The Real Reason Elon Musk Is Selling His Houses

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to writing headline-grabbing tweets, like when in March 2020, he tweeted that "the coronavirus panic is dumb." Or what about that time in August 2018, when he tweeted about possibly taking Tesla, a publicly-traded company since 2010, private? "Funding secured," the South Africa native said at the time. 

Musk agreed to step down as the company's chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine in September 2018, after he was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) for allegedly "misleading investors" in his message, per The New York Times. Talk about a pricey tweet!

As for Musk's latest controversy? In May 2020, he took to Twitter to announce he's "selling almost all" of his "physical possessions." He declared, "Will own no house." The timing here is especially interesting considering Musk's girlfriend, singer Grimes, reportedly gave birth on May 4, 2020, as he noted on Twitter. "My gf @Grimezsz is mad at me," he quipped about her supposed reaction before the delivery.

So what has Musk motivated to sell some of his luxurious properties? Let's just say the answer is very on-brand for the technology entrepreneur.

Elon Musk wants more "freedom"

CNBC tech correspondent Sam Shead took to Twitter on May 4, 2020, to report that Elon Musk had seemingly made good on his promise to get rid of his worldly possessions. "Two of @elonmusk's LA homes appear to be for sale on Zillow at $30m and $9.5m," Shead wrote.

As of this writing, Shead's report is accurate — Musk's two properties in the ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood are listed on Zillow "for sale by owner." The Los Angeles Times reported that the billionaire bought the homes via "separate transactions in 2012 and 2013 for $17 million and $6.75 million, respectively."

One of the listings once belonged to actor Gene Wilder, which Musk noted in his announcement. "Just one stipulation on sale: I own Gene Wilder's old house," he stated. "It cannot be torn down or lose any its soul." Noted.

Of course, Musk's sale sparked many questions from his followers, like the person who simply asked, "Why?" Musk replied, "Freedom." When another follower suggested the Tesla co-founder is suffering financially, he said, "Don't need the cash. Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession just weighs you down." Interesting.

We're curious to know whether Musk's philosophy applies to the rest of his $100 million real-estate portfolio, including four other homes in Bel-Air, as well as a sprawling property in Northern California, per The Wall Street Journal. TBD.