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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #349: April 4-9, 2011

Internet WOES!!!!!!!!!

Internet WOES!!!!!!!!!

Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have resales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

More and more, the content will be dominated by events of our new project, "El Dorado" for short. While the future is always uncertain, I again aim to tell it like it happens -the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what follows.

Brian Timmons
DEVELOPER:
Residencias Los Jardines / http://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Hacienda El Dorado / http://www.eldoradocostarica.com
E-mail: brian@eldoradocostarica.com / info@residenciaslosjardines.com

 

Construction Log
Updates about Hacienda El Dorado

Rio Oro:  We've reviewed a rough draft of the spreadsheet. We added and deleted a few things and revised some assumptions. A revised edition is being put together now. There were no surprises. Actually, I was very surprised, and pleased that the numbers came out very close to what I was expecting.

 

Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Drains: we've just reached the bottom of the 2nd. absorption pit. We had to remove the rocks by hand since tractor access was none existent. It was a long and hard and very dirty, messy job. The problem in this pit was / is different than in the first but the net effect is the same. We'll reconstruct this one.

Internet Woes: Our system started experiencing problems several days before we saw a pattern. Various people were having problems connecting. We dealt with each one separately until we saw the pattern and then the whole system failed. We brought in our trusted connectivity guy --Jorge Camacho-- who spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday problem solving. He check connections, cables, our routers and switchers --changed each, re-configured and re-configured and we kept getting the same effect-- we're up and running for 15 min. and then the signal fades. We've now replaced all our equipment back to the AMNET modem. After eight calls today, they say they are coming on Monday to replace it. We'll see if they do; we'll then see if that is in fact the source of our problems. In the meantime, those of us dependent on Internet, will have to go to Internet cafes (from where I'm writing this) or go through the Internet DTs.

Market Activity: Not much this week -either rentals or sales.

Treasurer Resigns: A call has gone out for volunteers --two positions open-- Treasurer and the Fiscal. The meeting date has been called assuming it won't be canceled for lack of interest.

FOR SALE:

Unit 106A: $155,000   See unit
Unit 107: $250,000 Lowered from $250,000 to $240,000 Owner Financing Available See unit
Unit 115: $205,000   See unit
Unit 125: $160,000 Owner Financing Available See unit

FOR RENT:

Unit 108: $1,650 mo. Immediate -April & May See unit
Unit 109: $1,600 mo. April 13-Nov. 30 (flexible) See unit
Unit 113: $1,550 mo. April 1 See unit
Unit 114: $1,750 mo. June 1 (flexible) up to a year. See unit
Unit 121: $1,650 mo. Immediate See unit
Unit 124: $1,000 mo May 1 See unit

 

Site Plan

 

UNIT #106A:
For Sale $155,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Apartment
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5" concrete slab prevent sound transference.

 

UNIT #107:
For Sale lowered from $250,000 to $240,000

Owner Financing Available

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1716
Total area (Sq M): 158
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes   

This 1,716 sf. (plus parking for one car) two story, detached house, with three terraces, two bedrooms (one on each floor) and upstairs master suite is a beautiful home. This home consists of two VERY large bedrooms (one on each floor) with en-suite bathrooms and a powder room, each with large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and ground floor bedroom ceilings as well as the master bedroom on the 2nd floor, provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are three TVs (one in each bedroom and one in the living room.) This is a beautiful home. There is a rough-in for a dishwasher in the kitchen area.

 

UNIT #115:
For Sale $205,000 

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1345
Total area (Sq M): 124
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,345 sf single floor home includes a 200 sf private terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6" solid concrete block wall which prevents sound transfer. This is an extremely well decorated home with lots of natural wood built ins.

 

UNIT #125:
For Sale $160,000

Owner Financing Available

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + parking for one car and 33sf locker is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple-or investment property.

HOUSES FOR RENT

UNIT #108
FOR RENT $1,650 mo.

Immediate - April & May

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1716
Total area (Sq M): 158
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,716 sf. (plus parking space for one car) two storey, detached house, with two terraces, two bedrooms (one on each floor) and an upstairs master suite is a beautiful home.

This home consists of two VERY large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms (one on each floor) and a powder room each with closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and ground floor bedroom ceilings as well as the master bedroom on the 2nd floor provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system.

 

UNIT #109
FOR RENT $1,600 mo.
April 13-Nov. 30 (flexible)

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1506
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This single story home (1506 sf. + parking for one car) is detached, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, home office, living room wall / entertainment center along with a built in office and a semi-private terrace. In addition, it has a vaulted ceiling in the “great” room and two skylights. The covered entrance way is suitable for two chairs located next to a covered garden area. Once through the impressive front door, you enter the “great room” which houses the kitchen, dining room, office and living room. Upon entering, there is a built in wooden hutch surfaced with granite—it matches all the built-in furniture in the great room. There is a clothes washer and dryer off the 2nd bedroom. The owners have added many personal touches and have done a supurb job in decodrating the home.

 

UNIT #113
FOR RENT $1,550 mo.

April 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total Area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer. The three other sides allow light, ventilation and garden views.

 

UNIT #114
FOR RENT $1,750 mo.

June 1 (flexible) up to a year

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 2 bedroom/2bathroom, 1,290 sf single floor end unit home includes a 150 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. This house is fully air conditioned and has recently been professionally decorated by international decorator Alcides Graffe and has undergone a complete renovation —new modern furniture, finishings, window coverings, and art work by Carlos Gambino. It is arguably the nicest furnished unit at Residencias Los Jardines and only steps from the pool.

 

UNIT #121
FOR RENT $1,650 mo.

Immediate

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1423
Total area (Sq M): 131
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This two story, detached 1,423 sf home + parking for one car has two bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms and a 2nd. floor covered terrace.

The open railed wrought iron cement stair case leads to the 2nd. level where the master bedroom with en-suite master bathroom as well as 2nd. bedroom and en-suite bathroom are located. Also accessed from the 2nd. floor hallway is the covered terrace.

This is a very nicely furnished home with a good floor plan for those wanting two floors.

 

UNIT #124
FOR RENT $1,000 mo.

May 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.



 

 

Our Lives

WEATHER: The change in seasons is coming --lots of overcast but no rains yet.

Friends Leaving: Anther set of friends leaves next week.

Lita and the Budgie: He's sick and may not make it but she's giving it her priority nursing program... lots of TLC, sugar water, warmth, etc. Let's hope he pulls though. He's the last of 5 and has been a meanie to the others. We'll see.

Smart Traffic Lights: A parable explaining CR (in my mind): The following is a news story I read. It probably won't be referenced in this weeks newsletter links. To me, this explains what CR is really like... many may not see the humor or the meaning I see but I really felt is captured the essence of life here -- I'll explain after the story:

Intelligent Traffic Light System In Mothballs For Lack Of Funds

Here is an interesting topic conversatio by the water cooler or the local watering hole today and to no one's surprise, the electronic and communication systems of intelligent traffic lights has been of service for two years, through lack of resources (money) by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT).

The situation affected computer equipment, programs (software), messaging screens, surveillance cameras and fibre optic system necessary for the interconnection of intelligent traffic lights in the capital.

Junior Araya, director of Traffic Engineering at the MOPT, acknowledged that the last maintenance contract for equipment was at the end of 2008.

Araya explained that the money budgeted for the maintenance of the equipment for the years 2009 and 2010 was used for the implementation of the reforms of the traffic law.

On Wednesday, 28 months after lack of maintenance, the Contraloría General de la República (Comptroller's office) approved a new contract to a Mexican consortium that will be responsible for maintaining these systems.

The intelligent traffic light system was installed in San José in 2007, making its debut on November 26, 2007, when a coordinated system allowed a coordinate traffic flow and electronic billboards warning of problems on the road.

Within months of inauguration, the system began to fail and by the end of 2008 it was completely non operational.

The benefits of a working system is estimated at a savings of us$3 million dollars a year in time and fuel that is wasted in traffic congestion.

My comments: I'm sure someone spent lots of money studying "intelligent" traffic lights and wrote many reports which were talked through endlessly and a contract was eventaully let for X number of lights along with a computer, software, and some hardware and what looks to be a 6 mo. mtnc. or guarantee along with the original contract. No thought seems to have been given to maintaining the system, or funding or expanding it.... just looking within the box and not beyond. Six months was up, the funds ran out, the system started falling apart, what money was available was spent elsewhere and the traffic law --now in it's 3rd + iteration-- has been in limbo for years now, and the lights sit there, useless for their intended purpose. As an additional note, I read about a year ago, there were only 6 people in all of CR dedicated to maintaining ALL the streetlights in the country. And we wonder why our Internet doesn't work as we want...

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies - Chico and Chica

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Costa Rica:
Cell: (506) 8-455-59-35
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