A new solution to affordable housing is taking the world (and the internet) by storm. So much so, that a foldable, stackable housing company has a nearly 50,000 person waitlist and is rumoured to have attracted the attention of a certain high-profile space mogul.
Las Vegas-based Boxabl is the company behind a prefabricated home endeavour that designs and ships tiny foldable houses that cost around $50,000 anywhere in the world.
While tiny homes -- and even 3D printable houses, for that matter-- are no strangers to the housing scene and serve as popular (and affordable) alternatives to classic family properties, Boxabl stands out from its competitors by being able to mass-produce its homes in a factory before shipping them as conveniently as possible thanks to their unique foldable design.
The tiny, foldable homes have become so popular it's widely speculated that Tesla founder Elon Musk inhabits one of Boxabl's houses out in Boca Chica, Texas -- the tiny Gulf Coast town that's the home of Musk's SpaceX corporation.
Located on the southernmost tip of Texas, Boca chica is an unincorporated community of only a few dozen homes, including one that is said to belong to Musk.
In June, Musk revealed online that his primary residence was a $50,000 tiny unit in Boca Chica/Starbase that he rents from SpaceX.
Musk's announcement followed Boxabl revealing that it installed one of its Casita designs in Boca Chica for a "top secret customer" last fall.
"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."
And while Boxabl hasn't confirmed that Musk is, in fact, residing in one of its prefabricated Casita's, the company hasn't shied away from alluding to supplying the tech mogul's tiny home.
However, in addition to Musk, the company has said the federal government has also purchased ten million stackable homes.
The Casitais 19.5 x 19.5 and is Boxabl's smallest room module and is set up like a studio apartment with a bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen and retails for around $49,500 after discounts.
The units are made from steel, concrete, and EPS foam -- building materials that won’t degrade and will last a lifetime -- while the walls, floor, and roof are structurally laminated panels that the company says are much stronger than the average building.
Unlike other prefabricated homes, the Casitas can be folded down from 19.5 feet to about 8.5 feet while being transported on a truck or towed by a pickup truck to anywhere in the world. However, shipping can cost from $2 to $10 a mile from the company's Las Vegas headquarters.
But if the customer is willing to pay more for shipping, the company says its turn-key homes can be sent anywhere in the world.
The actual setup of the unit itself is very fast and can be unfolded into 375-square-feet of living space in around an hour. Once unfolded, you're left with a kitchen with a refrigerator, double sink, oven, and dishwasher and a bathroom with a shower and tub, sink, counter, mirror, and sliding glass door.
However, Boxabl says it's looking to roll out bigger room modules with different interior configurations that all stack and connect -- we imagine, similar to LEGO -- to create "any building you could imagine."
Boxabl's housing solution comes as affordability and availability continue to be an issue in the global housing market.
Though, given their ease and attractive price points, Boxabl's units could serve as an effective solution to the growing global housing affordability issue -- especially in dense urban cities that lack not only space to build, but affordable housing supply, such as Toronto -- by dramatically reducing housing costs and boosting housing supply more quickly and at a lower price point.