Two More Sales, A Week of Conflicts and Disappointments

ISSUE #193: June 16-21, 2008


Two More Sales, A Week of Conflicts and Disappointments


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 availability. 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.


Webdesign: Jan continues to add content and links to the website.

Sales: We sold two more Units at El Dorado and three more will likely materialize next week.


Office Building: We continue to wait for the permit.


Fence: This moves slowly along. The cement block work is nearly done; parging is underway.
Use of the Well Water: The D1 has been issued although we don't have it "in hand". We have to make a physical exchange of a sworn affidavit saying we are who we are and then we will get the actual document. This is suppose to happen Monday or Tuesday. Once we have the document, we will apply for the Concession, i.e. the right to use the water. What does the D1 say? Basically, that there are no environmental concerns relating to the well. The time table for the issuance of this was the week of May 19. Three weeks later, we have it. The "4-6 weeks" time line for the MINAE concession was someone's hallucinogenic dream. In light of what we now believe to be the procedure, we are trying to determine the time line.

Gaviones: We plug along at these--see pictures. They are rock retaining walls which will allow us to level building lots 14-17.

Redesign Buildings 14 and 18: I'm reviewing the new designs.

Winding Down: The block portion of the perimeter walls are nearly finished. We will subcontract out the balance of the fencing which will be chain link or cyclone fencing. Our labor-own work force will be reduced. The gaviones will continue as a sub contract as well.


Website Upgrade / Marketing: Photos of Residencias Los Jardines, the Santa Ana area and some of the houses are now available on line at

"Mac" It's been quiet at night without him.

Sales /Rentals - Disappointments: We've had a number of showings for both categories, especially rentals. A number of the inquiries have been for short term rentals. Some clients have said, "Guaranteed, I'll take either A or B; I'll get back to you tomorrow morning." or various versions of this theme. Invariably, none has done so. Few have followed through and those who have, not followed their own time frame. Thus we have been in a continual state of uncentainty in responding to subsequent clients. In this business, only money on the table talks. ......and that doesn't even mean anything. EG. I had a client last week who signed and paid around $2,900 cash for a long term lease. He phoned three days later from the States saying he would not be returning to CR......and then he phoned 18 hrs. later saying "Yes" he was coming.... His uncertainty leads to our confusion and wheel spinning--but that is the game we are in.

But what has proven to be very useful, is our capability of announcing what is available--"Alert" notices to RE agents, and having all the info. listed on the website that people can research. We are just building a pictorial data base of Unit 112 which is now uploaded on the website.

Two Pipes Burst: We had two bursts this week--one in a washer/dryer compartment--I don't remember if we did the plumbing or the owner did it. The 2nd. was an outside faucet standard which let go due to not having been secured to prevent movement. Flexing caused cracks which eventually lead to it's failure. One of the advantages of living on site is that we can respond to these emergencies. Plastic just doesn't have the strength that copper does.

Units for Sale/Lease:

Unit 123 - For Rent

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1516
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes
This two story, detached 1,423 sf home + parking for one car has two bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms and a 2nd floor covered terrace.

The open railed wrought iron cement stair case leads to the 2nd level where the master bedroom with en-suite master bathroom as well as 2nd bedroom and en-suite bathroom are located. Also accessed from the 2nd floor hallway is the covered terrace.

This is a very nicely furnished home with a good floor plan for those wanting two floors.

Read More

Unit 114 - For Sale

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Single Floor
Type:  Attached
Furnished: Yes
This 1,290 sf. (plus covered parking for one car and two lockers 67 sf.) single story, semi detached house, with garden terrace, two bedrooms is a beautiful executive style home. This home consists of two large bedrooms one with six piece en-suite bathroom with additional access to separate full shower. Each bedroom has large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and bathroom ceilings provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are four TVs (one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in breakfast / dinning room.) This is a beautiful well appointed home.

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Unit 124 - For Rent
Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 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.

Read More

Unit #107 - For Sale
Total Area (Sq Ft): 1716
Total area (Sq M): 158
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,716 sf. (plus parking for one car) two story, detached house, with three terraces, two bedrooms (one on each floor) and upstairs master suite is a beautiful home. This home consists of two VERY large bedrooms (one on each floor) with en-suite bathrooms and a powder room, each with large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and ground floor bedroom ceilings as well as the master bedroom on the 2nd floor, provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are three TVs (one in each bedroom and one in the living room.) This is a beautiful home. There is a rough-in for a dishwasher in the kitchen area.

Read More


In 1988, when Mrs. María Cristina Gutiérrez de Urbina returned from Stanford University with two Master of Arts degrees from its School of Education, one in Administration and Policy Analysis (APA) and one in Design and Evaluation of Educational Programs (DEEP), she brought with her a dream of creating an institution for higher learning. Subsequently, in 1989, Blue Valley School was founded. The school started with student community of thirty-eight and with time it has grown to well over 600 students attending Pre-School through Twelfth Grade. It now occupies a new purpose-built campus, regarded as one of the most beautiful and spacious in the country, on the Western end of the capital city of San José. Blue Valley is host to two computer labs, virtual classroom, one biology lab, one chemistry lab, and a physics classroom with lab equipment. The gymnasium, sports fields, and spacious lawns and gardens more than adequately provide for the students" recreational needs. A new administrative building and library facilities have recently been built in order to accommodate our burgeoning student population.

Phone: 2215-2203, 2215-2204
Fax: 2215-2205



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June 20, 2008
Costa Rica Tourism Increases Despite U.S. Economic Woes
(Costa Rica Pages) When the U.S. economy began showing signs of weakness, many speculated as to whether American tourism to Costa Rica would also begin to decline. However, in news that reassures as much as it delights all that are involved in Costa Rican tourism, statistics show that not only have visits to the country not decreased, but they have actually increased in the past year.

June 20, 2008
Tourism Boom Threatens Costa Rica Eco-Paradise
TAMARINDO, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Pungent brown sewage spews into the Pacific ocean. In the background, cranes put up hotels and beachfront apartments.

June 20, 2008
Trade Opening
(La Nacion) Costa Rica is the second country in Latin America that meets the best conditions for trade and business, according to the World Economic Forum, which ranked 118 countries.

June 19, 2008
Gas Pains Push Costa Rica Government Plans
(The Tico Times) Government officials warned Costa Ricans yesterday that the nation's oil bill by year's end could be double that seen in 2007, and they forecast more measures to stanch consumption.

June 18, 2008
A Third of Costa Rica Employers Plan to Hire Next Quarter
(The Tico Times) Most Costa Rican employers do not intend to expand their workforce within the next quarter, according to a nationwide survey released last week by Manpower.

June 17, 2008
Costa Rica Capital Could Be 1st Digital City in Central America
( From small coffee shops to upscale restaurants, San Jose’s store owners know just how important it is to provide their increasing number of mobile customers with the digital services that they love so much. Indeed, many local San José businesses already proudly display the ubiquitous “WiFi Hotspot” stickers on their front doors. According to many area companies, non-profit organizations, and public institutions, Costa Rica’s capital city is well on its way to becoming Central America’s first “digital city.”

June 17, 2008
Spanish Companies to Invest $1 Billion in Costa Rica
Three of Spain’s biggest hotel chains have announced plans to expand in Costa Rica promising to bring more than $1 billion dollars in development.

June 16, 2008
Men Nabbed with $372K Say They Just Wanted Bananas
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Two men caught with $372,000 in cash near the Costa Rica-Panama border told police that they just wanted to buy some bananas.

June 14, 2008
Economist Intelligence Unit Country Report
The report provides a full overview of the current political and economic situation in Costa Rica and gives the reader an up to date summary of the latest developments within the country.


Weather: We had normal weather for this season-clear sunny mornings, overcast and usually showers for a couple hours. This week, we've actually had several afternoons without showers..

Cycling Accident: Paul continues to convalesce. He's still badly bruised but is walking and getting around a bit. Most of his abrasions are substantially healed. Time will do the rest.

Lita: She's again going to the gym. When not there or fussing with her birds, she's baking up a storm and using all of us as guinneas..... She can no longer read and wouldn't even if she could so as tasters, we never know what we will encounter. Sometimes it's been difficult to give feedback because we don't want to discourage her spirit. When she does get it right, we applaud and every once in a while seems to be enough to keep her motivated. This week it was apple pie--the first was a dud but the 2nd. one was great. She ran out of raisins so used prunes---maybe now everyone will be happier!!!!

Granada: Looking at Jan's pictures of Granada made me wistful and anxious to return. I'm looking forward to visiting my favorite restaurants and margarita places--David, Panama and Toronto just don't compare. Jan said that he has no desire to return to any other city in Nicaragua other than Granada....both of us have been to San Juan del Sur and each concluded we liked Granada much better.... neither of us see the appeal of San Juan del Sur but each to their own......

Conflicts: This week seems to have seen more than it's share of personal conflicts. People not getting along with one another. I think we should put some happy pills in the water.

Traffic and Construction: The AutoPista connecting Santa Ana with San Jose and now the roads between Santa Ana and Pozos are under construction as a result of the San Jose - Caldera highway contract. All underpasses under the AutoPista are being widened. The result is that both the autopista and the side roads are subject to construction chaos--delays, crazy driving habits, impatient people, and lots and lots of cars make going anywhere a challange. There are fewer dump trucks on the roads I'm traveling perhaps because all the available fill dirt is being diverted to the new highway. In certain areas I imagine there is a traffic jamb of them.

The construction to the east of us continues; Mas x Menos is now completed and based on one inspection, doesn't offer anything different. Several new lots appear being prepped for some commercial development. The new Holiday Inn is well under construction and the Forum II continues putting up buildings. Rebar increased by 15% two weeks ago. It was reported that the first quarter of this year saw a 6% increase in building costs. And the approving government agencies continue to dwaddle......
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