ISSUE #379: Oct. 30 - Nov. 5, 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 /
Hacienda El Dorado /


Construction Log
Updates about Hacienda El Dorado

Rio Oro: Friday morning was beautiful over the property and the discussions we're beginning got off to a good start.


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Internet: It's been pretty good but one piece of equipment is still suspect. Regardless, AMNET now has a new program at lower cost and higher speed. We'll investigate it to see after they add all other items to it and then we have to ensure that it is a long term rate and not a loss leader / introductory rate, we may upgrade by 1mg for lower money. The rate we have is usually fine (4mb) when we get it.

Cost of Operating & Reality Check: The new board is beginning to wrap their arms around their respective roles and coming face to face with reality check while preparing the budget and work programs for next year. People who have lived in CR for a year or more, know that the cost of living has increased substantially and this increase cannot be solely attributed to the change in the exchange rate. The fact is, although not well documented in "news" reports, foreign made and locally made "monopoly goods and services" are more expensive today than this time last year and two years ago and three years ago... (Note, ICE is asking for 25% rate increase, a $16 lin. meter Municipal tax for "Street cleaning" translates into $1,040 for RLJ, etc. While the consumer feels it each time they buy, operating Residencias Los Jardines is not immune to these price increases either. Couple this with people wanting "more", results in substantially increased costs, even just to provide the basic services... let alone for "discretionary" pet projects.

Market Activity: Quiet; two lookers -no commitments.

Sales: no one,

Rentals: Unit 112 is still available.



Unit 106B: $164,000 for sale / Price Reduced by $5,000 See Unit
Unit 115: $205,000 for sale See unit
Unit 125: $140,000 for sale / Price reduced by $10,000 See unit


Unit 112: $1,450 mo. for rent - Immediate See Unit


Site Plan-


UNIT #106B
FOR SALE $164,000
Price reduced by $5,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1270
Total area (Sq M): 115
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Ground
Type: Apartment
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two nits 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 erraces. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5" oncrete slab prevent sound transference.


UNIT #115
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 #125
FOR SALE $140,000

Price reduced by $10,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + parking for one car and 33sf locker is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple —or investment property.



UNIT #112
FOR RENT $1,450 mo.

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total Area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

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.




Our Lives

WEATHER: The rains have eased this past week to 1/2 only with mostly sunny or light overcast mornings. It's a welcome relief to see the sun...

Cars: The Pathfinder is now sitting in my parking space; I pay for it on Monday. One surprise that the mechanic should have picked up but didn't.

Cost of Living: Our monthly common element fee is going to increase -the critics will have ample motivation for their comments and it's likely to be a spirited discussion but this time, some are involved in the process and there will be new and additional targets... While it would be too much to hope that hearing the same reasons from other sources might silence the critics, I'm not that naive... it will be interesting.

ICE and Competitiveness: Over the past several years, ICE has done everything it could to delay competition in the cellular phone market. Now an auditors report states:

This is the assessment made by the Contraloría General de la República (Comptroller General of the Republic) in its report on the opening of the telecommunications in the country, which concludes, inter alia, that the state telecom did not establish a competitive transition plan, supported with a timetable establishing the different stages, actions, responsibilities and deadlines to ensure an effective and orderly transition.

The report adds that the telecom has not specified a coordinated, gradual and tailored timetable required for each of the activities, according to national reality.


The watchdog, in its report, says it has studied the actions and measures implemented by ICE since 2004 as it faced the challenge of what was to come and in the opinion of the Comptroller "that while ICE has attempted multiple times preparing to face competition, the actions have not been completed or executed with opportunity and speed, a situation that is evident in a series of actions that in this regard reveal serious weaknesses, especially concerning the definition of corporate strategy and coordination with other initiatives".

In addition, the Comptroller noted that RACSA is being identified as a product dependent on third parties and in not obtaining such contracts, in the long term the entity will be at a disadvantage against competitors.

I haven't heard anyone shedding tears over either RACSA or ICE's competitive (or lack of it) situation... and on the electrical generation side of their house, ICE was found to be equally inefficient with their bloated employee base per kw produced.

Cost of Rice: The following was excerpted from a "Inside Costa Rica" this past week. While I know there are countervailing arguments re. globalization and farm subsidies, the fact is that the local few rice growers have increased the price paid by each consumer in CR by a substantial factor and considering that rice is one of the two basic staples in the Tico diet, who is paying the price?

Farmers get 22,604.41 colons for each sack of 73.6 kilos or about 162 pounds, according to the corporation. The price is about $44.28. Rice prices in the United States Tuesday at the farm were reported to be between $13.65 per hundred pounds to $15.55 or $343 per ton, according to the Oryza Daily email newsletter. By comparison, Costa Rican rice, based on the price decreed for farmers, is about $547 a ton. The price fixed by the government for retail sale is 691 colons a kilo or about $1,230 a ton.

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

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