ISSUE #385: Dec 12-17, 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: BCR has found out about the development and wanted to present it to three of their preferred developers -BCR would fund, their builders would take on the commitment, and we would throw in the land for a joint venture. While these discussions are in the early stages and while they want to tie us up, we are also speaking with, a well known architect / developer in the area for whom the project would be a great fit as well. It's way too early to know what is going to happen but I believe something good with happen because it is a great piece of land, great location, and has permits. We've opened the discussions to a larger audience... I had a very interesting conversation with a very well known, company representative on Saturday morning... we'll see...


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Aguinaldo: They got it and probably have it spent, at least in their minds...

Shareholder Meeting: I'm awaiting the minutes but I'm advised that both agenda items passed.

Problem 1: We arrived from Granada late Monday. I hooked to the internet and finished off around 11pm. Sometime after that, we had a power failure and that took out the main router. However, we didn't determine the cause of our outage until 1pm the next day when the support tech said it needed a pine box... We got a new one... hooked it up and in the process, the AMNET signal failed due to a problem in Escazu... We had to wait until the next morning to finish the job and get back on line. Every house that used a router had to be entered and their router adjusted to the same address...

Problem 2: On Wednesday morning on my way to the office, a resident indicated she had called for an exterminator because her house was full of bugs. An hour later I was called to the house and shown the bug... it was the size of a flattened grain of rice. Inside, was a little larvae. The larvae had eaten its way into the cabinets in one bedroom and had eaten holes in their personal clothes. In further discussion, we learned that these larvae later morph into millipedes... seemingly harmless crawly bugs which, when touch, curl up into a pinwheel... The extent of the infestation and the course of action is still being determined.

Market Activity: We have one person looking to buy several homes. It seems he and his sister inherited some land in the Limon area and ICE has started construction of a generating station on his land. They didn't bother to check the ownership -perhaps the normal arrogance displayed again. Our client's lawyer is on ICE's board of directors and according to our client, has told ICE they have to buy the land. We'll see.

We've had a number of rental inquiries mainly from Snowbirds who's pre-planned rentals didn't work out for some reason -over described, no Internet or phone service... etc.


Unit 106B: $159,000 for sale / Price Reduced by $10,000 See Unit
Unit 115: $205,000 for sale See unit
Unit 125: $140,000 for sale / Owner financing available See unit


Site Plan-


UNIT #106B
FOR SALE $159,000
Price reduced by $10,000

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

Owner financing available

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.




Our Lives

WEATHER: it's still a combination of overcast, some rain, and partial sun.

Granada in Review: We've been going to Granada for 8+ years and love it. However, this time, I returned with mixed feelings. It's definitely not the bargain destination it used to be. I saw numerous menus with up to three different colored pasties each representing a higher price... and the price increases were substantial. One Margarita I had was over $5... this had been a $2.50 to $3 drink. The taxi incident written about last week was / is part of our experience base. The hotel was great but we're now up from $27 to $85 per night... So I ask myself, why do I want to take a 14 hr. bus ride (round trip) at $150 RT to arrive at a destination which, while still full of local charm, excitement, interesting history, etc, but is no bargain... I can pay those prices a lot closer to home and save the bus ride... so, right now, I'm open to new destinations...

Proposed Tax Plan: This has now effectively been squashed by the equivalent of the Supreme Court. They are "reviewing" the process and can kick it back to the legislature where it may well die. Like the traffic cams, the "new" traffic code, the property luxury tax law, etc.... are all good examples that the government is dysfunctional... reminds me of the DC Circus... and there are opportunities and liabilities in that domain...

Construction in Santa Ana: New commercial buildings continue to advance as does the Kirebe residential development next to us. The "Spanky's Gang" which is installing (?) the new 30" water main through Pozos continues to be a sporadic, haphazard event... They haven't advanced one pipe length since we left over a week ago... the latest efforts have resulted in washouts due to broken lines and subsequent cave-ins. All of this in front of God's building in Pozos... a large commercial building is back under construction... the new mall in Santa Ana continues, the Forum II continues, two new buildings near CIMA / MultiPlaza continue, one large building near EPA in Escazu continues to advance and one across the street is nearing completion...

An article culled from this week's Inside Costa Rica:

Costa Rica: Foreigners Will Be Required To Have ID Card For Banking

The new identification card for foreigners in Costa Rica, called DIMEX, will have greater control over bank accounts held by foreigners, avoiding scams and control money laundering that could occur in many banks.

Many foreigners in the country have reported to authorities of being scammed, saying that their identity was supplanted to make withdrawals, emptying out their accounts.

With the Costa Rica Foreign Resident ID card, an identification card similar to a cedula, that must be carried by all foreigners, banks and financial institutions will have real-time access to their foreign customer information through an electronic database established between Migración and Racsa and a strategic alliance with the banking sector.

Mario Zamora, ministro de Seguridad Publica (Security Minister) stressed that this electronic system will protect the foreigner and simultaneously controlling illegal activities in bank accounts.

"We hardly have any information on foreigners, most of the information is in physical documents, which we could not provide in a technical and agile manner to the banking system. Now a bank clerk can determine the identity of the person in front of them, to ensure there is no impersonation and leaving a bank account not belonging to them at zero. It is a protection for the foreigner and at the same time allows control over bank accounts by foreigners with ties to drug trafficking, allowing to track the real identity of the person who opened the account", said Zamora.

The DIMEX identity card holds "reliable" data on the identity of the person and the immigration status of the foreigner, all contained in the card's magnetic strip.

For his part, Mauricio Boraschi, Viceministro de la Presidencia y Comisionado Nacional Antidrogas (antidrug trafficking czar) stated that the use of the card in banking will help fight international drug trafficking in the country.

"What we are doing is strengthening all model systems to prevent and control money laundering and terrorist financing, we are also creating regulated economic activities, which may be poorly exploited by criminal organizations to launder money, such as in real estate, purchase and sale of jewelry, gems, art, new and used vehicles, and criminal organizations looking for any lawful business to get into", said Boraschi.

The plan also includes adding the SINPE* system operated by the Banco Central de Costa Rica (Central Bank) that will demand, as of January 2012, the ID


Note: my personal cynicism says that the reasons given are bogus, completely. The real reason is to make it easier for the IRS to tap into bank's data bases and follow your money.

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

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