A Battle of Wills!

ISSUE #355: May 16-21, 2011


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

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.

Brian Timmons
Residencias Los Jardines / https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Hacienda El Dorado / https://www.eldoradocostarica.com
E-mail: brian@eldoradocostarica.com / info@residenciaslosjardines.com


Construction Log
Updates about Hacienda El Dorado

Rio Oro:  My focus this week has been the cash flow analysis of the pre-construction phase. I'm still working on it and find I need some input from the architect.


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Internet: Again we have been stable this week but my assessment of our previous problem remains. We are now being forced to make a choice between RACSA and AMNET. They have agreed to no longer maintain their revenue sharing program. We must choose by May 24. If we give up RACSA, we'll no longer have an e-mail account with them. If we give up AMNET, we may have to go through the IP issue again. This really is a choice between devils as far as I'm concerned.

A Battle of Wills: When I originally built Los Jardines, I provided the capability for composting and built a place and structure for it. Composting has always been a struggle because the gardeners just don't believe in it. For the past year, there has been excuse after excuse as to why it couldn't be done now. One excuse was valid the others were pure bogus. Re. the valid reason? They had created a situation by design or by short sightedness, which I had to uncreate. I did it. Still nothing happened -excuses, no action. Finally frustrated beyond calmness, I had had enough. I took one of the workers with me to buy repair materials and stood there directing the both of them what to do. Two hours later, we had all the component parts ready for painting with a light tar compound. The parts sat there not being advanced for another two days -finally they got coated. On Thursday I stated that if it wasn't finished and operational by Friday, I wasn't signing their checks. On Friday I got a half-assed attempt and they claimed not understanding but yet when I went over with them the composting process, they got it right. Monday next, I will stand beside them and direct their every move until it happens. By Friday, all three bins will be filled or my hand will be broken and I won't to sign their bloody checks. In addition, I will make it clear that on their first payday in September, I will either harvest the first batch of compost or they will go hungry. I've had to make it very simple and be very direct.

What we can compost in three months is about 2 day's worth of clippings so this isn't to reduce our garden waste haulage but simply to create good compost which can be used around the garden.

In another situation, I had asked for two weeks to have a job done. It wasn't. Finally, I had to get very direct. I showed them a limp hot dog (I just happened to have it sitting in water on the stove) and told them in effect, the this was from the last person who didn't do the job I asked. They laughed but the job got done.

Watering with the irrigation system while doing other gardening jobs (multitasking) -mowing, weeding, trimming, spraying, raking, sweeping, etc., has always been a struggle. They've done better this past dry season but we're talking only 50% right. It takes constant, close supervision and perseverance.

White Fly Infestation: We've been battling this for 6 weeks or so. White fly is a very small bug which sucks the liquid from the leaves. The leaf dies as a result. The infestation moved from the east perimeter hedge across the garden. To get rid of them takes multiple applications of pesticides and leaves a path of destruction in their wake. We're loosing another palm -this may be related. There's always something going on in a tropical garden.

Market Activity: Sales: No one interested this week.
Rentals: No one interested this week.



Unit 106A: The sale is progressing  
Unit 115: $205,000   See unit


Unit 109: $1,600 mo. Immediate - Nov. 30 (flexible) See unit
Unit 115: $1,600 mo. Immediate See unit
Unit 121: $1,650 mo. Immediate See unit

Site Plan


UNIT #115
FOR SALE $205,000
(For rent $1,600 mo.)

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1345
Total area (Sq M): 124
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,345 sf single floor home includes a 200 sf private terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6” solid concrete block wall which prevents sound transfer. This is an extremely well decorated home with lots of natural wood built ins.



UNIT #109
FOR RENT $1,600 mo.
Immediate - Nov. 30 (flexible)

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1506
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

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. The owners have added many personal touches and have done a supurb job in decodrating the home.


UNIT #115
FOR RENT $1,600 mo.
(For sale $205,000)

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1345
Total area (Sq M): 124
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,345 sf single floor home includes a 200 sf private terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6” solid concrete block wall which prevents sound transfer. This is an extremely well decorated home with lots of natural wood built ins.


UNIT #121
FOR RENT $1,650 mo.


Total Area (Sq Ft): 1423
Total area (Sq M): 131
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

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.



Our Lives

WEATHER: Beautiful weather all week; some cloudy afternoons but virtually very little rain. We are back to irrigating -when I can get the gardeners to do it.

Clerical Errors: Over the past three weeks, we've had several clerical errors. While the fingers point in different directions in some cases, the net effect is still the same -I have to become involved in fixing them. This is usually not simple because confusing systems here become even more confused when something goes off the rails. Such as it is, I've spent more time than I ever wanted to, resolving these.

Friends Arrive: Next week, long time friends will return. While both will have dental work done, I expect we'll take advantage of an extended stay and do some traveling.

Cars: Are difficult and expensive to keep running here. The roads beat the front ends and suspension to death and have to be repaired/replaced regularly. The power steering pump failed -fortunately I was near my home and I was just pulling onto a busy road and had the good sense to pull off the road while I still had some control; now one of the rear brakes has failed. Looks like it's time for a new car and one that isn't replaced a piece at a time.

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

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