Monday, September 22, 2008

Information please...

The near collapse and subsequent U.S. government bailouts of some of the biggest financials players in the world today will affect all of us in some way or another whether it's our investment portfolios or our investment properties. And today we learn from The Construction Coach - not Replay or Loreto Bay Company - that times are only going to get tougher in regards to our investment in the Villages of Loreto Bay.

Things do not look good.

Citigroup is pulling out and has listed the project for sale. However, Replay appears to be in it for the long haul, which according to TCC is good news for all of us.

In TCC's monthly update (which all homeowners using their services should have received via e-mail today) Bill Doyle calls for calm and patience. It's hard to disagree with that advice, but the real problem here is that it's TCC giving us this bad news and not Replay.

Homeowners are getting panicky, but not without good reason. Will potential home buyers even be able to get financing? How about those who've already signed on the dotted line? And what of the financial investment many of us have already made?

We just don't know yet.

Bill is right that we should all take a deep breath and look at the project long-term. He's right that Replay has revitalized and refocused the project.

What we're not so sure he's right about is his call for homeowner investors to back off and "let Replay and LBC do what they have to do."

"Every time they have to stop what they are doing to answer e-mails, phone calls, long demanding letters, or threats of lawsuits, it distracts from the focus of getting the project back on track."

While we agree with that advice in spirit, we do not agree in practice. The problem all along has been that we have not been able to get information - on even the simplest matter - from LBC. This lack of communication has been incredibly frustrating for many of us. If communication between Replay/LBC and homeowners was better there wouldn't be so many "distractions" for Replay.

As homeowner investors, we need information in order to make informed decisions and LBC/Replay hasn't and isn't providing us with that information.

George and I genuinely appreciate Bill Doyle giving us this information. It couldn't have been easy to write this latest update and we admire him, his wife and partners for delivering this bad news and encouraging us all to hang in there.

But Replay should have been the bearer of these bad tidings, not TCC.

If Replay wants our continued support and financial investment then THEY need to invest in us by providing us with honest, up-to-date information - the good, the bad and the ugly.

We, along with many others, have sunk a big chunk of change in this project, and we deserve to be better informed. We need reassurance that our investment is secure and we need that reassurance from those in charge of the project. As investors we should be demanding this.

One option that just might work would be to have a homeowner liaison, or multiples of such, to aid in the flow of information from Replay to homeowners. Any comments?

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