Our Loreto Bay Adventure Hits Some Bumps

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Great views from our tower. I hope they will still be there after the construction is done. I like to look at this photo when I get a little frustrated with construction issues.

I’m back from a 3-city government solutions tour. It was energizing to see the potential for Adobe solutions to improve the way citizen services are delivered.

This morning, I was finally able to spend some time reviewing the slew of emails between Clint and Loreto Bay regarding several critical issues in the areas of construction, their milestone calculations and billing practices.

Usually, I like to work on Loreto Bay stuff, but this week, I am glad Clint took it on. In all projects, there will be times of conflict. I had struggled with several last year and earlier this year – trying to maintain a positive attitude. Unfortunately, I was at my wit’s end when a particular Loreto Bay email came in earlier this week and it is at these points when I am grateful to have a spouse to take the helm. Dear readers, we have unfortunately hit a bump in our adventure to vacation home bliss.

I refuse to spend my precious time this weekend (I leave on a red-eye back to Chicago on Sunday night) being angry. So instead, I’d like to share some constructive suggestions for those of you on your own journeys. Please do send me yours!

1. Make sure to keep records of all communication with Loreto Bay.
I don’t mean just all your contracts, but also your emails and if you had a phone conversation where items were discussed and resolutions decided upon, send an email confirmation to Loreto Bay detailing it.

2. Quality check milestone progress.
The new milestone billing schedule is front-end loaded. It is what it is, but do make sure when you are billed for a milestone that the items associated with the milestone are completed per the plans you signed off on. Either fly down to check, hire TCC Loreto or get your account manager to take photo proof of the milestones being met. You want to catch major issues quickly as by the end, when you only have a small percentage payment left, you are in a position of little recourse.

3. You are the customer and homeowner.
Remember, you are investing a lot in your home and if you are uncomfortable with something, speak up. It is great that Beck and Replay are making incredible progress on the homes. But it should not be at the expense of keeping commitments on options and plan details that you contractually agreed. Also, the change of ownership is not a legitimate excuse to change the rules. You need to make sure you are getting the product as originally described by the builder. Be reasonable, but be firm.

4. Keep the end in mind.
It is important to care about the details, but don’t loose sight of the forest. In the end, keep in mind that when all the issues are resolved, you will one day be looking out into the Sea of Cortez with great friends and excellent Mojitos.

With those thoughts I leave you with some photos our account manager sent over. She is great even with all the issues we have right now with Loreto Bay. I hope we get through this phase soon.

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Our home. You can see the iron work on the juliet balcony. The hi-guy is still not in place.

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Looking into the courtyard from the front entrance.

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Kitchen. All the walls have been smoothed out. There is a missing electrical outlet in the pantry…don’t know when they are going to have to rip through the walls to put it in. The home theatre and audio conduits are also not in place yet.

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Looking out the juliet balcony.

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Our first floor bedroom. The air conditioning unit is still not in the location per the plans we signed or the new “revised” plans they just sent. Currently it is right next to where the bed will be and the draft will be unpleasant.

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The stairs to the tower. Nice looking railings although I do expect there will be end pieces to the railings like the homes in Founder’s Neighborhood that Clint and I toured when we decided to purchase.

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Looking down from the tower into the courtyard.

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Looking onto the terrace from the tower.

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Iron detailing. Nice to see this feature still in place from the original watercolors we saw of Nueva Chica.

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  • George Russell

    <p>Thanks for your suggestions. I am a Realtor and I know building can be an ordeal. Its even worse trying to oversee things from a distance. <br /> How did TCC figure in the picture? Did they pick up on these deficencies and will they be able to get them fixed correctly by LB? What were some of the issues you had to contend with?<br /> Our first floor walls have just been erected, so any assistance with what to look for would be appreciated. We have not heard a word from our account manager for almost 6 weeks. Her response to us thoughtout this process has been less than stellar. She did not even contact us to let us know construction had begun. TCC did that. Thanks to them!! Your account manager seems to be doing a much better job of customer service. That's great!</p>

  • Loni Kao Stark

    <p>Hi George – TCC did pick up most of the issues in their CDC report. Their monthly report service does not point out any discrepencies. For example, we had a missing window in our great room that did not show up in the monthly updates, however, in the CDC report you get your plan with red comments on it showing discrepencies between signed plan and actual. </p> <p>As for getting the issues resolved, I do know TCC had a meeting with Loreto Bay to point out the issues in June, however, LB have yet to address the issues in what is actually built. </p> <p>We are still going through this frustrating process. In the meantime we get bills with late fees on it for non-payment of milestones which LB has not adequately completed. </p> <p>Our account manager was not reponsive in our earlier encounters until we escalated the issue. She has since improved greatly. However, there is still a pattern of not addressing issues until they want payment, then there is a mad scramble where you need to explain all the issues again to them. Amusing the first time, not so after going through this pattern for the fifth time.</p> <p>I just spent the last couple of hours compiling another email to a bunch of Loreto Bay folks outlining the issues again. </p> <p>Congratulations on your wall being erected! I noticed that on your blog. At this point just make sure you have signed off options/plans and windows/doors are in the right place. You don't want to miss one of these and then find a critical pipe going through where an opening should be. Also, find out what the thickness of perform walls for your different walls are. They seem to vary between exterior and interior walls. This latter point is just so you as a homeowner know what you are getting. It took us several months to get the answer to this – don't ask us why, we do not know why it was so difficult.</p> <p>Sorry if this post sounds a little negative. Clint and I generally like to stay positive but we would feel we weren't being genuine and credible on this blog if we didn't communicate the bad with the good.</p>

  • George Russell

    Thanks for your suggestions. I am a Realtor and I know building can be an ordeal. Its even worse trying to oversee things from a distance.
    How did TCC figure in the picture? Did they pick up on these deficencies and will they be able to get them fixed correctly by LB? What were some of the issues you had to contend with?
    Our first floor walls have just been erected, so any assistance with what to look for would be appreciated. We have not heard a word from our account manager for almost 6 weeks. Her response to us thoughtout this process has been less than stellar. She did not even contact us to let us know construction had begun. TCC did that. Thanks to them!! Your account manager seems to be doing a much better job of customer service. That’s great!

  • George Russell

    Thanks for your suggestions. I am a Realtor and I know building can be an ordeal. Its even worse trying to oversee things from a distance.
    How did TCC figure in the picture? Did they pick up on these deficencies and will they be able to get them fixed correctly by LB? What were some of the issues you had to contend with?
    Our first floor walls have just been erected, so any assistance with what to look for would be appreciated. We have not heard a word from our account manager for almost 6 weeks. Her response to us thoughtout this process has been less than stellar. She did not even contact us to let us know construction had begun. TCC did that. Thanks to them!! Your account manager seems to be doing a much better job of customer service. That’s great!

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Hi George – TCC did pick up most of the issues in their CDC report. Their monthly report service does not point out any discrepencies. For example, we had a missing window in our great room that did not show up in the monthly updates, however, in the CDC report you get your plan with red comments on it showing discrepencies between signed plan and actual.

    As for getting the issues resolved, I do know TCC had a meeting with Loreto Bay to point out the issues in June, however, LB have yet to address the issues in what is actually built.

    We are still going through this frustrating process. In the meantime we get bills with late fees on it for non-payment of milestones which LB has not adequately completed.

    Our account manager was not reponsive in our earlier encounters until we escalated the issue. She has since improved greatly. However, there is still a pattern of not addressing issues until they want payment, then there is a mad scramble where you need to explain all the issues again to them. Amusing the first time, not so after going through this pattern for the fifth time.

    I just spent the last couple of hours compiling another email to a bunch of Loreto Bay folks outlining the issues again.

    Congratulations on your wall being erected! I noticed that on your blog. At this point just make sure you have signed off options/plans and windows/doors are in the right place. You don’t want to miss one of these and then find a critical pipe going through where an opening should be. Also, find out what the thickness of perform walls for your different walls are. They seem to vary between exterior and interior walls. This latter point is just so you as a homeowner know what you are getting. It took us several months to get the answer to this – don’t ask us why, we do not know why it was so difficult.

    Sorry if this post sounds a little negative. Clint and I generally like to stay positive but we would feel we weren’t being genuine and credible on this blog if we didn’t communicate the bad with the good.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Hi George – TCC did pick up most of the issues in their CDC report. Their monthly report service does not point out any discrepencies. For example, we had a missing window in our great room that did not show up in the monthly updates, however, in the CDC report you get your plan with red comments on it showing discrepencies between signed plan and actual.

    As for getting the issues resolved, I do know TCC had a meeting with Loreto Bay to point out the issues in June, however, LB have yet to address the issues in what is actually built.

    We are still going through this frustrating process. In the meantime we get bills with late fees on it for non-payment of milestones which LB has not adequately completed.

    Our account manager was not reponsive in our earlier encounters until we escalated the issue. She has since improved greatly. However, there is still a pattern of not addressing issues until they want payment, then there is a mad scramble where you need to explain all the issues again to them. Amusing the first time, not so after going through this pattern for the fifth time.

    I just spent the last couple of hours compiling another email to a bunch of Loreto Bay folks outlining the issues again.

    Congratulations on your wall being erected! I noticed that on your blog. At this point just make sure you have signed off options/plans and windows/doors are in the right place. You don’t want to miss one of these and then find a critical pipe going through where an opening should be. Also, find out what the thickness of perform walls for your different walls are. They seem to vary between exterior and interior walls. This latter point is just so you as a homeowner know what you are getting. It took us several months to get the answer to this – don’t ask us why, we do not know why it was so difficult.

    Sorry if this post sounds a little negative. Clint and I generally like to stay positive but we would feel we weren’t being genuine and credible on this blog if we didn’t communicate the bad with the good.