Elon Musk is much more than just the world’s richest man. While being known for his somewhat unconventional tactics, he is also known for being smart, innovative and a global technology gamechanger.
Last year, while Musk’s business and personal profile were growing, the billionaire confirmed that he was working on moving to Texas. At the time, Musk had developed some animosity towards the government of his former residence, California.
Bel-Air Houses Gone
When Musk made his announcement, many believed that he may not follow through on the move. However, he soon made good on his promise.
Last month, reports confirmed that Musk had sold three adjacent homes located in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air neighborhood. The news explained that the billionaire had sold the properties for a combined $40.9 million.
The largest of the houses contained six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Sitting on land measuring 1.5 acres, it sold for a cool $29.72 million.
Musk also sold a 3,900 square-foot Colonial-style mansion for $6.77 million and a single-story, 1960s-themed house for $4.43 million.
Beyond the houses, Musk also made significant real estate offloads throughout 2020. In October, he reportedly sold an estate for $7 million. Elon Musk sold off the estate he purchased from actor Gene Wilder to a holding company managed by Elizabeth Hunter—a famous movie producer and screenwriter.
In June, Musk put another of his Bel-Air homes on the market. This time, he dealt with a Chinese billionaire, offloading the house for $29 million. He had reportedly purchased the 20,000-plus square-foot home in 2012 for $17 million.
Musk’s beef with the government of California is a pretty extensive one. With the coronavirus pandemic raging, the billionaire CEO explained that he would be leaving the state and moving to Texas full-time.
The problems may have started in May 2020. At the time, authorities in Alameda (the county where Tesla’s headquarters are located) forced Musk to shut down Tesla’s Fremont factory after failing to follow coronavirus safety protocols.
Musk eventually reopened the factory without permission—a move that led to several workers testing positive for the virus.
Amid the criticism, Musk tweeted that the ordeal was the final straw. He added that Tesla would move to Texas or Nevada, essentially uprooting everything from California.
Speaking in an interview at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Musk explained that California’s environment had become unfavorable. He said was looking to get out and look for additional opportunities.
Explaining his rationale, Musk said that California had been “winning for a long time,” and that the state had begun taking things for granted. He also stated that Silicon Valley, home to some of the world’s most valuable and most influential companies, had started its slide into irrelevance.
The move put Musk in the category of Americans making “pandemic moves.” As he said in the interview, his space exploration company, SpaceX, will launch a site close to Boca Chica, a village in South Texas.
Land for such a site will be a boom to the Texas real estate market. It appears that the planned launch of the facility had been one of the most significant reasons why Musk wanted to move.
Musk’s Foray Into The Texas Real Estate Market
Beyond the proximity to his business, Musk also had a financial incentive to move to the Lone Star state. According to reports, Musk is expected to earn over $50 billion in stock options from Tesla alone.
By moving to Texas, he will be able to evade paying any income taxes on the profits he makes after triggering the options. If he remained in California, he would have had to pay billions in taxes from those earnings. Since Texas has no personal income tax requirements, the billionaire would be able to pocket his entire profits comfortably.
While Musk has put several of his California homes for sale, it is unclear whether he has dived into the Texas real estate market for a new residence or set of places. The billionaire once tweeted that he would “own no houses,” perhaps showing that his decision to move was in a bid to make as much money as possible.
Whether or not Musk purchases homes in the Lone Star state, there is little to no doubt that his business will significantly impact the Texas real estate market.
According to reports, the Tesla Gigafactory in Texas is already underway. The facility will manufacture the company’s Cybertruck and the Model Y and Model three vehicles for customers in the eastern part of the United States.