Monday, September 24, 2007

September Visit

It's taken a while, but finally an update on our house after our visit down there at the beginning of this month. We flew in right before Henrietta hit, so we hunkered down in our rented casa for the first couple of days. Once the storm passed, the weather was beautiful and we had a wonderful visit. I did not want to come home. I love being down there. It's like life just slows down and all the little worries melt away. I'm very happy we bought the house. That is not to say there aren't issues, but I'm still thrilled with our leap of faith of this adventure.

Click to enlarge - dolphin jumping with Loreto Bay in the background

All of our walls are up and we were able to walk through the house. There are still layout issues that need to be addressed. Things like a door where there shouldn't be one, a place with no door where there should be one, a window where a door should be, etc. We also found an extra privacy wall had been put up mistakenly on our tower. Apparently, the privacy walls are now called courtesy walls ... I would imagine because this is because they're not for your own privacy as much as to protect your neighbor from you looking directly into their bathrooms.

The extra window that we added to our living room makes a big difference to the feel of the room, so I'm pleased we were able to do that. The biggest challenge will be furniture and layout of that furniture. I think the key is to buy proportional furniture, which means smaller than what we were envisioning. Some of the pieces in the packages you can buy are just huge and disproportional to the space. However, now that there are multiple vendors offering furniture, this is less of an issue.

I was most pleased with our tower. While we didn't get the unobstructed sea views that D was hoping for, we both loved the feel of being up on the tower and can envision many an evening there playing Scrabble and enjoying the warmth. We do have a wonderful view of the mountains (once the mistaken courtesy wall is removed) that is absolutely gorgeous in the evenings.

Seeing and touching the Performwall was very interesting. Everyone we've talked to with construction experience says it's an excellent material and very reliable.

Right now, we're still struggling to get our electrical and plumbing plans to us. Loreto Bay has finally sent them to us this morning, but they are done using the original layout. Since they changed the layout and moved walls, this would impact the electrical plan, too. Very annoying.
Edit: Turns out she attached the wrong plans, so this little annoyance is cleared up!

We also received an email when we were down there that our house was 50% complete, but the finish date has been pushed back to March of 2008. I'm not sure of the real reason for this delay. It's not due to the stated reason of a shortage of Performwall since we already have all of our walls. I'm not too upset about the delay, but the reason they are giving for it are clearly not accurate in our case. This could be because it was a form email sent to a group of homeowners and the shortage does indeed affect a lot of those homeowners and we're in the minority of those impacted by other factors, or it could be something else. I'm always amazed when people and/or companies are not simply upfront about the reasons for issues and delays. Most people are slightly annoyed with bad news, but deal with it well when it is delivered with candor; however, dodging the issue only creates suspicion and distrust. You'd think they'd want to minimize that sort of thing.

Where We Are
We did decide to change our first choice house color when we were down there. We're going to request the red color as our first choice, rather than the white. We both really liked the red homes with the green plants against them. The bolder colors also make a big difference to the community as a whole. Most are a form yellow or tan, so the ones that are the bolder colors really make things pop a bit.

We're also requesting a change to our interior package, I think. It'll cost us an administration fee, but I think that is worth it. This time, we were actually staying in a casa and visiting other casas, so we got more a feel for the various packages.

With the delay, we have a bit more time to ponder the furniture packages a bit. I think we'll still do a package, rather than attempting to buy each piece on our own. I was very impressed with the craftsmanship on some of the stuff we looked at. It was solidly built and aesthetically pleasing.

We did take lots of photos, but I haven't sorted through those yet. I will post them when I finally get around to it.

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