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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #352: April 25-30, 2011

A SURREAL EXPERIENCE!!!

A SURREAL EXPERIENCE!!!

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 now have the final document. I'm taking those numbers and doing some further analysis. This information will be reviewed by a hedge fund analyst in Canada and may result in funding. I have three people waiting for the analysis I have yet to do.

 

Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Internet: It's been stable all week. Let's hope it stays that way.

Market Activity: We've had one Mexican executive interested in leasing and one Russian couple interested in buying. Speaking with a number of seasoned agents, the story is the same... they've never seen it so slow. Chris Howard showed his tour group through Saturday morning -one couple which is the same as he had last month. He said that at the ARCR monthly seminar where there are usually 50-80 people, there were 8. CR government may show lots of numbers which says things are better but I don't believe it -looking below the numbers and looking at some specific hotel occupancy figures and speaking with a number of people here, you can see and feel that the bloom is off the rose here.

Having said that, 106A did receive an offer which the Vendor will accept. The paperwork is being completed now. For more on this story, see "Our Lives" -A Surreal Experience". Reviewing the last month, we have sold or are in the process of doing so, 106A -sale in progress, 106B (lease w/ option to purchase), and 102 -sold- not bad for a very, very slow market.

Special Shareholders Meeting: Held; both issues were passed but there's a lot more to this story than will be told here.

 

FOR SALE:

Unit 106A: $155,000 Sale in progress  
Unit 115: $205,000   See unit

FOR RENT:

Unit 109: $1,600 mo. Immediate - Nov. 30 (flexible) See unit
Unit 113: $1,550 mo. Immediate See unit
Unit 114: $1,750 mo. June 1 (flexible) up to a year. See unit
Unit 115: $1,600 mo. Immediate See unit
Unit 121: $1,650 mo. Immediate See unit
Unit 124: $1,000 mo Immediate - December See unit

Site Plan

HOUSES FOR SALE

UNIT #115:
FOR SALE $205,000
(For Rent $1,600 mo.)

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.

 

HOUSES FOR RENT

UNIT #109
FOR RENT $1,600 mo.
Immediate - 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.

Immediate

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 #115
FOR RENT $1,600 mo.
(For Sale $205,000)

Immediate

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 #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.

Immediate - December

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: Beautiful sunny skies, warm, slight breeze, overcast mid day sometimes with light rains.

A Surreal Experience: Now I have today's surreal experience to share: It's a bit tedious but I'm trying to describe a scene which is better viewed than read...

A middle aged Russian couple with a translator viewed two of our units for sale on Wednesday. That happened by accident because I heard the US American agent hollering for me while I was in the house -no appointment, no notice, no nothing... I've met her before, she knows Los Jardines... o.k. I show them around -115 and 106A. They speak NO Spanish, NO English, he doesn't break a smile, doesn't say anything. At the end, he says, he wants to buy 106A. o.k., knock me over... Thursday, I draft up an agreement based on what I'm told -which is not much. We agree to meet to sign the documents on Friday, 2pm. The Russians arrive, a different Spanish-Russian translator arrives with them, the two RE agents -Canadian / US American- lawyer and I -total of 7- set up around the table. The Vendor is a Canadian and has not given a limited power of attorney but in my Wednesday notification to him, he indicates he wants the deal to go. At the table, no one knows anyone and we go from English to Spanish to Russian to Spanish to English... for 3 hrs. The Spanish-English translator gets off the rails and into areas where she doesn't know squat and the deal starts going off the rails -twice........... she and the Russians are brought back on board by explanation (once we understand what the issue of concern is), by showing previous documents of the Vendor's purchase agreement, and subsequent entry into the Corporate books, and by showing a share certificate, agreement of purchase and entry in the corporate books of the unit 102 below me, and trust seems to be restored. Somewhere along the process, I learned that the Russians had a friend to lost $180,000 on a beach deal which went sour -so obviously they are concerned about documents and not becoming victims like their friend. I translated via Google the agreement into Russian as a test and gave it to the purchaser... I think he said he could actually understand a bit of it. During the period of mistrust, the original document had been altered to deal with their concerns. When trust was 90% restored, the document returned to the original with an extended closing date. The purchaser's wife pulls open a wallet and produces $5,000 cash with newly minted Bejamin Franklins. We celebrated with a shot of frozen vodka because this is what I thought was the Russian seal of approval. All I had was Smirnoff which I understood him to say wasn't very good vodka to which I agreed but said I wasn't a vodka drinker so didn't really know. After the signing and the salute, we walked the property again with the Spanish-Russian translator in tow. She recognized Los Jardines, actually knew the former owner of the unit they were buying -Mike Newhouse. Now it seems trust has been further restored.

Since they want vacant possession so their 21 yr. old daughter can live in the unit while she's studying law in CR (she can't speak Spanish so this sounds a bit weird and why would anyone come to CR to study a legal system which is totally dysfunctional I don't know but that isn't my business) so I have to relocate the El Salvadorian tenant who is living there, has a lease for another 8 mo, and has been there for the past 16 mo. He's a great guy. Thursday night I approached him, explained the situation and as I expected, he said in effect... Look, I'm a non-complicated guy. I'll work with you, I don't want to hurt the owner and he proceeded to gave me three constraints: I want to remain at Los Jardines, my company won't pay more, and I need two bedrooms for June and July because my wife, kids, and mother are coming to visit. Since I had anticipated something like this, I had asked the Canadian vendor if he could help out here by subsidizing the tenant if I needed to move him to another unit and I know that any other unit would likely be at a higher cost. He agreed giving me a budget. I showed the tenant a couple options; he said fine, he said that the two bedroom option was really more than he needed after July 30 and the one bedroom unit is fine... Great. I later learn that the one bedroom unit is wanted by the Swiss owner from mid Dec. to mid February... I'm blocked... But I may have another option........... I'm still working on it but think I can finesse a deal and look after our tenant.

Meanwhile, the Russians are going to the beach where they expect to buy another property. I have to wonder how they are going to get the money from Russia which is in their home safe because they don't trust Russian banks into CR such that it will be accepted by the lawyer's trust account's bank. They offered cash payment but the lawyer felt that would be problematic.

And I find myself sitting back and wondering how this is all going to work out... and how we got here in the first place... I really don't know...

A Creative Story: This happened several weeks ago and I forgot to tell it. It's easy to find pejorative stories and it's sometimes harder to find humor in your every day experience here. On Sunday mornings, I often buy a whole chicken at the local meat market in Pozos. The price is better than pieces and I simply cut the chicken in half and slow roast on the bar-b-q... it works out great for spontaneous guests, lunches, casual meals, etc. This time, the guy didn't have any whole chickens. There was a pause, I started to leave and the vendor said, that he could make me a whole chicken -in parts. He then proceeded to do so -two legs-thighs, breast w/ back attached, and two wings... there you have. Now, this isn't an indication of rocket science capability but I thought it creative enough -an unusual experience in itself- to share.

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

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