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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #160 Oct. 29 - Nov 3, 2007

Sales, Sales, Sales!

Notes

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter —determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have resales and rental availabilty. Some readers may be interested in this information.

More and more, the content will be dominated by events of our new project, "El Dorado" for short. While the future is always uncertain, I again aim to tell it like it happens —the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what follows.

In an effort to make the format more interesting and visually appealing and to field inquiries re. El Dorado, the news letter is now being distributed by Jan Kozak, Marketing Manager, Hacienda El Dorado. I will remain the author.

Website

We haven't made any changes to the website and the areas where we are awaiting the programming, we expect to have these sections operational by Nov. 12. 

Marketing & Sales

We now have all our printed material with the exception of one brochure in Spanish. Our billboard ads are in production and will begin being mounted in a week or so. Magazine ads will begin to appear in a week or so.

Over the past two weeks, we have taken 21 verbal reservations of which several have been formalized already -- reservation deposits were made and contracts signed. All verbal reservations that do not get formalized by November 15, 2007 will expire. We continue to show and field inquiries and are anticipating more when the ads come out. We have offered a $10,000 credit towards the purchase of appliance or builder's upgrades but have now withdrawn that offer and should those people who are registered with us as having reserved a unit not complete the $10,000 deposit by Nov. 15, that offer will also expire.

Note: We have been helped by one of our purchasers who is a very successful developer / marketer in Oregon. Jan and I have had numerous conversations and he has offered several suggestions, which we have adopted. His observations and insights have been very interesting, appreciated, and useful. 

Banking Arrangements

We received an initial response from Scotiabank. They are having difficulty dealing with something which is 18 mo. out.  We have suggested to them how this can be dealt with. They will have to get their heads a round it.  We will be working with them to what we expect will be a mutually acceptable solution.

Paul has been working on simplifying our method of payment. Up to now, we have paid our employees in cash which meant we have to go to the bank, withdraw the funds, count out to each employee the exact amount, make up paper work, put it in an envelop, deliver it to the job site, have role call, get a sign for receipt of funds.  Now that on-line banking is available we will establish a payroll account with Banco National., do an on-line inter-bank transfer, and the employees, who will each have a debit card from Banco National, will be able to debit their account and get their funds.  (This is suppose to be the way it works—we'll see.)  If it does, it is much simpler and much safer. 

Legal

Site Plan Construction Application: The last minute changes have delayed this but until then, it's my understanding that all parties were ready.

Construction Log

Architect: We have made some last minute changes to the site plan after having reviewed the surveyed lots.  The changes are minor. One of the more significant changes—for the better—is the repositioning of building 11B, which affects the parking and pool locations. We're still working on that. The new location provides a much more improved view and puts the parking in an area where the view is not as good.

I've received and approved two additional floor plans: A 3-bedroom option for the Cortez ground floor and a 2-bedroom option for the Triana and Balboa Split ground floor units.  (Previously, we only had one 1-bedroom floor plan option available.)

Structural Engineer: He and the architect have compared notes and when the architect finishes the changes to the site plan, he and I will work on finishing the Maya Tower floor plans.

He is getting quotes on the bridge and is also getting quotes on putting in the retaining wall along the river and behind lots 18-14 and other locations.

Well Application: We're finalizing the contract and arranging for a start date.

Quebrada: It's been too wet to advance much on this.

Fence: We continue to work away at this.

Surveyor: The surveyor has now finished what he can. We've not asked him to do lots 14-20 as there is still too much earth moving work to be done; stakes would all be destroyed.

Residencias Los Jardines

For Sale: Nothing available at the moment.

For Lease: Unit 109 is available Dec. 1, -- $1,600 mo.

One level, detached two bedroom, 2 bathroom with terrace.  Lots and lots of beautiful built-in wooden cabinetry—wall-to-wall floor to ceiling display and entertainment center, office with granite topped desk, dining room severing / storage cabinet,  etc.  The "U" shaped kitchen has granite counters.  The great room (living room/office/dining/kitchen has a vaulted ceiling with direct and indirect lighting. Fully furnished – leather and granite—two queen sized beds, TV, wall decorations, full kitchen ready for cooking and entertaining.

Property Tax Reassessment: We should hear the results around mid December.

Shareholders Meeting: This will be December 15.  I'll be completing the documentation and readying the information necessary.  What needs to be sent in advance will be.  

Our Lives

We continued to experience a fair amount of rain. Almost every day for several hours and sometimes again at night.

Friday night we planned dinner for 6.  It grew to 10 when Rudy (RE agent) had two hungry clients who wanted to eat and to sign a contract.  They were almost neighbors from Vancouver Island of people who were amongst the original three guests.  Rudy had car trouble before he got to us and one of his clients  (our purchaser) and dinner guest, had to push his car to a repair place in order to get back to dinner.  There is always the unexpected to expect in CR.

Lita has been busy distributing brochures to whomever and is hopeful of making a sale. It will be nice for her if it happens. She wants to be involved rather than on the sidelines. 

I continue to fall behind on a number of things as all my time is focused on marketing.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies— Chico and Chica.

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Contact phone numbers

Internet Phone:
Toronto: 416-461-2203

Costa Rica:
Cell: (506) 8305-3965
Land: (506) 282-4142 Ext. 101

NOTE: Toronto number is "local call" for people in the area code; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code.