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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

Issue #163: Nov 19-24, 2007

Contracts, Deposits & Banking

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.

Marketing & Website

Marketing: We have agreed on a comprehensive advertising campaign and are in the process of implementing it. It will consist of lots of  local exposure for the next 6 months and some international exposure as well. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Friday saw the appearance of our full page ad in "4 Sale by Owner/Developer"—a widely distributed "free" magazine. It generated a lot of calls. We will have a continuing presence in the magazine.

Website: Our people are still bogged down on the programming. What we had hoped to be up and running by now, isn't.

Sales

We sold one unit this week and another will buy once we have a design for him. There are several other good leads. One of the sales was to an owner/investor at Los Jardines and his brother; who have, over the last 18 months, become friends. I found it amazing to be having a drink at the end of the day, reviewing the events and carrying on an instant message conversation with another potential purchaser who was in Singapore. We bantered back and forth good naturedly and put things in motion for the purchase of another unit. Technology is so wonderful and  I'm a living testimony that you don't have to be a genius to make it work for you.

Banking Arrangements

We're still talking with Banco Nacional and Scotiabank —no breakthroughs. We've started a conversation with BAC San Jose bank— the major shareholder (49%) is GE Capital.

Paul has been working with changing the method of payroll payment. This is nearly in place.

Legal

Site Plan Construction Application:  Again we have hopes of getting this in by Friday of next week.

Construction Log

Architect: I received three floor plans for the Maya Tower. While they need some more work, enough information is now available that Paul and I could begin costing it. Based on our current information, we would have to sell each unit for more than we feel our market will pay. We are getting cost comparisons to see if our costing represents straight thinking. If it does, we will have to redesign the building into smaller units and eliminate one elevator. We have got to get the costs down.

Surveyor:  Minor tweeking and refinements are being done..

Fence:  The block and concrete work continues. The welders have designed the iron work and Paul added a little decoration.  We're now beginning to think about what color to stucco it.

Well: We are assured that the well driller will be on-site to inspect the drill site by Wed. and will spot his equipment by the end of next week.

Bridge: No more information at this point in time.

Retaining Walls: we have one quote for about $84 cu. M for "galviones";  we're waiting on two more quotes. The initial contract will be for about $85,000.

Land Fill / Earth Moving:  Land is still drying; the back hoes have been working to accelerate the drying process.

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 wood 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— wo queen sized beds, TV, wall decorations, full kitchen ready for cooking and entertaining.

Unit 123:  December

1,620 sf, 2 story, 2 1/2 bathrooms, LR, den, dining room, master bath has a Jacuzzi. Fully furnished in a tropical motif with two TVs, phone, high speed internet, Cable TV and satellite TV possible. $2,000 mo.

Shareholders Meeting
: The  information I've prepared has been distributed.  Some information is yet to be received and/or translated and is expected to be delivered next week. I've asked people to volunteer to be members of the board of directors—so far I've not received any applications.

Texas Hold'em is back: It died for awhile until a new organizer evolved. This is likely to again become a regular weekly event. A person reading this log asked to be included as he likes to play.

Thanksgiving: Several groups celebrated US Thanksgiving this past week. The pool is always a popular spot this time of year.

Our Lives

Weather:  The rains have finally backed off and the ground is drying up. We've had numerous days of partly cloudy weather with no rain. The trade winds are blowing in the dry season.

Exchange Rate: About a year ago, CR moved to a semi-fixed exchange rate monetary system. With the dollar's decline, it had maintained the rate around 517/$1;  On Thursday, the national bank changed it to around 497 per $1 US—a 4% change for the worse if you are holding US dollars.

Asian Food Store
: Specializing in Chinese, Indian and Japanese food products. This week we finally made it to a store in downtown San Jose, which specializes in Asian products. I've known about it for some time but had never made it there. We found many products we had been longing for and some we had had people bring with them when they came—Thai long grain Jasmine scented rice, egg roll wrappers, papadams and chutneys, and a canned fish product Lita likes.

Highway to the Pacific Coast:  An article again announced that work was to begin on this long awaited fabled highway. The first stage is to be an improvement to the highway between San Jose and the beginning of the highway—a 2.8 mile stretch of divided road is to be added.  This is a minor part of the overall project. The second and larger section is to be the completion of the road between it's beginning, less that 5 min. from Los Jardines and not much more for El Dorado) and Orotina. Again the article said that driving time would be cut by 1 hr. 

Work:  It has been much more tolerable this week. My bum has yet to feel the hammock but I expect it soon will.

Lita: Lita has continued to distribute brochures but no results. She organized a birthday party for Jan, our marketing manager. She gave him three wishes since at 27, we all knew what his first two wishes would be.

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.