
He described it as being "right across the road" from Gene Wilder's former house, which Musk also purchased (and we will be looking at later).
These photos are from the home's old listing photos.
Musk purchased this home for $17 million in January 2013 after renting it for three years.
It has nice crown molding around the ceilings.
Lots of Light
The mansion was built in 1990 and has nearly floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining area.
Musk's kitchen is impressive, with a large center island featuring wood paneling and a built-in open cabinet.
The double stainless-steel range is massive, and the barrel brick ceiling adds an extra layer of chicness.
The house has certainly changed decor since Musk lived here with his five young sons, Griffin, Xavier, Kai, Saxon and Damian.
Musk's newborn son, which he named X Æ A-12 (pronounced "X Ash A Twelve") will soon have to occupy a crib in another multimillion-dollar rental.
The Master Bedroom
The master bedroom is carpeted and features a large sitting area with fireplace, where we presume Elon Musk has tweeted memes and insults.
The Master Bathroom
The master bathroom is decked out in marble, from the floors to the bathtub and countertops.
The house also includes a theater with tiered seating areas and includes a drop-down projection screen.
This room is adjacent to a bar.
Again, these interior shots are older photos.
Musk's home gym is surely much, much nicer than this.
When a Twitter user asked Musk if he was selling his homes "because you need the cash or is this to protest the world burning down?"
Musk responded, "Don't need the cash. Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession just weigh you down."
Oh, Do Those 'For Sale' Signs Yet Wave
He also tweeted that he was selling because of "freedom" and then went on to post some lyrics from "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The Back Patio
In the backyard of this 1.67-acre, $30 million property is a balmy looking pool and patio area with a wood-burning fire pit.
Vines crawl up the back of the house in specifically plotted areas.
The pool has a built-in spa and a water feature at the back wall.
Trees provide shade for this simple outdoor dining area.
Included on this property is a fruit orchard.
Out front, the house includes a motor court with a five-car garage.
Simple and Awesome
There's no monster playground here. A simple rope swing hangs from a birch tree.
Musk's Dream Home? Not So Much
While this house is awesome, it isn't actually Musk's dream house. That house doesn't exist yet. He told Rogan that he was thinking about designing his own home in this neighborhood.
Rogan asked if that would be some "Tony Stark-type s---."
Musk responded, amused, "Yeah, definitely You got to have that dome that opens up with the stealth helicopter."
'Getting Us to Mars'
Ultimately, though, Musk decided not to build his dream house. Instead, he wants to "allocate that time to getting us to Mars," he told Rogan.
"You can only do so many things. ... Even if it was a really great house, it's still not a good use of time relative to developing the rockets necessary to get us to Mars and helping solve sustainable energy," explained Musk.
The property includes stonework footpaths that wind their way through the property.
A Serene Escape
The property includes close to two acres of lush grass and multiple types of trees.
It's quite a serene escape.
The Tennis Court
Also included on the property is a lighted championship tennis court.
An Expensive Undertaking
If anyone is looking to take out a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage, they'll be looking at a monthly payment of $144,220, which includes $19,250 in property taxes and $10,500 in home insurance fees, according to Zillow.
Musk's $35 Million Home in Hillsborough
Musk bought this historic 100-year-old mansion in Hillsborough on the San Francisco Peninsula in 2017 for $23.36 million, much less than its $100 million initial asking price.
The house has a cool history behind it and looks amazing.
A Rich History
The grand, 16,000-square foot mansion with 10 bedrooms and nine full bathrooms was built in 1916 by Christian de Guigne II, the son of a French count and Gold Rush heiress, according to Curbed.
Architects Walter Danforth Bliss and William Baker Faville, otherwise known as Bliss & Faville, the architects who built the St. Francis Hotel and the Richmond Library, designed this home.
It's called Guigne Court.
The Mirrored Living Room
After Christian II died in 1927, Christian III inherited the home and married Eleanor Christenson, an extremely wealthy woman.
In 1982, she was named one of the most powerful women in the world by Town and Country Magazine.
Christenson was frequently named one of the best-dressed women in the world.
She is said to have left the manager at Tiffany's in San Francisco $200,000 in her will and donated her collection of designer clothing to the museums of San Francisco.
A Life Estate?
Christian III had a son, Christian IV, who inherited the estate when he died.
Christian IV, when he was 76, put the home on the market for $100 million in 2013. But there was a catch. Christian IV would retain a life estate in the property, meaning he would still live in the house until he died.
We Missed Out on Some Great Memes
Musk, unfortunately, did not purchase the home and chose to live with elderly royalty (although those would have made for some great Musk tweets and memes). As time wore on with no buyers, the stipulation was removed.
A Vacation Home?
When the home finally sold for $23.36 million, no one, or at least no one in the media, knew that Musk was the buyer.
It's not entirely clear why he purchased the house. It's five hours away from his main home, although it's quite likely there is a helicopter pad on the property's 47.4 acres.
Maybe it was intended to be a vacation home.
The home features a long black-and-white checkered hallway/gallery, with a row of floor-to-ceiling French doors with ornamental windows.
Prior to Musk's purchase, the house included all sorts of expensive-looking antique furniture.
Old World Designs
The home belonged to the de Guigne family for 100 years, with much of the charm left behind by Christenson.
The kitchen is absolutely massive, bigger than most living rooms, and includes a stove that may be original to the house itself.
A Huge Place to Cook
The kitchen features aqua-green tiling and a long, marble-topped kitchen table with a built-in crevice that can be used for candles.
There's a double farmhouse sink with two brass faucets, cabinets that stretch from one wall to the next and a rolling ladder to access the highest cabinets.
The kitchen is absolutely flush with subway tile backsplash.
It also has a series of sprung servant bells. These bells were wired throughout the house, allowing for a room occupant to ring for the help when needed.
The only look into one of the home's nine full bathrooms. This appears to have been updated, as it features a modern black marble pedestal sink.
Various walls throughout the home have been hand-painted and are likely original to the house.
Of course, it wouldn't be a 100-year-old mansion built by some of the world's wealthiest people without a pool.
This pool also appears to be original to the house and is a smaller, shallower pool common in the 1920s and 1930s.
The mansion also has some wonderful views as it looks over the rolling hillsides of San Francisco and out into the San Francisco Bay.
There are hiking trails on the property as well, which seems to be something that Musk likes in a property.
The home is accessed via this very cool, vine-and-ivy-covered gate which looks like it's been there for over 100 years.
A Bridge, But No Moat
There's a bridge on the property's driveway, but no moat. Musk doesn't like moats.
"If your only defense against invading armies is a moat, you will not last long,” Musk said during an earnings call in 2018.
Granted, he wasn't talking about physical moats, but still.
Gene Wilder's House: For Sale at $9.5 Million
Another of Musk's properties is actor Gene Wilder's former estate in Bel Air, where he lived until 2013 (Wilder passed away in 2016 at his main home in Stamford, Connecticut).
Musk is selling Wilder's former 2,756-square foot home for $9.5 million, but it comes with a stipulation.
'Cannot Be Torn Down'
Musk tweeted that Wilder's old house "cannot be torn down or lose any of its soul" by the buyer.
It's difficult to quantify what "soul" means, but Musk clearly thinks this property is worth preserving.
He bought it to save it from demolition.
'A Real Quirky House'
"It's amazing. It's a real quirky house." Musk told Rogan. "All the cabinets are handmade and they're like odd shapes, and there's like doors to nowhere and strange corridors and tunnels and odd paintings on the wall."
Preserving the Soul
Musk said he saved the five-bedroom, five-bathroom house from being demolished and turned into "a big construction zone for three years."
"I was like, whoa, I think I'll buy it and preserve the spirit of Gene Wilder and not have a giant construction zone."
Musk Is OK Selling for Less
Wilder's house listed for $8 million in 2012, and Musk purchased it about a year later for $6.75 million.
He acknowledged to Rogan that the home "will probably sell for less, but I still don't care."
Golf Course Views
The ranch-style home includes a pool and guest cottage, and it overlooks the sand traps and stream of the Bel-Air Country Club Golf Course.
The house was built in 1951. Records indicate Wilder purchased the property in 2007 for $2.725 million.
The house sits on 0.78 acres and is directly across from Musk's main home.
A Collection of Other Homes
Musk is also selling four additional homes, which are all included under one $62.5 million listing.
All are located near his main base of operations on Chalon Road and Somera Road in Los Angeles.
This home is a four-bedroom 3,943 square-foot two-story colonial.
Records indicate Musk bought it for $6.4 million in early 2019.
Why Collect Houses?
Musk told Rogan that he just sort of buys homes because he figured "they were going to get torn down anyway."
He reasoned that if he bought them up, he could then start building a house, which he never did.
A Ranch on a HIll
Records say this four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot ranch sold for $4.3 million in 2015.
If accurate, this would be one of the first homes Elon purchased in the area after his main house, indicating that he had dreams to build his dream home for five years.
All that Tesla work must have dragged him away from his dream.
A Modern Mansion
This modern mansion is much larger than the previous two.
It's a new build, with 9,309 square feet, six bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
Musk picked this up for $24.25 million in September 2016.
An Aerial View
Musk picked up this house for $20 million in 2015, around the exact same time he picked up that smaller ranch.
For 'Big Thinkers'
According to the listing, the entire $62.5 million multi-mansion property is "a project for the big thinker, designed to showcase one of the best views in Los Angeles."
Like all of the other homes listed here, Musk is selling them himself.
Musk is worth an estimated $36.1 billion, according to Forbes, so he could have bought the whole neighborhood if he felt like it.
Taking Over the City
The homes are perched high in the hills of Los Angeles.
An Interesting Prospect
The prospective buyer might be a developer, since it's unlikely that one person would want four separate houses that still have neighbors.
Maybe some secret tunnels are in order.
Elon Musk: America's Richest Renter?
Now that he's selling all of his homes, Musk may rent for the rest of his life.
Or until he figures that renting a multimillion-dollar home is very similar to owning a multimillion-dollar home.
And decides to buy more houses.