Never A Dull Moment in CR!!!

ISSUE #689: Dec. 10-16, 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

Market activity
sales & rentals

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


Paradisus: Nothing available

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 #124: $ 135,000 / 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.

Our Lives

My Week:

Weather: We are into the dry season / summer / windy season... The early part of this week was dominated by a low pressure system bring high winds and... for us... very low temperatures... We were bundled under several "comforters" and coats sleeping... and wore coats during the day. This was not fun...but at the same time, Toronto had snow, -22C temperatures and Collingwood had 2 feet of snow... all in all, guess we were in the right place...

1. Volvo: Wonderful. Went on a two day road trip to Arenal this week... everything about it was great and a friend who knows more about cars than I, felt it was a great buy...

2. Santa Fe: Haven't heard... guess they are still tearing it apart and assessing it. Will follow up this week.

3. Sale of 125: I closed and we have a new owner.

4. Repossessed Property: Not much has happened on this. I am trying to find out what I can build on it. That will determine the value of the land.

5. New Phone: My new number is: (506) – 8 – 455-5935

6. Arenal: I had seen a property advertised for sale. The price had continued to come down. I was not interested in it but a bit curious. A two friends expressed some interest in it. I used that has an excuse to drive there and have a couple "play" days... fortunately one of the interested parties wanted to go as well so we made a foursome out of it. We also combined with that a trip to one of my lawyer's get-away house complete with three donkeys, ducks, koi, bull and two emus. It is nice to see that my "contributions" are being well invested. The property in question we went to see and associated properties which we also took time to see... all interesting but I would not recommend any. I simply do not see that area as investible... a place to visit or a lifestyle issue... fine... but don't plan on making any money... and we any of these properties, you are simply buying yourself a job with lots of risk over an extended time frame... and the older one gets, the shorter the time frame even if you don't get any smarter. Certainly the area is beautiful... lots of rain all year long so everything remains lush and green...but rural, remote, VERY quiet, you better love yourself and be in good health... and not want for a lot of friends and like driving... views are wonderful... but they do not fill up my life...

Never a Dull Moment in CR: Before we left on Friday morning, the electrical company was parked in front of our condo meter panel. Before they were finished, they had disconnected 15 of the 31 meters, including mine... What the F....k! The workers were only following their orders. Two of us ran for our receipts. Made no difference. Off to the nearest office. Well, yes I had paid but the payment had been credited to the wrong account... I paid again...and will have to sort out with the bank the error. The other person was two days late in paying... both of ours were turn back on. We I returned on Saturday, 5 of the 15 were still red tagged. Life is an adventure here...

Last week's happenings: A number of readers found it funny... it wasn't written to be but perhaps the irony of the title and the week's activities were what was funny. This past week was more sane.

I have to now prepare for 19 hungry luncheon guests so...

News Items of the Week


1. Weather: Yes, it was "cold" for us...

2. Money Laundering: Hard to get a conviction. Whether due to incompetence or the laws... or payoffs... who knows.

3. Strong Winds: Our lights were on and off multiple times in minutes for days... hard on electronics... an annoying.

4. Free Trade Zones: They are working for CR. Most of the economic growth and good paying jobs come from these areas and those industries supporting them

1. White Christmas in Costa Rica?
Does it snow in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is known, among other things, for having excellent weather conditions, which is why it makes one of the preferred destinations of tourists from North America and Europe who wish to escape the freezing cold during the winter time.

Costa Rica, does have some of the most bio-diverse climates in the world. The country, with a small area of just 51,100 square kilometers (19,700 sq mi) has plenty of micro-climates with temperatures ranging from around 40°F to 80°F on average; as a matter of fact, during these past few days the Costa Rican territory has been affected by a cold front the minimum temperature registered was of 36°F (at Irazu Volcano), situation that impresses many who have only seen postcards of sunny Costa Rica.

The areas where the lowest temperatures are registered are usually the highest mountains of course, the Cerro Chirripó, Costa Rica’s highest peak, which stands at 3,820 meters above sea level (12,533 ft.), usually presents temperatures ranging from (40°-65°F); this week there’s been some photos going around on social media showing “snow covering the ground at Chirripo” … the photo in question doesn’t correspond to the Chirripo or Costa Rica, but to an area in Guatemala; however, it is not uncommon for there to be frost and hail on these peak, as well as in other high mountains of Costa Rica (Irazu, Barva, Buenavista) specially during December when the temperatures at night drop considerably.

So, yes, temperatures in some areas of Costa Rica can drop enough to require you to wear a heavy jacket and mittens, but you won’t be able to build a snowman here… instead, you may need to settle for sand castles.

2. Prosecutor dismissed 73% of cases related to money laundering

According to the “National Situation Report on Drugs and Related Activities 2016” report presented on Monday by the Costa Rican Institute on Drugs (ICD), the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office for Money Laundering dismissed 73% of the 195 cases completed during the years 2015 and 2016.

For example, in 2015, 65 of the 95 concluded cases were dismissed; and in 2016, the dismissal occurred in 78 of 100 concluded cases.

During 2015 and 2016, a total of 40 people were convicted for the crime of money laundering, with 2016 being the year with the highest number of people convicted of this crime since 2010. In total, 23 people were convicted.

The report also explains that from 2010 to 2016 there were 158 sentences, 64 of which were acquittals and 94 were convictions.

The fact that only during the years 2010 and 2011 the percentage of convictions are equal to or greater than 75%, shows that the Prosecutor’s Office must improve its strategies to take a case to trial,” says the document.

The study explains that obtaining a conviction is complex because it must be demonstrated that there is a preceding crime related to drug trafficking, terrorism or organized crime. The Director of the ICD, Guillermo Araya, explained that efforts have been made to stop money laundering in recent years, but it is extremely important to demonstrate illicit money when mixed with licit activities.

In March, both the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) and the Public Ministry commented that cases are rising. The judicial authorities explained that the suspects suddenly have properties of millions of colones, luxurious vehicles and inexplicable incomes.

3. Map shows distribution of incidents due to strong winds

Emergencies map

A map shows in real time where most of the incidents due to the strong winds are affecting the country. According to the Fire Department, most incidents respond to emergencies caused by short circuits and falling trees.

Emergencies associated with strong winds exceed 260 dispatches, mainly in San José, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia and Puntarenas.

Also, the National Company of Power and Light (CNFL), reported that there are about 20 thousand affected services and about 30 technicians are working for the reconnection.

The affected sectors are Santa Ana Belén Radial, Pozos de Santa Ana, Laureles de Escazú, Rancho Redondo, Cruce de Las Nubes, San Ramón, Paracito, Chacón Paut, El Bosque, La Montaña, San Pedro de Coronado, Tarbaca, San Blas and San Jerónimo de Moravia, Ciudad Colón and San José de la Montaña.

In addition, there are many reports of de-roofed houses: 15 in San José, three in Alajuela, eight in Puntarenas, two in Guanacaste, and seven in Limón.

4. Costa Rica Has One of the Best Free Trade Zones in Latin America

The Free Trade Zone of El Coyol, Alajuela Costa Rica is one of two free trade zones included in the Site Selection Top Free Zones ranking which was carried out in November this year and which picked the two best free trade zones per region, in the Latin American and Caribbean region the only two to make the list were El Coyol and the Bogota Free Trade Zone in Colombia.

“Zona Franca El Coyol” has been operating for ten years and is houses multinational companies such as Abbot, Apollo Endosurgery, Establishment Labs, Smith & Nephew, Phillips, Confluent, Cardinal Health, Freudenberg, to mention just a few.

This Free Trade Zone has a total of 107 hectares and only a portion of the land is in use, they now plan to build another five buildings starting as of 2018 and with an estimated investment of US$20 million, confirmed Carlos Wong director of Zona Franca El Coyol.

“ZFC generates a 0.78% of the Gross National Product (GNP), and it promotes the flow of sustainable exports from Cota Rica, which generates an important value chain and specialized knowledge”, explained Wong.

The El Coyol Free Trade Zone is home to 8 of the 30 main medical devices companies in the world and it provides more than 10,500 jobs.


Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+506) 8-455-59-35
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

VOIP: (+416) 461-2203


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