—Vida y tiempo—
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.
Website: This is still behind. We have given a deadline of Sunday to have a number of things accomplished or we will be moving to a different company. This has been a frustrating experience—rock solid performance for 5 years suddenly dwindled to not much. I like to work with proven suppliers but at some point in time, and I'm reaching my outer limit, I'll have to move on.
Marketing: More Ponce Villas have been added: We had shown Triana Villas (scaled back versions of the detached Balboa houses) on lots 2 and 7. We weren't getting a lot of interest in them for reasons I don't understand. We continued having requests for Ponce units but had few to offer. I looked to see if a Ponce would fit on those lots—it did—so we switched the product offering on lots 2 and 7 to Ponce's. With the current changes and allowing for some units to be either single of duplexed, we are looking at around 100 units , i.e., self-contained homes, total.
Note: I'd like to claim this was always planned as a fall back position and that I am a genius. The truth is, that it's not the case—it is just one of the fortuitous situations that sometimes happens. The Ponce was about 6" narrower than the Triana, which had 4 parking spots, and was not as deep as the Triana. The fact that I had located the Triana's on end lots was again fortuitous since I didn't know how much land I would really need to build them. This end location allowed me to create additional parking for lot 7; parking for lot 2 was already adequate. So, with the switch of the icon, we now have 12 Ponce units vs. 8 Triana's.
Sales: We will probably sell six (6) units this week—one Cortez Split unit (ground floor—modified), two Balboas, two Ponces, and the remaining penthouse unit in the Maya Tower. (Probably because several contracts aren't yet signed with $$ in the bank. We fully expect that will happen but the future is not yet written, so……. This brings us to around 36 sold unit.
We had a nice write up on the major newspaper, La Nacion. It may generate more Tico responses. We still haven't penetrated this market. We are finding that Ticos want a house sooner than we can deliver, or they want more space for the money—they are not as interested in the 60% parkland/3 swimming pools, tennis courts, etc., or in the higher end finishes we are providing as standard. We may re-target our marketing effort until such time as we are building and can deliver the product within their time frame.
Architect: We have a design for lot 23. It is a horizontal duplex—3 bedrooms on the upper level and two bedrooms on the lower level. It sits on a premium lot with great views of the east mountains and Central valley as well as overlooking the stream. The house has a commanding presence on the east side of the river. (SEE FLOOR PLANS AND RENDERINGS ATTACHED).
LOT 23 - GROUND LEVEL
1,910 sq ft / 176 sq m
2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms
LOT 23 - UPPER LEVEL
2,649 sq ft / 244 sq m
3 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms
Wall: We now have the west perimeter wall under construction in front of lots 3,4, and 5. It's about 50% finished. We started raising the land on lots 4 and 5. This will be an ongoing exercise as we get surplus dirt. We poured the footings for the retaining wall required for the recreation area across from lot 23. This retaining wall will be similar to that along the west road.
Landfill / Earth Moving: Both the large backhoe and the bulldozer have completed their work and have left the site. Only one small backhoe remains.
Nothing available at the moment. I had expected that two units would come on the market in January but they didn't. We continue to await word.
FEBRUARY 3: Unit 106A: Leased
MARCH 1: Unit 121 – 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom (one with Jacuzzi), living room, dining room, den and kitchen on first floor, view terrace, 2 levels, 1,620 sf, fully furnished. $1,550 mo.
Immediate: Unit 116—we had two opportunities to rent this unit but the timing would have required the owner to move sooner than he wanted.
Weather: STRONG winds; lots of dust from the construction next door.
My Birthday: My sister took Lita and I along with friends to a wonderful restaurant –Bacchus—in Santa Ana. We always have consistently good food, attentive service, and a nice ambiance. It's a top notch restaurant.
Family and work dominated the week. We will return to Canada next month to re-new several documents. This is not a trip of joy but one of necessity. Lita may remain longer than I to visit family and friends.
Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies— Chico and Chica.