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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #165: Dec. 3 - 8, 2007

Troubles in the Website Business… Not Over Yet

» 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

Website: Some changes have been made and some are pending but since there was quite a back log and not all the changes made seem to be correct the first time, it's taking time.

Marketing: "4 Sale by Owner/Developer" seems to be the main lead generator.

» SALES

Sales: No solid sales this week. We are in conversation with about 30 Ticos and a number of other potential clients.


» BANKING ARRANGEMENTS


Banking Arrangements:  As I predicted, we have not yet—if ever—heard back from BAC San Jose. The two calls made to HSBC have not been returned. All of this was expected.

» CONSTRUCTION LOG

Architect: We're still waiting for the revised Maya Tower design.

Surveyor: Buildings 11 A and B and the black water treatment plant are being located as I write. Hopefully, all will workout fine.

Fence: The block work for the retaining portion of the fence is taking time and the height between road grade and current grade on our side is substantial. The difference will be adjusted on our side by adding fill in the low sections but the wall has to be built as the grade currently is. As a structural retaining wall, it has to be strong enough to withstand the constant pressure of different grades. Consequently, more re-bar—both horizontal and vertical is used, the blocks themselves are wider, thicker walls, and stronger. All cavities are filled with concrete and each cavity as well as each row has re-bar. The "mortar" used between blocks is different that in N. Am. where lime is used. Here, the sand has to be sifted and the smaller grains are then mixed into cement and that is the "mortar". It seems to work.

Well: The drill rig is working and he's down about 25m. He is now working his way through a granular layer below which he expects to hit water. The method of "drilling" is really just pounding one's way through the earth—repetitious blows with a heavy, semi blunt object, extracting the slurry with a long tub with a foot valve, and repeating the process time after time.

Bridge:. The design and price we got was for a truck capable bridge. We want one much lighter—cars and light service vehicles only. We're supposed to have that redesign later Friday.

Retaining Walls: We've now chalked this out and have let the contract. Materials will begin to arrive this next week and the contractor will focus on it from Dec. 15 until finished.

Landfill / Earth Moving: We're moving some with back hoe and dump truck.

» 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—two 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: All the information has now been distributed. The meeting will be on the 15th. of December. Not many are expected to attend but hopefully, their voices will be heard through their votes.

Texas Hold'em: Continues.

Golf: Player of the Year was awarded to one of our owner/investors. He plays regularly on the Valle de Sol course and for $225 per month continues to love it.

» OUR LIVES

Note: Every once in a while I'm awed by a juxtaposition in technology and setting, eg. a farm worker (campesino) riding a horse talking on a cell phone. On Friday, while taking pictures, I saw another such situation: a campesino riding his horse and a new Ferrari pass him on the roadway. Unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of it. On the east road, there are two Hummers—yellow and green—which regularly ply that side. The socioeconomic fiber of the area is changing dramatically. On Sunday, a Porsche Carrera swished by our property.

Weather: No rain, warm, mostly sunny, not very breezy, and wonderful.

Work: I'm enjoying the slower pace.

Car: My car has been out of commission most of the week—some sensor doesn't work which prevents it from starting. Friday saw it running again but it has several other problems which will be fixed on Monday.

Dining: We've been having some really good dinners lately—three of us rotating – tenderloin steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, curry with jasmine scented rice, shrimp pasta with egg noodles and a wonderful sauce, pork schnitzel and coleslaw, etc. all washed down pleasantly with copious amounts of $3 lt. boxed Chilean wine.

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

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