The Problem
No matter where you live, monthly rents continue to rise. Add to this the conversion of "some" previous long-term rentals to short-term rentals in gateway communities such as Terlingua, along with the financial unattractiveness for anyone to build new, long-term rentals from scratch for anyone other than some businesses own employees, you're left with dwindling monthly rental choices for local community members - community members who are critical to the infrastructure which allows tourists to visit the region in the first place. 

What If?

As we see it, we need a new model. In order to address the issue we need to be honest about the moving parts: 1) short-term rentals are not going anywhere and are likely to eat into existing, long-term inventory even further; 2) no sane person would build affordable long-term rentals from scratch - the 10-25 yr payout just doesn't make economic sense and; 3) the wages in many industries in our region simply aren't enough to cover rising rents in many cases. 

What If we could affordably build micro-housing below industry construction pricing, thus making it somewhat less painful to build new housing from scratch and keep rents low/affordable by leveraging the goodwill of the tourists who visit the region along with the hosts/property owners who enjoy this new shared economy. Said differently, lower construction costs + tourists input/goodwill = affordable housing.

If you would like to keep in the loop as this project develops, click here.

Micro Model 1

1-2 persons, open format, full bath & kitchen, small, comfy

$199/mo + utilities

Micro Model 2
1-2 persons, separate BR, full bath & kitchen, comfy

$249/mo + utilities

Micro Model 3

2-4 person, 2 BR, full bath & kitchen, still tight, comfy

$349/mo + utilities

*Floor plans and location coming soon.

100% of your donation will go to individuals and families renting Micro-Housing.

Creating a New Long-Term Rental Model in a Tourist Community

In this new sharing economy that has given rise to services like Uber and the short-term nightly rental boom (think Airbnb and VRBO), consumers/users/guests have enjoyed more choices and in many cases, lower prices. This is a good thing. In the short-term rental space, this new economy has lowered the bar and allowed countless individuals to get into the mini-hotel business - with one room, one house, or a string property. And kudos to all those entrepreneurs who went out and made it happen with hard work. Given this truth, let's build a new rental model in tourist communities like Terlingua that shares some of this upside with the hospitality workers, river guides, grocery store attendants, construction workers, housekeepers, and so on.

As you see above, our idea is to offer several Micro Models at an affordable, monthly rental price. This is made possible with the construction tools, equipment, and expertise amassed by Basecamp Terlingua over the years. We will apply these tools and skills to build modern, high-quality housing. We are truly thankful for the thousands of guests who have visited us over the years and want to give back to the community by heavily subsidizing the costs and management of the Terlingua Micro-Housing Project - this is not about making money. Not even close. 

But in addition to our efforts and inputs from Basecamp Terlingua, this is where the new model of rents "could" work for the "community" gets interesting: we are going to ask every single guest who stays with us at Basecamp Terlingua - and at our sister companies Nuevo Terlingua and Agave Terlingua - to kick in as well. Not kick in for initial construction costs and management of the rentals, but help reduce the monthly rental burden even further for the renter.

For example, guests will be provided in their properties upon check-in with a simple brochure about the Terlingua Micro-Housing Project. As every guest who visits the area knows, visiting would not be possible without the community members who wash the dishes, row the boats, serve them dinner, saddle the horses, and so on. While guests to the region spend varying amounts to travel here - and most are on a budget - we will be asking them to contribute a modest amount - if they can - to the Terlingua Micro-Housing Project. This is in no way required. Not at all. But even a dollar - call it a tip if you will - would go a long way. 

So, if guests are kind enough to collectively donate $90 in a given month, we would pass this onto individuals renting our micro houses. For example, if we had three renters in three Micro Model 1's - each paying $199 for a total of $597 a month, we would simply divide the $90 donated by the guests to the monthly renters, dropping each of the rents for that month by $30. $199 now becomes $169. See how this works. If visitors get really generous, it might be possible to zero out someone's rent altogether and thus achieving a new model for how folks pay rent in a tourist community. If a micro-housing renter were to receive an $80 subsidy from the Guest Giving Program, that would be the equivalent of receiving a 50 cent an hour raise for a full-time employee. Are you getting this now?

 

If we don't get a single penny from a guest, no biggie as we've structured the rents to be affordable in the first place. But for every penny, a guest donates and reduces the monthly rental burden for or renters, is additional funds - in theory - that will be spent in whole or portion in the community.

If you would like to keep in the loop as this project develops, click here.

© 2020. Terlingua Micro-Housing Project