Tesla billionaire Elon Musk is raising eyebrows for a variety of reasons these days, including his prolific Twitter usage. But he's also getting headlines for the whopping $61 million in Morgan Stanley mortgages he's taken out on five different California properties, four in the Bel-Air neighborhood and one in Hillsborough, near San Francisco. If you're wondering what his monthly payment is, Bloomberg reports it's $180,000.
The $61 million consists of four brand new loans and one recent refinance, and it shows how even billionaires use mortgages and loans as a way to sustain liquidity – and, in Musk's case anyway, as a way to fund his billionaire lifestyle. He doesn't take a salary as the CEO of Tesla (which, as a side note, has never actually turned a profit on an annual basis) and is reported to be basically cash poor, with some 40 percent of his Tesla stock pledged as collateral against his various loans. At one point, that figure was even higher, at 55 percent.
Massive mortgages like the ones taken out by Musk are understandably rare in the lending world. There are a little more than 230 families in the US with mortgages valued at between $10 million and $20 million, according to US public data. And more than half of those are on properties in California, like Musk's.
Musk has said in the past that wealth is not a big motivating factor in his businesses. In October, he tweeted to a critic that claimed Tesla's main purpose was to make Musk money rather than the lofty goals Musk attributed to it, saying:
"You should ask why I would want money. The reason is not what you think. Very little time for recreation. Don't have vacation homes or yachts or anything like that."
The ultra-rich, especially those who may be "asset rich but cash poor," tend to take out loans and mortgages in order to make tax payments or maintain liquidity for other reasons, according to financial experts.