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remodel, my wife walked through the house with Cesar a couple times, noting
what she wanted done. They went to supply stores and ordered tiles, fixtures,
and paint. He gave us an estimate, we negotiated the price, and I prepared a
contract that included a per-day penalty if the job was not completed on time.
I gave him four months to complete the job and he took three. After paying
one-third down, we departed for our home in Yelm, WA.
Every other week he sent pictures via the Internet showing the progress. We
sent another one-third of the payment via a cashier's check two months after
he started, and the final payment after I inspected the job and gave the final
approval. When we arrived on site, the job was perfect and so clean we moved
in the same day.
During 2003, Cesar built a new house for us in El Dorado neighborhood. He
started it in May and it was finished completely in November. He did the job
while we were gone and sent pictures via the Internet again. He asked us to
come to Mazatlán two weeks prior to the scheduled date of completion and
stay in the house so that any adjustments could be made prior to his turning
the house over to us. The job was completed on time and better than we
expected--and we had very high expectations!
He is part of a family firm, Realtymex, on Camarón Sábalo in the Golden
Zone. He can be reached at 914-4001.
Santiago Leon Lorda: Another recommendation from my friend, Henry
Laxen, who offered the following: "Santiago Leon Lorda is called Chago, and
was born in Mazatlán and educated in Mexico City, but returned home and has
been building quality homes for over 25 years. If there is one thing that makes
Chago different, it is his attention to detail. It is easy to tell a Chago house,
because in addition to a pleasing visual design, there is an absence of the little
problems that drive homeowners crazy. He also stands behind his work and
will fix problems that crop up months after the owner has moved into the
property. He can be contacted at his office, at 916-552, his home, 913-8942, or
via email,"
I feel an obligation to provide a word of caution about your vacation home.
Many real estate agents will try to convince you to buy a home by saying that
you can rent it out when you are not using it and the rent will make your house
payments. The problem is that generally you want to use the home to get away
from those cold North Dakota winters. Well, the renters also want to get away
from those Manitoba snowstorms. So unless you only want to live in the home
a month or so in the winter, or prefer to be in Mazatlán from June through
October, I don't think you will be able to make your payments by renting your
Char les A. Hall