Internet Phone: New York: 315-279-6711 Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
Costa Rica: Cell: 506-305-3965 Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.
NOTE: NOW THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIALLY FINISHED, THE LOG WILL FOCUS MORE ON THE RIO ORO DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE INFORMATIVE TO THOSE PLANNING ON BUILDING, THOSE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PURCHASE OR TO LEASE, AND FOR THOSE WONDERING WHAT EXPATS DO IN COSTA RICA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.
The STORY: El Dorado inches forward, and power
The fence inches along.
We located and purchased an ATV for the maestro de
obra (site superintendent). This will facilitate his
movement on site. We had to get him to think "work
vehicle" vs "toy" so the search took a bit longer than
I had expected. Nevertheless, we found what we wanted
at the price we wanted.
The architect and the environmental consultant and
preparing the documents for site plan approval to
SETENA. A separate submission will involve the
We met with the architect on Thursday. In addition to
confirming that he and the engineer are to have all
documents ready for site development/approval by May
30, we determined the pricing structure for the
individual buildings-detached, semi detached and
multiple family buildings and agreed on a cost per
meter basis. We also reviewed what type and size of
home will be best for each lot. Lastly we discussed
at some length and without coming to a conclusion some
concerns re. the placement of elevators and overall
design of one of the Phase II multifamily buildings.
We also discussed the need for renderings and for
having a three dimensional model made of the site to
help people better visualize the finished product. We
will be exploring sources of printed brochures and
I again crunched some numbers now that I have some
specific areas of saleable land vs. common element
land. Fortunately, there were no surprises —I like
it when that happens.
RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES
Terrace Roof: We are putting a roof over the terrace
of Unit 126. This was always considered a possibility
but I wanted to see how it would be lived in before
making that commitment. Given the few days of rain we
had, it was obvious that a roof was a necessary
addition. The tent structure the tenants had put
there simply wasn't adequate. The roof is now done
and the terrace is now a desirable extension of the
Door Repair: We are having to rework a number of
wooden doors. The supplier used green wood which
shrank during the dry season. Not only did some of
the wood crack, the panels shrunk and areas need to be
stained. This will be one supplier who we will
replace on the "El Dorado" development.
Power outages: On Wednesday evening around 7pm we had
a 2 hr. outage (this and the following outages were
more or less country wide) followed by day and evening
outages. ICE, the electrical company in CR, has some
substantial problems which will take more time to fix.
It was nice to see that our planning which had
envisioned power outages and our emergency home
battery packs switched on instantly. All around us
was dark while we carried on with our parties and
everyone felt comfortable. We also switched on our
generator which keep our water pressure up and opened
and closed our security gates.
Internet and Cable Tica: On Wednesday we learned that
the line in Santa Ana had been cut. We were without
service for the day. Our satellite TV still worked.
Unit 106 A: (Available May 1)
Ground floor, 1,250sf, 1 bedroom with office/den/bedroom, two bathrooms, two terraces, granite bathrooms and kitchen; fully furnished. - $900 mo.
Unit 112: (Available May 1)
Similar to Unit 120 (below) except it's attached on two sides. - $1,350 mo.
Unit 120: (Available June 1 - commitment pending)
Single floor, 1,300 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, executive furnishings throughout —all rooms is beautifully decorated. The kitchen and both bathrooms have granite surfaces. The kitchen cabinets are made from natural wood; there is a raised eating counter for casual dining. The kitchen features SS appliances —dishwasher, 6 burner gas stove, and microwave and all the small appliances needed for cooking. The wrought iron and glass dining room table seats 4. Living room features a beautiful full length book case / lighted display area with home theater system and a 42' plasma TV. On the covered terrace are a set of casual chairs as well as a 6 seat dining table. The home is equipped with a stacked washer / dryer. - $1,400 mo.
Unit 124: (Available May 1)
2nd. floor, one bedroom (620 sf), fully furnished with display bookshelf / wall unit, home theater system, 42" Plasma TV, computer desk, large kitchen with natural
wood cabinets and granite counters and backsplash including valence lighting, Bedroom has a full size (matrimonial) bed as well as a single bed. There is a
matrimonial size pull out sofa in the living room. The living room overlooks the large pool and faces west. The bedroom faces east and has views of the mountains. $950 mo.
Residencias Los Jardines is a secure, gated, tranquil community with on-site satellite and / or CableTica TV, high speed internet, VOIP phone capability, 2 swimming pools each with waterfalls, bar-b-qs and social areas, English and Spanish spoken, extensive manicured gardens, English / Spanish /German / Dutch / French spoken.
We've had several lookers this week. Some have said
they will commit; some are still thinking. We'll
Unit 112: $170,000
Single floor, 1,300 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, new
furnishings. The kitchen and both bathrooms have
granite counters. The kitchen cabinets are made from
natural wood- "cedro" and has a breakfast counter for
casual dining. The kitchen features SS appliances —6 burner gas stove, and GE "Profile" microwave and
exhaust space saver unit and all the small appliances
and items needed for cooking and dining. The living
room features a floor to ceiling full length book
case / display /entertainment center. Areas for a
computer work station and TV are incorporated. The LR
features one chair, love seat and a sofa as well as 4
wrought iron / granite topped end / coffee tables.
There is a 6 seat glass and wood dining room table as
well. On the covered terrace is a 6 seat dining
table. The home is equipped with a stacked washer /
dryer. It has vaulted ceilings, valance (direct and
indirect lighting). It's located at the back of the
property, near the large pool; it is part of a 4 unit
Note: In speaking with one agent, she is finding a
lot of clients from Venezuela-these people are getting
out while they still can and are looking to buy and to
lease. Costa Rica is seen as a "safe haven".
Weather: This week has not seen one drop of rain,
has been still, and beautiful.
This will be the last week of residency of two sets of
friends. Their wintering habitat will be exchanged
for Canada; they will be seen again here when the
snow flies there.
Passport renewal: Both Lita and I have had to renew
our passports —mine USA and Lita Canadian. The US
process was much simpler-fill out the form which asks
basic information readily known to people, have photo
taken at the embassy, pay $50, wait 10 days, collect
your new passport. The Canadian process requires a
historical information and documentation not normally
kept by people, two photo IDs, 2 reference people,
one guarantor, emergency contact person, photographs
(took us two times to get it right), $84, and 7 days
later a passport. Lita, being a naturalized citizen,
was/is missing her citizenship card (documentation is
on file with the government and her old passport
wasn't sufficient) so was issued passport for only 1
year. Now she has to apply for this —$64, different
photos (again it took us twice to get this right),
and wait 6 mo. I have no confidence that this will
work as she applied in her maiden name and they didn't
ask for a marriage certificate to make the connection
to the passport they just issued her. We'll see.
Lita's been without playmates for the past week-one
friend is recovering from plastic surgery, three are
gone, and one is busy elsewhere.
Hugo is loosing his hair. Blood work has ruled out a
few things but as of now, the vet is still working on
Who comes to Los Jardines and Why? (continued)
Listed in no particular order:
Person 13: Tenant,, single, 60ish, American, and a
construction and crime refugee from Tamarindo. He
wanted a better quality of life here in CR, cooler
temperatures, and the ability to play golf without
dieing of heat prostration.
Person 14: Owner, investor from California who
bought two units to augment his retirement portfolio.
Person 15: Single, American woman, early 50s,
recently divorced, owner, who wants to get her life
back together again.
Person 16: Single working, woman, late 30s,
Argentinean. Assigned here to manage the Central
American interests of her employer.
Person 17:. Elderly single American, lady needing
full time care. She moved here because the quality of
life and the cost of healthcare she could get here vs.
the US, was much better.
Person 18. Late 50s, single, male, German. He first
moved here because CR and Los Jardines offered a
better quality of life than Florida. He went on to
purchase a 2nd. unit because it represented a good
To be continued.
Brian, Lita, Hairless Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the
pigeon toed parrot.
us at any time to purchase a new house and still be able to select your finishings.
Overlay of Version 1 of the master plan. There will be some minor changes to it but for the most part, it is a reasonable starting point. The picture with the yellow dots represents trees. One swimming pool will likely be eliminated in favor of houses (the large one near the 2nd. pool (bottom left hand corner) This area will likely become a condominium within a condominium having it's own direct street access.