19 Sales, US$4 Million

ISSUE #162 Nov 13-17, 2007




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.


The new features are lagging due to complex programming. Our web developers are working on the most complex of the three first. When they get this finalized, the rest should come along fast. They have the format, we now have to work with them to get the content accurate.  Jan's internet was down for a couple days but he has now given them detailed feedback regarding required changes.

Marketing & Sales

The 21 reservations we took some two weeks ago have translated into 19 sales with deposits representing over $4 million in sales. None of these sales were to friends or relatives and with the exception of three, all were clients of Rudy Mathews who has believed in this project from the beginning and has kept clients interested in it and has worked tirelessly to clarify issues with us and bring all the component parts together. He has been fabulous to work with both for his clients and for us as Developers. 

We had a full page ad and article appear in a daily financial newspaper in Costa Rica called "La Republica" and our four billboards along the highway from San Jose to Santa Ana are now up. In both cases, we have received inquiries from Ticos and in all cases, they appeared to be interested in our larger houses. We will begin working with these leads. 

This week, we will place some ads on which we have been working.

Jan, the marketing manager, continues to keep it all organized and recorded,--as he should--and to respond timely with information to clients and to get all the documents together. In addition, he fields inquiries and works on new ads.

Banking Arrangements

Banco Nacional seems to be beating the socks of Scotiabank. They are responsive and have sent out a very knowledgeable person to review our development. He has studied our website intensively and seems to understand what we are looking for and how to achieve it. We are asking for clarification or definition of several issues. They are very aggressive in looking for our type of business and clientele. the bank has financed a large development at the bottom of our street and is looking for more. Hopefully, by next week, we will have this issue in place and be happy.

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


Site Plan Construction Application: The last minute site changes are slowing this down.

Construction Log

Architect: I was supposed to have the floor plans for the Maya Tower yesterday but have not yet received them. We will also be sub-dividing the upper floor of the Cortez-Split as a new option. The current design is a little over 3,200 sf of interior/terrace space. By splitting that into two units, each will be around 1,500 sf.

Surveyor: The surveyor work said we could not accommodate a proposed roadway from the parking lot along the east side of lot 11. This is a disappointment as the area in front of the buildings would have been much nicer.  We will have to return to a modified Site Plan 40 and we will now be at Plan 42.

Fence: We have continued working on this by doing some of the finishing work on what has been built. Now it is beginning to take the form of a fence. 

Land Clearing: Mainly in for form of brush removal to facilitate the surveyor and help clients see the location and view which will be available from their lot.  This is now mostly finished.

Well:  We are on the drillers work schedule. According to our information, he should begin at El Dorado in about a week.

Bridge: A company specializing in construction of pre-cast concrete bridges has reviewed our location and will be sending us drawings and a quote this week.

Retaining Walls:  We have tentatively decided to go with "galvinones". These are retaining walls consisting of rock stacked inside a  heavy galvanized wire structure. These are used extensively here and are very effective.  They allow water to permeate and look more natural. They can be landscaped as well.  We expect to subcontract this out and are awaiting a quote.

Land Fill / Earth Moving:  Nothing has happened on this front. Now that the land is drying out, the bulldozer will return and finish this off.

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.

Shareholders Meeting: This will be December 15.  I've spent over 100 hrs. preparing this information and have it to the stage for review by the lawyer after which I will distribute it to the shareholders. This has not been a fun job and I know it will be a thankless task. This is a job I tried to get rid of last year but didn't.

Texas Hold'em is Back: It died for a while until a new organizer evolved.

Our Lives

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

Lita: She continues 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.

Granada: The return trip from Granada was helped out by a picnic pack from Rosti Pollo and a few cans of cold beer which we refreshed at the border.  This along with a couple of movies helped  ease the 9 hr. ride. 

Work: I have never wanted to become bound to a desk but that is what has happened over the past several months.  I would like to think I can begin seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but it is still pretty dim right now. I did get some work done in Granada and more this week.  Sales activity will slow now that Rudy's people have mostly been tidied up. My work has been hindered at times by a slow internet and especially slow Gmail. I think they were having troubles. 

This "all work, no play" should change Sunday where we will attend a brunch hosted by former residents of Los Jardines whom we haven't seen for some time and a turkey dinner hosted by a Los Jardines resident. We're looking forward to the association and conversations. 

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

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