This blog post was written by Fall 2020 homeowner, Ashley Lilly.
I’ve been coming to Moab since I was a young child to visit family in the early 90’s. My mom’s family came to live in Moab in 1961. We would visit for the summers and winters most years. And Monty has been coming to Moab to mountain bike since the mid 90’s. We would have never guessed it would turn into the travel destination that it is now, as well as one of the most desired real estate investment areas in the southwest.
After I graduated in 2006 from Grand County High I got a job at a local bike and played outside as much as possible, while living with my mom. My own house was the last thing on my mind, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I wish someone would have told me to buy a house here right away. Then we wouldn’t have gotten caught up in the overpriced market that we have in Moab today. Monty ended up in Moab after his car broke down and he found himself staying here a lot longer than he had planned, 18years longer, to be exact.
We met at Chile Pepper Bike Shop and have been together for the last 10 years. As we continued our journey together in Moab, we knew we loved everything about Moab and wanted to build a home here. We love the beautiful outdoors and only being 5min away from an adventure. We love the people and community that we are so thankful to call friends and family. These things mean the world to us, so why not commit to the next step and become homeowners.
Pretty soon we had friends who started working with Community Rebuilds and building these beautiful, energy efficient straw bale homes that are eye catching. We knew we loved everything about them. From the straw bale walls, to the solar, and of course the look, it was something we both agreed on.
So, when we applied for the program we were so happy with the first experience we had the moment we walked through the doors. Everyone was so nice and willing and able to walk us through, step by step, what the process would look like. These people at Community Rebuilds are all the most amazing people doing such helpful work for this community. We need this program to continue doing what they are doing. They give back so much more than they will even know.
The locals of Moab will never be able to keep up with these “second home owners” and the amount of money they can throw at our homes in Moab. And it is truly unfortunate what has become of this once quiet, sleepy town. To buy a house now you have to be ready to buy the day the house goes on the market or over pay for something that sits on the market because the homeowner won’t take any less. Or you buy the cheapest house on the market and it’s probably a double wide or modular home that needs to be torn down and therefore you just bought an overpriced lot.
It is impossible for the middle class in this town to get ahead. We are reaching a point that rent is through the roof for a 3 bed 2 bath house and more houses will sit empty for the month of January and then fill up with only tourist for the rest of the year because second home owners are eating up the real estate and turning houses that were once homes, into nightly rentals. It is sad that we are losing long term rentals for a local family that is actually giving back to the community by living in Moab, working in Moab, and keeping this town the tourist attraction that it is. It isn’t the tourists that are restocking the empty shelves at City Market everyday, or the rental companies employees keeping up with the overwhelming pace to get every rental customer out on the trails with a smile on their face, or every guide who gives people the best experience of being in Moab. They aren’t the hairstylist or the massage therapist that keep everyone feeling great to play another day. The tourists, they come and they go as do the second home owners. We real locals live here because we love it and we are willing to work hard to have it.
And if it wasn’t for Community Rebuilds and other programs out there like this, Moab definitely wouldn’t have as many homeowners as it does today. Community Rebuilds is changing lives. They are impacting the world in so many ways beyond providing affordable housing for the Moab community. They teach these amazing interns modern and eco friendly building techniques that they will be able to share with others, and maybe one day change the construction world completely, and make this a mainstream way of building. The world is a better place with Community Rebuilds in it. We can’t thank them enough.