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Residencias Los Jardines - Life & Times

ISSUE #745: Jan. 20-26, 2019

My Birthday Present!...

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
Unit 12-2 available immediately - $ 1,400 mo.

 
Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #114, #116 and #124

Rentals:

Paradisus: Unit 12-2 available immediately - $ 1,400 mo.

Los Jardines: Units #112, #116 and #124

 
Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

FOR SALE
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 195,000 / See Unit
Unit #124: $135,000 $ 125,000 / See Unit

FOR RENT
Unit #112: $ 1,250 mo. $ 1,150 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 1,250 mo./ Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 850 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

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 #116
FOR SALE
$ 195,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
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.

UNIT #124
FOR SALE
$135,000 $ 125,000

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 #112
FOR RENT
$ 1,250 mo. $ 1,150 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 1 Story
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
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: 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.

UNIT #124
FOR RENT
$ 850 mo.
Available immediately

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.

 
Our Lives

Weather: Winds are increasing as per normal... continued dry without hint of rain... mostly sunny skies ...mostly 23C / 77F and cool (for us) nights.

What Happened This Week:

Condo Administration: This has dominated my week and removed my butt from the hammock... After my hissy fit of the previous week, things got sorted out -more or less. This week was busy: After an absence of 4 months for personal reasons, the administrator returned to an administrative and accounting mess resulting mostly from lack of documentation. In addition, the condominium annual shareholder meeting has had to be postponed multiple times until information was sufficiently available to hold a productive discussion and meeting. For the past 5 years, we have not really had a budget or defined work programs... the previous year was always used as the next year's budget... "same as before..." Some saw this as being great management in that we were able to hold the line on expenses since there was no increase in monthly HOA fees. (That was incorrect thinking because we actually created an additional $800 mo. cash flow with renting 104 but to do that, we had to invest money.) Well, what they failed to understand is that we were drawing down on our reserves and not doing our routine and preventative maintenance. At the same time, our "profit centers" (Internet / Cable TV / laundry / telephone) were drying up. We coasted and about a year ago we started to feel the effects and we continue to feel the effects. This day was predicted but no one in a decision making position wanted to listen or acknowledge it and many shareholders ignored it as well... out of site, out of mind, everything is fine... plants are green... (only the plants that were still alive)... Those officers are now gone and we now have to deal with that legacy. Fixing a broken ship is sometimes more difficult and more expensive that maintaining it... In addition, normal aging of our physical infrastructure and electronic infrastructure (phone, Internet, TV) happen regardless of maintenance... and maintenance wasn't great. That's where we are. We have been focusing on fixing this and have been researching options, lining up resources, getting numbers, clarifying objections and strategy. This past week has been the focal point of this work.

My Birthday Present: I spent it (8am to 10:30 PM and the next day dealing with a sewer back up... with the consequent mess in two occupied houses and trying to resolve the problem in the pipe. Along with this is everyone's denial and finger pointing; no one wanted to wait until the problem was identified and then perhaps attribution / cost could be determined. We worked our way through it with some raw edges and are now back to normal... There was no abuse of the system / seems to have been the gradual accumulation of grease which led to the blockage... yep... 73 years old and still having to deal with s...t..... a note to the younger... it doesn't necessarily get better or easier with age. A friend in Canada reported that he was 76 and in a different country but life was the same... I thought that is not a great vision for my future...

Portugal / Spain: Some items clarified / nothing cast in stone...

Investment Reviews: Spent the equivalent of a day looking at loan opportunities... and one house that a reader acquired thru foreclosure. All a waste of time... Nothing I would want to lend against / own... I ran away as fast as possible... Lots of junk... One was a very nice house and showed pride of ownership but the info. I was given was wrong and what he wanted to borrow made the deal unattractive... and when he said his business revenue had gone from $11,000 mo. to $5,000 mo... I have to wonder how safe is the investment... I passed and wish him well.

Vacancies: no in interest this week... I have started to market directly vs. though agents. I have had no response but need to focus on it given time between sewage issues.

New Year's Resolution: To stay out of trouble... short and sweet... difficult to do in CR... We'll see... and to remember a younger friend's observation: it is easier to stay away from trouble than to get out of it...

 
News Items of the Week

COMMENTS

1. Banks and the Economy: here are the warning signs of impending problems... now look at article 4 for another sign.

2./ 3: Uber: a better product, a better service, at a lower price... The government wants to regulate it and tax it to death... great way to kill innovation, productivity and initiative... this country is a master at it.

4. Exchange rate: the forces are for the value to drop... only thru bank intervention is the rate of change is moderated... and moderated at a price... If the bank did not intervene... what would be the rate at which the colon stabilized?????

1-a. Banks / Economy: State Banks Profits 2018... I found this article interesting... it was sent to me by a Coopeanae sales rep. I forwarded it to a group of friends who are paying attention... 1-b is a response:

1-a. State Banks had significant decreases in their profits in 2018.

Banco Popular's (BP) profits fell 40.7%, Banco Nacional de Costa Rica (BN) 34.7% and the Banco de Costa Rica (B.C.R.) 24.2%, all caused by credit deterioration.

These three entities represent 56% of the bank loan portfolio in 2018. During 2018 loan placements became slower and there were credit operations that went into payment problems which hit these three banks hard.

Meanwhile, Coopenae's profits grew 18.54% in the same period.

1-b.

Yup. The private banks all had increases except for ScotiaBank... the 3 big national banks were all down big time.

Purdy Motors was down 18% in '18 vs '17. They did not say if this was revenue or volume of Toyotas sold...

Central Bank Commercial Activity was down 2% yoy, ytd October, 18 vs 17, but then fell 8.5% yoy in October. Will be interesting to see Nov and Dec.

Gov tax receipts increases Year over Year yoy were 9.6% in 2015, 7.9% in 2016, 5.4% in 2017, and 4.0% in 2018 (prelim).

For 2018, Gov income (taxes) were c4.9 billion colones (CR Billions). Expenses were c6.9 b. Primary deficit was c2b or 41% of income (taxes). Primary deficit was 2.4% of GDP (taxes - expenses). Interest payments were 3.6% for a total of 6% of GDP. Expenses were actually controlled a little bit, anyway!

Not a pretty picture for this inept gobment, eh! But gray helmet head granny Ministeress of Hacienda seems pretty on top of tings.

In my humble opinion, it is criminal to pay taxes to these bandits with the corruption, huge salaries, huge pensions, stupid political appointments, 320 gobement inefficient entities, all conspiring to raise the 'costo Costa Rica'.

But, we all have to pay for the common good and the subsidy to the stupid, infirm, and inept.

What is the answer? Put on your Yellow Jackets! Or at least pull them put of your car emergency kit and make sure the mold is not too bad, eh!

2. Uber Gives Its Position on Costa Rican Government Plan to Legalize its Operations

Yesterday after the Government of Costa Rica presented a bill to the Legislative Assembly to legalize Uber and similar platforms allowing them to coexist with regular cab services, Uber analyzed the proposal and stated its position in this regard.

According to Uber ¨the vision of the government is far from being a proposal that promotes innovation, competition and development of technology¨

¨Given the climate of economic contraction and the lack of work opportunities for Costa Ricans, this proposal would force to only allow a limited number of people to register as partners on the different platforms¨, explained the company through a press release.

The project proposes that the different platforms must register with the Council of Public Transportation declaring them as Transportation Platform Companies (EPT in Spanish), they will be subject to the payment of VAT (Value Added Taxes) equivalent to 13%. Uber, as well as any other platform that began operating in the country prior to the establishment of this new law, must pay a registration amount (and fine) of approximately $13,875,774.00.

The document also considers the creation of a National Mobility Fund that will be used to maintain the taxi fleet modern. This fund would be financed with a 3% of the amount paid over the final amount of trips done by the ETP.

Uber showed its concerned for the high amounts included in the proposal, which would translate into charges to their drivers. The company has stated in the past their willingness to pay taxes, but requests that the Commission of Economic Matters of the Legislative Assembly to consider all presented proposals and initiate inclusive decisions that result on an innovative project¨.

There are currently close to 22 thousand registered drivers and over 800,000 users, which makes Costa Rica the country with more market penetration in Latin America and one of the most important markets worldwide for the company.

Uber also contributes with additional jobs through Uber Eats, which was launched in December 2017 and their Excellence Center in the country which has close to 500 direct collaborators.

3. Taxi drivers suspend strike and create commission to modify the bill

All the organizations of formal taxi drivers in the country met for five hours on Wednesday afternoon, with the aim of analyzing the government proposal contained in a bill that allows the coexistence of Uber and the regular taxi service.

As a result of the meeting, they created a commission that will be responsible for ensuring changes in the law in the Legislative Assembly and suspended the strike process they were planning.

According to Gilbert Ureña, the commission will be integrated by the leaders Randall Jiménez, Rubén Vargas, Carlos Ruiz Pérez, Maribel Guillén and himself.

For taxi drivers, the most important points are the number of vehicles that will be authorized to work on public transport platforms, which would be 30%, according to their proposal.

The leader indicated that they will also request that public transport permits be delivered individually and not to legal companies, as it is intended in the government project.

In addition, we will try not to remove the representative of the taxi drivers before the Board of Directors of the CTP; review the rate so that it protects existing legislation and protects users and, considering that the entry of new operators to the market without study of supply and demand, we will establish compensation for all taxi drivers,” said Ureña.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT) presented the bill of law file 21.228 to endorse the operation of the US company in the country.

4. Exchange rate rises ¢2.4 and Central Bank intervenes

The average exchange rate rose ¢ 2.4 on Wednesday in the Foreign Currency Market (Monex), where wholesale operations are listed.

During the day, a total of $21.3 million were transacted, of which $8.4 million were contributed by the Central Bank through an exchange stabilization intervention, due to excessive pressures on the exchange rate.

The Central Bank also made a direct sale of $32.5 million to the non-financial public sector, the highest sale of this type, so far in 2019.

Wednesday marked the fourth consecutive days of upward trend closures in Monex. At the banks, the exchange rate rose by an average of ¢3 during the day.

 

FOR RENTAL OR SALES INFORMATION
ON ANY OF THE ABOVE, CONTACT:

Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

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

Canada:
VOIP: (+416) 461-2203

Web: http://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com
ResidenciasPropertyManagement@gmail.com

 

Top

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.