Earthquake, Rentals, Incredible Story

ISSUE #223: Jan. 12-17, '09


Earthquake, Rentals, Incredible Story



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.

Note:  I did not publish a newsletter last week.  There was nothing new to report.


Sales: None this week but we have has several inquiries and made two presentations.

The feature article in BoomerScape--a US based targeted website, has not yielded any results.  I guess the boomers are too beaten up to be interested in their future.


Permit Applications: Waiting--SETENA--D1--we wait and that will probably be the story until the end of January. We will be submitting information to another government regulatory branch--INVU--soon.

Construction: It seems that those required to make the decision are still on holidays.  Wow!!!!!

We have received the first draft of the engineering drawings for the bridge--no problems--and the first draft of the roadway / water management system over the quebrada -- a lot of questions which need to be reviewed.  We have been promised the drawings for the Maya Tower retaining wall for Saturday.  We'll see. We  have a meeting set for 4pm. on Monday to review all.

Water: Another week and nothing--Welcome to CR.

Comment:  correction.  Last week I said that Avalon was going ahead with another development south of the Biker's Bar and along the west road leading to El Dorado.  I was wrong.  It is not Avalon but another developer from Columbia who plans on building 25 --- 250 meter houses.  I haven't yet seen any marketing for the project.


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

Texas Hold'em: Mr. Poker Star won again this Wednesday but he had to split the pot with contender. 

Rentals: Unit 109
:  We had trouble collecting from this tenant last month.  This month was shaping up to be a repeat. Despite the rhetoric, I was dubious. Experience has shown that money talks and BS walks.  Based on my previous experience with him,  he had no credibility with me. After 15 days of trying to collect,  I  gave notice that if he had not paid or could not show evidence that money was being transferred, I would shut off his TV, phone, and internet--as per the contract. He did a midnight exit. In CR, there seems to be a higher incidence of people who are not what they pretend to be than in my previous life.  We've had a few bad apples here over the years, and in all cases that we were able to follow, they continued to be bad apples for future  landlords. The most recent being Friday I received feedback on one of our previous "bad apples";  he left the landlord he went to from Los Jardines owing $9,000 and is rumored to be wanted by Interpol. In order to help out other landlords, I offer the following:

Warning:  If an affable guy with the initials NB carrying a British passport applies for a vacancy, and you would like to know our experience, e-mail me-- (  or call me 8-305-39-65

Re. Unit 111:  the estate owning this unit is nearly settled. The new owner as authorized us to lease it UNFURNISHED. See below....

Marketing:  We had two clients interested in purchasing units.  We are still in discussion with them.  We'll see if anything develops.

Small Shade Ranchos--pallapas--Large pool:  The teak columns rotted after 6 years. Teak is known for it's resistance to rot. That is more the case of older trees. These were only about 5" in diameter.  As the tree matures, it develops the oils which give it this rot resistance characteristic. These weren't old enough. Despite having wrapped them with a moisture barrier, the constant water (rain and hosing) contributed to their condition. We are restructuring both ranchos.

Phone System:  Continues to work fine now but I have to recapture the cost of the calls.

Units for Sale/Lease:

Residencia Los Jardines Site Plan

Unit #107 - For Sale/ REDUCED PRICE $239,000 / Leased for $1,650 mo. to Jan. 2010.--OWNER FINANCING AVAILABLE

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

Unit #120 - For Sale--$185K /Leased  at $1,450mo.

Total Area (Sq Ft):1312
Total area (Sq M):122
Floor(s):1 Story

This 1,312 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is an end unit and therefore attached on only one side providing ample lighting and views. The 6 inch cement demising (common) wall prevents sound transfer. This is a very nicely furnished and accented home.

Read More

Unit #108 --For Sale-$245,000; Leased at $1,600 mo. to March '10

Total Area (Sq Ft):1716
Total area (Sq M):158
Floor(s):2 Story

This 1,716 sf. (plus parking space for one car) two storey, detached house, with two terraces, two bedrooms (one on each floor) and an upstairs master suite is a beautiful home.

This home consists of two VERY large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms (one on each floor) and a powder room each with 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.

Read More

Unit #109 --For Rent at $1,650 pr Month FURNISHED

Total Area (Sq Ft):1506
Total area (Sq M):140
Floor(s):1 Story

This single story home (1506 sf. + parking for one car) is detached, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, home office, living room wall / entertainment center along with a built in office and a semi-private terrace. In addition, it has a vaulted ceiling in the “great” room and two skylights. The covered entrance way is suitable for two chairs located next to a covered garden area. Once through the impressive front door, you enter the “great room” which houses the kitchen, dining room, office and living room. Upon entering, there is a built in wooden hutch surfaced with granite—it matches all the built-in furniture in the great room. There is a clothes washer and dryer off the 2nd bedroom. It may also be used for storage.

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Unit #111 --For Rent at $1,250  pr Month UNFURNISHED

Total Area (Sq Ft):1738
Total area (Sq M):161
Floor(s):Single Floor

This corner home located in set of four homes, is very private. The entrance belies the 1,738 sf to be found on the other side of the entrance door. The short entrance hallway opens into a huge “great room” consisting of the kitchen, LR and DR. This room is truly of huge proportions including the 16’ high vaulted ceiling. This vaulted ceiling has clear story windows for light and ventilation. Valance lighting surrounds the room and provides ambiance with its upward sighing lights as well as accent lighting with the recessed halogen lights. From the living room, a large sliding glass door leads onto a private covered terrace.

Read More


If your browser does not support the hyperlinks below, you can view the COSTA RICA NEWS section on our website from the following URL:


January 14, 2009
Obama Raises Costa Rican Hopes of Renegotiating CAFTA
(The Huffington Post) The change promised by the incoming Obama administration has raised hopes not just in the United States but throughout the world. In Latin America, the winds of change have been blowing for several years with electoral victories by progressive candidates across South America.

January 13, 2009
Several Earthquakes Jolt C America
SAN JOSE, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Several earthquakes of medium intensity rocked different countries of Central America Tuesday, according to information reaching here.


Weather: Mostly beautiful, sunny weather with normal breezes. Cooler than normal. 

Lita and the Parrot:  Lita has finally admitted that Vicka has an "attitude problem". I've been telling her that for years but "mothers" don't want to hear the truth.
Earthquake: Aftershocks continue to be reported. We've felt one early Wednesday morning. This was a major earthquake and certainly affected many near the epicenter. Fortunately, we were far enough away and well built that the only evidence of the quake is a 1/2" change of levels between sidewalk and terrace slab in two locations. We  have no cracks in either slabs, tile, walls, windows, etc.....

Kianti:  we went again, and again it was good. I think this will become a regular--perhaps not as regular as Time Out Tavern which is weekly but regular.

Good News Story:  Family members are visiting one of our residents. All of them went ziplining. In the process, the daughter-in-law lost her wedding ring of 34 years; she didn't notice it until she had returned home. She was devastated. They phoned the company, explained, and waited. Shortly, they received a call saying that the ring had been found and that they would bring it to her -- a 2 hour drive. They did! 

Time Out Tavern (Escazu) continues to serve up great fish and chips, hamburgers, and chicken wings. There were 16 in our group last Friday. Their business is thriving and well it should.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies — Chico and Chica.

Jan Kozak, Marketing Manager
Hacienda El Dorado
Rio Oro, Santa Ana
Costa Rica

Skype: jan.kozak.jr

Tel (US) (+1) 647-477-5825
Cell: (+506) 8345 8018

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