Elon Musk Brings Attention to a New Kind of Pop-Up Home


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00:00:00 Intro Music

[Speaker] Kathy Fettke:

The second-richest man in the world has traveled to space and returned home to a 375-foot tiny home. Tesla founder Elon Musk followed through with a promise to downsize his life. He sold off almost all his mansions and physical possessions and recently moved into a tiny pop-up home in Boca Chica, Texas, where his company SpaceX is located.

Hi I’m Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Thanks for joining me and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button for our podcast.

Musk’s new home is made by Las Vegas start-up Boxabl, which calls the tiny home a “casita.” (1) The 375-square foot space is divided pretty equally into a kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom with spacious nine-and-a-half foot ceilings. Boxable delivers the casita in a large box that can be towed behind a big rig or even a pick-up truck. To be more precise, it folds down to just eight-and-a-half feet wide making it possible to transport within normal shipping parameters.

Easy Transport of Boxabl Homes

Once it arrives at its destination, the sides fold down and the walls pop-up to connect to the ceiling and voila, you have a home with plenty of windows, full-sized appliances, a spacious bathroom, lots of storage, and built-in heat and air conditioning. Boxabl co-founder Galiano Tiramani says it can be set up in just one hour. All this for a very affordable price. For the basic casita, like the one Elon Musk bought, you’d pay just under $50,000. (2)

Tiramani feels that Boxabl will succeed where other home pre-fabricators have failed because Boxabl solved several problems, such as shipping. You’ve seen pre-fab homes being slowly and precariously transported as extra-wide loads on top of big rig trailers. When you order a Boxable, it can be transported as a normal-sized load. In addition to truck delivery, he also expects to transport a hundred at a time by train or a thousand by ship.

Improved Building Materials

Boxabl is also developing different manufacturing methods with different building materials. Tiramani says the improvements will make it easier to mass produce these units at a lower price point. He says that home construction is still in the pre-factory stage. They are being built by hand so it’s slow and expensive, while just about everything else we buy has been built in a factory. That speeds up the manufacturing process and brings the price down. By solving the transportation problem and improving the manufacturing process.

He also says they have re-engineered the units with materials that “outperform on energy ratings, fire resistance, wind resistance, and more.” (3) Those materials are also more compatible with an assembly line manufacturing process. Tiramani says that Boxable is building a huge factory right now in Las Vegas. He expects it to be up and running in 11 months and producing three to five-thousand units a year.

Boxabl believes it can change the future of housing by making it more accessible and more affordable without sacrificing quality and durability. The website says Boxabl homes are “obsessively designed to the highest standards of quality, strength, and sustainability to last for generations.”

Plans for a Worldwide Rollout

For now, Boxable is targeting the backyard ADU market in California, since new laws have made it much easier for homeowners to put an ADU on their property. But the company has big plans to expand. Tiramani says the company will roll out custom modules that stack and connect to create any kind of building that you can imagine from a small casita to a large multi-family anywhere in the world.

Boxabl has drawings on the website showing a variety of these casita-sized units. Instead of a small kitchen in one corner of one unit, you might have a larger family-sized kitchen that’s connected to living room, bedroom, and bathroom units. One drawing shows a unit with a staircase that can be used to connect to a unit that is stacked on top to form a second story. A video shows customizable exteriors as well.

The Elon Musk Effect

Getting Elon Musk on board is a big deal. He’s known for living large, but in this case, he’s creating a buzz because he’s living so small. Curbed reports that Boxable courted Musk for more than a year, hoping that just one tweet from Musk will open the flood gates of enthusiasm for this product. (4) As it stands, Boxable claims to have $1 billion in reservations from 20,000 customers, and 40,000 people on a waitlist. It also claims to have a $10 million contract with the federal government.

Boxabl says this concept will save builders time and money, and lower the cost of a home by about 30%. Boxabl says its mission is to significantly lower the cost of homeownership for everyone.

Check the show notes for links to the Boxabl website and stories about Elon Musk. And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!

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Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.

00:05:46 End Transcript


1 - https://www.boxabl.com/

2 - https://www.yahoo.com/news/elon-musk-reportedly-lives-50-120800101.html

3 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/afdhelaziz/2021/08/11/how-boxabl-is-revolutionizing-affordable-housing-with-its-unfolding-house-with-customers-like-elon-musk-and-1-billion-in-pre-orders/?sh=4bf7e7767d78

4 - https://www.curbed.com/2021/07/elon-musk-adu-texas-boxabl.html

1168 episode