It’s been almost two years since Elon Musk announced a plan to sell nearly all of his physical possessions, including his real estate, by tweeting “Will own no house” on May 1, 2020. The billionaire Tesla Inc. and SpaceX CEO has finally unloaded all seven of the houses he once owned in California.
When The Wall Journal first reported on his portfolio back in 2019, Mr. Musk, and limited-liability companies tied to him, had amassed a cluster of six houses on two streets in the “lower” and “mid” areas of the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air, a celebrity-filled, leafy enclave near the Hotel Bel-Air. He also owned a grand, 100-year-old estate in Northern California in Hillsborough. He purchased the homes between December 2012 and January 2019 for a total of $102 million.
Between June 2020 and November 2021, Mr. Musk sold all seven houses for a total of roughly $127.9 million, making a profit of around $25 million, although he had mortgages on several of the houses at the time, according to PropertyShark and public records.
The buyers include Kirill Evstratov, the 37-year-old founder and CEO of financial tech company Unlimint, splashy L.A. developer Ardie Tavangarian, and William Ding, the Chinese billionaire and founder of mobile gaming company NetEase. Mr. Musk sold another one of his properties the former home of the late actor and director Gene Wilder, to Mr. Wilder’s 53-year-old nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman. To date, none of the new owners have significantly altered the properties they bought from Mr. Musk. At least two say they don’t expect to make any significant changes in the future.
“I plan to keep the house as it is,” says Mr. Evstratov, who paid $30 million this past December for Mr. Musk’s Hillsborough estate. Unlimint, a London-based company formerly known as Cardpay.com, is planning to open a San Francisco office later this year, but Mr. Evstratov says the house is for his own private use.
Neighbors say that since Mr. Evstratov bought the Hillsborough property, it has been almost eerily quiet, with little traffic going to the house. That is a big shift from the almost-monthly loud parties and the parade of construction vehicles and Teslas that occurred when Mr. Musk owned the house, the neighbors say. Mr. Musk didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Of all the buyers, Mr. Walker-Pearlman is the least likely to change anything, even the décor. He has added only a few furnishings since October 2020, when he paid $7 million for the Bel-Air house where he spent time with his uncle growing up.
Mr. Walker-Pearlman discovered the home was on the market when a friend sent him a screenshot of Mr. Musk’s tweet, which said he would sell the Wilder house only on the condition that it wouldn’t be “torn down or lose any of its soul.”
“I decided to write to Elon to see if he’d consider selling it to me,“ says Mr. Walker-Pearlman, who negotiated for four months to buy it.
Four of Mr. Musk’s houses in Bel-Air went to Mr. Tavangarian, 63, who is known for his massive spec houses in Los Angeles. Mr. Tavangarian says he’s considering combining the four properties, but whether he follows through depends on permitting and entitlements. “We are looking at all the options,” he says. “We are going through the process of what it takes to build in L.A.”
Mr. Tavangarian paid around $62 million in December 2020 for the houses, which are on two different streets and range from a two-story white brick Colonial to a glassy contemporary. An area of steeply sloped, empty land lies between the two streets.
For the moment, Mr. Tavangarian says, “I have my people staying there.” The only visible difference from Mr. Musk’s ownership is that the houses now have big signs out front reading “Arya,” the name of Mr. Tavangarian’s development company.
Meanwhile, Mr. Musk says he has downsized his life. “My primary home is literally a ~50k house in Boca Chica/Starbase that I rent from SpaceX,” he tweeted in June 2021, referring to a Texas town near the Mexican border near SpaceX’s rocket-launch facility. “It’s kinda awesome though.”
He has been reported as denying reports from real-estate agents who say he has been looking to buy property in Austin, Texas, and Tahoe, Calif. The Wall Street Journal reported in December 2021 that he had been living in a waterfront estate in Austin owned by a rich friend. After that article was published, the friend said Mr. Musk was only a guest and Mr. Musk told the Insider website he did not currently live there. According to records, Mr. Musk is registered to vote in Cameron County, Texas, where the small house he’s renting is located.
Here’s a rundown of what has happened to each property.