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The Las Vegas company Boxabl is creating the $49,500 Casita, a 375-square-foot prefab tiny home.
Elon Musk is believed to live in a Casita, which Boxabl says has a wait list of 47,000 customers that have expressed interest in 100,000 units.
Take a tour inside the tiny home, which has a bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen.
Tiny homes have become an undeniably popular alternative to the classic family home or apartment.
The little living units have become popular and seem to have attracted the attention of one of the world's richest men: Elon Musk …
… who tweeted in June that he lived in a $50,000 tiny unit that he rented from SpaceX in Boca Chica, Texas.
Curious about the tiny home believed to house a man who could afford countless mansions instead?
Well, he is said to live in the Casita, a $49,500 375-square-foot unit created by the Las Vegas company Boxabl.
In November, Boxabl said it installed a Casita in Boca Chica for a "top secret customer."
"Pretty exciting to have these guys as our initial customer," Boxabl's founder, Galiano Tiramani, said in a YouTube video. "I think it indicates that people agree that we're on to something big here."
Tiramani did not confirm Musk's residency inside the prefabricated Casita with Insider, but the company hasn't shied away from alluding to supplying the tech powerhouse's tiny home.
But Boxabl's identity doesn't just center on the rumored interest from Musk.
The company's short history spans back to 2017, when the Las Vegas team decided to create its tiny homes after it saw a "huge opportunity to transition building construction worldwide into the factory assembly line," just like any other everyday product, Tiramani told Insider.
"There's a number of reasons why housing hasn't really worked in the factory yet, so we've gone through it and solved all those problems," he said.
According to Tiramani, other prefab-home makers struggle with one glaring issue: shipping logistics.
But unlike other prefab homes, the Casitas can be folded down from 20 feet to about 8 1/2 feet while being transported on a truck or towed by a pickup truck.
Shipping, however, could still cost $2 to $10 a mile from the company's Las Vegas headquarters.
But if the customer is willing to pay more for shipping, the homes can also be sent overseas or by rail.
Almost all of the Casita's finishes - such as the kitchen, bathroom, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC - are completed in the factory before it's shipped out.
So when the Casita arrives at its final destination, the home just needs to be unfolded (which takes a few hours) and then attached to its foundation and utilities before it's move-in ready.
The 19.5-foot-by-19.5-foot buildings can also be stacked and connected to create larger buildings. But if you're just looking for a bigger prefab home, wait a bit. Tiramani says the company still plans to release larger units.
But starting out with the "trendy, cool, and popular" tiny homes was strategic since it's hooked the eyes of more customers, Boxabl's founder says.
But Boxabl isn't popular just because of its tiny homes.
The time, cost, and labor-efficient nature of creating homes in factories amid our housing shortage have been pushing more attention onto prefabrication, whether it be the Casita or other factory-built homes, like 3D printed units.
But back to Boxabl. The Casita has attracted more people than just tiny-home enthusiasts and, perhaps, Elon Musk.
Boxabl has a wait list of 47,000 customers, and over 2,000 customers have already put down a deposit.
And many of these future clients - such as bigger companies - want more than one unit, so the "real demand for this initial product is incredibly massive," Tiramani said.
The wait list is just shy of 50,000 people, but in terms of the quantity of the homes, Boxabl has already seen interest for more than 100,000 units.
And the company doesn't attribute all of this popularity to the Musk rumors.
With the help of influencer and social-media marketing, the Las Vegas business already had a wait list of 40,000 people before it started receiving attention from Musk fans.
But its wait list then jumped to 47,000 people when the SpaceX rumors broke.
That's over $1 billion worth of reserved Casitas, according to Boxabl.
"The target audience heard about this beforehand, and then the Musk press brought in general audience interest, maybe someone who didn't care about housing," Tiramani said.
Despite its popularity, the company has built only three tiny homes so far.
And it only recently moved into a 170,000-square-foot factory in June with the hopes of producing a Casita every 90 minutes - or about 3,600 units a year - by the end of 2022 …
… with the help of an automated and standardized process.
To compare, a typical single-family home can take an average of seven months to build, according to Boxabl.
But the long list of future customers won't be getting the first few builds to roll out of its new facility.
Boxabl already has a $10 million government contract for military housing, which takes precedence over the wait list.
Now let's take a look inside the tiny home and see what the hype is all about.
Think of the Casita as an energy-efficient studio apartment in a box.
The space fits a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom.
Let's start in the kitchen, which has a refrigerator, dual sinks, an oven, a dishwasher, a microwave, cabinets, and a dining table that connects with the countertops.
In this example, the bedroom sits across from the kitchen, and the entry door acts as a separation of space.
The bedroom's media center can be used to divide the bed from the living room, but these two "rooms" can be flipped.
The living room then has space for a couch and a coffee table.
The bathroom is next to the kitchen and comes with a shower and tub, a sink, a countertop, a backlit mirror, and a sliding door for privacy.
There's also an on-site washer and dryer, designated ironing space, and temperature control …
… all within the 9-foot, 6-inch ceilings.
And instead of the classic "lumber, hammer, and nails" construction method, the Casitas are built using steel, concrete, foam insulation, and laminated paneling.
This means the tiny homes are strong enough to withstand hurricane winds, mold-resistant, and flood and snow tolerant.
"The demand for housing is so incredibly massive, there's shortages everywhere and no one can build fast enough," Tiramani said. "It's great for us to know that so many people are interested in this product.
Read the original article on Business Insider