PHOENIX RISING... El Dorado is a GO!

ISSUE #422: Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 2012


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

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 availability. 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.

Brian Timmons
Residencias Los Jardines /
Hacienda El Dorado /


Construction Log
Updates about Hacienda El Dorado

Rio Oro: This announcement has been 4 years in the making and 3 weeks in the writing. When the dust settled, we actually had two acceptable alternatives for going forward. On Thursday afternoon, we inked a deal with one of the two... and while the agreement has a number of stages to go through, and while the future is always uncertain, it represents a road map to fulfilling our vision. We believe we will see the PHOENIX RISING... El Dorado is a GO!!

After a four year forced and strategic hiatus on the planned construction schedule, Condominimo Hacienda El Dorado is moving ahead. Permits and approvals are being updated while final surveying will be organized and construction contracts and equipment is being readied. It’s our understanding that the project will be built as planned. The engineering drawings as approved which support our vision will be the basis for the infrastructure. Construction on the infrastructure should begin in approximately 6 months and be substantially completed in 12 months. Some additional variations in floor plans to reflect current market demand will be developed and offered to purchasers. Those existing purchaser commitments will be honored and the purchasers will be contacted in due course with more details.

Comment: The above announcement, encompasses 6 years of history -a lot of work— long hours of strategic and creative time, countless hours of problem solving, conflict resolution, marketing, as well as financial commitment by Paul and I. As foreigners, we found the permitting process to be a maze obfuscated by cultural and systemic differences... Paul and I, as developers had many, many very different challenges and experienced frustration in a foreign environment where the process was filled with swamps, snakes, alligators, piranhas, bullfrogs, toads, etc... While we knew we could build the project –technically, including the design and marketing- we got skinned and limbed so many times in the permitting process sometimes a centimeter at a time, we concluded that, as foreigners, we were not the people to build out the project. We needed to bring in a local builder —the timing had to be right, the builder had to buy into our vision, have money to complete the infrastructure, continue marketing, and begin the gray work on some of the buildings. In addition, our binding agreements with purchasers had to be respected. We were able to bring all conditions together... Hacienda El Dorado will be built out; Paul and I will remain major investors in the project as well as possible purchasers of condominiums —we believe in the project and in the builder.

In addition to frustrations in the permitting process, we experienced frustration with some purchasers who, after September 2008, became nervous and forced us to defer construction... one multi-unit purchaser (speculator actually) insisted we delay until after August 2011; 17 purchasers insisted we delay until after November 2012. Some of these people subsequently dropped out because of their changed circumstances or ???? These delays increased our costs —higher building costs, payments to renew permits, payment of property taxes and maintenance on the property, etc. The delays also ruined a dream for those purchasers who were ready, willing, and able to proceed —unfortunately this group didn’t represent a critical mass.

Following September 2008, a lot of projects had problems continuing. Some developers vanished with client funds; abuses by some developers were uncovered in the aftermath. Some purchasers got burned after giving substantial deposits; some developers got burned when purchaser’s overstretched themselves financially and couldn’t follow through with their purchase. Very few developers returned deposits or even had funds on hand. Certainly, the business model changed and the market changed after September 2008. In our case, neither Paul nor I used one dime of deposits for personal use and asked for very modest reservation deposits. While it took us 3 ½ years –much longer than we expected to get the permits, and that was always acknowledged- the good thing was that we were not building when September 2008 and the financial tsunami hit. With no shovel in the ground, deposits accounted for, and complete ownership of the land, we were able to hunker down, eat humble pie in some cases, and wait it out. We did that and now the phoenix is rising and a new chapter is in the writing.

Regardless, November 2012 is near and market conditions are such that the project will go forward as planned. It will be interesting to see which purchasers are ready, willing and able to proceed. A few of those purchasers celebrated our death prematurely and pillared us along the way while not acknowledging their contribution to the delay nor admitting to their financial inability to move forward or their change of heart in their commitment. For some this chapter in El Dorado will be a dream delayed come true; for others a different story. For all those who are willing and able to proceed, their commitment will be honored. For those who are not willing or are unable to move forward to honor their commitment, we’ll deal with responsibly based on the agreement while consideringn each person’s circumstance.


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Unexpected Vacancy: A lousy tenant has lead to an unexpected vacancy. It happens once in a while... the owner was made whole but I didn't / don't like what happened. Sometimes a unit is better left vacant until the right person comes along... this was a case of a RE agent taking a head lease and finding clients -the client was appropriate for our setting. We'll see...

Market Activity

Sales: no viewings.

Rentals: one viewing.



Unit #106 D: $179,000 PRICE REDUCTION 75% owner financing available See Unit
Unit #103: $157,000 PRICE REDUCTION from $164,000 See Unit


Unit #109: $1,450 mo. Available August 30 up to December 31 See Unit
Unit #112: $1,350 mo. Available Immediately See Unit
Unit #116: $1,400 mo. Available Immediately See Unit
Unit #121: $1,650 mo. Available September 1 See Unit
Unit #124: $1,000 mo. Available September 1 See Unit

Site Plan-


UNIT #106 D
FOR SALE $179,000
PRICE REDUCTION - 75% owner financing available

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227 + parking
Total Area (Sq M): 113 + parking
Bedrooms: 1 + den (bedroom possible)
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 2nd. floor
Type: apartment in 4 plex
Furnished: Yes

This 2nd story, 1,227 sf (113 m2 + one parking space) )is a georgous home with one of the best views at Los Jardines. The very large front covered terrace faces west and is suitable for entertaining; the off-bedroom covered terrace faces east for sun sets. This very tastefully furnished and fully equipped home offers a lifestyle envied by many. The owner offers financing if desired.


UNIT #103
FOR SALE $157,000
Price Reduction from $164,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1000
Total Area (Sq M): 93
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

1000 sf., single story, detached, two bedroom, two bathroom, with a nice covered terrace overlooking a nicely landscaped tropical backyard. Breakfast counter, dinning room table for 4, parking for one car. Vaulted ceilings in master bedroom and kitchen/dining area.



UNIT #109
FOR RENT $1,450 mo.
Available August 30 up to December 31

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1506
Total Area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This single story home (1506 sf. + parking for one car) is detached, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, home office, living room wall / entertainment center along with a built in office and a semi-private terrace. In addition, it has a vaulted ceiling in the “great” room and two skylights. The covered entrance way is suitable for two chairs located next to a covered garden area. Once through the impressive front door, you enter the “great room” which houses the kitchen, dining room, office and living room. Upon entering, there is a built in wooden hutch surfaced with granite—it matches all the built-in furniture in the great room. There is a clothes washer and dryer off the 2nd bedroom. The owners have added many personal touches and have done a supurb job in decodrating the home.


UNIT #112
FOR RENT $1,350 mo.
Available Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total Area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.


UNIT #116
FOR RENT $1,400 mo.
Available Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.


UNIT #121
FOR RENT $1,650 mo.
Available September 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1423
Total area (Sq M): 131
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This two story, detached 1,423 sf home + parking for one car has two bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms and a 2nd. floor covered terrace.

The open railed wrought iron cement stair case leads to the 2nd. level where the master bedroom with en-suite master bathroom as well as 2nd. bedroom and en-suite bathroom are located. Also accessed from the 2nd. floor hallway is the covered terrace.

This is a very nicely furnished home with a good floor plan for those wanting two floors.


UNIT #124
FOR RENT $1,000 mo.
Available September 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.



Our Lives

WEATHER: normal rains this week. The garden is happy and all pumps and drains are working...

All in a Week's Living in CR:

CR humor: (last week I wrote) The paved road in front of Los Jardines, is filled with pot holes which have become deeper, wider and dangerous. Some of the locals have planted branches, flowers, and plants... it's a warning but also a joke...

This week, the pot holes were cut out and the road patched. It seems that the locals shamed the city in to fixing the road.

Comment: The past few weeks have been exceptionally busy and stressful for me. Along with keeping up with Lita's social schedule, shopping, cooking, entertaining, and helping her along in life, I was focusing on advancing the El Dorado deal... whichever one looked like it wanted to run... and looking after Los Jardines maintenance issues, lease administration, owner communication, invoicing, repairs, etc. I have to make a booze run to my favorite discount store...

Brian, Lita, the Late Hugo IV, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, Chico II and Chica II

Previous reports