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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #660: May 21-27, 2017

...Colon : Dollar Exchange Rate!!

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

FOR RENT
13th Fl / East view
furnished​
$1,400

 

Escazú
FOR SALE: Agent says this is a Bargain...

$225,000
2700 sq ft house in best area Escazu
Owner finance at 8%

This is 3-4 bedroom house with garden and views with owner finance at 8% for balance of $200,000. 2 car garage with watchman directly in front of the house. Downpayment is $25,000

 
Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #106A, #114, #123, #124 and #125

Rentals: Paradisus: 13th Fl / East view / furnished​ / $1,400 mo.
Los Jardines: Units #106A, #106D, #112 and #123 are available for rent

Upcoming vacancies: Los Jardines: Unit #102 end of June / Unit #118 end of May

 
Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

FOR SALE
Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #123: $ 199,500 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 135,000 / See Unit
Unit #125: $ 135,000 / See Unit

FOR RENT
Unit #106A: $ 1,100 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit [new]
Unit #106D: $ 1,250 mo / Available June 1st / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,250 mo / See Unit
Unit #123: $ 1,450 mo / 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 #114
FOR SALE
$199,000

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

UNIT #123
FOR SALE
$199,500

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 SALE
$135,000

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.

UNIT #125
FOR SALE
$135,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2 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.

For rent

UNIT #106A
FOR RENT
$1,100 mo.
Available 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 #106D
FOR RENT
$1,250 mo.
Available June 1st

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227
Total area (Sq M): 113
Bedrooms: 1 + den (bedroom possible)
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: apartment in 4 plex
Furnished: Yes

This 2nd story, 1,227 sf (113 m2 + one parking space) )is a georgous home with one of the best views at Los Jardines. The very large front covered terrace faces west and is suitable for entertaining; the off-bedroom covered terrace faces east for sun sets. This very tastefully furnished and fully equipped home offers a lifestyle envied by many. The owner offers financing if desired.

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 #123
FOR RENT
$1,450 mo.
Available Immediately

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.

 
Our Lives

Weather: It continues rainy. The article posted below claims we are likely to hit record rainfall back a number of years. It feels like it... but the rain hasn't bothered us at all... no floods, no damage, no inconvenience, just a lush garden and happy plants.

Colon : Dollar Exchange rate: The depreciation of the colon vs the dollar accelerated last week​ -it got to around 603 : 587 and then backed off a bit. A number of comments have been made...no one really knows where it will stabilize... the group I hang with think around the current level but we have been consistently wrong for the past 5+ years so our track record is lousy. What this level... because beyond this, the cut gets closer to the bone and the damage it more difficult to absorb with ticos earning in colons when they have borrowed for car loans and mortgages in dollars... gut level feelings 600 : 585... we'll see.

Platina bridge: Opened as scheduled... third scheduled date is a charm... eventually they get it correct... From Feb. 28 to May 25... yep... that was the extension... we can see an immediate relief of traffic in the Lindodra Blvd. area.

CR Citizenship: At a luncheon of old f..rts on Tuesday, I overheard a comment that for expats wanting CR citizenship, the history and language requirement was waived. That was interesting to me... I subsequently confirmed that to be the case... while I don't know all the requirements, I do not that after seven years residency, you can apply... if I qualify, I think I will do this... I can't see that it does any harm to create flexibility in an uncertain future...

 
News Items of the Week

Comments

1. Colon : Dollar Exchange rate: Works well for expats but not great for Ticos earning in colons and paying mortgages and car loans in dollars. The likely consequence is that we will see some inflation soon.

2. Medical Devices: CR seem s to have found a niche industry here which is operating so far in a win-win relation. CR gets good quality jobs and companies find it is cost beneficial to work here.

3. Dirty Money: and all the kings horses and all the kings men who have been extra busy creating barriers in banking for the little guy, finds that it has all been for nothing... most of the money leaving the country is done through fraudulent invoicing... money going right through the banking system like water through a collendar...

1. Dollar exchange rate down following Central Bank's intervention announcement

The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) will intervene in the foreign exchange market in order to curb the sustained hike in the exchange rate of the dollar. This week, that price reached a historic high of ¢600 in various private banks.

The bank confirmed in a news release on Thursday that it has approved a plan to intervene in the foreign exchange market with up to $1 billion over the next days.

Róger Madrigal, director of the BCCR’s Economic Division, said the recent behavior of the exchange rate “introduced risks for both price stability and the financial system.”

Bank officials, however, ruled out doing the intervention in a single day’s market session, as “it would be too aggressive,” Madrigal said.

Quick response

The BCCR announcement caused an immediate reaction with a ¢7.36 drop in the dollar price in its MONEX exchange, the market in which banks trade currency. The sale price of the dollar at the country’s banks fell ¢4 from ¢598.49 to ¢594.47. The average purchase price closed at ¢581.71.

Thursday also was the first day in May that the dollar exchange rate recorded a decrease, following sustained hikes throughout the month, and particularly this week.

So far this year the price of the U.S. dollar has risen by more than ¢30, representing a 5.7 percent dip of the colón, according to BCCR data.

In the past two weeks alone, the bank has sold $171 million in the exchange market in an attempt to stabilize the price.

Other measures

Central Bank officials at the press conference announced that, in addition to the intervention, they also approved a one-point increase in the monetary policy rate that the bank applies to banks’ transactions.

The increase aims to reduce the pressure on the foreign exchange market in order to stimulate more savings in colones.

“Raising yields in colones seeks to discourage investors from changing their bank savings into dollar savings,” Madrigal said.

He added that they expect these measures “will be enough for the market to realign with their estimated projections for this year.”

BCCR officials attribute recent sharp variations in the exchange rates to a spike in the number of investors looking to change their bank savings from colones to dollars. Other reasons include the lack of sufficient dollar availability at banks, the increase in commodity prices and recent hikes in interest rates of loans in dollars.

The Costa Rican Banking Association (ABC) showed its support for the measures and said in a news release that “approved adjustments were necessary to protect the stability of the local economy.”

ABC economic adviser Ronulfo Jiménez said that external conditions as well the country’s high fiscal deficit are the main problems driving recent increases in the exchange rate and in interest rates.

Jiménez noted that the spike in the demand for foreign currency originated mostly in people’s — and not in banks’— transactions. “We can positively say that banks are not exerting pressure on the exchange rate of the dollar,” he said.

2. Okay Industries Expands Operation in Costa Rica and Reinvests US$2 Million

Costa Rica, May 25, 2017. US-based Okay Industries reinvested US$ 2 million in Costa Rica, which will expand its plant operation and will also acquire new state-of-the-art equipment to manufacture medical device industry parts.

Okay industries, located in El Coyol, Alajuela, at Z Free Zone, is a manufacturing company focused on high engineering metal components and assemblies. Its focus on the design and manufacturing of complex metal components is the basis of its competitive advantage and is the origin of its beginnings for more than 100 years ago.

Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade commented: “Medical devices have allowed the country to diversify its exports and they already represent the second item as a sector in national exports, only after the agricultural sector. In addition, thanks to this sector, a robust ecosystem has been developed in Costa Rica with local suppliers, which have brought up a solid base of productively chained suppliers. This has undoubtedly strengthened our positioning, and today we are one of the leading global destinations for investment in Medical Technology, which includes such well-known companies as Okay Industries. We are delighted to know that this company, after five years of operating in Costa Rica, continues to find the right investment conditions to incorporate increasingly sophisticated and high value added processes, as well as continuing to add more and more Costa Ricans to their operations. We congratulate Okay Industries for its growth, and we thank them for the confidence vote deposited in the country. The Costa Rican trade institutions COMEX, PROCOMER and CINDE, renew their willingness to work as a team to support the company in its growth process“.

The General Manager of the company in Costa Rica, Mario Chaves, said “our human talent has been the key to the growth of our company, since we started we have focused on hiring good citizens, we are very clear that what we do is impacting the life of people both inside and outside the organization, with the active living of our values that result in products of the highest quality, combined with innovation and new technologies; always betting on the personal and professional growth of our associates. ”

The current payroll of Okay Industries is 55 employees and with the new investment, it would be generating approximately 30 new jobs between operators and engineers. Those interested can apply to recutamiento@okaycr.com

This is the fifth year of the company operating in Costa Rica. In its 1,600 square meter plant, the company will now have the ability to make nano machining, as well as merging laser cutting technologies with secondary forming processes carried by hypotubes and tubes used in the industry, thanks to the new laser manufacturing equipment that they at have developed and will be installing at the CR plant.

3. Almost Half the Money Leaving Costa Rica is Dirty Says New Financial Report

An average 45 percent of financial flows out of Costa Rica are considered illicit.

This and other data compiled for hundreds of developing countries around the world by the nongovernmental research organization Global Financial Integrity (GFI) was detailed in a report released last week.

Illicit funds are estimated to comprise about 2.5 percent of incoming funds to Costa Rica.

In regional context, average illicit fund figures for other Central American countries are: El Salvador with 9 percent (outgoing) and 7.5 percent (incoming); Guatemala 9 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively; Honduras 31 percent and 28 percent; Nicaragua 13 percent and 9 percent; and Panama 16 percent and 307 percent.

The Global Financial Integrity (GFI) report, “Illicit Financial Flows to and from Developing Countries: 2005-2014,” concludes that the illicit flow of money to and from developing countries remains at high levels throughout the world.

By quantifying these illicit financial flows, the report aims to demonstrate how dirty money is “a challenge for economic and social progress in the developing world.”

“Over the period between 2005 and 2014, illicit financial flows (IFFs) likely accounted for about 14.1 to 24 percent of total developing country trade,” sad the report, which translates to an estimated range for total global IFFs of US$2 to $3.5 trillion in 2014.

And these illicit flows “likely grew at an average rate of between 8.5 percent and 10.1 percent a year over the 10-year period.”

The GFI measures such flows by analyzing two sources: deliberate misinvoicing in merchandise trade (the source of GFI’s low and high estimates as shown in the graphic), and leakages in the balance of payments (also known as “hot money flows”).

“Of those two sources, trade misinvoicing is the primary measurable means for shifting funds in and out of developing countries illicitly,” said GFI, who said fraudulent mis-invoicing of trade is responsible for an average of 87 percent of illicit financial outflows.

 

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

NOTE: Toronto number is "local call" for people in the area code; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code.