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City of the Sun Tiny House Community near Columbus, NM

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This is the City of the Sun tiny house community near Columbus, New Mexico being shared with you thanks to Bob Cook. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below if you’re interested. Thank you!

City of the Sun, an intentional community of 200 acres North of the village of Columbus NM on the Mexican border is soliciting new members. COS was established almost 40 years ago. The land is arid desert surrounded by several small mountain ranges. The economy in the area is fairly depressed so prospective members are encouraged to have independent incomes such as retirement or skills that can be applied via internet etc..

Each member is entitled to up to 2 large lots. Most of the structures are owner built and include numerous tiny houses. Alternative building techniques have always been encouraged and there are quite a few structures made out of papercrete and adobe.

For those interested, please contact me at “[email protected]

City of the Sun Tiny House Community near Columbus, NM

Paul's Blue

Bath House & Bird House Casita A Col. Mid Outbuilding Col. North Side w_sculpture

SEE ALSO: Tiny House Community in Orlando, Florida RV Park

DISCUSSION: Would you live in a rural tiny house community like this? Why or why not? Let’s talk in the comments.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Rick Pain
    November 20, 2015, 11:18 am

    Ideally my minds eye sees my tiny in beautiful remote locations !
    But then again, for city dwelling as an alternative to renting yes please !

  • Deadrock
    November 20, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Couldn’t find a link anywhere to information about this community specifically.

    Questions I would want to ask:
    1. Do you buy or lease the land your TH sits on? If leased, will the monthly rates go up? What services do you get for your money?
    2. How close are the nearest amenities? Does being in a “depressed” economic area = crime ridden community? A population of 1,628 won’t offer much….
    3. Are your neighbors truly like minded individuals (small footprint, eco-conscious, etc.) or just people who need to live cheap and under the radar?
    4. Internet/garbage pickup/mail services available?
    5. Pet friendly community?

    Wish we could read a little more about what’s on offer here before exposing ourselves and our contact information to a sales pitch….

    • Pam
      November 20, 2015, 4:49 pm

      Yes I have the same sort of questions as Deadrock, please more info!

    • mary
      November 20, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Founded in 1972, City of the Sun is located on 157 acres in Luna County, New Mexico, adjacent to the to Village of Columbus. Columbus is located on Highway 11, thirty miles south of Deming (off I-10), and three miles north of Palomas, Mexico. Our goal is to live and work in mutual cooperation; to explore methods of gardening and horticulture in the desert. Our spiritual beliefs vary, all paths welcome. We have Sufi, Pagan, Christian, Native American, to name a few. We often offer workshops in the fall about making bokashi and using effective microorganisms. We have a designated off-grid area for alternative housing, solar energy, and composting. We have one irrigation well. Some residents use solar water distillers. Due to lack of jobs in the area, residents must be self-sufficient or very creative.

      We have a small sleeping room for short term rental for prospective visitors or guests. Some members have space available to rent, and we have 3 low-tech RV sites. Our focus is on gardening using terra pretta concepts of bio-char, bokashi, effective microorganisms (EM) raising chickens and other critters, and developing a cachement system for water. To live in our area, one must be self-supporting (on-line businesses?). Few jobs are available, mostly farm labor and other low-income labor.

      • Alex
        November 21, 2015, 12:22 am

        Thanks for the info, Mary!

      • Pam
        November 22, 2015, 9:27 am

        great, thank you!

    • John
      November 20, 2015, 7:06 pm

      Visitors accepted: Yes
      They have a small sleeping room for short term rental for prospective visitors or guests. Some members have space available to rent, and they have 3 low-tech RV sites.
      Prospective members are invited to visit or rent for a time to see if the community is right for them. They then present their membership application and payment plan for the development fee of $1500.00 at a regularly scheduled membership meeting, and answer any questions. The development fee allows a member to select a home site and given a certificate for lifetime use of the property. A ballot is then sent out to all members (we have some non-resident members) and the next month the count is taken – if approved the member is welcomed to the community!

      • Alex
        November 21, 2015, 12:22 am

        Thanks for the info, John!

      • kathleen Robb
        February 3, 2018, 8:25 am

        How do I arrange a visit to the COS? Thank you

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:22 am

      Great questions, Deadrock, thank you!

    • Bob
      February 14, 2016, 10:19 am

      For your membership fee ($1,700.) you are entitled to a a lot for the rest of your life. There are $30 a month maintenance fee (it just went up $5. this month – 1st time in at least 12 years). Nearest amenities….depends on your definition of amenities….. we have a bath house, laundry, community kitchen and dining room. There is a post office , bank, grocery store, dollar store, hardware store, school, several churches, and several tire stores in the village We have Internet service but you have to take your own garbage to the dump (1/2 mile away). Very pet friendly. My neighbor across the street has Goats, chickens, ducks, cats, and dogs, No, my neighbors are never like minded. We have a very hard time agreeing on anything but somehow it keeps on moving. Mostly it’s a cheap place to live….some have more imagination than others….. we had a crime wave a few years ago but they put the mayor, police chief, and several trustees in prison.

      • Jeffrey
        March 29, 2023, 3:48 pm

        I’m trying to find a COS email. Can you point me in the right direction?

    • Bob Cook
      May 14, 2021, 11:41 pm

      — The land is held by a legal trust. Rates went up $5.00 about 5-6 years ago. Basic monthly maintenance fee is $25.00. The community supplies water (drinking water from the nearby village of Columbus and well water for plants), has a bath/laundry facility, common rec room & kitchen, storage building, & sewage lagoon. Most all facilities are available on most lots (some do not have well water or sewer). The current membership fee is $1,500. That is good for the rest of your life. Not much crime in the area but about 10 years ago the Mayor, Police Chief, and several aldermen of Columbus were arrested in a government sting for running guns to Mexico. You may have seen that on national news. Personally, I have lived here for over 20 years and have never locked any of my doors. It’s really difficult to get our members to agree on anything but we do it democratically. We elect our Board members every 6 months. We have a pretty thick policy book and By-laws out the kazoo but not many pay much attention to them. Some are obsessed with them but we dump them in the lagoon occasionally to cool them off. Pick up your mail at local PO where you get a free post office box. Pets all over the place (but the truth is a fair amount of Coyotes, rattlesnakes, and Bobcats also.) Nice modern library in the Village with free wifi or you can subscribe to the local phone company. We used to build some really creative houses but most of the builder’s have gone to the building inspectors shooting range in the sky now so it the latest trend is double wides. Yes, it’s a pretty cheap place to live and yes, we have some avid collectors of rare and exotic collectables, but by and large you can pretty much create the space that defines your unique persona. COME ON DOWN!

  • Canyon Man
    November 20, 2015, 6:14 pm

    In some low population areas of New Mexico and Arizona you will find locations that are accepting of Tiny Houses. Many rural areas have been open to people converting pre-built storage buildings or containers into livable abode’s. If you do not need a lot of money then one of these places might fit your desire. Many do not have running water available, some do not have electricity available. Great for those wanting to live off the grid.
    Be specific in your land search, check with County Building Department of each county before making your purchase. Do not simply believe the land seller. I do not know of areas, in any metropolitan area of either state, that would allow a tiny house. I am not saying there are none, I simply do not know of any.

    • John
      November 20, 2015, 7:08 pm

      TX generally doesn’t have zoning ordinances, even in metro areas, so you can build most anything you want. There are a few other areas, but very few.

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:21 am

      Great tips, thanks for sharing! I totally agree. Don’t simply believe the person who’s selling to you. Do your due diligence before making a major decision.

    • Snitch
      November 22, 2015, 6:57 am

      Canyon Man:
      Hello,Greetings from ABQ New Mexico! I am a Native New Mexican, (born here) and I currently reside in Albuquerque in my THOW at an RV/Mobile Home Park.

      Since my Tiny is classified as an RV by it’s title, I had no problem moving to my present location. I have a great set up, I only pay for electricity, and to fill up my propane tanks occasionally. Free H2O and WiFi.

      Just thought I’d let you in on my situation. Have a great Turkey Day!

  • Phillip Thompson
    November 20, 2015, 8:09 pm

    I really like the idea. It’s not for everyone, but that’s what I like about it. Nice.

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:18 am

      Thanks, Phillip, I’m glad you like it!

  • Deadrock
    November 21, 2015, 1:49 am

    Isn’t New Hampshire the “Live Free or Die” state? I’d’ve thought tiny housers would be welcomed there, if anywhere. No gov’t breathing down your neck. Fundraising middle schoolers can practically sell guns and raw milk door to door, but what are the housing regs, I wonder?

    Before any NH residents light their torches and sharpen their pitchforks, I was just kidding. I gather a number of fellow THT subscribers don’t share my sense of humor. But still, I wonder if it’s any easier to go tiny there….

    • November 21, 2015, 8:35 am

      Love your sense of humor. One would think NH Would be a great tiny house place!

  • Former resident
    October 13, 2016, 3:09 pm

    Do not be fooled by these pics.yes those are the new bathouse and family rental room. But what they don’t show are all the other falling trashed out structures. Wild loose dogs that bite and run wild. Drug selling spots. And crooked staff. Board meetings are ran by drunks dope heads. Or should I say in a communist manner lead by one woman that thinks she runs Columbus mm. Please go look before you fall into th1960 lsd based 1960 fantasy.

    • Bob Cook
      May 14, 2021, 11:48 pm

      Wow! You must have had a fun weekend….sorry we didn’t meet…..that old commie is my ex wife. yea, she’s awful to live with….. but it’s not that bad a place. Just takes some creative life style adjusment.

  • B Larson
    May 14, 2017, 6:47 pm

    My husband and I recently drove through to check out the community. To us it looked like a group of run down hovels. It was very poorly maintained. I would have thought that residents in such an area would take more pride in their community. Seeing this certainly made our decision to not look further it the community.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 15, 2017, 7:40 pm

      Oh no! That’s sad to hear, B Larson. Thank you for sharing, though.

  • Rachel Overstake
    November 26, 2021, 1:05 pm

    Hi Mary
    I recently purchased 160acres in Columbus NM. I think I’m going the tenr camping route for now. I hope to see your place sometime soon!

  • Deborah
    June 26, 2022, 1:17 am

    I stayed here for about a week. The pros are it is very inexpensive living and some nice places. The cons are too numerous to mention. There is a dark underbelly in the area and the water supply is full of arsenic from mining and nuclear that comes down off the mountains north of there. I had no problem being there but there is a definite cult mindset in the place and you feel like you stepped into the movie Racing with the Devil with Peter Fonda from the 70s. That kind of vibe. I won’t go into more but buyer beware. Get what you pay for.

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