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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #708: April 29 - May 5, 2018

I'm There -where ever that is

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


rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
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...

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

Distrito Cuatro / Guachipelín / Escazú
Price reduced: $ 125,000 to $ 110,000

about Distrito Cuatro

Rendering proposed
Distrito Cuatro - click to Download full PDF

Real de Santa María / Borreal de Heredia
$ 185,000
Private financing available

See location on Google Maps

Real de Santa María / Borreal de Heredia

Download more pictures (8.35 Mb)

Hyundai Santa Fe 2008
$13,500 $12,000

Hyundai Santa Fe 2008, Turbo Diesel, automatic, excellent family vehicle, safe, comfortable, interior with leather seats. Good tires, engine, turbo, suspension, and AC. Marchamo 2018 and Retive. It now has been road tested for 5 weeks and performed flawlessly. I can now sell with confidence...

  • 5-door / 5 passenger
  • Power steering, windows, mirrors, brakes and locks
  • A/C front and rear
  • Cruise control
  • audio/radio control
  • Air bags - driver / pass
  • Security system
  • Fog lamps
  • Tinted windows
  • Roof rack
  • CD player / radio USB/AUX
  • Hydraulic lift
  • Leather seats
Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #109, #106A, #114 and #124


Paradisus: Available immediately, $1,400 mo.

Los Jardines:
Unit #106C Available immediately, $1,050 mo.
Unit #106D Available immediately, $1,150 mo. (until Dec. 1)
Unit #112 Available immediately, $1,250 mo.
Unit #116 Available immediately, $1,250 mo.

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #109: $ 215,000 / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 135,000 / See Unit

Unit #106C: $ 1,050 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo. / Apr 1 - Dec 1 / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,250 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 1,250 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #106A
$ 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 #109
$ 215,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1506
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This single story home (1506 sf. + parking for one car) is detached, fully furnished, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, home office, living room wall / entertainment center along with a built in office and a semi-private terrace. In addition, it has a vaulted ceiling in the “great” room and two skylights. The covered entrance way is suitable for two chairs located next to a covered garden area. Once through the impressive front door, you enter the “great room” which houses the kitchen, dining room, office and living room. Upon entering, there is a built in wooden hutch surfaced with granite—it matches all the built-in furniture in the great room. There is a clothes washer and dryer off the 2nd bedroom.

UNIT #114
$ 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 #124
$ 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.

For rent

UNIT #106C
$ 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
$ 1,150 mo.
Available Apr 1 - Dec 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227 sf . + parking
Total area (Sq M): 113 + parking
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
$ 1,250 mo.
Available 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 #116
$ 1,250 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

Our Lives

Weather: We haven't had much rain this past week but the plants are beginning to show the effects of what we have had.

I'm there... where ever "there" is: given what I have seen.

Heredia house: it is now "finished"... final work was done this week I am still working on marketing information.

Units 116, 113 and 112 are now completely finished -I'll start on 106C Monday... Paradisus unit is also finished.

This was another week filled with obstacles... normal in this country. An example of how difficult it is:

Glass shelving... it consists of a piece of glass with polished edges and two wall mounting brackets. This is not complex. I needed 10 pieces 4.5 in. X 25 in. and 20 wall brackets... I wrote this info on paper... I had approached my local supplier... they took a day to give me a quote... actually, I had to return for the info -19,000 colones and 15 day delivery. wow... couldn't live with the 15 day so I confidently said I would go elsewhere... there are always lots of glass places around... nope... they have mostly disappeared... I had checked with Pequeno Mundo (a dollar store type of place) they had shelves from China that would work but were 6,200 colones each... too much since I was getting 10 for 19,000. So a week later after admitting defeat at alternate sourcing, I returned and now the delivery time was 5 days (it seems that the polished edge I had specified was thought to be a different factory edge... when we got that sorted out the delivery time and price came to five days and 14,000. I paid and waited the five days... which became... All was suppose to be delivered Wednesday... no, there was a taxi strike on Tuesday which clogged the delivery of the brackets. Ok... I returned Thursday... no the delivery van did not arrive... Friday morning I returned... it was ready... one shelf and two brackets!!!!!!! what went wrong???? I have no idea... even with my bad Spanish, even after having written it down, the order still got messed up... it is still beyond me to understand how 10 pieces and 20 brackets became 1 and two... and for 14,000... I walked out of the place never to return again... I drove across town to Pequeno Mundo hoping they would still have them... they did... I bought them and had them installed... ten simple shelves, two and a half weeks, $110... the amount of time, aggravation, gas, and scotch... way more than the cost of the bloody shelves.

Tuesday: a massive red taxi protest... blocked traffic into Escazu / San Jose. The day was a write off...

Riteve: the Santa Fe was due for it's annual safety inspection. It failed!!! why? this is incredible!!! it was missing protective battery terminal covers... this was deemed "grave"... very bad / serious!!!!! this seems to be a new requirement... It now has to be returned to confirm that these very important safety issues have been addressed...

...the only way to avoid obstacles is to remain in the hammock... anything else takes a lot of effort.

News Items of the Week


1 / 2 New Taxes: they out going legislators booted it down the road to the new government. Just like 4 years ago. Yes, Ticos do not like paying taxes probably because they know of the corruption and the fact that the taxes are stupidly designed... I don't think there is too much argument that the government is in bad fiscal shape but cleaning up the abuses might be a higher priority and might help people swallow the pain... and the design of more reasonable systems for payment and collection...

3. Taxes and employment: as uncertainty lingers, capital expenditures lag...

Nature Air: it is again out of business and for good this time... too bad -it serviced small communities... SANSA will now have free reign.

1. Action on new taxes put off for months

Expats probably will not be seeing a value-added tax anytime soon.

The full 57-member legislature changed Tuesday, as is the custom every four years. The outgoing legislature was expected to pass a comprehensive tax bill on first read before vacating their seats on the last day of April. They failed to do so.

Government officials were hoping that the incoming legislature would quickly pass the bill that had been approved initially by the former legislature.

That will not happen.

The new lawmakers elected Carolina Hidalgo, of the government party Partido Accion Cuidadana as president of the legislature. She said upon assuming the post:

"It is urgent to give more income to the state. But it is necessary that the new deputies study the new tax bill. I believe that in the next six months, it is a prudent time to study in depth the details of the new tax package and then take an informed serious decision."

That basically means that the tax plan and other associated measures will be headed back to committee and residents in Costa Rica will not see immediately the current 13 percent sales tax changed into the more comprehensive 13 percent value-added tax.

But there is a downside. Any new tax bill might propose an increased rate. Even with a 13-percent value-added tax on the books, lawmakers would be under pressure to increase the rate because the current proposal would do little to solve the country’s tottering financial structure.

About half the national budget is borrowed money and the national debt in 2017 represented 6 percent of the gross domestic product, the total value of all goods and services.

In addition, if a new tax bill wins approval, the unelected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development quickly would start pressuring the country to increase the rate. The organization, an outgrowth of the U.S. post World War II Marshall Plan is a proponent of European-style socialism, and some member countries have value-added taxes with rates as high as 25 percent.

Costa Rica is working hard to become a member of the organization, and one of the rules for member states is to impose a value-added tax.

The new Legislative Assembly president was probably influenced in her speech by the strong opposition to a value-added tax that was demonstrated by participants in the International Workers’ Day march Tuesday. Shelving action on the tax proposal can be seen as a political move to allow lawmakers to organize and become accustomed to the new job.

A.M. Costa Rica has calculated that a value-added tax, as proposed in the former legislature, would take about $1.2 billion from the local economy. That is much more than the current sales tax because the value-added tax covers many more categories, including private education, private medical treatments and payments to professionals such as lawyers, accountants and other specialists.

The new assembly president is one of 10 members of her party who just took office. The National Liberation Party has 17 members. Both parties favor the new tax, and they make up nearly 50 percent of the legislative body.

Still, legislative blocs tend to fragment, so there is no guarantee that supporters of new taxes will have the votes to pass whatever measure is put forward when that time comes.

2. Solís blames the people for not approving the Tax Reform

President Solís knows the non-approval of the tax reform during his administration is his responsibility as well as the previous group of legislators’, but he says the people are also responsible.

The president will leave the Presidential House without the approval of the new taxes to alleviate the fiscal situation in Costa Rica, despite his insistence in the last two years. The forces that do not want progress in the reform come from various sectors and from employers who do not want to pay more taxes.

"The more it takes for the fiscal plan to be approved, the more Costa Ricans will have to pay," said the president, who asks the sectors that if they demand better conditions for the country, they must quit being reluctant to approve the new taxes.

3. Unemployment grows after Solís

At the end of the government of President Luis Guillermo Solís employment indicators warn about a growth in unemployment.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), there is a statistically significant drop in the percentage of working-age employed population (51.8%), when compared with the same quarter of 2017.

The male employment rate fell by 1.7 percentage points, while the female employment rate fell by 2.8 percentage points. The employment rate for men was 66.3%, while for women it was 37.1%.

By area, 1.48 million of the employed people reside in urban areas (52.1%), and 520 thousand employed people reside in rural areas (50.9%). The occupation rate decreased in both areas: 2.5 percentage points in urban areas and 1.6 percentage points in rural areas, compared to the first quarter of 2017.

For the first quarter of 2018 there is a significant incorporation of people into the unemployed workforce with a high school diploma (23 thousand people), without work experience (12 thousand people), and young people aged 15 to 24 years old (15 thousand people), which contributes to the increase in the unemployment rate.



Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+506) 8-455-59-35
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

VOIP: (+416) 461-2203




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.