...Bone Dry In the Middle of the Rainy Season!!

ISSUE #519: July 20-26, 2014


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.

Brian Timmons
Residencias Los Jardines / https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com info@residenciaslosjardines.com


Featured house this week

Paradisus Condos / Rorhmoser

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Paradisus will consist of 4 towers in Rorhmoser, a suburb to the west of central San Jose. Not far from the US Embassy and shopping malls, Rorhmoser is a residential area that was developed in the 60's and 70's and is currently seeing significant re-development with high end condos. It is the area where the new stadium and a number of luxury high rise condos have recently been built with more on the drawing boards. Phase one of this development is nearing completion; it consists of two towers and the amenities -pool, exercise room, etc. Tower one is expected to be completed in January and Tower 2 should follow in February / March. The location of this development is superb... it's off the main traffic paths and sits on a ravine overlooking a river. To the east is San Jose / Heredia; to the west is Pavas / Escazu. With floor to ceiling windows and a wrap around balcony, these units offer fantastic light and views.

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

Read more about Paradisus Condos


Loma Real Escazu / Guachipelin, Central Valley
FOR SALE / price reduced!

Loma Real Escazu - click to visit

$325,000 now $300,000 / 3 bdrms + maids rm / 3.5 bthrms / owner financing

Beautiful house in residential area: 24 hours security. 274 m2 construction. 2 story, 3 bedrooms + maids quarters, 3 1/2 bathrooms, ample eat-in kitchen, six years old, immaculate condition, lot 264 m2 professionally landscaped, two car enclosed garage, 1500 L reserve water tank, electric demand water heaters, Independent office. Located close to all amenities. Taxes $500 yearly and security $80 monthly.

Appliances and built-ins included. Furniture upon negotiation.

Owner will take back a mortgage for up to 5 yrs. @ 12% interest only.

View more pictures of Loma Real Escazu


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Market Activity

Sales: no inquiries.

Rentals: all units are leased.



Unit #114: $235,000 / See Unit

Unit #116: $214,000 / See Unit

Site Plan



UNIT #114
FOR SALE $235,000

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

This 1,290 sf. (plus covered parking for one car and two lockers 67 sf.) single story, semi detached house, with garden terrace, two bedrooms is a beautiful executive style home. This home consists of two large bedrooms one with six piece en-suite bathroom with additional access to separate full shower. Each bedroom has large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and bathroom ceilings provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are four TVs (one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in breakfast / dinning room.) This is a beautiful well appointed home.


UNIT #116
FOR SALE $214,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Single Floor
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.


Our Lives

WEATHER: We are in the middle of the rainy season and in the last month have seen only one evening that might be classified as "rain". We're dry and should be watering more than we are (but that is another story); the country is really dry, resevoirs are way below where they should be, water tables are dropping, the water company (AyA) is still loosing considerable water through leaky pipes, rationing will begin again in parts of the country, eg. Heredia...

All In A Week's Living in CR

​​​This weekend is one of the major holidays in CR. It's only a three day weekend (officially) and recognizes the annexation of Guancaste / Nicoya Peninsula to what is now CR. ​Most people are at the beach..​.


News Items of the Week

1. Exchange Rate: While the article is difficult to understand, I think it says that the government has been buying dollars to support the colon but the rate of purchasing has to decrease... the government cannot sustain the current purchase rate.

2. Rice: a testing procedure done on all rice but which is charged back to the cost of imported rice adds 11 colones a kilo to the cost. This is just another way to increase the cost of imported rice and to protect the privileged rice growers.

3. Laura, has thin skin... and the judges said so... she lost...

4. Nosara roadway: the holiday is always a good time to spend money...

5. Hospital Mexico: Just another problem re. the condition of the public hospitals. If you don't die on the operating table by doctor error, you might get electrocuted or the lights might go out during the operation.

6. Container Port: This company continues to be dogged by delays... typical... it wants to spend a billion dollars and make the cost of goods imported / exported cheaper... but the government continues to dilly dally... and this article says that Solis may cancel the whole contract / project... wow!!!!

7. Judge steels the fines: wow!!!! just a typical day in court!


1. Central slows down in dollar new procurement plan

In the first 24 days of operation of the new mechanism used by the Central Bank foreign exchange trading public sector entity prevented a further drop in the dollar.

The new system began operating on 26 June. From that day to Friday 18 July, the price of the dollar fell 10.3 ¢, but the decline would have been greater.

Before that, when public sector entities need to buy or sell currencies came to the Central Bank, which traded in the wholesale market dollars (Monex).

With the new system, when public entities require compromise currencies always go to the Central Bank, but this meets their needs them in its monetary reserves.

Then, the entity is the wholesale market and buy or sell currencies in the public sector, so that dampens market seasonality.

For example, if there is more supply than demand for dollars in the wholesale market and the price of the currency low, then the Central purchase currency and increases the quantity demanded to prevent downward is greater.

Since the new mechanism is implemented, the dollar fell 10 ¢, but the system has prevented more down.

This is the situation that has occurred in recent days. In the first 24 days of implementation of the measure, the company has purchased the public sector to $ 42.3 million and has sold $ 99 million; therefore, spent about $ 56.7 million from its reserves.

This $ 56.7 million will buy the wholesale market to replenish their reserves. So did the Central and even purchased more then negotiated nearly $ 74.9 million and sold just $ 1.4 million.

If the mechanism is not applied, the price of the currency had dropped more or entity has intervened in the side to tackle the reduction.

"I think it still is little time to evaluate (the new system) and the same Central, I think, is adjusting tool," said Gerardo Corrales, manager of BAC San José.

Aldesa Group said in a written response, the most important thing is that they are "easing" the blows of purchases or sales on a particular day, without altering the direction involving such purchases or sales, while meet replenish the amounts purchased or sold with the public sector in Monex within one month.

2. Canon expensive in almost 11 ¢ a kilo of imported rice

Domestic consumers paid $ 1.7 million in 2013 to ensure the health of imported rice by laboratory tests, which means almost ¢ 11 per kilo entering.

This is a $ 20 fee per metric ton, which must be paid by the rice into the country of any presentation (rough, milled or otherwise).

Applied a simple formula and the current value of the dollar against the colon, every kilo of imported rice would fall by $ 0.02 or nearly 11 ¢ if the fee is eliminated.

In the case of rice, governed by a specific decree.

The income generated by this levy rice is variable, it depends on the quantities imported annually.

In the rice period 2008-2009, for example, the country imported more rice (138,878 tons), whereby the income from the license fee was $ 2.77 million.

Each tonne of imported rice is rough, milled (shelled) or another presentation, you must pay a fee of $ 20, other than taxes. The fee does not apply to other agricultural products.

This rate does not weigh on income from other agricultural products. In those other cases, entities funded health checks.

Scope The objectives of the decree were twofold: finance sampling, laboratory testing and quality analysis on the one hand, and fund programs to improve national rice production, on the other.

According to these intentions revenue sharing began. They spent $ 14 for the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) itself sample collection in shipments and $ 1 for the University of Costa Rica, who runs the laboratory at the Center for Research in Grain Seeds (CIGRAS).

Additionally, $ 1.20 for the National Production Council (CNP), which reviews the quality.

The National Institute for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (INTA) is $ 1.20, the National Rice Corporation (Conarroz) $ 1.40 office Seed $ 1.20.

These last three obtained the money for programs to improve rice production, especially to promote the efficiency.

Magda González, director of SFE, recognized that even in the absence of specific charge for rice, the agency would have to ensure the health of the grain.

Eduardo Rojas, president of the National Association of Manufacturers of Rice Sector (Aninsa) defended the canon.

3. Former president Laura Chinchilla loses civil, criminal case against businessman

July 21st, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) A three-judge panel acquitted businessman and prominent hotelier, Alberto Rodriguez Baldi on criminal defamation charges and threw out a civil case against the man brought by former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla.

The ruling was handed down shortly after 9 a.m. this morning.

Chinchilla’s legal team had sought 60 days in jail and more than ¢100 million in compensation from Baldi.

In the unanimous ruling, judges said that citizens’ right to free expression must remain unfettered and public officials must tolerate broader discourse and criticism, adding that they hoped the case would set a precedent for similar cases in the future.

Chinchilla filed charges against Baldi in June 2013, just days after Baldi published a post on Facebook that stated that Chinchilla purchased land worth millions of dollars in Nicoya, Guanacaste.

Baldi, who is in the hotel business in La Fortuna de San Carlos, also stated that Chinchilla has business interests in wind energy.

The former president said that both accusations are untrue and denied any allegations of corruption or mismanagement of public funds on her part during her time in office.

4. Nosara promised that its key roadway will be fixed
By Michael Krumholtz, and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An emergency project estimated at 150 million colons, or $278,000, is set to repair deteriorating conditions on a highway on Costa Rica's Pacific coast in the coming weeks.

Carlos Segnini, the minister of public works and transportation, called for immediate action to improve the Ruta 160 highway that runs from Sámara to Nosara. The 25-mile stretch is scheduled to be patched up by the country's road agency, the Consejo Nacional Vialidad.

“This is not a highway, it's a path,” said President Luis Guillermo Solís, who met with community members of Nosara Wednesday to discuss construction on the highway. Segnini visited there Tuesday to guarantee fast improvements made to the road filled with potholes and susceptible to rainy season flooding.

On top of the emergency investment, the government will give an additional 70 million colons, or $130,000, in an attempt to refurbish the entire highway. Construction should allow the roadway to be fully paved by next year, according to a release from the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. The government plans to put pavement over the entire road and put bridges in the locations most vulnerable to floods.

The ministry already worked on the highway last year to place a seal on a stretch that sees a decent amount of traffic. However, the ministry reports that this seal has already been destroyed.

Some residents said they were thrilled by the visit of the president.

Solís also visited nearby Playa Guiones where he planted a tree and chatted with residents and tourists.

The road has been in terrible shape for years and even was the subject of a Sala IV appeal that resulted in an order for the layer of asphalt.

A repaired highway is likely to give Nosara and points north a tourism and real estate boost.

5. Mexico Hospital closed seven theaters for electrical problems

Seven of the 14 operating rooms of the Hospital Mexico were temporarily closed due to electrical problems.

The surgeries were performed in the remaining seven operating rooms and three additional areas.

Authorities conducted the closing on Wednesday at the recommendation of Local Service and Maintenance Engineering and after assessment of Infrastructure Management and Technology, who claimed that the measure is necessary to solve the problems presented rooms.

Fabian Pacheco, engineer explained that the Hospital wards have been having problems with the electrical system voltages which affects not only the functioning of the various equipment used in various surgeries performed in this facility, but also the possible damage irreparable expensive equipment.

Douglas Montero, director of the medical center, said this problem occurs because the voltage extistente met the needs of the teams 40 years ago when the hospital was established, so that the electric charge became insufficient.

The médicoindicó you hire a specialist to make a specific diagnosis of the situation of the electric company operating rooms.

"Both the study and possible improvements to be carried out may take about three months," Montero said.

He added that the repair process is complex because the equipment shall be constructed and imported.

Although initially seven operating rooms were closed, all rooms should be tapped, but this will be done in an orderly manner so that the involvement is less.

Patients requiring surgery will be served in the rooms that remain enabled and also have three additional areas in the hospital for less complex surgeries, said medical manager of the Fund Eugenia María Villalta.

Villalta added that he is working on an action plan that allows the use of operating rooms in the Center for Integrated Health Care Puriscal, the San Vicente de Paul hospital in Heredia, the Center for Comprehensive Health Care for Homeless, Clinic Ophthalmology and the ability to use operating rooms of the National Rehabilitation Center (CENARE) was also assessed.

The Hospital Mexico made daily between 80 and 90 surgeries so with this closure will be reduced to about 40 daily operations, Montero said.

The medical director said that this situation will not affect the waiting list, which currently totals about 7,000 patients, as most are scheduled to within four or five months.

Montero said they have not yet established how patients will be distributed at other medical centers, but said to be less complex surgeries which are transferred to these hospitals.

For the most delicate operations plan to create an evening shift and maximize the use of operating rooms that will be enabled.

6. APM Terminals gets more time to obtain permits for Moín project
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Plans to begin construction of a new container terminal in Limón are on hold for three months more due to legal reasons. The Caribbean economic development agency agreed to extend the start date for the work that was slated to begin Thursday. A request to do so came from the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones.

This is the nearly $1 billion modern container facility that is highly controversial.

Construction is now set for Oct. 24, according to the written agreement. The business APM Terminals is contracted to build the structure in Moín. However officials say that there are more permits and background requests that need to be checked before the company can break ground.

“Legal certainty must be guaranteed so to allow the state and Costa Ricans to continue attracting investments, generating employment, and maintaining the export interests of a stable economy,” said Ann McKinley Meza, the president of the development agency, the Junta de Administración Portuaria y Desarrollo Económica de la Vertiente Atlántica.

According to a clause in the contract, the company's work will be postponed until it presents all necessary permits, approvals, and licenses required by Costa Rica. A current problem is the environmental impact statement that has been ruled deficient.

“In this case the administrator will postpone the order's commencement until it's been verified that the contracted party has complied with all the stated conditions that are pending approval,” the contract reads.

The government is not financially liable to APM Terminals for the suspension, according to the suspension agreement.

APM Terminals has been dogged by legal appeals and complaints from unhappy employees of the government docks in Moín. A recent problem was an access road that passed over mangroves.

APM Terminals will build an artificial island and do major dredging, so the environmental impact is substantial.

Some shippers also oppose the new facility because their costs will be greater.

The political implications of the terminal facility are complex. Some business leaders expect President Luis Guillermo Solís to try to find a way to dump the project to appease allies who do not favor concessions of public facilities. Lawmakers from leftist Frente Amplio already have called for the contract to be trashed.

7. Judge arrested for stealing bail, child support money

July 25th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) A criminal court judge in Upala, Alajuela, identified by the last name Leon, was arrested yesterday afternoon on charges that he stole bail and child support funds.

According to the official investigation, the first incident occurred in October of last year, when a criminal defendant posted bail of ¢2 million, apparently delivered in cash to the judge, which investigators say the judge did not deposit to the State but apparently pocketed the money instead.

The second incident occurred in April of this year, when the judge allegedly collected ¢320,000 from a man jailed for unpaid child support. Those funds were supposed to be handed over to the mother of the man’s child, but the judge allegedly pocketed those funds as well.

Prosecutors announced yesterday that the judge would be charged with two counts of embezzlement, punishable by three to twelve years in prison.

Leon also worked as a judge in Cañas, Guanacaste. The judge was arrested at an apartment he rented in Liberia.

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

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