January 9-14, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #66
Contact phone numbers
New York 315-279-6711 // Toronto 416-907-5758
Cell 506-305-3965 // Land 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: our land line in CR has changed;
we are now integrated into the compound network.
Pictures: 121 / 122 / 123 / 117
The Story: MARKETING and LOGISTICAL CHALLENGES
Weather: The weather has returned to it’s normal, fantastic 24 C / 78 degrees with a slight breeze.
106 D: All deficiencies attended to and appliances installed. It’s been turned over to the client for carpet installation and some other things re. his hot tub.
106C: We got this unit done for the purchaser’s arrival at 10:30 Wed. We had 15 people working up to 9 pm. but when the owners arrived, all was in order, clean, furniture in place, and tranquil. If they had only known what it took to get to that stage... But we forgot a few things: exterior vent from the range exhaust system, wall safe, one toilet leaked, fridge door needs to be reversed. As of writing, many of the deficiencies have been addressed. They can now take their time to figure out what furniture to buy and to begin enjoying themselves here.
Comment: It was hectic getting 106C finished up prior to the arrival of the purchaser. We did it and now it’s history but it was accomplished only because the work crew knew it was important and worked towards that deadline. They are absolutely wonderful —I can’t praise them enough.
Units 121, 122, and 123
121: All structural steel is now done and sub-roof has started to be installed. Exterior boarding has started.
122: Most all the interior and exterior moldings have been installed. The ceilings have their finished paint. Windows are installed along with sliding glass doors. The balcony woodwork is now finished and stuccoing is proceeding. The next major items are kitchens, vanities, and bedrooms. These are lagging a bit... We will be starting floor tile next week.
123: It is being made ready for painting, and finish work.
Units 117-120: We’ve made some progress on these units —bathroom tiling, interior window moldings, and misc. items finished. Kitchens are being installed.
Units 101 and 102: No further progress on these; the shoemaker is still shoeless—and having to work at finding a place to live in the interim. The architect was suppose to show for what I believe to be a final meeting on Thursday; he didn’t. My neighbor who lives in the other half of the duplexed building, is moving out as per our arrangement.
Property Taxes: Property taxes for the year for the entire development with a 10% discount for early payment are —$610. I don’t think the building permit information has been uploaded into the tax data base but for now, that’s what it is. In Canada, I pay this each month and my home there is a lot less than Los Jardines.
Electrical System Upgrade: The transformer suddenly showed up and was spotted but no one has been on-site to hook it up.
Roadway: we’ve let the contract for the paving. It should be done by the latter part of this month.
Misc.: The modifications to 103 are nearing completion.
Lockers: we haven’t yet started construction. Houses are our main concern now.
Schedule for Completion
Unit 118 — January 31
Unit 117 — February 7
Unit 122 — February 14
Unit 123 — February 21
Units 119, 120, and 121 will also be getting done but we haven’t set specific dates
Last week I wrote: “We received a response from the vendor of the land we were interested in. It appears that at this point in time, we value the land differently. We are continuing to look.”
I was contacted by the vendor and she seems to have lowered her price to what I was prepared to offer. We’re talking again. I’ve met on site with the canton (read that as “county” engineer to discuss the property. We are meeting again on Monday. I’m getting quotes from two sources for a soil study, topographical study and a survey of the property lines. I’ve asked my lawyers to draft an offer to purchase which I will have reviewed by several people.
Marketing: This has been a crazy week!!!!
We sold units 118 and 119. Two guys from Florida were going to buy sight unseen. One of them had followed my construction logs from the beginning —he showed that he really had studied them and understood what was going on. One of the guys wanted first to see the place. They flew down on Monday, stayed the night, confirmed their assessment, bought on Tuesday just before returning. I believe their intention is to live here full time. One is from Germany the other from Norway.
We currently have an offer under discussion on Unit 112. The purchasers are Italian and they are purchasing sight unseen. There are a couple issues remaining to be worked out but from my perspective, they are resolvable. We seem to have some big egos involved here with the intermediaries so we’ll just have to see how things play out.
We hosted a couple for three nights. They were / are looking for a small house. Our 106 units were what they were looking for but we don’t have any left. In addition, we had another person who was interested in a 106 unit were we to have had one. That’s now three people who wanted that design and / or price range.
Assuming 112 and 120 firm up, that leaves us with three units: 109 ($175,000) , 110, and 113 (each at $145,000). Lita and I need one unit to live in while our house is being built.
One of our existing clients was to arrive and occupy 115. Against my advice, he wanted our furniture removed since his furniture was promised to arrive on Wednesday. Of course it did not and it is not even on the boat yet. He’s a newbie to Costa Rica... He’s now hold up in a hotel and my guess for some time. Hopefully, he’ll have a better experience than I had with Customs and Customs brokers.
Unit 108 was resold. The purchaser was one of the 6 Floridian Investors we hosted several weeks ago. They also firmed up their verbal offer to purchase 120. They said their holdup in the paperwork for purchasing 120 was due to the delay in creating the corporations they had asked my lawyer to create for them. The government just started to return to work after the Christmas holidays. It is my understanding that these two houses will be used by them and by their prospective clients for the next project.
It is expected that the Floridians will become partners in the land and the development planned with their clients in mind. They say they can deliver money and purchasers —music to my ears!!! I know we can do the building. My partner is getting himself reoriented such that he will be spending even more time here —that too, is music to my ears.
It could be that the vendor of 108 will become involved in our next project as well. He’s also interested as are the Floridians in securing more land. That we can work on after we get one piece tied up. It will take 6-8 mo. for the approvals before we can put much of a shovel in the ground.
Comment: Developments under “Marketing” and “Next Project” are beginning to overlap as people become involved with Los Jardines and want to work together on the next project. Soon, Los Jardines will be completed and will go to into an administrative mode.
Feasibility Study: This is on-going and should be wrapped up this week. The Toronto based company whose product we are researching for application here, offered to co-fund the study. They accepted the study’s design. Several have asked what the product is.
Styrofoam architectural moldings —both interior and exterior. The Canadian product is much better than the local product but is probably more expensive. We have to determine the landed cost and the installed cost and the relative performance. I know the product is better; I don’t know if the price will prohibit it’s use.
Our friend from Victoria has been here all week and other friends (purchaser of 106C) arrived on Wednesday. When time permits, we’ve been catching up. Friday night I collapsed; I didn’t even make it to the hammock.
One short conversation stands out. While sitting at my computer one day, the phone rang. I didn’t know the caller but he was in San Jose. He had read the stories of our trips to Granada. He said I was becoming “famous” for them —no one has asked me for an autograph yet and the Granada City Council hasn’t asked me to represent them... but my stories inspired him to follow in our footsteps. His two questions were: how did we get there in 7 hrs? ( He was looking at schedules showing 11 hrs... I told him that TicaBus leaves twice a day and the departure and arrival times.) His 2nd. question was how to find the restaurants, especially the steak house. I asked that he e-mail me with his experiences. From my perspective, it was nice to know that someone read and noted our wonderful experience. I hope his goes as well —I reminded him to get the roast chicken, fresh bread, and a bottle of wine for the trip.
Months ago we made some commitments to snow bird friends expecting to have a number of vacant units —that is not now the case and we are trying to ensure we can keep those commitments.
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot.