ISSUE #318: Aug. 30 - Sept. 4, 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.

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



Municipalidad de Santa Ana: A rain water drain on the City's street had become clogged with rock and dirt. The mtnc. people wanted us to fix it. We pointed out to them that it was the City's responsibility. We had put in a sidewalk and retaining wall; it was their responsibility to pave the road and to put in a culvert on the high side of the road. They finally agreed and proceeded to fix the immediate problem.


Comment:  We've actually seen a small flurry of rental and sales activity this week. I don't know if it has "legs" or not but it was nice to see people looking and the phone ringing.

Rentals: We have 113 available immediately. It's being upgraded to include a flat screen TV, home theater system and fans. We leased Unit 121.

Time of Use Electrical Meters:  The work order went in for the "smart" meters. The crew came to install the two meters on Friday. They ended up writing a long explanation why they they couldn't (read that as "wouldn't) change the meters. Probably because they figured out that we would save money. I don't understand the rationale as to why we don't qualify but I'll follow it up. There are few things in CR that don't included surprises and often times a fight. We've already installed an automatic timer for the two pool pumps we would use at night vs. during the day.
Unit 106A: $155,000

See Descriptions and photos below.

Rental Vacancies:

109       Sep / Oct                          $1,550 pr month
Unit 113       Available Sep 1                 $1,450 pr month

Residencia Los Jardines Site Plan

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.

Read More

Unit #109 --For Rent $1,550 - FURNISHED - September / October 2010 ONLY

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 #113 -- For Rent $1,450- FURNISHED (Available September 1, 2010)

Total Area (Sq Ft):1290
Total Area (Sq M):120
This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking forone car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

Read More



September 04, 2010
Court Orders An End To Police Checkpoints in Costa Rica
The Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Court) is prohibiting the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública to use roadblocks in its efforts to reduce crime, unless there is "verified evidence" of the commission of a crime.

September 03, 2010
Where Are Visitors To Costa Rica Staying? Hotel Operators Ask
Although the number of visitors has increased over last year, the question by many hotel operators is, where are they staying? because they are not staying in their hotels.

September 02, 2010
Traffic Congestion On The Circunvalación At Its Peak Despite New Overpass
The opening of the Alajuelita overpass was to have eased traffic congestion on the Circunvalación. However, the reserve is being lived daily by drivers, especially in the areas of Hatillo 4 and 6.

September 01, 2010
Five Companies Show Interest In Costa Rica's Cellular Telephone Market
Costa Rica's Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (SUTEL) on Monday published the bidding rules for the cellular tender that sets out the terms and conditions for operators planning to bid for one of the three cellular telephony licenses.

September 01, 2010
Heavy Rain And Tornado Hit San José Tuesday Afternoon
August went out with a bang as San José was hit by one of the worst rain storms around 3pm.

September 01, 2010
Online Gambling Major Boon to Costa Rica
If you’re wondering why so many European states are introducing regulation and taxation schemes these days, you need only consider the situation with online gambling in Costa Rica to understand; a recent report on the Latin American gambling market hints that the country’s extremely liberal online gaming laws could help make it a regional economic powerhouse very soon.

August 30, 2010
Vehicular Restrictions of Circunvalación Has Its Days Numbered
The days of the vehicular restrictions on the Circunvalación are few, as with the opening of the Alajuelita overpass, the ministro de Obras Públicas y Transportes is serious about changes to the restrictions.


Weather: We had one torrential downpour and vicious lightning storm. One of the first bolts of lightning took out the power;  our pumps were dead.  The water got high but we survived.  Kirebe is still dumping water on us.  They don't care and no one else seems to care either;  we're on our own........  It seems to me that there has been many, many more road closures, death, and destruction this year than at any previous time I can remember due to rains, poor or no enforcement of setbacks from rivers, poor design, poor engineering, poor construction, and poor or no maintenance.  I'm having difficulty fathoming how a country could screw up so badly in all categories knowing full well that every year for 6 mo. there will be from 8 + ft. of rain.

Riteve: finally got passed but it required a total rebuild of the engine. I wasn't surprised since it had trouble passing last year.  At 15 years old and 150,000 miles, it was due. The engine should be good now for a number of years.

Stories: Note: I found the following event again reminded me of one of the reasons I love living here. Lately I've been reading various debates re. the cost of living in CR.  Conclusion being that CR is not as inexpensive as it used to be and depending on from where one called "home" and one's lifestyle here, as to whether it is more or less expensive living here. During this discussion, several people made the comment that the reason they moved here and love living here is because of the different life experiences one will have here vs. "home" -- where ever "home" is.  ...and this is the way it is for me.  A life rich in stories and experiences is a life well lived and one of my choosing.  

Background: I had to have an aluminum chair welded and found a place which could do it.  It was the normal rough and tumble car / truck repair place.  The chair was to be repaired by 2pm.  I returned at 3 and they had done a lousy job.  I pointed it out to them and they proceeded to do it correctly--no argument. It took about an hour for it to be completed. There were 5 guys standing around watching one welding. During that time, the head guy engaged me in conversation and proceeded to tell me the following two stories:

Story 1:  Just before I had arrived a guy in his early teens had touched some welding cables and had gotten a good shock.  Guess he wandered off home a bit dazed and hair like Einstein's famous picture.  They didn't think this was funny and recognized it could have been a fatality but no one seemed to be too fazed by it.  Life was carrying on.

Story 2: The story teller started by saying one of the guys standing around had a brother who contracted to take down a 30' high radio communications tower at the Peace University.  He went on to say that the guy comes from a family of rocket scientists (he was being sarcastic). It seems that the tower was guyed at ever 10 meters.  The brother proceeded to cut all the guy wires, climbed the tower, rocked it back and forth until it came crashing down with him riding it like Slim Pickens  riding the A-bomb in the movie "Doctor Strangelove".  Well the guy survived with some serious injuries.  The brother at the welding shop just shrugged his shoulders and said in effect, "What can I say?--that's what happened."

Stories like these are priceless and add the fabric of life in CR.

Cafe de Artistas--Escazu:  After years we had occasion to return on Friday for lunch.  The price was right and the food was reasonable.  Had it not been for the 10 people we were with, they would have had only two customers.   

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) (+506) 8707-9930 /
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