ISSUE #296: March 29 - April 3, 2010




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.

DISTRIBUTION METHOD CHANGE: We used to use Yahoo mail but the lists got too long and Yahoo dropped names for reasons we couldn't understand.  We went o Google mail and that had is problems as well.  We then went to a Google Group system where people had to enlist;  some people were intimidated by this and / or it didn't seem to work for them.  For a while, we ran two parallel systems but gave that after several months.  We are now going to a different method...a non-website affiliated company which says it will distribute the newsletter and where I can update the address easily.  We'll see.

Brian C. Timmons, Author
Residencias Los Jardines/Hacienda El Dorado - Developer



INVU--AyA: As a result of having been granted a well concession, we now have to revise a gazillion drawings, write a letter explaining why they are being redrawn, and begin again the three party INVU review.  But since this is the only change from what has been approved before, we shouldn't have delays like before. Having said that, this is CR. Paul and I were describing the minutia and games played here in CR who have a "cannot do" attitude.

Website: I haven't started making the changes but have asked the consultant how he can make it available for me "off line" to make the changes and he upload them when I am satisfied with the changes I've made..  This will still take a backseat to some things I have to do for Los Jardines.

Marketing: Lot 17 seems unaffected by this change but until we have the approval from INVU, I prefer not to make any commitments.


Shareholder's Meeting: Actually, April 30 is a Friday so the shareholder meeting is now Saturday, May 1, 1pm.  The intended topic, property management of Doneste, the parent company of Residencias Los Jardines, has been generating a lot of lively discussion.
Rancho Roof Replacements: The contractor and crew are suppose to be on site Monday and work through until finished.

Electrical Outage:  ICE is upgrading the power in the Santa Ana area and this time their work will affect Los Jardines.  On Tuesday, April 6, the power will be off from 7:30 to 4:30. Fortunately, we have a generator for water. Internet, phones, TVs, pumps, etc, will all be down.  A week ago, another area of Santa Ana was affected. In that case, the power came back on around 4pm.  We had electrical refuges all day using our power, phone, and Internet.

Mosquitoes: they seem to be gone.

Sales Activity:
The sale of 111 is progressing to the closing date--April 15. There have been few lookers this past week. That little burst of activity didn't have many "legs".

Unit 106A: $155,000 
Unit 107: $270,000

See Descriptions and photos below.

Rental Vacancies:  We have one vacancy coming up:

Unit 121: April 1, 2010 - $1,700

Residencia Los Jardines Site Plan

Unit #107 - For Sale $270,000 - FURNISHED

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 #106A -- For Sale $155,000 - FURNISHED (Leased at $1,000 pr month until January 2011)

Total Area (Sq Ft):1250
Total area (Sq M):120
Floor(s):Ground Floor

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. UnitS 106 A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5” concrete slab prevent sound transference.

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Unit 121 - For Rent $1,700 (Available IMMEDIATELY)

Total Area (Sq Ft):1423
Total area (Sq M):131
Floor(s):2 Story
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


April 03, 2010
Controversy Surrounds Building Of Convention Centre
Earlier this week the appointed ministro de Turismo, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, announced that Costa Rica will have a convention centre soon, as the Chinchilla administration's priority is to complete an ambitious plan to build a Centro Nacional de Convenciones (National Convention Centre).

April 02, 2010
Highways To The Pacific Beaches Totally Collapsed On Thursday
Let's load up the family jalopy and head for the beach. That was the sentiment of many who, in the early hours of Thursday morning, began their trek on the new San José - Caldera highway, taking advantage of the remainder of the Semana Santa holiday.

April 02, 2010
5.2 Quake Shakes Costa Rica
It was 2:50pm when an earthquake registering 5.2 on the Richter scale hit Costa Rica, which was reported felt throughout the country.

April 01, 2010
New Social Welfare Agency To Assist Poor Families In Costa Rica
The recently created Ministerio de Bienestar Social: Fernando Marín Rojas (Ministry of Social Welfare) by president-elect, Laura Chinchilla, plans to help 20.000 families climb out of extreme poverty during the next presidential term, to begin next May 8.

March 31, 2010
"Tierra Dominicana" Reduced To Rubble
Tuesday morning a back hoe reduced 11 commercial locales known as "Tierra Dominicana" in downtown San José to rubble. The tearing down of the building is part of a clean up plan of the area that has been the centre for criminal activity over the years.

March 30, 2010
Where Are Those Long Awaited Baby Boomers? That’s A Good Question!
For three perhaps four years US and Costa Rica real estate developers have sung the Baby Boomer anthem throwing together communities (Some tacky and some nice) because in the United States alone there are 78.2 million Baby Boomers born between the years 1946 and 1964 who will relocate and retire here.

March 29, 2010
Rainy Season To Be Within "Normal Parameters", Weatherman Says
Semana Santa (Holy Week) is traditionally a hot and dry time of year. And this year it will be no different. However, it is also a reminded that the rainy season is around the corner.


Weather: The temperature has backed off to normal. Thankfully. It's been beautiful this week.

Residency: No info. I've asked but the country is shut down for Semana Santa (Easter Week). Nothing will happen on these files for at least another 10 days....

Re-Phoning: it's coming along--I continue to plug in the numbers to the new phone.

Semana Santa:  this has to be the biggest holiday in CR. The government shut down a week ago;  many non-service companies  and professionals did as well.    The Central Valley is deserted.  No people, no cars, no trucks, and virtually no planes.  I'm sure the beaches are full.  Jan e-mailed me early Thursday morning while on his way to Manuel Antonio saying he has gone 6 kl. in 1 hr.  I've always felt this was the time to remain at home and take off, if one wants, a full week after Semana Santa because many extend their holidays another week beyond Easter Sunday.

Anniversary:  Purchase of Residencias Los Jardines:  On April 1, 2001, Lita and I purchased what became Residencias Los Jardines. Through hard work and determination with a little luck along the way, the vision was turned into reality and this became the home for 29 purchasers and probably 40-50 people at any given time.  The resort lives but the goal of having a small community live in peace and harmony with each other and with nature is still unachieved..  

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

Brian C. Timmons, Newsletter Author
Residencias Los Jardines/Hacienda El Dorado - Developer
Cell: (506) 8305-3965


For inquiries about availability of residences at Hacienda El Dorado or Residencias Los Jardines, contact:

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 / (+506) 8707-9930
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