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Our Home at Loreto Bay

In early November 2009 we moved from Seattle to our "new" home at Loreto Bay. It had been almost five years since we first came down to look at the new development that promised a chance to live fully, while treading lightly, in this exciting part of the world. During that time this page has chronicled decisions and revelations about our house and the community. It began as a stop for our friends and relatives, but we found that we were getting questions from lots of people who were thinking about buying. If you have questions or comments, there are mail links above and below. (On this page the newest info is presented at the top, but first-time visitors will find basic information about the project and the area later on. Pictures may be bigger than they look. Right-click and your browser may let you open them full-size.)

A new look for our communal courtyard.
Loreto Bay has passed through some dark times in the last couple of years, as the original development stalled, an ambitious rethinking was halted, its then-biggest investor found itself in the line for bailouts, and contractual issues tied up the work on many homes that had already been started. The three biggest structures are empty and half-finished, but signs of life on the grass-roots level are beginning to appear.

Though most of the houses are free-standing, the entire development is subject to a condominium regime -- actually a couple of layers, due possibly to a limit on the number of units in an association. Late winter is the season for homeowners' meetings, and these tiny democracies (the big investor still holds the majority of votes in a lot of areas) have been taking up the business of putting together our little community.

A goat-rancher's view of the Founders Neighborhood.

Our particular sub-regime has had a lot of landscaping issues to deal with. This year, finding ourselves with a little money left over, and then assessing ourselves for a little more, we got around to upgrading some of the basic planting that had been done just as the developer turned the common areas over to the condominium. Shown above is the garden in our own little barrio, looking directly at our dining room window, showing the mango tree just planted there. The picture of our house at the bottom of the page is taken from just the opposite direction. For more about our house in particular, see our Newsletter Page

On a wider scale, there's now a community center on the Paseo that offers opportunities for meeting and hanging out, plus some organized events like exercise and bridge. And (originally just across the street but now further south, across from the hotel) is the small but but fully stocked general store bearing the Baja OnSite imprimatur of Evan, the former Loreto Bay IT guy.

We're still spending a lot of our time outdoors. The adjacent distant view is from one of the little hills to the west of the highway.

Some more panoramic pictures:

Other information:

  • Sea Creatures, our new blog about kayaking hereabouts. I hope eventually to link to lots of useful information like tides and weather, campsites, etc.
  • The The new Loreto Bay website. This is a bit of an update. As of the first of 2009, Replay Resorts is no longer managing the project. The new manager is Alvarez & Marsal, and the owners are looking harder than ever for a buyer.
  • Meant to help homeowners during construction and inspection, The Construction Coach also offers insight into the project as a whole. Take a look at their updates and links -- plus frequent comments at the Nopolo News
  • West Coast Mill Works, the source for cabinetry and custom furniture -- they built our two custom beds as well as our closet.
  • Local real estate listings, including houses at Loreto Bay, from Alexander Realty; and Dorado Realty. The new guys, Misión Loreto Properties, are working on a multiple listing service.
  • For current homeowners, there's My Loreto Bay, a site for news and discussion. Or, more likely now, the owner-run site Club Loreto Bay
  • There are hundreds of pictures of the town and the project on the developer's Flickr website but it has not been updated in a long time.
  • There are before-and-after pictures of their beautiful blue house by our neighbors Will and Cynthia, plus many from their other travels.
  • Peter Boddy's pjb design studio.
  • Many of the pictures that gave buyers hope early on are by pioneer Loreto Bay resident and prolific photographer Linda Angelo.
  • Where in the World is Nellie? A blog by a former Loreto Bay employee, current resident and Loreto entrepreneur. Nellie says that she's no longer updating her site, but she is occasionally tempted to return for a paragraph or two.
  • Living Loreto, a new blog by Drew McNabb, likely to provide the sort of detail that was Nellie's hallmark.
  • Watch and Learn: Lost in Loreto A long-running chronicle of the adventures, in Loreto and elsewhere, of Kelli and Robert McDill.
  • Casa del Milagro, a blog by Paula Pennell and George Russell
  • An active blog by Darlene Tait.
  • A serious and thorough 2006 critique of the project's sustainability claims from Baja Life magazine, in Acrobat format (with some beautiful pictures of the area by the way). Note that detractors are given the last word; the developers seem to have good answers for some of these questions.

Previously published information about our house in particular:

More about Baja:

It was talk about sustainability that first caught our attention , but even for us the appeal to the senses is undeniable. The following sites have general information about the area:

We also traded paving for landscaping at some point.

We are still happy with our choice to live on the main street -- it gives us a lot to look at. We may have traded some tranquility for the vistas that other houses lack, but at this point we're glad that we happened to notice this unique lot. The offset from the house next door makes this one of the few of its kind to have a window in the dining room (though it gives up a number of windows on the back side of the house). And, most of all of course, there's the disappearing exterior wall that turned a cramped little hallway into a colonnade. Here's a picture from the Paseo Misión de Loreto.

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