Per Austonia = Where Elon Musk crashes while in the ATX; His Pay Pal friend's residential $12 million Lake Austin home -
Elon Musk’s Austin residence is a waterfront estate of a billionaire friend that was once the most expensive in the city, at least according to a Wall Street Journal report published Wednesday. News of the home, near Mount Bonnell, arrives after some time of Musk saying he lives in a "tiny home" in Boca Chica, Texas.
The richest man in the world has since denied those claims in an email to Business Insider, saying, "the WSJ article is false. I don't live there and am not looking to buy a house anywhere." The Journal has not issued a response.
The WSJ report states PayPal co-founder Ken Howery is the friend lending his home to Musk. Zillow estimates the home's market value is now at $17.9 million. Howery has also since said, "Elon does not live in my home, he lives in South Texas. He stayed at the house as my guest occasionally when traveling to Austin."
Per the WSJ report, the home interior spreads across 8,000 feet and includes a waterfront pool, jacuzzi and private boat slip. The development, known as “Watersedge,” has several sets of gates and a guardhouse. It would now likely sell for multiples of what it originally sold for.
While Musk has said he is not looking for a home, the WSJ says he’s toured some homes in the area. Among the homes he’s expressed interest in is a custom-built mansion owned by Kendra Scott. Musk’s home search has been described as tightly protected, and some anticipate it to remain a mystery for some time after he buys it.
Musk didn't expand on his current residency but this past summer, he said that his primary home is a $50,000 tiny home in Boca Chica that he described as “kinda awesome.” It’s located next to the SpaceX rocket launch facility.
Friend Howery co-founded the multi-national financial tech company PayPal, which Musk worked at as an executive early in his career. Howery also co-founded Founders Fund— a venture capital fund that has supported Musk’s companies— with investor Peter Thiel. The three men are part of the “PayPal Mafia,” a term for former executives who grew in success. In the latter half of the Trump administration, Howery was U.S. ambassador to Sweden. Since his term ended, Howery has spent his time traveling, further making many believe Musk would stay there in the meantime.
Musk told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that he splits his time mostly evenly between Austin's new Tesla Gigafactory and SpaceX in South Texas. If he isn't staying with Howery while in Austin, his local residency remains a mystery.
Rumors that Musk secretly bought the most expensive Austin listing this year, a home that sold for about $39 million, have since been dispelled. It had gone to a California limited-liability corporation with connections to Musk, but the previous owner and their real estate agent have denied that.
This story was updated after publication to include Musk's and Howery's response.
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