The new community
Many potential homebuyers from out of town are absolutely overwhelmed by the diversity of our neighborhoods, and by the variety of lifestyle choices available for such a small town. Whether someone is looking for urban walkability, or rural life with goats and chickens, it can all be found here. And sometimes you can find both extremes combined together. Recently, we have been showing homes in a couple of “pocket communities” and want to introduce you to some of the special neighborhoods that Santa Fe has to offer.
Located only a couple of miles from the Plaza along the Santa Fe River are two unique communities that offer a truly different Santa Fe experience. Known as The Commons and Tres Placitas del Rio, these two subdivisions are described as “co-housing communities” whereby each owner resident has ownership and responsibilities beyond his or her own home.
Co-housing as a movement is about striking a balance between personal freedomand community living. It strives to unite people with similar interests and values yet allow for personal privacy and independence. Each resident owns a home and has an equal ownership interest in the community property. The legal entity is set up similar to a condominium; on paper it may look like a homeowner association or condo association, but in practice it is much different.
Each home is designed by and sometimes built by the homeowner and even though there is architectural review to maintain a general aesthetic standard, the home styles vary greatly, from traditional pueblo to modern contemporary. And rather than outsourcing management to a national company, which seems to be a growing trend, community governance and decisionmaking are conducted face-to-face at regular meetings and are consensus-based.
Above and beyond the general groundskeeping are things like community meals, organic farming, and the keeping of goats and chickens. At Tres Placitas del Rio, the oversight of the organic gardens and the goat co-op comes from separate committees for folks who have stronger interests in those areas. (And there is nothing as cute as a baby goat.) The Commons offers community meals twice a week. For people who like to cook, this is a goodway to earn some work hours. There is a goal to provide organic meals. Sign-up sheets are posted several days ahead of time. Residents and their guests who wish to dine simply sign up and the charge goes to the resident’s monthly fee.
The Commons is the larger of the two subdivisions, with 28 homes clustered around four large, open green areas called placitas, or little plazas, and a larger plaza next to the Common House. Tres Placitas Del Rio has 11 homes that surround the common grounds with lovely terraces, walkways, and a dining pavilion. There is a gated entrance to the Santa Fe River bike trail, which will take you the mile to downtown or the Santa Fe Railyard. If you want more information, they each have websites, or, even better, arrange to take a tour. There are a couple of homes available for sale, so if you have an interest in living in a special community now is a good time.
You can be as active as you wish or just appreciate the bucolic rusticity of these urban communities. It’s a perfect situation for anyone seeking a greater sense of community or for those with busy lifestyles who otherwisewould not be able to have gardens, chickens, and goats as their sole responsibility. Patterned after more ancient ways of living, these two communities seem to be surprisingly ahead their time.
Roger and Melissa are Realtors at KW. Call them at 505-699-3112, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow them on Twitter @ CarsonandCarson and at www.facebook.com/carsonandcarson. santaferealestate.