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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #182: March 31- April 5, 2008

Quebrada Extension

Quebrada Extension

» NOTES

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter —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 resales and rental availabilty. Some readers may be interested in this information.

More and more, the content will be dominated by events of our new project, "El Dorado" for short. While the future is always uncertain, I again aim to tell it like it happens —the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what follows.

In an effort to make the format more interesting and visually appealing and to field inquiries re. El Dorado, the news letter is now being distributed by Jan Kozak, Marketing Manager, Hacienda El Dorado. I will remain the author.

» MARKETING, WEBSITE & SALES

Realignment of duties and responsibilities: The contract with the architect is now been agreed to and we will resume working towards a common goal.

Marketing: Jan has been updating and completing a current Photo Gallery of Santa Ana. He has yet to add current Los Jardines pictures but that will be next week's work. He will work with the web designer to organize these.

Sales: We continue to receive 3-5 calls on average each day and have made a number of presentations. We have no additional sales but have several on-going conversations.

Major Investor: After a stint at the beach where he has a condo, he continued with his due diligence. Once he got all the latest information and with one exception (which we expect to be able to address), he seems satisfied and has expressed an interest in acquiring certain additional units when we have more information on some issues. He asks good questions and listens, he presents his perspective well, he has studied the site plan and has walked and studied the physical site. He is as familiar with it as I am. He has made several suggestions, at least one of which seems to be a good idea. Through our discussions, I'm glad to be able to say that he's a person I like doing business with; this is always a bonus when it happens. He's made his money the old fashioned way—by working for it—and that is what I genuinely believe in—learning through business and life experiences.

» CONSTRUCTION LOG

Gaviones: The application for permits is in..

Office Building: The application for construction permit is in.

Quebrada Extension: We have started extending the underground culvert to enclose the quebrada which runs along a portion of our east lot line. This is a sewer as well as a quebrada. The neighbor houses seem happy that we are doing this. We will get rid of an eye sorer and reclaim land as well. We have another month before the rains become too strong. This will give us a base to build our fence and then to landscape the ugly neighbor houses from sight. Our plan is to eventually place a service road on this area and to keep it out of sight from the garden level units of 11 B.

» RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES

For Lease:

Unit106 C: Leased

Unit 107: Furnished: 1,716 sf (158 m2), two story, 2 1/2 bathrooms, separate built-in office area, private terrace, ground floor bedroom with 2 matrimonial beds and en-suite washroom, 2nd. floor master suite with east and west terrace, master bath with corner Jacuzzi, shower, bidet, large kitchen. $1,600 mo. April 7

Unit 109: Furnished: 1,500 sf (140m2), single floor, beautifully furnished with leather furniture and granite tables, wall unit, built in office area, large open concept LR.DR, Off., Ktch, two bedrooms each with queen beds, two bathrooms, terrace storage room, detached--$1,600 mo. April 1

Unit 115: 1450 sf; 2 bedroom; 2 bathroom; private terrace; 42" and a 32" flat screen TVs; lots and lots of built-in cabinets; office desk, DW, W/D. VERY nicely furnished. $1,450. April 1

Unit 120: Furnished: 1,300 sf (127 m2), single level, 2 bedroom each with Queen beds, 2 bathrooms, beautifully furnished with wall unit, 42" flat screen TV + two standard TVs, DW, clothes washer/dryer, vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans, etc. $1,350 mo. May 1

Unit 121: Leased

Unit 123: Leased

Note: We have a number of units coming available all at the same time as "snowbirds" return. We leased two this week on the same day—both parties wanting the same unit and both parties have been to Los Jardines before. We continue to work on leasing the balance of units through this news letter and by sending weekly updates to 450 RE agents.

Well and Irrigation: This is the first full year of using an installed irrigation system and relying totally on our well. All have worked perfectly—except when the maintenance person forgets to turn the pump switch back on after having cleaned the in-line water filter.

» NEWS FROM COSTA RICA

There are also new articles posted in Spanish on the following URL:

http://www.eldoradocostarica.com/Spanish/News/index.php

April 05, 2008
Costa Rica Bans Burger King Commercials For Violent Content
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (FOX News) — The Burger King is safe, at least in Costa Rica.
Read

April 05, 2008
Costa Rica’s Cost of Living is on the Rise
(Costa Rica Travel News) Though Costa Rica is not the incredibly inexpensive country that many wish and believe it to be, most retirees and area residents find it to be affordable: expats in Costa Rica can easily live with $10/month cell phones, rents below $500 monthly, affordable and fresh food from the Costa Rica ferias (farmers’ markets), and utilities that cost a fraction of what they did “back home.”
Read

April 04, 2008
Security Minister Resigns
(La Nacion) After a surprising agreement with President Oscar Arias, Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal left his post vacant.
Read

April 04, 2008
US Passports
(La Nacion) An average four U.S. passports are stolen in Costa Rica every day, according to a report from the American Embassy in San José.
Read

April 04, 2008
Space Cargo
(La Nacion) Alliant Techsystems (ATK), world leader in the launching of cargo to space and in chemically fuelled rockets –whose systems are used in the launching of space shuttles–, entered an agreement with the local AdAstra Rocket, led by Costa Rican-born former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang, to carry the latter’s plasma engine to space.
Read

April 04, 2008
Forest Fires
(La Nacion) During the last two weeks, over 600 hectares (1,482 acres) of the Guanacaste National Park in the Costa Rican northwestern Pacific have fallen victim to four fires, allegedly started by poachers.
Read

April 04, 2008
More Turtles
(La Nacion) The Las Baulas Marine National Park in the Costa Rican northwestern Pacific saw a larger arrival of spawning turtles, from 58 in the preceding season to 78 in the most recent one.
Read

April 04, 2008
Food Costs Skyrocket
(La Nacion) The prices of food increased 22.7 percent during the last year.
Read

April 03, 2008
Costa Rica telecom market seen opening soon
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rica, one of the few Latin America countries still with a state-run telephone sector, is expected soon to open to big foreign players as part of a trade deal with the United States.
Read

April 02, 2008
Costa Rica's Arias wary of inflation
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rican inflation in 2008 will likely exceed the central bank's 9 percent target because of international food and energy prices, President Oscar Arias told Reuters on Wednesday.
Read

April 02, 2008
Costa Rica's March inflation slower, at 0.39%
(The Tico Times) Inflation eased during March, with consumer prices increasing 0.39%, down from last month's 1.11% price hikes.
Read

March 31, 2008
Four U.S. passports stolen a day in Costa Rica
(The Tico Times) Some 1,348 U.S. passports were stolen in Costa Rica during the 2006-2007 fiscal year – equal to almost four a day, the daily La Nación reported.
Read

March 31, 2008
Costa Rica’s Electric Bill Could Go Up 75%
(Costa Rica News) The ARESEP - Costa Rica’s Public Services Regulating Authority - is reviewing increases of up to 75% in electricity rates.
Read

March 31, 2008
Costa Rica’s Green Season Almost Here
(Costa Rica News) The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) has released reports that show that Costa Rica’s green season is just around the corner and that the country should be alert and aware of possible flash flooding that may come with the earlier than expected rains.
Read

March 30, 2008
Costa Rican minister steps down over FARC comments
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rican Security Minister Fernando Berrocal will step down on Monday after accusing unnamed politicians of having close links to Colombian rebels, the government said.
Read

» TESTIMONIALS

This new section seeks to feature some of the testimonials and references we have received from purchasers at Residencias Los Jardines and Hacienda El Dorado. We invite all purchasers both at Residencias Los Jardines and at Hacienda El Dorado to write to us to share their perspectives and opinions with others on why they decided to purchase and whether their expectations were met. This could also be considered to be one of the first opportunities to get to know your future neighbors! Write to us at newsletter@eldoradocostarica.com.

I first became associated with Brian and Paul in March of 2006 when I stumbled upon their website for Los Jardines. This was to be our (my wife and I) third trip to Costa Rica and we were interested in exploring more of the area surrounding San Jose and looking for possible retirement property. Residencias Los Jardines was a very pleasant surprise found tucked away in Santa Ana and so convenient to San Jose.

Our stay with them for the two-week period allowed us an opportunity to get to know their style of property management and the high quality of their constructions very well. We were very impressed with both issues and that led has us to maintain contact with them in anticipation of the new project, Hacienda El Dorado. We were able to return to stay with them in October 2007 to walk the property for the new development.

The site that was selected for the new project is particularly appealing to me as it is a little further out of town and surrounded more by nature, while also maintaining close proximity to San Jose, the airport and medical facilities. They have taken great care to design the development to make the best use of the natural landscape and existing characteristics of the property. They put the preservation of natural resources high on their list of priorities and that is a definite plus, contributing not only to the project development but to the community as well.

With Brian and Paul bringing their years of experience, their ethical standards and welcoming personalities to Costa Rica, I feel very fortunate to have been in a position to get in line early with the new project.

I am currently on an expatriate assignment and my wife and I are living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A few more years of work and we will be more than ready to enjoy the life style that awaits us in Costa Rica.

Martin and Ledis Pease
mwpease@gmail.com

» OUR LIVES

Weather: Heavy winds and dust storms from the construction next door have played havoc with our quality of life. Paul has spoken with their chief engineer three times. Some minor effort has been made by them but …….the rainy season is soon to arrive. Friday saw a heavy downpour typical in the rainy season. There won't be any dust from next door for a few days and by then, we might well have another good rain.

Kiwanis Club: I was asked to speak at the San Jose chapter of the Kiwanis Club as a "Developer". To some, a "Developer" is the lowest life form that exists; to others, a useful evil but usually accepted into some mixed company. This group was very gracious. They listened and some shared similar experiences but on a smaller scale. I gave special praise to the construction workers I've had the pleasure to work with. The head of the chapter referred Lita, who attended with me, to a Filipina living at his guest house. The two will meet on Sunday at the favorite Filipino activity—birthday parties.

Anniversary: April 1 (I thought the date appropriate), 2001, I closed on the purchase of what became Residencias Los Jardines. It was the commitment which launched our current life and which has led to so much satisfaction and the opportunity to invent a new future for each of us. This date ranks right up there with the day I met my wife and the day we married.

Restaurants: Friday night continues to be "Time Out Tavern" night with it's great fish and chips and other good entrées…… It 's a fun, casual place with good food, moderate prices, and decent service.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies— Chico and Chica.

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