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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #667: July 9-15, 2017

Price Reductions Helped but...

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

 
Market activity
sales & rentals

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

Rentals: Paradisus: nothing available.
Los Jardines: Units #106C, #114, #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: $ 189,000 / See Unit
Unit #123: $ 198,500​ / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 135,000 / See Unit
Unit #125: $ 135,000 / See Unit

FOR RENT
Unit #106C: $ 1,050 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit
Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,150 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 1,300 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit
Unit #123: $ 1,350 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit [price reduced]

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
$ 189,000

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
$ 198,500

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 #106C
FOR RENT
$ 1,050 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
$ 1,150 mo.
Available Immediately

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
$ 1,150 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
$ 1,300 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
$ 1,350 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​.

Hospital Metropolitano: I have followed through on a long promised (to myself) initiative. Yes, I signed up with this small hospital in Western San Jose. They offer a "Medismart" program which, if you are a member, gives you discounts on a number of common procedures. The discounts are quite substantial... 40 - 80%. The one year membership for Lita and I amounted to $190. I subsequently got an appointment with a GP there who will coordinate a number of exploratory "wellness" tests... I want to know what I don't know... The cost of this initial set which includes various blood tests, urine and feces tests, susceptibility analysis, X-rays, ultrasounds, EKG / and stress test comes to $485 less the discount of $200 for a net of $285. Once we got past the persons signing people up for the "MediSmart" program--neither could speak English -the following people could all speak English..and were very helpful. We are learning our way through the system... I have no idea what this adventure will look like in hindsight, the current analysis so far, is fine... I go Monday morning and should have feedback mid day... unlike Lita's experience in Canada, if she got any feedback at all it was several weeks later... My heart stress test is not scheduled until Aug. 17.

Why Hospital Metropolitano: CIMA has simply gotten too expensive. I love it but for this work, I am happy trying this option... Metropolitano is probably geared to the middle class Tico market who wants a step up from the state run institutions. CIMA is for wealthy Ticos and out of country (N.Am.) clients. Metropolitano calls itself a "hospital"; I really don't know the definition of "hospital" but they do have resident docs / specialists / surgical rooms / overnight beds, etc... hope I never have to know more than this...

Dentistry: I am looking at an implant -I am beyond crowns. Many of my Canadian friends have had implants from the doc I use. I am now a candidate... bone scan on Tuesday, determination of one of two procedures... move ahead with one of the two after that... probably $1,500 unless I can chisel him down for all the referrals I've given him... the bottom price might b $1,200...

Rentals: We had several viewings but no takers. Still sitting with a bunch of vacancies.

Car: Haven't had a problem for several months... hurray!!!!

 
News Items of the Week

Comments

1. CC debt: Incredible to me. remember, the interest rate in CR on unpaid balances is from 35-65%... I have been behind any number of people buying ?? at grocery stores who have to sort through multiple cards to pay for $1.95 purchase...

2 / 3. European Tourists - Spend $100 and Stay longer: It is very hard NOT to spend $100 a day here as a tourist... And now Luftansa is adding to the ease of travel...​

4. Road Maintenance: Actually CONAVI was suppose to be disbanded under Solis but like so many other things, it hasn't happened. Here are some of the problems I have with this article:​

"the country’s roadway maintenance strategy as reactive and poorly planned" / "...in general, the national roadway network is still unstable, because CONAVI mostly repaves roads instead of making in-depth repairs.” ... now here is something I am left scratching my head at: “That means road conditions either improved or got worse in the past two years,” he said. -- well which is it?????​

and by the way, even when pot holes form, like they have in our street, and many others I drive, they are not fixed for eons!!!!!!​

1. Credit Card Debt in Costa Rica Up 21% Since Last Year

Credit card debt is on the rise in Costa Rica, reported the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce today.

Over a 5-year period (from April 30, 2012 – April 30, 2017), the balance of credit card debt in the country has grown by 51 percent, with 21 percent of that growth occurring just in the past year (April 30, 2016 – April 30,2017).

The debt has increased alongside a 60 percent increase in the number of cards issued in the last five years, said the ministry in their latest quarterly study of credit and debit cards.

The balance of debt as of April 30, 2017 stood at ¢1,098,957 million, which represents 3.66 percent of the gross domestic product. On the other hand, the number of cards grew 11 percent compared to April 2016, for a total of 2,476,844 credit cards currently in circulation.

An increase in the delinquency of debt repayment was also notable in this report, said the ministry. Default rate of 1 to 90 days went from 6.25 percent in the first quarter of 2016 to 7.67 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Carlos Mora, deputy minister of economy, industry and commerce, asked consumers to use their credit cards responsibly by paying on time, and also to limit the number of cards they have, and to minimize the use of cards for purchases.

The official explained that at least three-quarters of Costa Rican credit cards charge an annual interest rate in colones that ranges anywhere from 40 – 77 percent. Other cards charge a dollar interest rate of between 30 – 40 percent on all late payments.

2. European tourists spend $100 per day in Costa Rica

On Thursday morning, the airline Lufthansa arrived in Costa Rica with two daily flights per week direct from Frankfurt, Germany. It will be the eighth airline that flies from the Old Continent to the country.

Minister of Tourism, Mauricio Ventura, was clear that the European visitor produces more profits for the country than any other, mainly because they stay longer.

According to the hierarch, those who come from France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, England and other European countries stay on average 18 days in Costa Rica and leave just over $1800, which means they spend between $100 and $110 per day.

For us, the European tourist is very important for several reasons. One is that they stay more nights in the country than the other tourists, so we have about 17 to 18 days of stay and that makes them spend on average $1800,” said Ventura.

With Lufthansa there are already eight airlines that fly directly to Costa Rica. For 12 years Iberia has done so from Madrid, and this administration has achieved that seven other airlines from the Old Continent set their eyes on the country.

Air France, Condor, Edelweiss, British Airways, Thomson Airways and KLM preceded Lufthansa, bringing tourists from Paris, Switzerland, England, and soon from Holland, with the start of the KLM route.

Throughout history, Costa Rica has depended on the tourism of Americans, but they want t leave that behind, according to the minister.

We seek to grow in Europe as much as we can to lessen our dependence on the US market,”

The minister says that the growth of visitors from these countries is already in a double-digit percentage, that is, above 10% and that the acceptance is reflected in the decision of Air France to increase the frequency of their travels to the country. The French airline started with two weekly flights during the first season. Now, when the second season starts at the end of October, there will be three weekly flights from Paris.

3. Lufthansa to fly nonstop between Costa Rica and Germany

German carrier Lufthansa announced that it will fly nonstop between Frankfurt and Costa Rica twice a week starting on March 29, 2018.The flights will depart from the German city on Thursdays and Saturdays and will arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela.

Vice President of Sales for the Americas Tamur Goudarzi-Pour confirmed the launch of the new route at a press conference on Thursday in San José. President Luis Guillermo Solís and Minister of Tourism Mauricio Ventura attended the event held at the National Theater.

The airline has begun promoting the new route to the “green paradise of Central America.”

This is Lufthansa’s second nonstop connection to the region; it also flies direct between Frankfurt and Panama.

President Solís said that the route opens “a window of opportunities” not only for tourism, but also “for businesses, cultural exchange, and foreign trade.”

Nonstop Europe

The new route will bring the number of weekly nonstop flights to Europe to eight.

In addition to Lufthansa, the list of carriers offering nonstop routes include British Airways to London, Air France to Paris, Edelweiss to Zurich, Thomson to London, KLM to Amsterdam, and Condor to Frankfurt and Munich.

Minister Ventura said during the presentation that the new connection is part of the Costa Rican Tourism Board’s strategy to diversify markets and connections. Ventura said Germany is the second-largest source of tourists from Europe and represents an estimated market of nearly 2 million prospective visitors who consider Costa Rica an ideal destination for their vacations.

He recalled that the Lufthansa Group launched operations in Costa Rica in May with a Zurich-San José flight from Edelweiss Air.

“This new flight motivates us to continue working to position Costa Rica as a magnet for investment and as a preferred destination for airlines,” Ventura said.

4. Only half of Costa Rica's roadway network is in good condition, study finds

The percentage of Costa Rican roads in good condition increased over the past two years, the University of Costa Rica‘s National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME) reported Wednesday. However, the laboratory’s “Seventh Report on the Status of the National Roadway Network” also characterized the country’s roadway maintenance strategy as reactive and poorly planned.

The National Roadway Council (CONAVI) repaired and maintained nearly half of the national roadway network during the period covered in the report. However, the number of roads in very bad condition also increased, researchers found.

The coordinator of LANAMME’s Transport Infrastructure Program, Luis Loría, said at a press conference that, in general, the national roadway network is still unstable, “because CONAVI mostly repaves roads instead of making in-depth repairs.”

The new layers of asphalt or cement are laid over damaged roads, so they are quickly destroyed.

“It’s pretty much like putting on make-up,” Loría said.

Results

Costa Rica has 5,053 Kilometers (3,140 miles) of paved roads. Of these, 1,913 Km (1,189 miles) were in good condition in 2015.

Two years later, the figure of roads in good condition rose to 2,456 Km (1,531 miles). This means that good roads increased from 38 to 48 percent of the total, LANAMME found.

However, the number of miles in poor condition, that is, requiring deep repairs or total rebuilding, increased by 71 percent, from 279 to 478 Km (173-297 miles).

Of the 48 percent of roads that are in good condition, 36 percent are in regular condition, while 5 percent require minor repairs.

Roy Barrantes, the coordinator of the study, said that the most significant result is that the number of roads in regular condition decreased.

“That means road conditions either improved or got worse in the past two years,” he said.

Public investment

The LANAMME study concluded that the government lacks a coherent policy for the maintenance or improvement of the country’s roadway network.

The laboratory noted that CONAVI maintains a reactive road policy: they work on a road only when crews find a pothole or other damage.

During the past two years, CONAVI allocated â‚¡14 billion ($24.6 million) for repairs along 907 Km (564 miles) of roads “without achieving the expected results,” the report says.

That figure represents 11.5 percent of the â‚¡122 billion ($213.7 million) invested in maintaining all the country’s paved roads for a year.

CONAVI invested that money mostly in fixing potholes and correcting irregularities on the surface, “but those roads actually required major repairs,” the report adds.

LANAMME investigators also found several cases of roads where asphalt or cement layers did not have the required thickness to withstand vehicle traffic, so that “those layers deteriorated faster than expected.”

Loría said LANAMME recommends that CONAVI change the way it creates contracts for building or fixing roads. Lab experts believe the agency should assign contractors a certain number of routes, and require them to keep them in good condition for a certain period of time.

Currently, CONAVI only signs maintenance contracts when crews find potholes or other problems on a road.

 

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) 8-455-59-35
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.