My World Righted Itself!!

ISSUE #649: March 5-11, 2017


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly newsletter -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 re-sales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Developer / Property manager
Residencias Los Jardines


rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
Visit our website

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

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...

Semi furnished unit: For sale: $235,000
Fully furnished unit: For sale: $245,000
Floor 12 -west view

13th Fl / East view
Available April 5

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #106A, #114, #123 and #125

Rentals: Paradisus: For Rent: 13th Fl / East view / furnished​ / Available April 5 / $1,400
Los Jardines: Nothing available.

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #123: $ 199,500 / See Unit
Unit #125: $ 135,000 / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #106A

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Apartment
Furnished: Yes

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 106A 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.

UNIT #114

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

This 2 bedroom/2bathroom,1,290 sf single floor end unit home includes a 150 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. This house is fully air conditioned and has recently been professionally decorated by international decorator Alcides Graffe and has undergone a complete renovation—new modern furniture, finishings, window coverings, and art work by Carlos Gambino. It is arguably the nicest furnished unit at Residencias Los Jardines and only steps from the pool

UNIT #123

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1516
Total area (Sq M): 140
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.

UNIT #125

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2 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: normal windy weather, cool for us, sunny -wonderful!!!!!!

My World Righted Itself... and my butt found the hammock. I got caught up on paperwork, filing, sorting, organizing, etc. and then the corporate client's checks bounced... didn't expect this from a Fortune 500 company but it did happen. I suspect they did not transfer the funds from the holding account to the checking account... I'll have another go at it next week. In the future, we will do wire transfers... Few things are easy in CR and fewer things actually happen the first time around. That is the way life is in the land of "pura vida". The third corporate rental will occur today... I am not in charge of that -officially- but...

News Items of the Week


1. Rice Scam: the subsidy was originally billed as time for the locals to become more efficient. In reality, that never happened... they just got fatter at the expense of all Ticos. and here is the reason and the reason why the import protection will continue: "Many of the country’s leaders are invested in the rice production business as well as sugar cane."

2. CR and the USA / US $$: the big variable is the colon / USD exchange rate and the effect to CR's free trade zones which have created most of the new jobs and the Trump administration re. foreign trade. This year will see the politicos vying for position leading up to next year's election. The previous administration and the current administration are generally considered failures... but it's hard to be an eagle when you come from a flock of political turkeys.

1. Rice agency continues push for official protection
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The world economy has not been kind to Costa Rican rice growers.

In 2010 there were 81,116 hectares being cultivated for rice. Today there are about 46,000 hectares, a reduction of about 40 percent.

In 2010 and 2011 there were 1,490 growers of which 1,194 were considered smaller producers. Now there are 522 small producers.

The statistics are what Minor Cruz, an executive with the Corporación Arrocera Nacional, presented to a legislative committee Tuesday. He was urging consideration for Costa Rican rice producers in the face of imports.

When the Central American Free Trade Treaty was being studied, rice growers were among the most vocal opponents.

They feared the lower-priced competition for the vast fields of the country to the north.

But now it seems that the bulk of the imports are comings from southern South America. Last year the country imported 55,283 tons of rice, about equal to production in Guanacaste, said Cruz. He was speaking to the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Agropecuarios.

The Corporación Arrocera Nacional is a government agency that buys the rice from producers and maintains a market price.

Imports have to be approved. And there is a 32 percent import duty. Although this is good for rice producers, consumers fail to benefit from the free market.

Many of the country’s leaders are invested in the rice production business as well as sugar cane.

Cruz told lawmakers that the industry was in crisis, although it was unclear what kind of relief he was seeking. There was no indication what the former rice farmers were doing now with their land, although many certainly have suffered from the prolonged drought that just ended.

Lawmakers seem to be more aware of economic implications as they consider protective measures. And there are consumer lobbies to help them remember.

The Ministerio de Economia, Industría y Comercio last week rejected an appeal by the legislative committee to block rice imports. The committee most likely will try again.

The minister involved, Wélmer Ramos, just left that post because he is planning to run for the presidency on the Partido Acción Ciudadana ticket next year, and election rules prohibit sitting officials from running.

2. The economy is the major variable for next year
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As the seconds tick away to 2017, thoughts turn to an exciting New Year’s Eve.

But after the hangover, there are some realities to consider that affect expat life here.

First, next year is an election campaign year. The voting is not until February 2018, but the would-be candidates will be trying to make points all year long. Voters will be looking for someone to improve their lives.

Voters have been sadly disappointed in the current administration, which also has been the victim of years of uninhibited spending. The dollar has risen against the colon again in the last few days despite expensive efforts by the Banco Central to stabilize the exchange rate. A stronger dollar is a certainty for 2017.

A stronger dollar will not be good for the government here. All the foreign debt, and there is plenty, is denominated in dollars. The International Monetary Fund has declared the country’s finances to be unsustainable. And 2017 may be the year when the executive branch decides to make hard choices.

The central government praised itself this week for maintaining the social peace during 2016 by clever handling of the finances. That may not be possible next year.

The stronger dollar is good for tourism and real estate. As the U.S. Federal Reserve moves to raise the discount rate even more, home buying is likely to pick up. That means more retirees and others can sell their homes and move to Costa Rica. The market here is heavily dependent on the U.S. economy, and there is no secret that 2016 was sluggish.

As the U.S. market rebounds, those expats seeking to sell their homes here will benefit if the property is priced correctly. Those who have advertised in this newspaper in the last year had some success. The action was a far cry from the early 2000s. Even prime properties took up to six months to sell.

An increase in tourists with money will benefit those in that business, but the hospitality market is overbuilt with large chains dominating. As in 2016, the successful will be those who can market professionally and continually.

The big question mark is the new U.S. president. Even some who fought against the free trade treaty with the United States are ready to defend it if Donald Trump moves to dismantle the agreement. He probably will review the North America Free Trade Agreement with México first.

Still, firms in free trade zones here that depend on the U.S. market certainly must be concerned with talk of 35 percent import duties. And those with call centers here are likely to feel some pressure from the U.S. administration to return some jobs to the United States.

Expats can only wish for a more foreigner-friendly administration and one that does not pride itself on confiscating large numbers of imported packages.

However, serious tourism marketing by the government is unlikely because the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo will be putting most of its money into the $35 million convention center being built in Belén.

Some events in 2017 do not require a crystal ball. The volcanoes will continue to erupt. Landslides will block highways periodically. Road surfaces will give way to the heavy rains, and Costa Ricans will continue to have a cheerful, friendly and contagious outlook on life.


Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+506) 8305-3965
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

VOIP: (+416) 461-2203


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