Dental Experience

ISSUE #984:May 19-June 1, 2024


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


Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Unit #105

Los Jardines: Nothing available
Paradisus: Nothing available

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #116: $ 169,000 / See Unit

Unit #104: $ 1,000 mo. / Single story, 2 bdrm, 2 bathroom, vaulted ceiling, loft, detached house, covered terrace, semi-private yard. UNFURNISHED, except for a 4 burner gas cooktop. Newly refurbished -paint, cabinets, kitchen counter, lighting, mosquito screening, etc. No pets, preferrably non-smokers, adults. Available immediately $1,000 water included and one parking space. Extras are gas for cooking / hot water, Internet, and electricity. / See Unit

For sale

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.

For rent
Our Lives

What Happened

Weather: We are now into the rainy season... regular rains... garden is happy.


1. Dental Experience:
Background: I had been experiencing sharp pains in one tooth over the past several months... the shooting pains had become more frequent so I decided it needed to be looked after. At 2 pm I texted my dentist... within 5 min. I had a reply, and two minutes later I had an appointment at 5 pm that afternoon... Examination included X-ray, eyeball investigation and diagnosis... the crown had left a gap between the adjacent tooth, food was lodged and that was causing the nerve to shoot... solution was to remove the crown and make a new one with a tighter fit... I was booked for 9 am Monday and the same time for Wednesday.

Monday: removed the crown, cleaned the base, inserted a digital probe (like an electric toothbrush), bep-bep-bep for less than a minute -it was doing a 360 view of the space- the base of the existing tooth, the surface / contour of the upper tooth , width, depth, distance, etc... The doc rubbed on some putty like substance where the crown had been removed, cured it with a blue light... good to go... until Wednesday.

I asked to see his equipment -I was curious about 3D printing technology in dentistry... He showed me and explained the following:

No more impressions / molds..... The digital measurements, are fed into a computer for visual review -total angle review, tweaked by the technician, then to a cutter which starts with a blank of porcelain- about 3/4" sq and 1 1/4" long with a stud in the base (could be other material, zirconium for example) -this machine can cut up to 5 "crowns / teeth at a time-... takes about 30 min. from there the shaped crown is colored and polished, baked, and ready for installation. He has a friend who does this all in 3 hrs. My guy takes longer... The machinery -lab is in one room... there are different machines for different functions / materials. All machines are made in Europe -Germany... He has a number of older machines... technology is changing fast ...he tries to keep as current as he can... He has one staff dedicated to this... I will find out the cost on Wednesday... but I found it incredible technology...

Phase 2: Installation of the crown:
The appointment was for 9 am. It didn't happen until around 10:30... I asked the doc... he said that the first crown was flawed... it had a crack in it which was caused by a faulty blank from which it was cut. He felt it would fail in a couple years so made a new crown. o.k. He proceeds to pop off the temporary epoxy paste used to protect the remaining stud. Cleans up the top briefly, dry fits the crown, makes a couple little adjustments, removes it, puts on the glue, re-sets the crown. He then cleans up the squished out glue, blue lights it, and sends me on my way... after showing me his new, larger 3D printer and a new cleaning machine which he is really happy with. The cost of the crown? $15 for the initial 30 min. visit, analysis, Xray, clean and patch and epoxy paste; $350 for the crown itself.

2. 104 Rented: We had a number of lookers; as of yesterday, we rented it for the asking price effective immediately... Hopefully we have a good client... one who pays on time without chasing, one who respects the property, and one you respect their neighbors, one who respects the Rules and Regulations of RLJ... that is all we ask...

3. Water System: continues to work beautifully after the installation of the check valve and rewiring and addition of the pressure control switches.

4. Internet: no problems since we added the new trunk line.

5. Condo Fee Increase: The condo fee increase was met with a few dissadents and some ungrounded and incorrect statements and accusations. Some helpful comments indicated a lack of understanding of our reality and some were just plain...????? However, trying to put a positive spin on what was not always a positive situation, the condo company is again in a survivor mode.... the increase and the recent increase in the dollar-colon exchange rate helps... and hopefully, the exchange rate continues to adjust to an equilibrium level... see attached article... which is till a hope and a prayer...

News Items of the Week


1. Exchange Rate... this article is a hope and a prayer but it is probably close to being accurate... that doesn't mean it will happen... it seems increasingly obvious that the rate was artificially manipulated by some one... all the goernment explanations always fell short and mostly included a statement saying they really didn't understand the fall in the rate themselves... but as soon as there was some organized resistance and pain started to hit in the form of company shut downs and layoffs, the exchange rate has moved up quite rapidly...

2. CR is the 6th wettest country in the world... yeah, but they run out of water so cannot generate electricity and the rate is outrageous... what does that tell you about the state of management...???

3. Electricity rates: Remember the government says there is no inflation in CR. Remember that CR is the 6th wettest country in the works. Remember that the vast majority of electrical generation is hydronic. Remember that ICE said two years ago it dud not need all the hydronic generation it had built. Remember that CR was facing generation shortage due to lack of water... Now we are scheduled for a substantial rate increase when we are currently one if, if not the most expensive rate payers in Central America/ South America... There is a lot wrong with this situation

1. Dollar exchange very far from reaching a point of equilibrium

QCOSTARICA -- Despite in the last month the dollar exchange rate stopped its fall and, more importantly, began to gain value, this does not mean that the exchange rate is near where it should be to allow business in the export sector, tourism and foreign investment to operate without difficulties and avoid layoffs.

With a dollar exchange rate above ¢620 colones to one U.S. dollar, it would also allow debtors to keep their debts up to date without major problems.

But we are not there yet, reaching a point of equilibrium, and there are no expectations to be there in the short term, according to financial experts.

The problem is that between May 2 and May 31, the purchase of dollars went from ¢503 to ¢520, which implies a recovery of only ¢17 per unit. ¢100 below that equilibrium point.

The improvement in the last month in the dollar exchange is related to the reduction of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) approved by the Banco Central (Central Bank); However, experts consider that the state entity still has room to further reduce this index and thus promote borrowing and the increase of the dollar exchange.

“The ideal value for the productive sector and debtors should be based on a fluctuating figure between ¢620 and ¢640. Prior to all this great fluctuation that we have experienced up and down in the last year and a half, there were no major movements in the dollar exchange and people accepted it without problems. That is what we call the equilibrium point (…) I think that the Central Bank still has room to reduce the MPR even more,” said Daniel Suchar, economic analyst.

The sharp drop in the dollar exchange rate in the last 18 months made Costa Rica one of the countries with the greatest appreciation of the local currency, the colon, according to Gerardo Corrales, economist at Economía Hoy.

Experts agree that it is essential that the exchange rate returns to “normal” values so as not to affect companies that receive their income in dollars, avoiding further layoffs such as the case of a company operating for the last 35 years that had to close due to the low dollar exchange rate.

The Standard Fruit Company, a major player in Costa Rica's export sector, announced recently the layoffs of more than 400 people for this same reason.

“One has to look for a neutral exchange rate. When the exchange rate was ¢620, no one talked about the exchange rate. When it began to rise to ¢700, debtors in dollars and those earning in colones began to get nervous and raised alarm. Now that the exchange rate is barely ¢530, it is the exporters, hoteliers and local producers who are faced with imports and react,” said Corrales.

Costa Rica is an economy very dependent on the external market, so a drop in the value of the U.S. dollar has a high impact.

Among the reasons for the low dollar is the record figures in tourism, exports and foreign investment in 2023, causing the market to be flooded with dollars, at the same time that the government is not buying in the local market to pay its debts, so there is less demand for the dollar and that translates into a lower dollar exchange rate.

3. Brace for Impact: Costa Rica’s Electricity Rates to Soar by Up to 26.6%

Electricity rates will increase in the country by between 15% and 20%, as confirmed by the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) on Monday. The increase will be implemented by all distribution companies as of January 2025.

According to ARESEP, the increases are due to higher thermal energy consumption in 2023 and so far in 2024. The projected increases could be higher depending on the evolution of the generation system during the remainder of 2024.

Carlos Montenegro, Executive Director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries, fears that by the time the information is updated in May, the rates for end customers will increase by approximately 26.6%.

“We express our deep concern about the impact that the high level of spending on thermal generation and imports will have on electricity rates. From the Chamber, we ask for measures to be taken so that the increase in 2025 is not so steep and is distributed over 24 or more months,” he said.

As in the previous year, the Costa Rican Electricity Institue (ICE) has maintained an intensive use of hydrocarbons in 2024 to meet electricity demand and has sought to import as much energy as possible from the MER due to the critical condition of its hydroelectric generation reservoirs, which have historically supported consumption.

The Chamber of Industries reacted to the regulator’s announcement and warned that tariffs could actually increase by up to 26.6% if the impact of thermal generation for next year is considered, according to its estimates.

“We call for measures to be taken so that the increase in 2025 is not so steep and can be spread over 24 or more months,” the organization said in a statement. All users, including residential, industrial, and commercial sectors, will have to bear the costs associated with the increased thermal generation carried out by the ICE and the cost of imports in 2025.

The estimated amount to be passed on to subscribers throughout the country amounts to ¢193,000 million approximately $347.4 million) to be recognized by the ICE. However, Mario Mora, ARESEP’s Energy Manager, indicated on Monday that in the next few days a new assessment will be made with data up to May, so the amount could be higher.

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