Our Loreto Bay home, Casa del Lagarto Azul, may have a birth date of March 6th

I’ve been writing about the construction of our little Casa del Lagarto Azul in Loreto, Baja Mexico for over two years.

For those that are going through the process, I feel a special connection to you, a shared bond. If there is one silver lining around the churn in ownership of Loreto Bay is that in this world of economic uncertainty, we have been brought closer together as a community. I do hope that the genesis of Club Loreto Bay gives us the virtual way to keep in touch for those of us not able to spend full time in Loreto.

For those that think this plot on StarkSilverCreek is just a diversion from the articles about wine, food and gadgets, I hope that my musings about a plot of dirt, Perform Wall and angst over color choices have at least amused you between glasses of wine.

January 26, 2009: An email entitled “AV 25 – CoSP” appears in my inbox from someone named Christian D—. Who was Christian in this Loreto Bay home construction play? Was he going to be making a fleeting guest appearance or be a regular figure like Jesus?

The letter welcomed us to our Agua Viva home. Attached were two documents:

  • Our Certificate of Substantial Completion (CoSP) signed by Christian (Home Delivery Coordinator), Hector (Customer Services Senior Manager), Ruben (Senior Construction Manager) and Luis (Director of Architecture). It was comforting to see that besides Christian, I had previous contact with all of the other gentlemen. This document also notified us that we had 45 days from January 26th to inspect the home.
  • The Inspection Procedure (Loreto Bay Inspection Procedure.) This document outlines the procedures of the inspection as well as ways to pay the last 5%. Prior to the inspection being conducted, one needs to have 95% of the home paid for and the procedure outlines the ways a homeowner can pay the final 5%.

About 4 hours after this CoSP email arrived, I get a notice from Adrian G— at Loreto Bay Accounts Receivable with an invoice the remaining balance up to 95% of the home being paid. It’s amazing how coordinated Loreto Bay can sometimes be.

I reviewed all our issues that evening, made a list of outstanding issues per Jesus’ suggestion in the RFI (Request for Information) template. The next day, I booked our flight for Loreto March 5-8, just in time for the 45 day limit.

I also sent a note out to Jesus, Christian, Adrian and the rest of customer service and booked our final inspection for March 6 at 11 am. This is the end date we are shooting for. If any other homeowners want to join the tour, shoot us a note at info@starkinsider.com or add a comment.

From now until March 6, I’ve asked that all issues be addressed, photo proof taken so that the 95% progress milestone fully completed and funds are released to them.

I’ve got my fingers and my toes crossed. For those that happen to be down there prior to March 5, appreciate any updates on our Casa del Lagarto Azul (AV 25) and we will be happy to return the favor when we are down in early March.

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  • Al Graichen

    The &quot;fun&quot; is just about to begin, but maybe your builder will be more attentive following your inspection on March 6. Make certain you have a lightbulb and outlet plug to test all outlets. A better option is an electrical connectivity tester which will check for &quot;ground faults&quot; as well.<br />
    <br />
    you'll need a broom handle or stick or ladder to test the smoke detectors.<br />
    <br />
    Slight irregularities in the &quot;finished&quot; walls is considered part of the charm so don't go overboard with looking for a &quot;finished look.&quot;<br />
    <br />
    Check all doors for hinges, fit and finish. If you noice carefully you may see &quot;impressions&quot; in the pavers on the floor. That's from birds and, yes, coyote, or other animal walking on the pavers when they are drying.<br />
    <br />
    Check all appliances to ensure they are working. Our ice-maker didn't work and it took months to get it fixed.<br />
    <br />
    It's important that they get working on the punch list quickly. We'll be down on the 10th and can help with some follow up if you need it.<br />
    <br />
    Al

  • Cathy Getman

    Loni and Clint, CONGRATULATIONS! I can't even imagine how excited you must be. I know I would/will be. Wish we could be there to join in the fun, but we're saving our flight $$ until there's something to be seen at AV69.<br />
    <br />
    Good Luck – and don't forget to pack that sun dress that you're going to twirl in on the patio.<br />
    <br />
    Cathy

  • Baja Barry

    I'm wondering about the voice &amp; data wiring. I didn't see this mentioned on the inspection procedure. I imagine that they'll say that Road9 must be involved, but I expect that there is diagnostic equipment that can be used to prove that the connections are all working.<br />
    <br />
    Barry

  • joseph/natalie

    Very exciting stuff wish you all the luck in the world and congratulations..hopefully will be joining you soon at AV19

  • Al Graichen

    The “fun” is just about to begin, but maybe your builder will be more attentive following your inspection on March 6. Make certain you have a lightbulb and outlet plug to test all outlets. A better option is an electrical connectivity tester which will check for “ground faults” as well.

    you’ll need a broom handle or stick or ladder to test the smoke detectors.

    Slight irregularities in the “finished” walls is considered part of the charm so don’t go overboard with looking for a “finished look.”

    Check all doors for hinges, fit and finish. If you noice carefully you may see “impressions” in the pavers on the floor. That’s from birds and, yes, coyote, or other animal walking on the pavers when they are drying.

    Check all appliances to ensure they are working. Our ice-maker didn’t work and it took months to get it fixed.

    It’s important that they get working on the punch list quickly. We’ll be down on the 10th and can help with some follow up if you need it.

    Al

    • Marsha Jackson

      Chuck is adding to Al’s list: Make sure all hinges are right side up and have all of the screws installed in all the screw holes…Also check for any cracks in the tile, particularly the shower floors..

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Thanks all for your warm wishes and great advice. Keep those suggestions on how to prepare for the big day coming. <br />
    <br />
    As always, I'll keep everyone posted.<br />
    <br />
    P.S. Cathy, I will try to twirl although I must admit, my imagination is far more agile than my limbs.

  • Cathy Getman

    Loni and Clint, CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t even imagine how excited you must be. I know I would/will be. Wish we could be there to join in the fun, but we’re saving our flight $$ until there’s something to be seen at AV69.

    Good Luck – and don’t forget to pack that sun dress that you’re going to twirl in on the patio.

    Cathy

  • Cathy Getman

    Loni and Clint, CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t even imagine how excited you must be. I know I would/will be. Wish we could be there to join in the fun, but we’re saving our flight $$ until there’s something to be seen at AV69.

    Good Luck – and don’t forget to pack that sun dress that you’re going to twirl in on the patio.

    Cathy

  • Baja Barry

    I’m wondering about the voice & data wiring. I didn’t see this mentioned on the inspection procedure. I imagine that they’ll say that Road9 must be involved, but I expect that there is diagnostic equipment that can be used to prove that the connections are all working.

    Barry

    • Marsha Jackson

      Chris Sessions just posted a picture of what he thought was Road9 cable going to AV..Do you think it is in to test???

  • Baja Barry

    I’m wondering about the voice & data wiring. I didn’t see this mentioned on the inspection procedure. I imagine that they’ll say that Road9 must be involved, but I expect that there is diagnostic equipment that can be used to prove that the connections are all working.

    Barry

    • Marsha Jackson

      Chris Sessions just posted a picture of what he thought was Road9 cable going to AV..Do you think it is in to test???

      • Baja Barry

        There are two issues, the inside wiring, which ought to be part of the inspection, IMHO, and Road9’s providing of service to the home.

  • joseph/natalie

    Very exciting stuff wish you all the luck in the world and congratulations..hopefully will be joining you soon at AV19

  • joseph/natalie

    Very exciting stuff wish you all the luck in the world and congratulations..hopefully will be joining you soon at AV19

  • Al Graichen

    The “fun” is just about to begin, but maybe your builder will be more attentive following your inspection on March 6. Make certain you have a lightbulb and outlet plug to test all outlets. A better option is an electrical connectivity tester which will check for “ground faults” as well.

    you’ll need a broom handle or stick or ladder to test the smoke detectors.

    Slight irregularities in the “finished” walls is considered part of the charm so don’t go overboard with looking for a “finished look.”

    Check all doors for hinges, fit and finish. If you noice carefully you may see “impressions” in the pavers on the floor. That’s from birds and, yes, coyote, or other animal walking on the pavers when they are drying.

    Check all appliances to ensure they are working. Our ice-maker didn’t work and it took months to get it fixed.

    It’s important that they get working on the punch list quickly. We’ll be down on the 10th and can help with some follow up if you need it.

    Al

    • Marsha Jackson

      Chuck is adding to Al’s list: Make sure all hinges are right side up and have all of the screws installed in all the screw holes…Also check for any cracks in the tile, particularly the shower floors..

  • Thanks all for your warm wishes and great advice. Keep those suggestions on how to prepare for the big day coming.

    As always, I’ll keep everyone posted.

    P.S. Cathy, I will try to twirl although I must admit, my imagination is far more agile than my limbs.

  • Thanks all for your warm wishes and great advice. Keep those suggestions on how to prepare for the big day coming.

    As always, I’ll keep everyone posted.

    P.S. Cathy, I will try to twirl although I must admit, my imagination is far more agile than my limbs.

  • Marsha Jackson

    Chuck is adding to Al's list: Make sure all hinges are right side up and have all of the screws installed in all the screw holes…Also check for any cracks in the tile, particularly the shower floors..

  • Marsha Jackson

    Chris Sessions just posted a picture of what he thought was Road9 cable going to AV..Do you think it is in to test???

  • Baja Barry

    There are two issues, the inside wiring, which ought to be part of the inspection, IMHO, and Road9's providing of service to the home.

  • Hi Bob – Good question. I spent the morning digging through different sources to compile what I think is our collective wisdom.

    You can find the content and pointers to other resources in our forums here:

    http://www.starkinsider.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=199

    I have read in several places the recommendation to do the walk-through as soon as you get your CoSP.

    After much consideration, I disagree with this opinion. Here’s why:

    – the 1 year warranty clock starts ticking from the date on your CoSP, does not matter when you schedule your walk-through as long as it is within 45 days.

    – in order to conduct your CoSP, you need to have at least 95% paid up on your home. When the CoSP is issued, if you know of major issues that need to be addressed, you don’t need to do a CoSP walk-through to reconfirm what you already know is true. Make sure the known issues are addressed, then pay up to 95% and do the CoSP walk-through.

    – the limiting factor for things getting fixed during the 1 year warranty seems to be getting it prioritized by LBC, not the actual passing of time. Here, I would imagine there is more motivation when funds are still owing than when the home is all paid for.

    Therefore, my goal is to get as close to a defect-free home by the time I do the CoSP walk through to feel. This would also be in LBC’s best interest as well since subsequent calls/visits to fix things in a warranty adds to their expenses.

    If my logic is flawed, love to hear about it.

  • Bob Kopolow

    Loni and Clint,
    Congratulations on getting your CoSP! You must be so excited!

    Is it better to do the inspection as soon as you get the CoSP or wait until the 45 day grace period is over? I’ve heard your warranty starts when you’re issued the CoSP.