We are a group of 5 at present—2 couples and one single person—looking for 2 to 4 more people to join our community in the Ortiz Mountains just outside Cerrillos, NM (about 25 mi. south of Santa Fe off Rte. 14, the "Turquoise Trail"). We have just over 40 acres of land, with spectacular views you can see in the photo section. To date we have built a straw-bale casita (a cozy house of about 900 sq. ft.) and two members' studios—"pods" as we call them—close by. A third studio is now under construction (see pictures of that process here) and will be attached to the casita. An expanded communal kitchen in the casita is in design, and we hope to start that construction in late Spring 2014. So we each have our very private studios along with communal dining and common areas.

We who've founded this place are in our 50s and 60s, but we welcome members of all ages. We are three professional musicians, a Unitarian-Universalist minister, and a retired computer engineer. We have a common passion for living ecologically and sustainably in this fragile and magical environment, and share a love for music, books, and gardening.

We are organized as a New Mexico cooperative corporation (see official documents here). Cooperatives give each member a single vote irrespective of the number of shares he or she owns. The coop owns the land and everything on it. We all purchase shares to become members and to make capital improvements (i.e., build), and that includes both common and personal spaces. We aim for equality in number of shares purchased for common improvements, so a new member will buy in for approximately the amount each of us has spent to date on the land, casita, and infrastructure. As of Winter 2013-14 this is about $20,000 ($30,000 for a couple). It's possible at present to build a pod for as little as $95,000, so that will give you an idea of your initial investment. Regular expenses beyond that are modest to start with, and low per person when shared by us all; as with any cooperative building, there are periodic additional expenses for expansion and upkeep.

Well, that's it in a nutshell! If you'd like more information or to speak with any of us about Wits End or come and visit, please email  info@WitsEndCoop.net .

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