Wind and Rentals

ISSUE #226: Feb. 2-7, 2009


Wind and Rentals



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: None this week -- several inquiries and showings.

Chinese lead: No feedback. The Chinese new year is now over so perhaps ....

Banco National: It seems they have hired a survey company to talk with developers to find out what their needs are. We were interviewed on Wednesday. Our person said the survey was to be completed by the end of February. That the survey team would be going to Guanacaste to interview the developers there.

Note: The government forced Banco Nacional, (and other banks  by default which received an inflow of capital by the government) to lower the interest rate charged on mortgages and loans by 2%. Whether this is to apply to a mortgage of any size or is limited to a certain size, I don't yet know. The rate is still high by N. Am. standards but a step in the right direction.


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. We signed some papers required by SETENA and MINAET.  

Construction: I have no further info. on this. I believe the government has not yet signed off on the agreement nor has the plan be introduced to the Municipalidad de Santa Ana who will issue the permits.

Water: I have no further information on this. The engineer was to submit the letter we had from AyA to ??? to see if it met their criteria..... 


Texas Hold'em: A good game with lots of entertainment.  Mr. Poker Star was on a cruise spending his gains so the remainder figured each had a better chance of winning.  .

Wind: We've continued with a lot of wind and consequent dust.  This past week must rank as the windiest I've ever seen it here at any time.  Almost constant winds with gusts probably upwards to 50-60 mph.  We had one small tree blow down and we're choking on dust from Kirebe but otherwise no damage. A large sign at MegaSuper blew down and crushed 6 cars.  By one person's statement, the winds are the strongest in 25 years.  Only 40 mi. or so as the crow flies on the Caribbean side of the mountains, it's raining hard with swollen rivers and mud slides;  in the Central Valley we haven't seen rain for two months.  It's very hard to keep up with the watering as plants dry out very fast with the wind.

Power Outage:  With the strong winds, we experienced two power outages Wednesday evening.  Fortunately, the emergency power packs we build into the units take over an alleviate  the stress of darkness and allow people to wind down whatever they are doing and find the candles, flashlights or battery powered lighting. What continues to be an issue, regardless of including instructions in the "Orientation Instructions" is how to operate the security gate during these outages. I guess we hadn't had an outage at night for some time so I was on duty because even the veterans had forgotten and the newbies hadn't bothered to read/remember the instructions.  I re-issued them in greater detail. 

Computer Support:  One of our on-going issues is computer support.  Many people do not know how to problem solve computer and computer related equipment problems.  I'm one of them and we frequently have to call in the services of several people who do this type work for a living.  Our residents are the same.  However, their first reaction is to blast us.  Sometimes it's valid; however, more often than not, it isn't--either we are  not getting Internet signal, or their computer or peripheral equipment, eg. routers, hubs, has crashed and needs to be rebooted or failed in some way. We have two good, bilingual people with whom we work and who we bring in or who's phone number we provide to our residents.  I find myself wondering how residents outside our compound solve these issues.  I see countless posts on bulletin boards asking for tech support people.  At El Dorado, we might need to have a tech support person on staff....many, many people are absolutely dependent on it.
Rentals:  The owner of 123 decided not to visit so asked us to lease it beginning March 1.  We did within a couple days.  The tenant in 112 has given notice that he will be vacating the end of February.  (See below for information on this unit.)  The rental market continues to be strong--at least for our product. Recently, the clients have been coming from Europe and Latin America and are coming here as a result of job reassignments or company start ups.

Sales:  We've had several people look at available units here.  One couple really liked 120 but have not made an offer.  It seems that while many people still have the dream and are scratching around how to operationalize it, they are afraid to commit. 

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.

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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 #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.

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Unit 124 - For Rent at $1,350 pr Month FURNISHED

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 #112 - Available for Rent

Total Area (Sq Ft):1290
Total area (Sq M):120
Floor(s):1 Story

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

Read More


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February 08, 2009
China Donates 200 Patrol Cars To Costa Rica
(Inside Costa Rica) The latest gnerosity by the government of China towards Costa Rica is the donation of 200 patrol cars to the Fuerza Pública (police), which will be deployed mainly in San Jose and Limón.

February 07, 2009
In Costa Rica you'll have just enough comfort - but no end of creatures
(NY Daily News) Who knew the green movement could actually save you some green? Those who travel to Costa Rica, yearning to get back in touch with nature and revel in everything sustainable, have great deals awaiting them.

February 07, 2009
Recession Hits Costa Rica
(Costa Rica Pages) Remember that pizza guy who zoomed through the pouring rain at 10 p.m. last month to deliver you a fresh steaming hot pizza? He is currently unemployed, along with 129 other Domino’s Pizza employees in Costa Rica. I bet you wished you tipped better now. The job losses don’t end there, and while the government is calling for solidarity and support from the people and private businesses, they are also working on short term law reforms to offer a hand to those in need.

February 07, 2009
Crisis hits Costa Rica, but will it go further?
( The media crisis has apparently hit Costa Rica - and as we have seen so often recently, Twitter had the latest news first. Grupo Naciòn, who is behind several publications in the country, last week announced plans to up to cut 100 jobs at its daily La Naciòn, and to stop printing its recently launched college based newspaper Vuelta en U, leaving just the website.

February 07, 2009
Costa Rica Growth Down, Poverty Up
San Jose, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) Facing growing tensions over price hikes Costa Ricans learned that the economic growth of their country will fall below the 2.2 percent planned.

February 04, 2009
Costa Rica mortgage bank chief ousted after thousand-dollar feast
(The Tico Times) The government forced Ennio Rodríguez to step down Thursday from his post as director of the state National Housing Mortgage Bank (BANHVI) after learning Rodríguez used bank funds to pay for a ¢660,000 ($1,140) lunch.

February 02, 2009
Environmentalists try greening Centam sugar
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Environmental groups are working to set up labeling programs to certify green-friendly sugar in a bid to cut the pollution caused by this major cash crop.


Weather: WIND, WIND, WIND.....see above.  On Sunday, it's finally backed off a bit.

Standing Prime Rib of Beef:  We've organized a dinner for Feb. 15.

Clever guys:  I replaced a TV. The old one worked fine except when DVDs were played, it was only black and white. Since the TV was very old and had been repaired countless times, I decided to buy a new one. I decided to give it to one of the workmen....but whom?????  As in the past, I made a game out of it and the process was absolutely transparant. I wrote a number on a paper and explained that they were to do the same by picking a number between 1 and 10. Gardener one chose 5--he was hedging his bet on either side.  Gardener two chose "6" or was it "9"?????? --he was willing to call it either way. I thought that was very clever of him. (My number was "9" so regardless of whether it was "9" or "6" that he wrote, he won.)  The winner has been with us long enough to have participated in the auction and he remembered it.  That was a lot of fun--the first and probably the last time they had all be on a level playing field in terms of "bean money".

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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