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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #449: March 3-9, 2013

...the week that nothing worked!!

...the week that nothing worked!!

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
ResidenciasPropertyManagement@gmail.com

 

Construction Log
Updates about Hacienda El Dorado

Rio Oro: We're waiting...

 

Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Property Taxes: We pay a year at a time and if paid before March 30, there is a 10% discount. Each five years a property is re-assessed. This is our year for reassessment. We asked in early January what our taxes would be. We were told the equivalent of about $6,800 including garbage collection. I thought this strange since that was the previous year's rate but... We went to pay last Thursday and were told that they had made an error...the assessed value used was the old rate... the new rate had not been updated in their data base at the time of calculation... Now the rate comes to about $8,100 including $2,400 for garbage collection. While not liking it, it makes more sense. It works out to on average, $280 per house per year -not bad considering N. Am. property taxes...

Market Activity

Sales: no calls. One offer on the go... we'll see.

Rentals: one call; one short term rental...

Market Activity: the agent who brought a short term rental client stated first off that "this is going to be a terrible year..." I asked him to clarify his prediction... he said he had 250 ads placed and receives maybe one call a week... I replied that it's not just him, I'm not getting calls from other agents either...

 

FOR SALE

Unit #114: $235,000 Added this week See Unit

FOR RENT

Unit #102: $1,750 mo Available March 19 See Unit
Unit #112: $1,250 mo. Available Immediately See Unit
Unit #114: $1,400 mo. Available with 2 week's notice See Unit
Unit #123: $1,650 mo. Available March 17 See Unit
Unit #124: $1,000 mo. Available March 24 See Unit

Site Plan-

 

HOUSE FOR SALE

UNIT #114
$235,000

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.

 

 

HOUSES FOR RENT

UNIT #102
FOR RENT $1,750 mo.
Available March 19

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1922
Total area (Sq M): 177
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2 1/2
Floor(s): Ground
Type: Apartment
Furnished: Yes

This two bedroom, 1922 sf (177 m2) FURNISHED and well appointed home with AC, bright office, and covered parking is a single story home surrounding by manicured gardens in Residencias Los Jardines. It was completed 5 years ago and has been lovingly cared for since. It is situated on the ground floor of a two storey, horizontal duplex. This home has two split system air conditioning units for quiet, efficient cooling. It is in PRISTINE condition.

 

 

 

UNIT #112
FOR RENT $1,250 mo.
Available Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 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 two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

 

 

 

UNIT #114
FOR RENT $1,400 mo.
Available with 2 week's notice

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 #123
FOR RENT $1,650 mo.
Available March 17

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1516
Total area (Sq M): 140
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.
Available March 24

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: windy and generally cooler than usual...

All in a Week's Living in CR:

The Week Than Nothing Worked: On Tuesday, we woke up to no electricity... we later found out that this was "planned" by CNFL -the provider. The plan didn't include telling their customers that it would be out until 4pm. It appears they were putting in services to the new commercial buildings at the end of the street. We powered up the generator for water pressure... it didn't want to work but finally got going.....we had water and since most houses have gas demand boilers, each house had hot water and all stoves are gas so with a match to like the gas, they work fine... life goes on without TV and Internet... nothing we could do about those services....the power came back on as promised except TV. That came on later...
Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story...

On the day of the power outage, we had a gate tech scheduled. One of the two gates failed on the previous Saturday afternoon -the motor worked but the remote feature didn't work. We were able to divert power from the generator to the gate for him to identify that a circuit board had failed. It's replaced and continues to work..

Before the power outage, Internet didn't work in 8 houses... I schedule a tech for Tuesday... we have no electricity on Tuesday so it had to be rescheduled for the next day. He traced the problem to a switcher; he replaced it with one we had on hand... 4 days of inconvenience... Now we find out that another 8 houses are having problems... I've changed the switcher... that didn't work...the tech is coming back this morning... and that's not the end either... (Later Saturday -yes, it was a switcher again but one up the line from the one I changed... it's now working). ((Switchers, like most electronics, don't like power surges.))

The TV reception was very bad in many of the houses... and still is -the tech will be here on Monday to problem solve... I have no idea what the solution will be nor why we have such poor reception... did the provider hook up a number of other users causing our signal to degrade? Did they make a bad connection when they reconnected the changed wiring on Tuesday???? don't know... but that's not the end either...

The gates are able to be opened through out phone system. If a guest arrives, they call the home home they are visiting either by cell phone or by intercom. Then the occupant dials a code to open the gate. This feature doesn't work in some homes... why some and not all? don't know...

I've been trying to change my car insurance. I get a quote from INS -the largest and what used to be the only insurance provider. I limit it to towing and 3rd party liability and I want automatic deductions since my experience is that the agencies do not have reliable bring forward systems for renewal. I got directly to a small INS office... no, I cannot buy just towing in the middle of the year... I have to buy it when the marchamo (annual road tax is paid in December)... and no, I cannot have auto deductions from my CC account... but the head office said I could on both accounts... I'm told they were wrong... on Tuesday we'll go to the head office in San Jose...

I had new brakes put on the car. Now they are behaving the same as the old brakes... back to the shop... can't anything be fixed right the first time????

Several appointments made are not kept... waste of time...

Conclusion: I guess there has to be some weeks like this to appreciate the weeks that aren't...

Brian, Lita, the Late Hugo IV, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, Chico II and Chica II

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