Our CONDO NIGHTMARE in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico told in pictures and words.
Last year we were swindled by developer/builder, Jose Francisco Sanchez Ramirez (Joe Sanchez) and we were failed by Wayne Franklin, Maria Elizabeth O'Connor and Warren Brander of TROPICASA REALTY.
Here's what happened to us in a nutshell...
- we signed a purchase agreement to buy a condo from Joe Sanchez.
- we took possession of the condo and lived there 6 weeks
- he locked us out of our home
- he has our money and our possessions now for nearly 702 days and counting
IMAGINE how difficult your lives would be if someone locked you out of your home, took all your possessions and kept hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money for over one year to date.
WE HAVE CREATED THIS SITE BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE. PLEASE SHARE.
Here is our story
We are David Troy Francis and Michael Boustead. We are happily married and have been together for 25 years.
David is a classical pianist with 9 CD recordings and is composer/creator of the musical BARK! He has played piano for 58 of his 66 years.
Michael worked in the film/tv industry as a music editor. Credits include the Pursuit of Happyness, Remember The Titans, The Princess Diaries, Armageddon and others.
We met in Los Angeles in 1994 and remained there through 2009.
We then moved to Key West, Florida for one year...
...got married and settled in Asheville, North Carolina, in late 2010 with our dogs Effie and Massimo!
We visited Puerto Vallarta for the first time in February 2017 and fell in love with the city.
We hired Warren Brander of Tropicasa Realty as our as our real estate agent.
We chose Tropicasa and Warren Brander because we wanted a well-known company and realtor who had a history of working with the gay community.
Warren Brander showed us a number of homes but none seemed right for us.
He then suggested we look at an unfinished project called The Summit Eco Townhomes by builder Joe Sanchez, one of Tropicasa's developers. The penthouse (Casa 8) was available and Tropicasa represented both the buyer and seller.
So, on February 18, 2017, we drove up Calle Allende in the neighborhood of 5 de Diciembre, Puerto Vallarta, walked into The Summit Eco Townhouses & Sky Terrace, Casa 8...
and were stunned by this view!
We loved Casa 8, which covered the top two floors of The Summit complex. We were the first people to buy a condo in The Summit and we were concerned about committing to a project while in construction and had a discussion about Joe Sanchez with both our realtor and Wayne Franklin, owner of Tropicasa Realty. They assured us that he was well known in the community, a honest developer, and that we would have no problems.
In return for being the first buyers on this new project, we received a discount of approximately 12% on the listed purchase price of $312,000 along with the requirement that we pay 50% down and 30% more over the next few months.
Shortly thereafter we signed a purchase contract prepared by Tropicasa Realty.
May 2, 2017
Michael with his sister, Sarah, visited Puerto Vallarta to check on the progress of the new home and make design decisions. We met with Joe Sanchez and Warren Brander at the Summit.
We asked Joe Sanchez to make specific design changes to our condo including wrapping the patio all the way around the two exposed sides, removing an interior wall, marble countertops, better appliances, etc. We paid an additional $21,748.21 to Mr. Sanchez for these changes on September 15, 2017.
The contract specified that the condo was to be completed sometime between Sept 1 and Sept 30 of 2017, so we got ready, securing a resident visa for David and a resident visa for Michael from the Consulate of Mexico in Atlanta. We started packing in anticipation of our move!
We packed 142 itemized boxes and registered them with the Consulate per Mexican law. The moving company transferred them to the truck and left on September 22, 2017.
We flew on Delta with our two dogs (Effie and Massimo) arriving to Puerto Vallarta on September 25th. We had arranged an airbnb rental until the extended contractural date for us to take possession on October 6, 2017.
HOLA! PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO
The condo looked eerily similar to when Michael and his sister Sarah visited in May, except there were some kitchen cabinets and a stairway to the lower level. 4 months and so little progress?
there were no sinks, no showers, no toilets, no water...
no hardware, no countertops, no lighting, no faucets, no vanities
no closets, no electrical outlets, no appliances, no showers, no railings....
no upgrades, no doors...did I say no railings ON THE BALCONY?
What the f**k, Warren Brander? Why didn't you tell us our home was not ready BEFORE we moved?
BOTH TROPICASA AND Warren Brander received THEIR $20,000 plus commission upon signing of the purchase contract.
One week came and went and Joe Sanchez still had not completed our condo. David asked him what would be the absolutely last date he would need to finish the condo to be ready for occupancy.
"Can you guys give me three more weeks?" Joe Sanchez asked.
So, with frustration, we rented another Airbnb at a cost of a few thousand dollars. Sanchez promised to reimburse these rental expenses or provide a work credit. He has done neither.
Hey guys, take note...
Warren Brander AND WAYNE FRANKLIN OF TROPICASA FAILED to acquire a contract extension for the again delayed closing.
In fact, Tropicasa Realty nor Warren Brander EVER again extended our purchase contract despite his fiduciary duty to protect us and despite Joe Sanchez still not having the necessary Government permit to actually close.
WHILE WE WAITED FOR THE WORK ON THE CONDO TO FINISH, WE KEPT OURSELVES OCCUPIED BY TAKING A SPANISH COURSE. WE ALSO BOUGHT A CAR & MOPED, ORDERED FURNITURE, EXPLORED PUERTO VALLARTA, SHOPPED, OPENED A CHECKING ACCOUNT AND MADE FRIENDS.
October 30th, 2017
With written permission from Joe Sanchez, we took possession of Casa 8 even though much work remained to be done.
Joe Sanchez FAILED to secure the condo regime (a permit from the Mexican government necessary to close). Tropicasa informed us we would close when he finally received this permit.
We spoke with Warren Brander and was assured this was common practice in Puerto Vallarta.
Once inside the condo, we began making it our home. We ordered furniture to fit the space, custom lighting, automatic shades, kitchen & bathroom hardware, a 4 foot wide refrigerator, and more at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars.
Work continued all around us. Furniture and appliances delivered. Friends and family came to visit. Our dogs, Effie and Massimo settled in.
Here is how our house took shape in the 6 weeks living there...
Our home was really turning into something beautiful!
The next morning on December 8, Michael found the electric meter and discovered a switch had been thrown. He turned it back on and we again had electricity.
Ten minutes later our electricity again was cut off. Michael went back downstairs to the breaker box and discovered Sanchez and his electrician putting a lock on the breaker box. Michael asked him why he would do that. Sanchez stated that he would be 'fined' by the electric company if he left it on. That was false.
Sanchez shut the power off and locked the meter.
Within 20 minutes, our water was also cut off.
We called Tropicasa and Warren Brander and were informed they did not know what was going on.
That evening, Michael called our next door neighbor, to ask if he could take a shower. David went to Walmart to buy flashlights and candles so we could have some light during the evening.
While we were out of our home, Warren Brander called us. He was very sorry, but he said...
"Joe Sanchez has locked you out of your home and instructed the security guard to not allow you back inside."
We called the police and we met them outside The Summit. The police told us they would knock down the gates in order for us to return home. Other police arrived and changed that decision.
Mr. Sanchez would not allow anyone including the police to go inside.
Our beloved dogs were inside our condo without the ability to eat, urinate or defecate for almost 20 hours. Mike and I were without our medications including those we are required to take daily. We were outside until after midnight.
We want to say this again: JOE SANCHEZ WOULD NOT ALLOW ANYONE INSIDE OUR CONDO TO RETRIEVE OUR DOGS or OUR MEDICATIONS for 20 hours! David has had a triple bypass and serious cancer. What kind of a man does this?
Our next door neighbor allowed us to stay inside her home next door to the Summit that night as we had nowhere to go. We stayed there for the next three weeks. We did not sleep that night.
The next day, Warren Brander was allowed to go inside our condo for 20 minutes to retrieve our dogs, some of our medicines, and some other items.
Mr. Sanchez has NEVER allowed us inside our home again.
Mr. Sanchez begin trying to sell our condo to other people even though it was still under contract to us!
His asking price was $100,000 more than we paid. We know this from the first-hand experience of clients from another realtor.
Joe Sanchez knew that our piano was very valuable to us, so in an attempt to bully us, he directed that the windows and doors of our condo be thrown open for days and nights on end severely damaging it from the humidity and the exposure.
We hired well known attorneys from Guadalajara. They and their firm are known for their work in social justice, honesty and winning their cases.
We filed a criminal complaint.
WAYNE FRANKLIN, OWNER, TROPICASA REALTY
WAYNE FRANKLIN never once called or communicated with us proactively ever. He continued to represent and Joe Sanchez and sell The Summit, Eco Townhomes & Sky Terrace for at least 6 months.
WARREN BRANDER, REALTOR
Immediately after we were locked out, Warren Brander told us he no longer wished to be associated with Joe Sanchez and removed his own name from Sanchez's listings. Much to our dismay, he now chooses to again be the listing agent for The Summit 2.0 pre-selling Sanchez's un-built condos.
We cannot believe that any realtor who was witness to and aware of this entire episode, would choose to represent that same developer again and sell his properties to other unsuspecting buyers.
We find Mr. Brander's choice reprehensible and unethical. As a member of AMPI Vallarta he should know better.
WHERE'S OUR STUFF?
Mr. Sanchez without our knowledge, stole all of our possessions and removed them from our condo. We have no idea where they are or if he has sold, dumped or trashed them.
We have receipts for a partial listing of those possessions which totals over $125,000.
Without notice or our permission, Joe Sanchez was moving our piano. We called the police and took these photos.
After we worked our entire lives to afford this quality instrument...
Joe Sanchez moved the piano without removing the legs causing thousands of dollars of damage including cracking two legs, a huge dent on the side, damaging the interior working parts, causing the brass fittings to be ripped out...
At the first hearing, a settlement conference was held, Joe Sanchez first apologized to us. Then he began blaming Tropicasa for his actions. He showed to us and our attorneys an email from Tropicasa's attorney, Maria Elizabeth O'Conner (@tropicasa.com) in which she says:
"since you already have 80% of their money, just lock them out on the street." (sic)
THIS EMAIL WAS DATED BEFORE WE WERE THROWN OUT WHICH MEANS THAT TROPICASA KNEW IN ADVANCE WHAT JOE SANCHEZ WAS GOING TO DO AND FAILED TO INFORM OR PROTECT US.
Is this how you would expect your broker and his attorney to represent you in a real estate purchase?
Mr. Sanchez's offer to settle was insulting and we did not come to an agreement.
TROPICASA REALTY. . . YOUR SECURITY THROUGH OUR EXPERIENCE . . . ?
For over one year and two months, JOE Sanchez has our money and our possessions.
Jose Francisco Sanchez Ramirez
With the knowledge of Tropicasa and despite the fact we had honored every clause in our purchase contract, builder and developer, Joe Sanchez, without notice or justification, turned off the electricity and water in our home, locked us out on December 8, 2017, kept all our money and subsequently stole our possessions.
Joe Sanchez refused us and the police access to our two dogs or the medications. He still has our money. He stole our possessions and we have no idea if he has sold them, destroyed them or thrown them away. Joe Sanchez removed our beloved piano and dumped it unattended in an empty parking lot causing thousands of damage. He is currently selling unconstructed condos named The Summit 2.0 through Warren Brander at:
BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS buying from JOE SANCHEZ, DEVELOPER/OWNER OF SUMMIT 2.0
Tropicasa Realty FAILED to protect us contractually and FAILED to extend the purchase agreement from October 6 until December 11th when the closing was scheduled.
- Tropicasa's legal counsel Maria Elizabeth O'Connor sent an email to Joe Sanchez telling him to lock us out because he already had over 80% of our money
- Tropicasa sent that email before Joe Sanchez locked us out and never felt any obligation to inform or warn us
- Tropicasa must have known that Joe Sanchez was prevented to sell our condo because Tropicasa was the listing broker on the Summit
- despite everything, Tropicasa continued to be the listing agent for The Summit for at least 6 months
BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS using WAYNE FRANKLIN and TROPICASA REALTY
Warren Brander FAILED to protect us contractually. He now chooses to again represent Joe Sanchez and sell his un-finished properties.
Warren Brander kept his commission on our never closed condo despite Joe Sanchez locking us out.