It looks like California’s continuing exodus into Texas will include Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
In face of COVID-19 restrictions this spring, Musk tweeted that he’s had it with California and will be taking his business from Palo Alto, Calif., to Austin, where he’s building a new factory.
But the next speculation: Where exactly will Musk live in the Austin area? Will he buy? Will he rent? Which H-E-B supermarket will he most frequent?
To reinforce the move, the country’s second-wealthiest person has already tweeted that he’ll sell “physical possessions” and “will own no house.” To show he really means business, he put his California mansions up for sale.
Ernie Carswell, superstar agent from Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Ernie Carswell & Associates who is very familiar with Musk’s properties in L.A., says Musk-to-Texas is a good fit.
“I do think he’s the perfect incoming Texan — free with his thoughts, adventurous, intelligent, visionary, and loves life and ‘the next thing,’ ” says Carwell, who began his real-estate career in Highland Park in the 1980s.
“California’s loss is Texas’ gain.”
Further proof: In July, Gov. Greg Abbott told CNBC’s Squawk Box that Musk had gotten a Texas driver’s license and is a “bona fide Texan now,” although it’s hard to imagine him standing in line at the DMV. Some Californians are glad to see him go.
It all makes perfect sense.
Construction has already started on his 2,000-acre Tesla factory 15 minutes from downtown Austin. His tunnel startup, Boring Company, also has set up in Austin. Since 2003, he’s had a SpaceX facility in the Texas coastal community of Boca Chica. Plus, he’s going to face a Texas-sized tax bill in California because of a big compensation package related to Tesla’s success.
Because Musk isn’t telling us exactly where he’ll live in the Austin area, it’s up to some of us to speculate. So, in House Hunters style, here are the top three choices I’ve lined up from checking the options at Realtor.com (sorting by highest price, of course):
- 6800 Comanche Trail: For just below $13 million, this 13-acre, 17,800-square-foot waterfront estate has excellent views of Lake Travis. It’s got it all, including an eight-car parking garage, perfect for a fleet of Teslas.
- 2401 Portofino Ridge Drive: This $12.9 million 16,722-square foot mansion is in the Barton Creek area on 4.04 acres. One advantage for a fleet of Teslas: It has a four-car attached and eight-car detached garage. Another advantage: It’s not far from Tesla’s factory near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
- 213 Costa Bella Drive: If Musk is looking for affordability, you can’t overlook this $6.75 million house just off the Colorado River in Vineyard Bay. Disadvantage: four-car garage. This would be a long shot.
Or, as eccentric as Musk can be, he might just decide to live at his factory, like in 2018 when he had to pull overnight hours to meet Tesla production demands in California.
“Yeah, I’m sleeping on the factory floor, not because I think that’s a fun place to sleep. You know. Terrible,” he told CNBC at the time.