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ARCHIVE
Reports 2006

Dec. 18-23, 2006
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Oct. 2-7, 2006
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Jan. 2-7, 2006

Reports 2005
Dec. 26-31, 2005
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Feb. 21-26, 2005
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Feb. 7-12, 2005
Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2005
Jan. 23-29, 2005
Jan. 16-22, 2005
Jan. 10-15, 2005
Jan. 3-5, 2005

Reports 2004
Dec. 25-27, 2004
Dec. 20-25, 2004
Dec. 12-18, 2004
Dec. 6-11, 2004
Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2004
Nov. 22-27, 2004
Nov. 15-21, 2004
Nov. 8-14, 2004
Nov. 1-6, 2004
Oct. 25-30, 2004
Oct. 18-23, 2004
Oct. 11-16, 2004

 

New Construction

Lease / purchase

Phase 3: The construction of the remaining 11 residences.
See what's new: Garden Residences of Río Oro.

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Progress Report

April 16-21, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #132

Contact phone numbers

Internet Phone:
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203

Costa Rica:
Cell: 506-305-3965
Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101

NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.


NOTE: NOW THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIALLY FINISHED, THE LOG WILL FOCUS MORE ON THE RIO ORO DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE INFORMATIVE TO THOSE PLANNING ON BUILDING, THOSE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PURCHASE OR TO LEASE, AND FOR THOSE WONDERING WHAT EXPATS DO IN COSTA RICA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.

The STORY: El Dorado inches forward, and power outages

CONSTRUCTION

The fence inches along.

We located and purchased an ATV for the maestro de obra (site superintendent). This will facilitate his movement on site. We had to get him to think "work vehicle" vs "toy" so the search took a bit longer than I had expected. Nevertheless, we found what we wanted at the price we wanted.

The architect and the environmental consultant and preparing the documents for site plan approval to SETENA. A separate submission will involve the engineering details.

We met with the architect on Thursday. In addition to confirming that he and the engineer are to have all documents ready for site development/approval by May 30, we determined the pricing structure for the individual buildings-detached, semi detached and multiple family buildings and agreed on a cost per meter basis. We also reviewed what type and size of home will be best for each lot. Lastly we discussed at some length and without coming to a conclusion some concerns re. the placement of elevators and overall design of one of the Phase II multifamily buildings. We also discussed the need for renderings and for having a three dimensional model made of the site to help people better visualize the finished product. We will be exploring sources of printed brochures and marketing info.

I again crunched some numbers now that I have some specific areas of saleable land vs. common element land. Fortunately, there were no surprises —I like it when that happens.

RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES

Terrace Roof: We are putting a roof over the terrace of Unit 126. This was always considered a possibility but I wanted to see how it would be lived in before making that commitment. Given the few days of rain we had, it was obvious that a roof was a necessary addition. The tent structure the tenants had put there simply wasn't adequate. The roof is now done and the terrace is now a desirable extension of the living area.

Door Repair: We are having to rework a number of wooden doors. The supplier used green wood which shrank during the dry season. Not only did some of the wood crack, the panels shrunk and areas need to be stained. This will be one supplier who we will replace on the "El Dorado" development.

Power outages: On Wednesday evening around 7pm we had a 2 hr. outage (this and the following outages were more or less country wide) followed by day and evening outages. ICE, the electrical company in CR, has some substantial problems which will take more time to fix. It was nice to see that our planning which had envisioned power outages and our emergency home battery packs switched on instantly. All around us was dark while we carried on with our parties and everyone felt comfortable. We also switched on our generator which keep our water pressure up and opened and closed our security gates.

Internet and Cable Tica: On Wednesday we learned that the line in Santa Ana had been cut. We were without service for the day. Our satellite TV still worked.

RENTALS:

Unit 106 A:
(Available May 1)
Ground floor, 1,250sf, 1 bedroom with office/den/bedroom, two bathrooms, two terraces, granite bathrooms and kitchen; fully furnished.
- $900 mo.

Unit 112:
(Available May 1)
Similar to Unit 120 (below) except it's attached on two sides.
- $1,350 mo.

Unit 120:
(Available June 1 - commitment pending)
Single floor, 1,300 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, executive furnishings throughout —all rooms is beautifully decorated. The kitchen and both bathrooms have granite surfaces. The kitchen cabinets are made from natural wood; there is a raised eating counter for casual dining. The kitchen features SS appliances —dishwasher, 6 burner gas stove, and microwave and all the small appliances needed for cooking. The wrought iron and glass dining room table seats 4. Living room features a beautiful full length book case / lighted display area with home theater system and a 42' plasma TV. On the covered terrace are a set of casual chairs as well as a 6 seat dining table. The home is equipped with a stacked washer / dryer.
- $1,400 mo.

Unit 124:
(Available May 1)
2nd. floor, one bedroom (620 sf), fully furnished with display bookshelf / wall unit, home theater system, 42" Plasma TV, computer desk, large kitchen with natural wood cabinets and granite counters and backsplash including valence lighting, Bedroom has a full size (matrimonial) bed as well as a single bed. There is a matrimonial size pull out sofa in the living room. The living room overlooks the large pool and faces west. The bedroom faces east and has views of the mountains.
$950 mo.

Residencias Los Jardines is a secure, gated, tranquil community with on-site satellite and / or CableTica TV, high speed internet, VOIP phone capability, 2 swimming pools each with waterfalls, bar-b-qs and social areas, English and Spanish spoken, extensive manicured gardens, English / Spanish /German / Dutch / French spoken.

We've had several lookers this week. Some have said they will commit; some are still thinking. We'll respond accordingly.

RESALES:

Unit 112: $170,000
Single floor, 1,300 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, new furnishings. The kitchen and both bathrooms have granite counters. The kitchen cabinets are made from natural wood- "cedro" and has a breakfast counter for casual dining. The kitchen features SS appliances —6 burner gas stove, and GE "Profile" microwave and exhaust space saver unit and all the small appliances and items needed for cooking and dining. The living room features a floor to ceiling full length book case / display /entertainment center. Areas for a computer work station and TV are incorporated. The LR features one chair, love seat and a sofa as well as 4 wrought iron / granite topped end / coffee tables. There is a 6 seat glass and wood dining room table as well. On the covered terrace is a 6 seat dining table. The home is equipped with a stacked washer / dryer. It has vaulted ceilings, valance (direct and indirect lighting). It's located at the back of the property, near the large pool; it is part of a 4 unit complex.

Note: In speaking with one agent, she is finding a lot of clients from Venezuela-these people are getting out while they still can and are looking to buy and to lease. Costa Rica is seen as a "safe haven".

OUR  LIVES

Weather: This week has not seen one drop of rain, has been still, and beautiful.

This will be the last week of residency of two sets of friends. Their wintering habitat will be exchanged for Canada; they will be seen again here when the snow flies there.

Passport renewal: Both Lita and I have had to renew our passports —mine USA and Lita Canadian. The US process was much simpler-fill out the form which asks basic information readily known to people, have photo taken at the embassy, pay $50, wait 10 days, collect your new passport. The Canadian process requires a historical information and documentation not normally kept by people, two photo IDs, 2 reference people, one guarantor, emergency contact person, photographs (took us two times to get it right), $84, and 7 days later a passport. Lita, being a naturalized citizen, was/is missing her citizenship card (documentation is on file with the government and her old passport wasn't sufficient) so was issued passport for only 1 year. Now she has to apply for this —$64, different photos (again it took us twice to get this right), and wait 6 mo. I have no confidence that this will work as she applied in her maiden name and they didn't ask for a marriage certificate to make the connection to the passport they just issued her. We'll see.

Lita's been without playmates for the past week-one friend is recovering from plastic surgery, three are gone, and one is busy elsewhere.

Hugo is loosing his hair. Blood work has ruled out a few things but as of now, the vet is still working on the problem.

Who comes to Los Jardines and Why? (continued)
Listed in no particular order:

Person 13: Tenant,, single, 60ish, American, and a construction and crime refugee from Tamarindo. He wanted a better quality of life here in CR, cooler temperatures, and the ability to play golf without dieing of heat prostration.

Person 14: Owner, investor from California who bought two units to augment his retirement portfolio.

Person 15: Single, American woman, early 50s, recently divorced, owner, who wants to get her life back together again.

Person 16: Single working, woman, late 30s, Argentinean. Assigned here to manage the Central American interests of her employer.

Person 17:. Elderly single American, lady needing full time care. She moved here because the quality of life and the cost of healthcare she could get here vs. the US, was much better.

Person 18. Late 50s, single, male, German. He first moved here because CR and Los Jardines offered a better quality of life than Florida. He went on to purchase a 2nd. unit because it represented a good investment.

To be continued.

Brian, Lita, Hairless Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot.

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MASTERPLAN

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Overlay of Version 1 of the master plan. There will be some minor changes to it but for the most part, it is a reasonable starting point. The picture with the yellow dots represents trees.  One swimming pool will likely be eliminated in favor of houses (the large one near the 2nd. pool (bottom left hand corner)  This area will likely become a condominium within a condominium having it's own direct street access.