Drama and Tragedy!!!

ISSUE #690: Dec. 17-23, 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: 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... beautiful... we are having to water... but we haven't yet found our rhythm and are getting behind (I believe)

Drama and Tragedy... A Weekly Diet...

Only this one has a VERY sad element:

Drama: The agent that caused us to go to Arenal area the previous week, contacted me on Tuesday with a mortgage opportunity. It sounded good... a 3 bedroom house on two acres of ocean view land in Dominical, with swimming pool and pool house / guest house. Built in 2010. Listed for sale, down from $600,000 to the current asking price of $475,000. The owner, an American woman, wanted to borrow $80,000, and would pay 13% interest, two year term, open after 6 mo. She wanted to close by Friday... in 4 days... It two several days to get the basic information... survey, pictures, and title search... I checked with those I need to check with to see if it could be done... it could... Lita and I drove down on Thursday after the agent... now residing in New Jersey, made arrangements to view the property... having lent on one property before without inspection, I wasn’t going to do it again... hopefully, I can still learn from my mistakes... finding an agent to show us the property was a bit of a problem... agents were gone for holidays... however, the broker did find someone and we met that person in Dominical. A 3 ½ drive. The house was as pictured and described... I authorized the lawyer to go ahead with the deal. The owner / borrower was in Texas... she had to fly to CR to sign the mortgage document. She agreed and she would fly back the same day... and funds would be disbursed... neither she nor the broker were really familiar with information need for international transfers but that, over time, got sorted out as well. The lawyer found that back taxes were owed... we said we would withhold that amount ($1,500) and pay them... but then the lawyer also found out that for some reason, the corporation owning the property was “frozen”... this happens when some documentation is missing or taxes hadn’t been paid. Taxes had been paid... The lawyer tried to find out the problem but the Registro’s computer system had been down since Wednesday and was not expected to be up and running until Tuesday... yeah, right... Tuesday, between Christmas and New Years???... I doubt it... who ever could take it down and boot it up was / is I am sure, on holidays on some beach... Anyway, the woman is on the plane from Texas to CR... the lawyer meets her at the airport...explains the problem...she bursts into tears... she has only $2,000 in her bank and is responsible for her handicapped daughter... wow!!!! The broker is bullying us to do this deal and to wire him his commission... The lawyer softened, agreed to wire her partial funds, got the documents signed... mortgage and power of attorney to fix up the problem when the computer system came back up... and she got back on the plane to Texas. Now the missing pieces have to be put into place... this is scheduled for Jan. 8.

Tragedy: I was in the hammock working on the mortgage deal above... phone rings... a very good friend of mine on the line... business person / personal friend along with his tica wife... he didn’t mince words... "my step daughter hung herself and is dead!" Wow... This girl had had a history of bi-polarism and had had lots of problems with her mother (my friend), with her husband, and with her two children... She had not allowed to be alone with the children for some time due to her illness. This had been going on for a number of years... she had been admitted various times to the psychiatric hospital for treatment... given medication and eventually released. As is normally the case in these situations, while she was on the medication, she was fie but when she felt fine, she no longer took the medication so she relapsed into the dark side of the disease. This caused many chaotic episodes for the husband, mother and step father as well as the children. In the end, she offed herself on her mother’s birthday and just before Christmas... —Christmas is stressful for the healthy... and others suffering various issues have additional pressures... EVERYONE is left to cope in their own way... and life will go on but not without scar tissue of those left to wonder... “what if...??”

Both these issues are still unresolved and will overshadow the holidays... While I didn’t really know the girl, I had met her and knew of her problems and issues through the parents... It still comes as a horrible shock to me... I am still processing it... and we are not the parents / husband / mother / children and others who were closer... their issues will be greater... I really, really feel for them...

RECONDITIONING 125: the new owner asked me to do some long overdue maintenance on the unit. That has been on-going all week. It is mostly done... furniture removed, new curtains, all lights / plumbing parts repaired as necessary including re-wiring the display unit, drawer glides, a thorough cleaning, inventory of remaining items. Yet to be done will be polishing the granite to remove silica stains and the large screen in the sliding door that has been ripped.

Santa Fe: the assessment is completed... the head was warped due to overheating but the block was not cracked. They had expected to have it put back together by Christmas but don’t think they will make it.

Volvo: I continue to love it and now that I have had it on two long trips without incident, I am gaining confidence in it. When I bought it, the former owner did not bring the second set of keys. I had tried for 10 days or so, various meetings were cancelled or not attended including one at 11 Tuesday... he showed at 12... I had left no longer having any use for the idiot... but one if my support people persisted and got it. The guy I bought from is just not a nice, honorable guy. But I don’t have to deal with him anymore.

Repayment: the employee at Los Jardines whose son had a broken leg in 4 places and the CAJA couldn’t deal with it for 3-4 months... Doneste, Paul and I paid for a private hospital operation. He paid off the final part of the loan... the son is now walking normally and should for the rest of his life. What we all did was the right thing... no question about it.

Scotiabank: gave many of us a Christmas present... a demand for information... all eight pages of it. I have yet to decipher all of it but it will probably involve a lawyer and an accountant... We, or at least I, got this Dec. 22. It doesn’t give a deadline but I am sure they will count the 10+ days over Christmas / New Years as part of the time allotted and if I do not get all the info in by some unspecified date, they will freeze the account as they have done before.

Sunday Lunch Bunch: decided we wanted to all go to Granada in January. (This is what happens we we all have too much wine.) I checked on Airbnb and found a great place that will accommodate all of us... $62 per night per couple. We are scheduled for January 18-23. Lita and I haven’t been there for a long time (5 years?) and for the others, it has been even longer... and one of the 4 couples hasn’t been at all. Four people will drive in one car... four of us will take the bus... each to our own...

Today I have to clean up my records and find my Credit Card which I hope is buried in the paperwork... after the Airbnb effort... and make preparation for our contribution to Christmas Day luncheon... maybe some hammock time as well.

News Items of the Week


"Cementegate": it still dominates the news and political landscape...

1. Fraud in the Sala... (Supreme Court)... if true... wow... and I tend to believe it.

2. CR Elections: a country divided with multiple parties, no consensus leader with the result a weak government mandate.

1. Epsy Cambpell denounces fraud of ¢8 billion in the appointment of judicial workers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislator of the Citizen Action Party (PAC), Epsy Campbell Barr, denounced a budgetary fraud, for the amount of 8 billion colones, due to the duplication of administrative posts in the the Judicial Branch.

Campbell described the practice as a shameful abuse of power, which further deteriorates the credibility of the Supreme Court.

The duplication consists of simulating the delivery of paid permits to judges under the reason they need to perform special projects. In this way, the codes of their posts are freed to appoint substitutes.

However, the judges remain in their ordinary jobs. The real reason for hiring fictitious substitutes is unknown.

According to Campbell, this will cause the expenditure of 8 billion colones to pay for the irregular appointment of 232 substitute judges and 75 administrative officials.

"Those 307 extra seats were not included in the approved budget for the Judiciary. They probably inflated the wage bill to camouflage them. I am demanding that the Supreme Court of Justice immediately stop this fraud against the public treasury, which looks as the work of a criminal organization rather than a power to the republic,"said the legislator.

Campbell emphasized the responsibility of President Carlos Chinchilla. The magistrate knew the agreement of the Supreme Court to restrict the permits with salary but In spite of this, he disobeyed this order of 2014 and endorsed that the Superior Council duplicated judges and administrative officials.

"Judges are encouraged to lie and accept a corrupt act. It is totally frightening that the collaborators of the Judicial Branch assume such a serious immorality as part of their daily life and allow themselves year after year to be part of such a despicable practice, "said Legislator.

Campbell said she asked the Court for a report, from 2014 to up to date, with the name, place, justification, special assignment, place where they complied, and the product that was delivered by the officials to whom salary benefits were granted.

2. Six weeks before elections, one third of Costa Ricans are undecided

One third of Costa Rican voters remain undecided just six weeks before the presidential election. According to a poll published Wednesday, the two leading candidates are in a statistical dead heat.

The Investigation and Political Studies Center at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) revealed that 34 percent of the sample has yet to choose a candidate. Former Security Minister Juan Diego Castro is the current favorite with 18 percent; Castro is known for his populist discourse and promises to erradicate corruption and crime.

Former legislator and Cabinet minister Antonio Álvarez of the National Liberation Party (PLN) is within the 2.5-point margin of error with 14 percent. The poll was carried out from Dec. 4-13 with 1,578 telephone interviews.

If none of the candidates get at least 40 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face off in a runoff election in April.

“We’re still growing. We’re Costa Rica’s primary political force,” Castro wrote on his Twitter account. The party that nominated him, the National Integration Party (PIN), is a small movement that in the past has put only one legislator in office.

In third place in the poll, with 13 percent, is the lawyer Rodolfo Piza from the Social Christianity Unity Party (PUSC), which along with the PLN led Costa Rica’s bipartisan system during the latter part of the 20th century. The other 10 aspirants are polling under 10 percent.

The poll also reflects a strong drop in support for President Luis Guillermo Solís. His administration is viewed negatively by 47 percent of those polled and positively by only 27 percent. In contrast, UCR polls carried out between March and October showed a positive evaluation of the current government.

Solís’ image has been affected in recent months by a scandal related to loans from public banks for the importation of Chinese cement, a case that revealed traffic of influences in the three powers of the Estate and has affected almost all of the country’s political parties.


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

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

Previous reports