Rain, Rain, and MORE Rain...

ISSUE #678: Sept. 24-30, 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

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #106A, #114 and #124


Paradisus: 12-4 is available, semi-furnished - $1,150. LEASED

Los Jardines: Unit #106D is available for rent

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 135,000 / See Unit

Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #106A
$ 165,000

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
$ 199,000

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 #124
$ 135,000

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, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.

For rent

UNIT #106D
$ 1,150 mo.
Available Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227
Total area (Sq M): 113
Bedrooms: 1 + den (bedroom possible)
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: apartment in 4 plex
Furnished: Yes

This 2nd story, 1,227 sf (113 m2 + one parking space) )is a georgous home with one of the best views at Los Jardines. The very large front covered terrace faces west and is suitable for entertaining; the off-bedroom covered terrace faces east for sun sets. This very tastefully furnished and fully equipped home offers a lifestyle envied by many. The owner offers financing if desired.

Our Lives

Weather: Rain, Rain, and MORE Rain... almost every evening it rains hard for several hours. CR is certainly getting a substantially above average rainfall this year... and we still have October and November to go. Los Jardines is not suffering but parts of the country and areas within the Central Valley are.

Los Jardines: I continue to be a "happy camper".

Foreclosure: the location is great... the "house" is not. I've dealt with lots of these situations before so will deal with this one as well... not my original plan but plans sometimes have to be changed. I have to invent a plan yet for this one...

Surgery: everything is going great. Back to all normal activities and am only occasionally reminded that not all is completely healed. It so happened that two people I know have the same condition I had. Each has been in touch with me to help them sort out their situations. One went under the knife yesterday. One has waited a bit too long, now has an infection which has to be dealt with first and then he will deal with it. Both have considered returning to their home countries (USA / Canada) and one decided on CR as the preferred solution and the other has yet to make a decision.

Paradisus: 12-4: lots of showings / no commitments. When we first started renting, we had few showings. Now we are getting lots of showings but there are more options so we spend more wasted time. What is being offered is good and represents reasonable value. But if someone wants to be closer to? -restaurant, friend, work, etc... they choose location...

Car Problems / Cultural Block: a problem I had several months ago continues to have strings attached. The car has two fans behind the rad. One fan failed, the car overheated multiple times on a road trip until I was able to nurse it back to Los Jardines. I put in two new fans... all seemed well... for 4 months... then it overheated again. The cause was said to be a dirty rad. Solution, new rad, new water pump, and yes, the head gasgetts had melted from before so change those.... C659,000 / $1,150 later, all is fixed... until Tuesday I was driving Lita to the hairdresser and it overheated... help arrives, car is taken ???... diagnosis... the $30 hose from rad to motor had failed... duh... why wasn't this changed in the 650,000?? "... we wanted to save you some money!!!!" (The concept of reliability has not yet reached this planet... and isn't even on it's way). Temporary solution... cut off an inch of the hose where the failure occurred, and sometime in the future change the hose for a new one... this action was promised to be done the next day... no it was postponed... well I knew it was a time bomb waiting to fail... yes, it did... now it is changed, I am livid... and no one involved understands why????? just a "gringoism"... wow!!!!!!

Accidents: When taking Lita to the hair dresser... I saw to "T-bone" accidents, and one broken down truck... all within 30 kl.

Netflix: We have had an account for about 3 yrs now but haven't been able to use it for the past 18 mo. Why? The bandwidth we were getting was too small so movies would not stream. We finally gave up. Los Jardines increased the bandwidth and I had to replace a router -I got a stronger router- and wow!!!!!!! everything is now fine... we have lots of catching up to do.

National Scandal: Cement -the scandal continues with more and more names being included, properties given as security (substantially less than the value of the loans) being auctioned off... CR is beginning to look more and more like Brazil... this is a long way from being concluded.

News Items of the Week


1. Competitiveness: a reversal of the past several years... great...

2. Rain: yes, we have been having it in SPADES... water table must be close to the surface now.

3. CAJA and the Government: typical -I think the Government is the number one debtor of CAJA followed by the government monopolistic sub organizations...

4. Income Tax: they can't even get a simple tax promulgated...... wow!!!!!!

1. Costa Rica advanced in international ranking of competitiveness

Costa Rica jumped ahead seven places compared to last year and ranked 47th out of 137 countries evaluated. In the region it is positioned as the second most competitive country, after Chile.

This is indicated by the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, prepared by the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development of Incae Business School.

This study – carried out with the support of the regional partner of the World Economic Forum since 1999 – analyzes the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of an economy.

Those responsible for the place that Costa Rica occupies in the indicators of better performance are health, education, availability of mobile internet, openness for attracting investments, transfer of technology, sophistication of business and innovation.

Good qualifications in education and health are partly a result of the accumulation of good social progress policies since the Independence.

The successes related to investment and technology respond to more recent structural changes, resulting from two important milestones: the liberalization of the economy after the debt crisis and the approval of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States that brought the opening in telecommunications.

Nevertheless, one of Costa Rica’s weaknesses is the deterioration of governmental institutions, which is measured through variables such as distrust on politicians, diversion of public funds, irregular payments and bribes, inefficiency of public expenditure and of the Judiciary to solve disputes and costs associated with crime and violence.

In addition, infrastructure remains a permanent weakness and its effects go beyond their impact on productivity as such, since these deficiencies have serious implications for health (pollution, accidents and road deaths), peace and collective well-being and the State’s capacity to resolve these issues has been largely overcome.

In the region, Chile (33) continues to lead, followed by Costa Rica (47) and Panama (50).

The main declines in competitiveness in the region were registered in the Dominican Republic (104), which fell 12 places compared to 2016; and Panama (50) and Honduras (96), which fell 8 positions in the same period. Argentina (92) is surprising as the country that improved the most compared to the previous year when it increased 12 positions, while Trinidad and Tobago (83) advanced 11 positions and Nicaragua (93) 10.

Globally, Switzerland heads the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, followed by the United States and Singapore.

The 2017-2018 report ratings were built on national and international agency statistics and the World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey of more than 14,000 entrepreneurs around the world.

2. Officials issue yellow alert for much of the country
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Heavy rains, flooding and landslides have prompted the Comisión Nacional de las Emergencias to issue a yellow alert throughout much of the country Thursday.

According to a statement from the CNE, the yellow alert was still active for the: Central Pacific, North Pacific, South Pacific, Central Valley and the Huetar Norte. With this alert, the institution initiated several measures to meet this problem such as the activation of all emergency committees and coordination of technical as well as institutional announcements.

Based on weather reports from the Instituto Metereológico Nacional, much of Costa Rica was affected by the passing of the 42nd tropical storm. The institute had reported a total of 826 incidents Thursday night in relation to the storm. Currently, at least 182 people remain in shelters at the moment.

The locations for these shelters in the San José central canton are at: La Carpio, La Unión de Barrio México, Asserí, Grecia, Moravia, Tibás and Curridabat among others.

Amid rumors that the power grid would be out, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that there have been no situations that would create widespread blackouts. The statement came out late Thursday evening.

The weather institute predicted at the time that heavy rains could be present for much of the northern part of the country from

Limón and Alajuela all the way through to central Guanacaste.

IMN urged people to take shelter in cases of high winds or thunderstorms as well as to exercise extreme caution while out traveling.

Flooding was reported in the canton of El Guarco and there is landslides seen in Purral de Guadalupe, the CNE said. Emergency committee members were out in the field monitoring and assessing the damage and trying to distribute supplies.

Out in the Grecia area, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados was working with the local emergency committee and the municipality to provide freshwater to residents in Puente de Piedra. Parts of Cartago province were also experiencing power outages Thursday evening as well.

Rains are fairly common in Costa Rica as anyone who has experienced the rainy season in the country knows. October and November are particular times when heavy rains fall frequently and with great intensity. This yellow alert represents the first one issued across large swathes of the country for the entire year.

The alerts come in three stages: green, yellow and red. Green alerts have been issued more frequently in the past few weeks in relation to the flooding and landslides in local areas as well as the Ministerio de Salud’s green alert issued for malaria. The CNE or IMN did not set a deadline as to when this alert would be lifted.

3. Government says it cannot afford to pay its workers' social security
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Just eight weeks after the government enforced a 1 percent hike on all worker's contributions to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, it has now announced it lacks the money to comply with its own obligation.

Last year, the state's contribution increased from a 0.58 percent of each worker to 1.24 percent, but as of today, the government has not paid any of the increase, according to Helio Fallas, Ministro de Hacienda.

Fallas also said they will continue paying the old percentage, since the ministry never agreed to the increase. Fallas also blamed the fiscal deficit and the lack of liquidity as the two main reasons why government will continue to fall behind on its payments, at least until 2018.

That means that the next year, government would fail to transfer $123 million to the social security fund, which accounts for the 0.20 percent of gross domestic product for that year. The situation has scared and angered union leaders who fought against the measures.

“Public workers are not the ones to blame for the fiscal crisis. They should be provided healthcare as any other worker who pay its dues,” said Albino Vargas, president of the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados.

In the case of the Unión Nacional de Empleados de la Caja y la Seguridad Social, their members have said this is a very serious situation, because the responsibilities of the fiscal deficit are being transferred to the citizens, according to Luis Chavarría, the secretary general.

"Helio Fallas is putting at risk not only the income for our social security, but has also decided to evade the responsibility of the Government to finance health services," he said.

4. Income tax on interest for foreigners lowered
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As of Monday, foreigners who invest in securities in Costa Rica must pay an income tax of 8 percent on the interest they receive.

The decision was taken by the Ministerio de Hacienda after a resolution issued by the Procuraduría General de la República, which is the local equivalent of the solicitor general’s office. In that resolution, the Procuraduría explains it is irrelevant where the client lives in order to determine the tax.

The confusion arises from a reform made to article 59 of the Ley de Impuesto sobre la Renta, which gave the false idea that national investors had to pay eight percent while foreigners not residing in Costa Rica should pay 15 percent, according to the document C-213-2017 issued by the Procuraduría.

The misunderstanding also came from an order issued by the Dirección General de Tributación in 2015, where the payments differentiation was established. That difference in criteria started to created some uncertainty among investors, so the Ministerio de Hacienda started working on a bill to be taken before the Legislative Assembly and, by the force of law, clarify what the correct amount was.

However, taking into consideration the Asamblea could take an indefinite amount of time in a reform effort, the Ministerio de Hacienda also sent a clarification request to the Procuraduría.

On Sept. 20, the answer was the same provided a few weeks ago to the Superintendencia General de Valores, which had the same questions.

Since the Procuraduría resolutions are legally binding for the Ministerio de Hacienda, the 8 percent deduction has applied since last Monday. As of now, Hacienda has not provided information on what will happen with the investor's who had mistakenly paid the 15 percent tax on their interests.


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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