A Death in Paradise!!

ISSUE #650: March 12-18, 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

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com

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, sunny - wonderful!!!!!!

A Death in Paradise: "Death": Not even here can you escape... On Monday morning I was finishing off my morning walk. I saw a man sitting alone in a golf cart... as I got closer I saw that it was Bill Hornick... owner of three units at Los Jardines. Surrounded by a number of paramedics. I overheard him say to the paramedics that he felt "tightness in his chest". Knowing that he had been / was a heavy smoker for years and that he had been partying the night before, I suspected a heart attack. I returned to Los Jardines to get Fernando Castor, a local who knows the medical system and speaks Spanish. When we returned, the ambulance and Bill were gone. Through the golf club, we traced him to San Juan Dios... a large public hospital in the west end of San Jose. Fernando went, found that he had been admitted, and that he had had another heart attack while there. He had flat lined, had been resuscitated, and he was being prepped to insert three stents... it seems that his arteries had closed down to about 15% the normal blood flow. I went to dinner with friends and returned to read an email saying he has passed away.

His two children were notified; they flew in the next day. He was cremated and his ashes spread at the golf course Friday. While I suspect he wasn't ready to pass on being in his early 60's, I think he might have scripted it just as it happened... partying the night before, finishing a round of golf, and then a fast demise...

Old Friends: A couple I have known for 35 years again visited me and CR... it had been three years since their previous visit. They stayed a week next to Los Jardines, then traveled for 4 weeks, and returned for a couple nights debriefing and conversation. They had a wonderful trip except that again, their used rental car was a disaster. Multiple break downs and inconvenience-- this is the second time and I think their last time with this company. They returned to Montreal, a foot of snow and went from 22 C to -22 C... in five hours...

My life continues to be tranquilio... Still working on sorting a few things out... but no urgency... close friends from here are likely to accept an offer on their house and return to the USA to be closer to their children and grand kids... If that is what they want, fine... they will certainly be missed here... as they are the organizers of our social life and I know no one picks up their role when they travel.

News Items of the Week


1. New Corporate tax: all they had to do initially was to re-advertise it. But that was too simple. A year and a half later and countless hours, virtually the same is again in effect.​

2. Traffic Accidents: I can attest to the increase in accidents. It is hard not to be affected by accidents... probably 50% of the time I am traveling, I come across an accident. For Example: to day at lunch while returning from the Friday Lunch Bunch, a motorcycle had gone into the ditch... an ambulance was there...

3. Water: Guanacaste... yep, the AyA infrastructure hasn't kept up... but in 20 years they will. Wow!! and I am suppose to be proud of this organization... with leaky pipes everywhere and 10s of thousand of people on water rationing in the Central Valley... by-the-way mostly the poorer neighborhoods.

4. Venezuela and CR: it might happen...

5. Air France: increasing flights by one per week beginning Nov. 1.

6. Platina Bridge: three of an eventual 6 lanes will open this week... maybe...

7. Haas Avocados: Mexico is forcing a decision. The reason given for halting the importation of avocados from Mexico --Haas avocados-- a tastier type of fruit --was not scientifically based... so what was it... me thinks it was economically motivated by the the CR growers to protect their inferior product... in the meantime, lots and lots of Haas avocados are showing up everywhere... don't know if they are from Mexico or elsewhere...

1. New corporations tax passes the second, final vote
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As expected, lawmakers Thursday approved for the second and final time a new tax on corporations. The tax is expected to raise 45 billion colons or about $81 million from entities registered with the government.

Many expats hold ownership in their homes and motor vehicles through establishing a corporation, usually a sociedad anónima or a sociedad de responsabilidad limitada. They are abbreviated S.A. and S.R.L.

The tax replaces one declared unconstitutional in January 2015 due to technical issues.

Sergio Alfaro, the minister of the Presidencia, praised the passage and said that the police will now receive the financing they deserve.

The bill is No. 19.818.

The political party Frente Amplio also praised the legislative action and said that with the money the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública will be able to hire 1,000 new officers.

Edgardo Araya Sibaja, head of Frente Amplio in the legislature, took credit for his party in putting the tax measure on a so-called fast track. He also criticized Movimiento Libertario and the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana for delaying the process by making an appeal to the Sala IV constitutional court. The court rejected the appeal.

The bill exempts taxation of small businesses registered as such with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio. Other corporations are assessed based on their level of gross income.

The original law won approval Dec. 22, 2011, but the Sala IV decided it had not been advertised correctly and voided it Jan. 28, 2015. Curiously, the court said that the taxes for 2015 still had to be paid.

A stipulation in the proposed law says that those who owe back taxes on corporations can pay the money without penalty for three months after the law is published in La Gaceta official newspaper. That takes place after President Luis Guillermo Solís signs the bill.

The law goes into effect three months after the first day of the month following its publication. Then a proportional amount of taxes are due within the next 30 days for 2017. One stipulation is that the amount paid in taxes cannot be listed as a deduction for income taxes.

In other words, corporations will have to pay taxes on the money they paid in taxes. The proposed law also provides a way for members of corporation boards of directors and other officers to resign without penalty.

Like many fines and government payments, the proposed tax is determined by the base salary that is in effect. This year the amount is 426,200 colons or about $767. This is the monthly salary listed for a specific job in the Poder Judicial, so the amount will increase each year.

Inactive corporations, that is those that have no economic activity, would pay 15 percent of the base salary for the annual tax. That would be about 68,192 colons or $115.09 due Jan. 1, 2018, for a full year.

Costa Rican corporate entities and local branches of foreign corporations with gross income of less than 250 times the base salary, about 106.5 million colons or about $192,000, would pay 30 percent, about 128,000 colons or $230.

Companies with gross income of 250 times the base salary or more would pay 60 percent of a base salary. Companies with economic activity most likely would pass these costs on to their customers. The payment this year would be half the amount for a full year.

2. Traffic accidents crashing records

As Costa Rica’s traffic grows faster than the infrastructure can handle, there has been a sharp increase in accidents. In 2012 the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) reported 63,129 road accidents. Last year that total reached a record 93,175. Experts predict by 2024 there will be 200,000 accidents if something isn’t done to improve traffic flow and imporove better education/training for drivers. (CR Hoy)

3. Water shortage stirs bad feelings

There are currently 11 tourist-oriented hotel projects in Liberia being held up because builders can’t get permits to assure water access. Gustavo Araya, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels, says there is enough water in the area. What is lacking is local interest. The state run water company AyA reports a new aqueduct being built, but that could take another 20 years to complete. La Nación

4. Mass Venezuelan migration to CR possible

First it was the Cubans, then the Haitians. Now Costa Rican migration officials are on alert that a new wave of migrants from Venezuela could be on the way. The alert stems from Venezuela’s political unrest coupled with Panama’s recent decision not to permit Venezuelan migrants from leaving then re-entering Panama for the purpose of perpetual visa renewals. (CR Hoy)

5. Air France to up its CR flights

According to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, Air France will increase its flights to Costa Rica from two to three per week. The change will take place Nov. 1 at the beginning of the next tourist season. French visitors to Costa Rica increased 14 percent last year. La Nación

6. La Platina bridge will partially reopen next week

Vehicle passage on the bridge over the Virilla River on the General Cañas Highway — better known as La Platina — will partially open next week, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) announced.

Minister Carlos Villalta said during an inspection on Wednesday that the MOPT will open three of the planned six lanes of the Alfredo González Flores bridge, the official name of the infamous puente.

Once the three lanes are fully operational, the project’s 170 workers will begin working on the other side of the bridge to build the remaining three lanes.

Villalta said he expects the bridge "to be completed and with its six lanes fully operational by April 30."

In the meantime, MOPT will alternate the direction of one of the three lanes to facilitate traffic flow during peak hours. Between midnight and noon, motorists traveling between Alajuela and San José will be able to use two of the three lanes; during the afternoons and evenings, two lanes will be assigned to traffic going from San José to Alajuela.

7. Mexico takes Costa Rica ban on avocados to World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO) reported that Mexico filed a complaint on Wednesday against Costa Rica over its ban on imports of Hass avocados from that country, issued in 2015.

Mexico’s Economy Ministry confirmed the complaint in a public statement on its website.

The document says that Mexico recognizes the right of a WTO member to establish measures to protect the health and life of its people, animals or to preserve its vegetables.

"However, [measures to defend] these rights must fulfill certain obligations, the main one being to basing these measures on scientific principles," the document states.

Foreign Trade Minister Alexánder Mora said in a news release on Wednesday evening that despite Mexico’s formal opening of a legal process, Costa Rica will maintain the restriction on avocados from that country.

Mora said Agriculture Minister Luis Felipe Arauz confirmed earlier on Wednesday that the ministry will not reverse the measures taken to protect the country from the sunblotch virus.

"It’s an important decision to protect the quality of local avocados," Mora said.

Mora also said that the Foreign Trade Ministry will lead Costa Rica’s defense before the WTO. Experts from the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) will join the defense team.

MAG’s State Phytosanitary Service, the agency that imposed the restriction on the import of Mexican Hass avocados, will assume the cost of the legal proceedings before the WTO, Mora said.

The process

Following the submission of Mexico’s legal complaint, the WTO will grant Costa Rica ten days to file a response. Representatives of the two countries then will have 60 days to negotiate a solution. All proceedings and negotiations during this period will remain confidential.

In case the countries fail to reach an agreement at the end of that period, Mexico is entitled to request the creation of a panel of WTO experts who will issue a report and a ruling. The panel should be appointed within 20 days and will include three experts, nominated by both countries.

Either one of the countries can file an appeal against the ruling in case they disagree with the results.

Failed negotiations

MAG last month had reported that its officials were engaged in a negotiation process with Mexico to renew the import of Hass avocados and avoid the legal complaint.

The ministry at the time reported that authorities were drafting technical and legal aspects of a protocol for the agreement that would end the ban.

Mexico’s public statement on Wednesday noted that "unfortunately, these negotiations did not lead to the elimination of Costa Rica’s sanitary restrictions imposed on Mexican avocado imports."

It adds that therefore the Mexican government made the decision to "begin a formal dispute process before the WTO."


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

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com

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