Rentals at Los Jardines and the D1 Well Permit at El Dorado

ISSUE #197: July 14-19, 2008


Rentals at Los Jardines and the D1 Well Permit at El Dorado


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.


Sales: Four units closed and two we're still working on. We need to finalize the customized designs.

Magazine Ads: Another revamped Jan-inspired ad is below: this series has not yet appeared in print.



Labor-Own-Forces: We have let our work crew go. For the next little while, we will rely on subcontractors. Right now, it will be for the chain link fence, about 250 meters, and for the gaviones. This is a much more efficient way for us to get this work done. The work is well defined and very clearly measured; we don't have payroll and supervision.

D1 for the Well: We actually physically have it in hand. What a circus with so many stories I couldn't possibly begin to invent more. This is just the beginning. We will be applying for the Well Concession, ie. the right to use the water now that it has been determined that there is no negative effect on using the well. We are also beginning to prepare the information which will be used later on, ie. after we have been granted the right to use the water. This information and documentation has to do with the environmental issues associated with the development itself. Is it an ancient archeological site? Is the proposed use consistent with the overall plan? Will there be chemicals, etc.

Squatter Encroachment: We had the perimeter lot line marked by the surveyor. In one location, it appears that our neighbor has encroached onto our property by building a small squatter type house, a bodega, and a chicken coop. The area is about 2.7m deep by 30m long. We've documented this and have a survey of his property. On Wednesday, the surveyor will locate the two points on his survey which are contiguous to our land. Only then will be know for sure there is no overlap. In N. Am. one could probably count on there being no overlap. However, that is not the case in Costa Rica. Even though there is a national land registry bureau, it is my understanding that surveys have not been rationalized. I've heard it said that if all the surveyed land was added together, Costa Rica would be twice the size it actually is. We should have an answer on this issue next week. Whether we will have it resolved or not, is another question.

It so happens that the point of apparent encroachment is at strategic point in our design. We can alter our design but we prefer not to. First of all, we need to determine IF there is an encroachment then we will determine WHAT to do about it.


Are you a fan of big motorbikes? Or do you simply feel like meeting fellow compatriots? This bar, located about 1.5 km from the site of Hacienda El Dorado on the main road from Santa Ana to Piedades is a great place to hang out, eat, drink, play pool or enjoy live music concerts on Sunday afternoons. For more information check out the web link below.



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

Sales: Unit 124 closed. No offers yet on 107.

Staff Changes: The replacement for Esther continues in training; she's doing fine, just a lot to learn.

We posted notices at the local grocery stores and bus stops for a full time gardener. We got lots of responses and have offered the position to one of those applicants. We'll let the current gardener who's good, but who has accumulated 17 absences in 11 months and who continues to complain about various things......go.

A Bedeviling Problem: Sewer gas--again a week of no reported problems, however, we haven't had a substantial rain to make an assessment.

Video: I have a feeling that we will be redoing the video which is currently on line. It is definitely out of date. I expect Jan will prod me into this.......I know what went into making the current one. I'm hoping some how that the next will be much easier. I'll have to review the script; new video will be required. I don't know the extent to which people actually view the video. There is now newer technology so we can probably make it more appealing to the viewer.

Rentals: We've had a very successful week having leased 114 and 123. Unit 114 was on the market for about 3 hours. We knew 123 was coming back on the market but we weren't showing it at the tenant's request. We had lots of other people lined up for viewings. In the case of 115, this was made feasible because pictures of 115 were on line, the contract was sent, faxed back in this case, now waiting for the $$ to be transferred. Distance is not an issue--everyday technology allows this.

Renting in Santa Ana (Contribution from Jan - Cont'd): After two weeks of searching, I have succeeded in finding the kind of place that met all of my criteria/parameters of a place, which I hope I will be able to call home for the next 2.5 years. It is a single family home, two stories, a rather modern design, fully furnished, nice finishes, a huge enclosed garden for my dog, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom. located in San Rafael de Santa Ana available at a reasonable price. I repeat however that this should be considered to be an exceptionally good deal. There are not that many of those out there.

Units for Sale/Lease:

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.

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Unit #107 - For Sale/Rent

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


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July 19, 2008
Tribunal is on coastal crusade in Costa Rica
(The Miami Herald) When judges from Costa Rica's Environmental Tribunal emerged from the rain forest recently, they were horrified.

July 18, 2008
Spotlight on Costa Rica—Three new projects with tropical flair
( Costa Rica is the granddaddy of the Central America vacation home scene. It was attracting hordes of U.S. retirees with the promise of tropical paradise and sandy beaches in the Eighties, posting huge run-ups in prices long before Mexico, Panama and Belize started rolling out mass quantities of high-end resorts.

July 18, 2008
Costa Rica to Develop Panamanian Border
(The Tico Times/EFE) President Oscar Arias this week signed a $9.2 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that will be used to finance sustainable development projects in the Sixaola River Basin on the Panama border.

July 18, 2008
Costa Rica banana hopes rest on European market
BANANERA EL ESFUERZO, Costa Rica, July 18 (Reuters) - Costa Rican farmhand Elbert Perez cuts bunches of unripe bananas in the blazing sun and prepares them for their long journey from the world's No. 2 banana exporter to the European Union.

July 18, 2008
Costa Rica Managing New Transportation Needs
(Costa Rica Pages) San José’s vehicular restriction has gotten cars off the roads and, hopefully, helped reduce the country’s monthly fossil fuel bill.

July 18, 2008
Costa Rica’s Risk Rating Improves
(The Beach Times) Standard & Poor’s, a global leader in credit ratings and credit risk analysis, has adjusted its assessment of Costa Rica from stable to positive.

July 17, 2008
Forum on Cross-Straits Relations Held in Costa Rica
SAN JOSE, July 16 (Xinhua) -- A forum on the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits was held in Costa Rica on Wednesday.

July 17, 2008
Costa Rica Disappointed by U.S. Anti-Drug Aid Package
SAN JOSE, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The Costa Rican government on Wednesday voiced discontent with a recent U.S. anti-drug aid package, saying the money is far less than what the country needs to combat drug trafficking.

July 17, 2008
Could Climate Change Impact Costa Rica? New Study Says Yes
ScienceDaily (July 17, 2008) — Climate change could have a major impact on the environment of Costa Rica, upsetting delicate mountain cloud forests, and causing a decrease in plant and animal species in a region famous for its biodiversity. Regional climate models predict that the area will become warmer and drier as climate change accelerates.

July 16, 2008
Rubén Blades Comments on Costa Rica's "Great" Roads
(Inside Costa Rica) Singer and actor, Rubén Blades, who also happens to be Panama's ministro de Turismo (tourism minister) praised the Juan Santamaría (San José) international airport, although he criticized the country's poor state of the roads.

July 16, 2008
Couple Escapes to an Exotic Life
(Calgary Herald)Four years ago, just as the city's economic boom gained steam and sent house prices skyward, Dave Dolezsar and his wife Monica quit their lucrative oilpatch jobs, sold everything and left Calgary in search of paradise.

July 16, 2008
Climate Change a Threat to Costa Rican Fauna, Another Study Finds
(The Tico Times) Climate change could dramatically alter Costa Rica's weather, habitats and animal and plant diversity, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, United States.

July 15, 2008
Costa Rica Likely to Join Chávez Oil Group
(The Tico Times) Costa Rica is edging ever closer to becoming the 18th member of Petrocaribe, a Venezuela-led initiative that provides Latin American and Caribbean countries with favorable financing on oil imports, according to the Foreign Ministry.

July 15, 2008
Costa Rica Tourism Still a Bull Market
(The Tico Times) During the first six months of the year, 1.03 million foreign tourists visited Costa Rica, an increase of 12.5 percent (89,178 tourists) over the same period last year, according to estimates by the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR).

July 15, 2008
Dollar Value Increases Again in Costa Rica
(Costa Rica Pages) The dollar keeps going up and it is not looking as if this phenomenon is going to stop too soon. The banks had to adjust their selling and buying rates again.

July 15, 2008
Homeopaths, Naturopaths Win Right to Permits Costa Rica
(The Tico Times) The nation's Constitutional Court (Sala IV) ordered the Health Ministry to grant permits to homeopaths and naturopaths to operate as doctors.


Weather: Lots of overcast, gray mornings / days. We haven't been getting the sun as much this raining season as in past years but we haven't been having hard afternoon rains as well.

Lots of time spent showing units for rent and making the contracts. Also, time spent interviewing gardeners.

Paul returned to Canada on Saturday for some time with his family.

Lita continues baking with mixed results. My grandmother who eventually became very good at baking, told the story many times about her failures and how she coped with them--she buried them in the back yard.

Hugo: Lita was snoozing with the parrot on Wednesday afternoon. I entered the room to see Hugo munching on a bird. I did a quick check to see if any of the feathers were green and counted her other birds on the terrace. Fortunately, all were there. Lita was horrified when she awoke.

We've had some good home cooked meals this week--Bill's slow cooked baby back ribs and Terry's lightly battered fish and chips. We also had a Lita pizza -- the crust of which was forgetable--again.

One of the Albertan families visited La Paz Water Falls and stayed several nights at The Peace Lodge. I've asked them to write a report. It's quite a spectacular setting and the lodge itself has some unique features. Hopefully, we'll have this next week.
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