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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #665: June 25-July 1, 2017

Massive Power Outage

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

 

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: nothing available.
Los Jardines: Units #106C, #114, #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
Unit #106C: $ 1,150 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit [new]
Unit #106D: $ 1,250 mo / Available June 1st / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,250 mo / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 1,400 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit [new]
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 #106C
FOR RENT
$1,150 mo.
Available Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 4-plex
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 #114
FOR RENT
$1,400 mo.
Available Immediately

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
$1,450 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: Partly overcast, normal rainy weather, no wind, temperatures 25C / 78F -beautiful​.

Massive Power Outage: Saturday say the power out mid morning. Since this is quite normal, I didn't think too much about it. By mid afternoon, I learned that the power was out in all of Central America--Nicaragua and north, Panama and south to Columbia. (I don't understand that so am skeptical of the info. because CR has not interconnected with Panama (missing a 25 kl tie line mainly due to fear of cheaper power from Panama). All of CR was out as I started to find out... Around 5:30 in our area, the power came back on... Still haven't seen any story on this. But read the news article on the substation outage in San Jose. The point is, electricity is very unreliable and it is always bad quality by being subject to power surges which blow out electronics, appliances, motors, etc.

Reflections / Aging / Health: While sitting in the hammock waiting for the electricity to come back on (a major outage in Central America as I understand it... Nicaragua and north, into Panama and Columbia to the south although I have only sketchy info at this time—power outages are, in fact, a fairly normal activity since the power company is so bloody awful—and after having returned from catching up with old friends, I found myself doing a head count on ailments amongst my friends / associates. My conclusion, is that aging is a bitch... whoever coined “golden years” was from marketing and trying to sell something. The score card I came up with is the following:

Cancer: (11) – colon (3) / kidney(3) / prostate (5)
Parkinson: 4
Heart Problems (3)
Knee / Hip replacements (4)
Alzheimer’s (2)

Of these, two didn’t make it, some of the others are currently o.k., some are struggling with uncertain futures. I was told that in Canada, 50% of the people (1 out of every 2) will contract cancer. A fairly recent read of an exhaustive article on cancer, said that 65% or so of cancers are caused by random mutations in the body… …the balance of cancers (35%) can be attributed to lifestyle and environment. Given these stats, we have virtually little influence over our cancer status.

Rentals:

Paradisus: I did rent a unit beginning August. The owner has been extremely fortunate... out of two short term renters, he lost 3 days in the first instance and 6 days in the 2nd. He now has a longer term client who I expect will be a great tenant.

Los Jardines: Meanwhile we have 10 vacancies at Los Jardines—unprecedented... I am considering more pro-active marketing and lowering the rents. I have outlined the issue to the owners I represent and have asked them for direction.

INS Suit: I received a briefing... it get’s more and more complicated. The short story is that it is currently in the hands of the Sala 1 (Supreme Court, lower chamber). They are supposed to make a decision as to how it should proceed... who has jurisdiction…this decision is expected in about 3 months. About 20 clients are involved (8 from the law firm I used) and $22 mil. Two of the clients are banks.. they have the largest loans... I’m just fluff...

House Re-possession: This is proceeding. The auction is suppose to be held early September... if it is not sold, there will be another auction at a lower price a couple weeks later. If it is not sold then, I will take possession of it…not what I want but life isn’t always what one wants it to be... I will deal with it when I have possession... or maybe the idiot will figure out a way to pay me off... a better option for both...

Los Jardines: Maintenance has not been the best for years, a number of things are wanting, unreliability of power to gates and water in particular have been common for a number of months. It takes a long time for items to be repaired and often the repair requires more repairs. I am concerned about this... I live here obviously and look after a number of houses so have to deal with tenants... (fewer now that we have so many vacancies). I have some thoughts on the problems and ideas for solutions but am not crazy about them….but I also don’t like my view of the future if there aren’t some changes. My view is that in a tough market, you have to have the best product, it has to be well maintained, well presented, well marketed, and of course, the price has to be competitive. If maintenance slips, we are doomed to a downward spiral.

 
News Items of the Week

Comments

1. Ann Patton: Not again?????? wow!!! It won't happen. She is in the States and not likely to return and I cannot see the US extraditing her for a 4th trail.

2. Substation Explosion: Not exactly normal but not exactly abnormal either. Not particularly noteworthy except for today's total system failure.

3. Imagine throwing a party and no one showing up...

4. Landfill: this has been and over filled for years and continues to be. It is finally beginning to collapse... and all that toxic waste will be washed into the ocean... what an environmental disaster in spades!!!! The land of "pura vida" and environmental slaughter... how did CR ever get its undeserved image of eco friendly... what a load of horse manure

5. Power outage: Overload in Panama.

1. U.S. expat Ann Patton to face fourth murder trial

Ann Patton Bender, the widow of U.S. financier John Felix Bender, will face prosecutors who, for the fourth time in seven years, will try to prove that she killed her husband seven years ago.

The Prosecutor’s Office this week announced in a news release that on June 23, an Appellate Court “annulled the second acquittal of Anne Maxine Patton, 46, and ordered a new trial.”

Patton’s husband was found dead in his bed in Florida de Barú, Pérez Zeledón, with a bullet through the back of his head, on January 8, 2010. His wife was apparently the only person at home with him at the time of his death.

Since then, Bender has been through three separate murder trials for intentional homicide, and has served nine months of preventive detention at El Buen Pastor Prison.

She also had her jewels confiscated as evidence in a jewel smuggling case, lost her estate and nature reserve in the Southern Zone, and barely made it out of Costa Rica after she was acquitted at her third trial in September 2015.

At that time, legal experts consulted by The Tico Times expressed doubt that prosecutors would seek, or would be granted, a new trial for a person who had already been acquitted twice for the same crime. While there is no prohibition against double jeopardy in Costa Rican law, the Constitutional Chamber of the country’s Supreme Court has called for a “reasonable limit” on prosecutors’ ability to appeal rulings with which it does not agree.

In yesterday’s news release, the Prosecutor’s Office reported that the appellate judges ruled that Patton’s last acquittal “was not well-founded, as there was an inadequate analysis of the evidence provided during the trial.”

The court, however, did not disclose the date for the new trial, which will be announced by a Criminal Court in Pérez Zeledón.

2. Massive fire at San José power station leaves more than 100,000 buildings without electricity

UPDATE: 6:18 p.m. The National Power and Light Company (CNFL) and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute reported on Thursday evening that power had been restored to all customers at around 5:30 p.m.

Water services also were restored during the day, and some areas only were waiting for repairs in phone and internet services.

The power outage caused classes to be suspended at some schools near El Porvenir de Desamparados, the area most affected by Wednesday explosions.

Desamparados Mayor Gilberth Jiménez said at a press conference that only ten homes suffered damage for the explosions, most of them in their electrical systems.

CNFL crews on Thursday morning conducted repairs at one home where part of an utility pole fell on the roof.

The CNFL said in a news release that psychologists, social workers and technical staff from that agency visited 160 homes in the surroundings of the electric substation to inspect damage and respond residents’ consultations. Also to inform them about the procedures for filing claims for damaged appliances.

The agency reported that a total of 120 people worked through the night to replace five utility poles and 500 meters of power lines, and also in restarting operations at the substation.

Original story follows:

Large sections of San José were left without power after what appeared to be massive explosions at an electric substation lit up the skies over El Porvenir de Desamparados, just south of the capital.

At the time of this writing, the cause of the fire at the station, which belongs to the public National Power and Light Company (CNFL), has not been determined. Luis Fernando Andrés, distribution director for the CNFL, told the media that the incident early Wednesday evening has left at least 100,000 residences and businesses without power in southern and eastern San José.

He added that the incident did not cause any injuries or damage to neighboring buildings. It prompted firefighters from around the city to rush to the site to control the blaze, according to the Firefighters’ Corps.

The power outage affected traffic lights around the city, provoking increased roadway chaos during a week when San José has already struggled with unusually severe traffic woes.

Residents took to Twitter and Facebook with photos and videos of the extraordinary explosions, visible from vantage points around the Central Valley.

“I thought the aliens were coming for us, but it turned out to be the ICE,” wrote one Twitter user.

3. Less than three percent of workers heed unions call for national strike Thursday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Health workers, teachers, municipal worker and many more public officers marched through Avenida Central Thursday following the call for a general strike that seeks to fight a hike in workers’ contributions to the social security system.

After 9 a.m., workers from several different unions started a slow march in front of Parque La Merced, in San José. Along with boomboxes, masks, flags and other paraphernalia that sent a clear, non-conformity message to all the passerby.

Buses also rode at a slow pace while in the inside workers played 70's revolutionary music from singers like Inti Illimani and Víctor Jara, and chanted oldies like “Hasta Siempre Comandante” by the Cuban Carlos Puebla and “No Nos Moverán” by U.S. folksinger Joan Baez.

The group marched slowly up the street until reaching the headquarters of the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social. There Undeca and Siprocimeca, two of the biggest health workers union met with the Caja authorities and requested a renegotiation of the hikes.

As per an executive decree issued by Caja, workers affiliated to their pension system will pay an extra percent from their salaries as part of their contributions. The hike will be 0.5 percent as of July 1 and 0.5 as of Jan. 2017.

According to Luis Chinchilla, the secretary general for Undeca, it is possible to revoke the decision as long as the political good faith is established.

“We need to go back to the negotiation table and decide, as a people, alternatives to further fund our pensions systems and guarantee its sustainability,” he said.

However his wish may be unlikely, since the recently inaugurated president of the Caja, Fernando Llorca, said he is not willing to run over prior decisions taken by the executive board.

The underwhelming march in San José also affected the health services and hospitals across the country. According to data sent by the Caja, at Hospital San Juan de Dios 60 percent of the operating rooms stopped work, which means 41 surgeries were cancelled and will need to be rescheduled.

In the case of Hospital Calderón Guardia, 39 surgeries were suspended and part of the emergency services were shut down Thursday morning. In Hospital México, 70 percent of all services were suspended, as 350 workers joined the strike.

In general terms, Caja authorities believe less than three percent of the workers joined the call for strike.

4. Health order issued against La Carpio
By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Salud issued a sanitary order in La Carpio landfill, due to its collapse earlier this week due to an apparent overuse of its capacity.

By issuing the order, the ministry temporarily closed the two sectors neighboring the Río Pirro while the rest of the landfill continues to work as usual.

As of next week, officials from the Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo will inspect the place, issue a report and mandate whatever changes are required to ensure the landfill walls do not collapse again and work according to its capacities.

"This is a measure that will determine if further actions in the future are required," said María Anchía, current health minister.

"The collapse of one of the walls is an isolated incident that do not represent the operations of the landfill," said Nelson Sequeira, spokesperson for Berthier EBI Costa Rica, the concessionary company. "We are open to any inspection and willing to cooperate as the environmental responsible company we are".

The landslide that occurred last Friday angered at least 100 neighbors from the Los Altos de Cariari, Los Arcos and Bosques de Doña Rosa communities, all of them in Heredia.

The situation prompted a field inspection carried out on last Sunday by Ms. Anchía, Fernando Mora, the vice minister for coasts and wetlands as well as William Alvarado and Javier Cambronero, legislative deputies.

According to Cambronero, he was surprised to see the garbage reaching the margins of the Pirro river and the mountains of garbage showed clearly the place had exceeded its capacity.

According to Melissa Flores, the president of the neighbors association, they tried to keep this issue on a low profile because some people were worried the properties would loose value.

“The truth is they already did. Anyone who walks around knows it smells like a rotten village,” said Flores.

5. Power overload in Panama causes outage in Costa Rica

An overload in the Central American Transmission System in Panama caused a power outage at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Costa Rica. It also partially affected power in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) reported.

The Central American countries are interconnected by an electricity transmission line of 1,820 kilometers, which extends from Panama to Guatemala.

Each country has its own security mechanism that automatically disconnects from the regional system in case of an incident or imbalance at any point of the transmission line.

Costa Rica’s protection system, however, was not able to address the problem, causing that some 1.4 million homes and businesses were left without power for five hours, ICE reported.

President Luis Guillermo Solís and ICE Executive President Carlos Obregón said at a press conference that a power failure in a transmission line in Panama caused a strong imbalance of 500 Megawatts in power plants that caused a failure in Costa Rica’s surge protection system.

The National Energy Control Center reported that Reventazón and Arenal hydroelectric plants, the largest in the country, restarted operations at 2 p.m.

All other power plants resumed operations gradually and electricity services were operating as usual across the country at around 6 p.m.

Effects on public services

The power outage affected vehicle traffic as most traffic lights across the country were down. National Police officers joined Traffic Police to regulate traffic in streets at all provinces.

Public Works and Transport Minister German Valverde said at the press conference that only 159 traffic lights in San José operated normally, as they run on solar energy.

Traffic Police Director Mario Calderón reported that there were 71 accidents during the power failure, 36 of them in the Greater Metropolitan Area.

Many businesses were forced to close early and the National Police sent more officers to patrol the streets at all main cities in the seven provinces.

The Water and Sewers Institute reported water shortages in several communities, as many pumping wells failed at their stations.

The Civil Aviation Administration in a news release said that the country’s air terminals operated almost normally. Juan Santamaría International Airport however interrupted operations for 30 minutes at 3 p.m. in order to run a safety verification protocol of its control tower and communications systems.

Civil Aviation Director Enio Cubillo said that the main problems during that time occurred with the Immigration Administration’s information system, and with information screens at the terminals.

Second this week

Saturday’s power outage was the second this week. Last Wednesday a series of explosions and a fire at an ICE substation in Desamparados, south of the capital, left more than 121,000 of its customers without electricity for almost 24 hours.

The last time Costa Rica experienced a total blackout was on April 19, 2007, when a failure at the Arenal-Cañas transmission line in the province of Guanacaste caused a failure across the country for an hour.

At the time, the outage also affected traffic lights, telephone and Internet lines at all provinces as well as water pumping systems in the higher areas of San José.

 

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.