Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Regrettably, because I have had so much trouble with Blogger, I have moved this blog to WordPress . 

Please join the party over there. 

Friday, June 25, 2010


Those are MY Trusses! 
(This Ghetto moment brought to you by five bourbons, the Southern Schools Mixer, a Karaoke party and A DREAM HOUSE IN COSTA RICA.  Bitches.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fresh off the press...

It has feet.  And a floor.  Kind of.  Wow, this is really moving quickly. The steel frame is cold rolled, and built according the California earthquake standards.  It should allow the house to flex and to survive.  Note how little earth moving is being done.  Other than the master bedroom, I am not laying a foundation.  This was intentional- to let the breeze flow under, cooling the house, and to allow wildlife and rainwater to pass under. 

I had a holdup with the water.  The Asada, a local water group, required some paper work, but, of course, they would not send or fax it to me, and of course, it needed to have an original signiture.  Alex, of DatumZero, picked it up on a site visit, and scanned it to me.  I printed, signed and sent it back.  No doubt they will want some payment now...its unclear where they receive their authority or jurisdiction to do so, but they can hold up a project, and know it, so it will be paid.

I am going down in July to see the work for myself. Amazing no?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From Guillermo re the wood:

"I am thinking the bottom (#1) color for the flooring which is as well Teak.
As a side note, all the Wood for the entire sheathing of the house is prepared, cut and predrilled, it is now in the process of finishing, and sealing. The beams are fabricated and will be shipped to site in the next couple of weeks.
Alex will be sending you the report today, i know he is doing an inspection on the woodwork today."
How amazing is that? This whole thing is going to be done in 6 months.  There is a house right next to me in SF which is not much bigger and certainly not in the jungle, which has been under process for over a year.  
DatumZero has been amazing so far.  

And I have teak floors.
Nice Wood:

Guillermo today sent me a sample of the wood that will be used as the outside of Plan B.

Its the one on the far right.  A darker wood, but one that matches the trees on the land.  The wood was sustainably grown, I believe in Nicaragua- so semi local.  We chose the wood for those reason.  Its teak, which is both naturally insect resistant, and a hardwood which stands up to the elements extremely well.  This means there is no need for a polymer coating, which would be toxic, or for insecticides, which are, of course, also toxic.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hello old blog.

Time to fire you up again as the K House is being built.

So much to cover, but the short of it is that I inked a contract with a contractor, and broke ground two weeks ago.

The project is funded in phases, each one paid 40% at the beginning, the other 60 at the end. There is also a hold back of 8% for completion of the entire house. Guillermo and the boys at DatumZero were great in negotiating that K on my behalf. ("K" is lawyer for Contract. Don't ask why. I do not know).

There were some sexy last minute additions. Another foot on the gallery, in width, a plunge pool/hot tub, and an underground security locker. Total increase in cost = 9k. Not a bad days negotiation if I do say so myself.

So here are some pictures, because everyone loves pictures.

 So there it is.  The sad and devastating truth.  The cabina, that labor of love that Paul, Mike, Rebecca, Scott, Dad, and Lynn all poured themselves into, leveling floors, making concrete footers, applying pesticide by squeeze bottle and hand, carrying lumber, patching bang boxes from power lines...its destroyed. 

From the architect:
The cabina had been vandalized and destroy, there was no roof when on it and a lot of the wood pieces were missing. "
Someone catabolized the house.  I am livid and hurt and feel cheated.  I hate theives.  Perhaps more than anything.  Perhaps more than Cathrine Zeta Jones or Mac and Cheese.  

A moment of silence. 



Still morning, but Ill go on.  The Cabina would have wanted it that way. 

Yeah, nothing groundbreaking.  Get it?  Actually this is not the sexiest part of the project for me.  But, we are of course laying the foundation of KHouse.  You can see that the work crew has adopted the remainder of the cabina. 

Phase two payments to be made tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It is begun.

The KHouse is underway. More when there is more.

Saturday, November 15, 2008



SHit shit shit.

I just got this from helpful James Johnson at CR mortgatge:

"Ok, I just got word back from them and I hate to have bad news, but here it is. As of this week, they just instituted a new policy that they are no longer lending to Non-residents. They have made an exception in your case, but this is gonna require some drastic things from you. They require that for every $100K borrowed, that you must put $166,666 into a CD in the bank and hold it there for a minimum of 1 year. The return interest rate depends on exactly how much is deposited. This makes no sense to me, as I am sure to you as well. Unfortunately with the credit crisis worldwide, the banks across CR are running out of money to lend and they are requiring steeper and steeper conditions in order to lend. "

The banks here are cutting off lending to Non-residents all over the place. I started out with 12 lenders at the beginning of the year and I am down to 1 with very difficult terms to qualify..."

Wow. THis is not, of course, the end, but a serious road block. I am sorry to those of you still following this as I am to everyone who is emotionally and professionally invested in it on my end. This is really bad news.

Any and all advice is welcome.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I am sick of this.


I got my loan application in two weeks ago. I have another 2 weeks to one month to wait. SO DONE WIATING. I love this project and I want to start NOOOOW. Of course, its the rainy season, so thats impracticable, but I am so excited by this, its hard to wait.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The loan application is complete. Its in someone else's hands right now.

Bad timing in terms of credit, perhaps, but Ben Bernake seems to think that giving people free money is a good idea. Maybe if I pretend to be a major lender who was remiss in my own risk analysis, I can get free money too.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We are getting closer. James from Costa Rica Mortgage has all the official documents. I have a handful of things to send him and then....then maybe we get the green light.

In other interesting news, the price of steel has fallen 9 % as the auto and building industries worldwide prepare for economic slowdown. Good for me? Lets hope. Stell is expensive.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Breaking. Ground.

Savor those words.

They are two of my favorites:

From Guillermo
"The contractors were finalizing some docs. on the Nicoya municipality as well, we are breaking ground
this week. I am almost 100% that tomorrow it will be taking place."

Also, let me again on line extend my gratitude to DatumZero for their support. Guillermo has been instrumental, in getting all my foreign tax and real estate documents together for my maddening loan applicaiton. Let me put this more bluntly---He saved my ass. No way I could have done that. The man went to the municipality and paid my taxes for me. Lets look at that again- piad my taxes for me. This, I cannot do from Palo Alto.

Also, a big shout out to James Johnson at Costa Rica Mortgage. After months of a maddening loan application process, James just picked up the phone and walked me through everything. He gave me recommendations and tips, streamlined the process. He was great. I think I will get the loan soon, largely thanks to his handling.
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