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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #628: Sept. 25 - Oct. 1, 2016

Volcanic Ash...???!!!

Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly newsletter -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 re-sales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Developer / Property manager
Residencias Los Jardines

Web: http://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com
ResidenciasPropertyManagement@gmail.com

 
Featured
rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
FOR SALE / RENT
Visit our website

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

PRICE REDUCTION
Semi furnished unit: For sale: $235,000
Fully furnished unit: For sale: $245,000
Floor 12 -west view

RENTAL AVAILABLE
Since August 1st For rent $ 1,400 mo.

 
More Opportunities
rentals & sales

FORECLOSURE,
Condominio Santa Lucia, Tres Rios

FOR SALE / EXECUTIVE HOME
Visit our website

Price reduction: $490,000 $520,000 (Appraised: $800,000)
6 bedrooms
5 bathrooms
610 m2 (6,500 sf)
2 Story
2 Car garage

 
Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: No inquiries.

Rentals: Paradisus: Unit available for rent, $ 1,400 mo.
Los Jardines: Units #112, #113 and #106A are available for rent.

 
Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

FOR SALE
Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #107: $ 205,000 / Conditional offer / See Unit

FOR RENT
Unit #106A: $ 1,200 mo. / Immediately / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,250 mo. / Immediately / See Unit
Unit #113: $ 1,250 mo. / Immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #106A
FOR SALE
$165,000

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
$205,000 / Conditional offer

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1716
Total area (Sq M): 158
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2
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.

For rent

UNIT #106A
FOR RENT
$1,200 mo. / Immediately

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 #112
FOR RENT
$1,250 mo. / Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
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 #113
FOR RENT
$1,250 mo. / Immediately

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.

 
Our Lives

Weather: Rains have backed off... October is normally one of the two rainiest months... but this past week has seen very limited rains.

Showings but...: The frequency of showings decreased this week as noted by a number of agents I use.

Volcanic ash: Yes, Turrialba is acting up again, belching out ash periodically. We continue to get "ashed" virtually every day... makes for more frequent cleaning.

 
News Items of the Weeknews

Comments

1. Labor Costs: yes, they are lower here than many places... as an unskilled laborer, it is really difficult to to survive; as a skilled laborer –professional-- you can survive but unless you work for yourself or for the government, you cannot thrive..

2. Onions: this is BS... less than two months ago, an article appeared talking about the effects of drought on the price of onions...the price had doubled...now we bet this... what BS!

3. Caja and long quays: who to believe? the government or the labor unions...I don't believe either and figure the correct answer is somewhere in the middle.

4. CR Competitiveness: the inclusion of the following statement calls into question (for me) the rest of the article: The country received a score of 6.2 out of 7 in health and primary education, which placed it near global leader Finland, which scored 6.8. Certainly the country suffers from poor infrastructure and government bureaucracy / inefficiency

1. Report singles out low Latin income tax rates
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Taxes on the salaries of the average worker in Latin American and Caribbean countries totaled 21.7 percent of total labor costs in 2013, one-third lower than in First World countries, where the average was 35.9 percent, according to the first edition of “Taxing Wages in Latin America and the Caribbean.” More than 90 percent of the difference between Latin America and countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is due to personal income tax, which is 13 percent of total labor costs, according to the report.

The report, covering 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, was produced jointly by the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Development Centre and the Centre for Tax and Policy Administration, both of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The report was made public Tuesday in Buenos Aires during a forum hosted by Argentina’s ministry of treasury and public finances.

The tax amount for the average one-earner married couple with two children in Latin American and Caribbean countries was 21.4 percent, only 0.3 percentage points less than that of the single worker, according to the report. The corresponding difference in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, where working family benefits are substantially higher, was 9.5 percentage points.

The so-called tax wedge measures the difference between an employer’s labor costs and an employee’s corresponding net take-home pay. It reflects very low average personal income tax rates. In fact, Mexico was the only country included in the report where workers had to pay income tax at the average wage level.

In comparison, income tax represented 13.3 percent of the labor costs of an average worker in Organisation countries. The prevalence of informal labor markets and tax evasion contribute to the low levels of income tax revenues in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

2. Government moves to support the price of onions
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government says it will purchase 90,000 kilos of onions from small producers to support the prices.

Onions have taken a seasonal dive with retail prices at farm markets around 450 colons (about 83 U.S. cents) a kilo. The price is expected to drop even more.

The government will be paying 750 colons (about $1.38) a kilo under the plan announced Tuesday. Prices earlier this year were about double that.

President Luis Guillermo Solís met with producers and the Corporación Hortícola Nacional in Cartago Tuesday. The Consejo Nacional de Producción will buy the onions. The Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería supports the plan.

The government also said that it would work to establish an onion drying facility north of Cartago Centro.

Producers also are planning to create a special seal or trademark to put on onions to show that they are from Costa Rica. Foreign imports, although costing about 800 colons a kilo here, have been affecting the local market. In fact, the Corporación Hortícola Nacional has come out in opposition to Costa Rica joining the Pacific Alliance trade pact.

Although a lot of the country’s onions are grown in the Cartago area, production does not seem to have been affected much by the eruptions of the Turrialba volcano. Other types of agriculture have.

These will cost a bit more now.

The Corporación Hortícola Nacional was created by the legislature 20 years ago and took over the functions of the then-potato promotion organization. The corporation benefits from a tax on cement and a line in the government’s budget, as well as money from producers.

The government also said Tuesday that onion producers will benefit from a promotional campaign set up with money from the Banca para el Desarrollo through the corporation.

Onions are a staple in most Costa Rican homes. Surveys have show that nearly every home has a supply of onions.

Santa Ana is generally considered the national onion capital, and that area has several promotional activities, including fairs, each year.

The Consejo Nacional de Producción will warehouse the onion purchases and try to sell quantities when the price improves.

The government agency also controls the price of white corn, beans and rice and restricts imports to maintain established levels of prices for the products.

3. Caja unions say 600,000 are on medical waiting lists
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two unions of employees who work in the nation’s public health agency said Tuesday that there are 600,000 patients on various types of waiting lists and that workers face threats in order to keep the situation secret.

The two unions also said that administrators of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social are hiding the real figures.

The unions are the Bloque Unitario Sindical y Social Costarricense and the Unión Nacional de Empleados de la Caja y la Seguridad Social.

A statement said that representatives would meet with President Luis Guillermo Solís today to present proposals for reducing the lengthy waiting lists.

The statement said that the lists range from those awaiting surgery to those awaiting appointments with specialists to those needing diagnostic work such as mammograms and biopsies.

The unions said there are medical centers where Caja affiliates have been waiting four years to see a specialist. The Caja operates all the public hospitals and the many local clinics. The Caja has had chronic financial problems.

The unions, particularly the Unión Nacional de Empleados, has been vigorous in bringing Caja problems to the public. The union even stages short strikes periodically.

Expats are affected because foreigners with legal residency are required to affiliate with the Caja and pay monthly fees. Many, however, prefer to use private medical services for some of the reasons raised by the unions.

The Caja is a point of pride with Costa Ricans who note the public medical service now is 75 years old. But there is a small movement to privatize the institution.

The unions aired their concerns, in part, because the government has a special, high-level group that discusses health issues at Casa Presidencial.

The unions cited the case last year of Sofía Bogantes, a cardiologist at Hospital México, who was reassigned briefly after she went public and said that 141 Costa Ricans died because they were among the 800 persons on a wait list to receive a catheter procedure. The hospital handles many of the country’s heart cases. The union said she had been persecuted psychologically and at the workplace.

The unions said they had short- and long-term plans to solve the problem.

The Caja is known for its long lines. Those using the system wake up early and show up before 6 a.m. in order to get a slip that allows them to stand in line to make an appointment. Sometimes those seriously ill are turned away because the appointment times have been exhausted. The institution is making an effort to do much of that electronically now.

Costa Rica ranked 54th out of 138 countries evaluated in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report released this week.

4. Costa Rica drops two spots in global competitiveness ranking

The country ranked fourth in Latin America this year and second in Central America behind Panama.

The World Economic Forum ranked Chile the most competitive country in the region, followed by Panama and Mexico. Paraguay, Bolivia and Venezuela ranked at the bottom of the Latin American countries.

The report notes that Costa Rica’s slight decline in ranking is mainly due to its scores in three areas: institutions, market efficiency for goods and innovation. In each of these pillars the country dropped 11 spots compared to last year’s report.

Costa Rica also dropped in the ranking in terms of business sophistication.

In terms of macroeconomic environment, Costa Rica rose 12 spots in the ranking, from 94 to 82, event though it got weak scores for the country’s rising debt and fiscal deficit.

The country also ranked low on infrastructure, mostly because of its public roads, ports and air transport infrastructure.

The report noted that the most problematic factors for doing business in Costa Rica are inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate infrastructure, high tax rates and minimal access to financing.

The World Economic Forum calculates its index by collecting figures from the World Bank, United Nations, World Health Organization and International Telecommunication Union on 107 variables grouped into 12 categories.

The Costa Rica-based Central American Institute of Business Administration also provides information about Costa Rica and other countries in the region.

Where Costa Rica improved

Despite its drop in the global ranking, Costa Rica leads Latin American countries in the categories of innovation and business sophistication. It also leads the region in terms of health and primary education.

The country received a score of 6.2 out of 7 in health and primary education, which placed it near global leader Finland, which scored 6.8.

Costa Rica has a life expectancy of nearly 80 years, one of the highest in the report. Costa Rica also has few cases of diseases like malaria and AIDS, which negatively impacted public health indicators for many poor economies, the report noted.

The country’s scores for its elementary, high school and college education systems were among the top 35 in the world.

Business leaders agree

In response to Costa Rica’s ranking in this year’s Global Competitiveness Report, local business leaders demanded improvements from the government, mainly in public infrastructure and in cutting red tape.

Francisco Gamboa, executive director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries, said Costa Rica’s decline in the ranking wasn’t surprising.

“We will not improve our position in the competitiveness ranking until we improve our roads, finish the Moín cargo terminal and declare war on excessive red tape,” he said.

Yolanda Fernández, president of the Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce, said in a public statement that the World Economic Forum report reflects the country’s reality. She said private-sector entrepreneurs face daily problems with excessive bureaucracy.

She also said that the country’s precarious infrastructure is always a major problem. As an example, Fernández criticized the excessive time cargo trucks spend transporting merchandise every day because of constant traffic jams.

Economy Minister Welmer Ramos said the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solís has passed legal reforms to promote competitiveness and is currently promoting changes in legal procedures to speed up the process to open new businesses.

Ramos said the country’s drop in the World Economic Forum report does not necessarily mean its competitiveness has deteriorated. “It can also means that other countries are improving,” he said.

 

FOR RENTAL OR SALES INFORMATION
ON ANY OF THE ABOVE, CONTACT:

Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+ 506) 8305-3965
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

Canada:
VOIP: (+416) 461-2203

Web: http://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com
ResidenciasPropertyManagement@gmail.com

 

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Contact phone numbers

Internet Phone:
Toronto: 416-461-2203

Costa Rica:
Cell: (506) 8305-3965
Land: (506) 282-4142 Ext. 101

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