and the New Year Begins

ISSUE #692: Jan. 7-13, 2018


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 continue to experience "cold fronts"... high winds, cool temperatures -- 16-21 (ha, ha, ha) -- and showers in the Central Valley and hard downpours in the east coast... life is terrible...!

and the new year begins... yes, government offices creaked open this week and things started getting done... Issues with the Dominical house were sorted out and rectified.

Santa Fe: I retrieved it, drove it for a couple days and returned it for an adjustment... the car should never have been released to me before it had been tested but it was, I tested it and am not getting the turbo adjusted properly... It will be fine when I get it back... Tuesday.

Scotiabank: I submitted all the paperwork... all 35 pages of it... to Scotiabank and to my surprise and disbelief, they said I had meet all their requirements. Having heard that, I said then that I should not hear from you for another two years... to which they said "yes"... I don't believe it but...

Trip to Nicaragua: The other driver and I attended the government office to obtain the necessary exit documents we need to take our respective cars across the border. I was the long shot re. information but I had asked a lawyer to do some work for me and what he prepared was correct for the registry... My friend who had taken his car there numerous times in the distant past expected a problem but thought he had addressed it by bringing this two previous passports so he could show that the ID number of the owner (him) as the same person and here were the three passport documents showing a line of succession... NOPE it didn't fly. He had to get a notary to certify that the passports were in fact real and that he was in fact the same person and then had to go to the registro to change the information and then he could proceed to get the document to take the car out of the country ...few things are easy in CR!

News Items of the Week


1. Nature Air: operations are suspended... they have had three accidents in the past several months, one killing 10 people. This used to be a thriving regional airline but it has gone into decline for some reason. I doubt that it will ever start up again... now we have to rely on Sansa...

2. New Development Requirement: hydrological study may be required. Probably not an unreasonable requirement... unfortunately, if it is like so many of the other requirements, it will be abused by the regulatory agency.

3. Train Accident: anyone who has every seen the work cars / work trains will not be surprised by this... They are decrepit. It is not surprising that they become decoupled.

4. Construction Industry: It is slowing, especially in the residencial area followed by commercial space. We don't see it in the Santa Ana area and Heredia and Escazu have a lot of new construction on the go but these may be hold overs from the previous accounting periods...

5. Electronic billing required for professionals: Professionals -doctors / engineers / lawyers / architects / etc. are notorious for not providing invoices and receipts so they do not report much of their income to the government. The government is now trying to develop a system -electronic filing- this will be phased in by profession... my guess is that they will find a way around this and perhaps our first test will be with our dentist with whom we have resumed phase 2 of our implant procedure...

1. Nature Air Operations in Costa Rica Suspended by Civil Aviation

The Directorate of Civil Aviation in Costa Rica suspended the operations of Nature Air effective as of today.

“The General Directorate of Civil Aviation received copy on January 9, 2018 of the notification of the resignation presented by Mr. Jorge Valverde Esquivel, Director of Operations of the company Nature Air S.A.; this Administration is also aware of the death of Mr. Juan Manuel Retana Chinchilla, Chief Trainer of this company and the sick leave of Mr. Rodney Duran, Chief of Flight Security.

Also, currently, the company Nature Air S.A. only has 3 crews for the coverage of the totality of the routes approved by the Technical Council of Civil Aviation, including the Chief of Flight Security who is currently in sick leave, for this reason, the company Nature Air S.A. does not have at this time the structure to operate properly and efficiently to guarantee the execution of the flight operations with safety”, states the notification by Civil Aviation.

According to Ennio Cubillo, Director of Civil Aviation, in the letter of resignation presented by the Chief of Operations, he makes reference to some irregularities in the operations of the company which cannot be disclosed since these are currently under investigation.

Juan Manuel Retana Chinchilla, who was the Chief Trainer of the company, was the pilot killed in the plane crash in Guanacaste on December 31 along with colleague Emma Ramos Calderon and 10 US tourists. Cubillo explained that for now the suspension is temporary and in order to operate again Nature Air most prove that they can continue offering the services with safety and that “their organization and administrative structure are appropriate and adjusted to the scale and reach of the operations”.

2. High Costs of New Requirement For Construction Projects in Costa Rica Creates Concern

Individuals and companies that wish to build a house or are involved in the development of real estate projects of any kind, residential, commercial, tourist places, etc. may have to invest in an additional requirement, a hydrogeological study that has a cost of between US$5,000.00 and up to US$100,000.00.

The new requirement (Matriz Genérica de Protección de Acuiferos or Generic Matrix for the Protection of Aquifers), is a more exhaustive study than the one previously in place, and it is the result of an agreement by the Board of Directors of the National Groundwater Irrigation and Drainage Services (Senara in Spanish) with the objective of protecting the water sources.

However, not everyone will have to comply with this requirement, the corresponding Municipality will inform those interested in starting a construction project whether they are required to carry out hydrogeological studies, the municipality will determine this based on the land use and the type of construction planned. Some municipalities already have their own vulnerability map in place, in which case this requirement is not necessary.

The cost of fulfilling this requirement when needed will depend on the size of the project, starting at $5,000.00 for a single family home, to $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 for a small or medium size condominium project, and as much as $40,000.00 for larger residential, commercial or industrial projects. Megaprojects could have a cost of up to $100,000.00

The Union of Costa Rican Chambers and Associations of the Private Corporate Sector is concerned not just because of the high cost of this new requirement but also because they consider it interferes in matters that should be the concern of Municipalities.

3. Fatal train accident in Alajuela

A security video shows the exact moment when one of the cargo wagons that broke off the train on Tuesday morning crashed and dragged a vehicle in Alajuela, causing the death of two people and severe injuries to a third victim.

The video was captured by a camera located in a house near the area where the tragedy occurred.

The Costa Rican Railway Institute (INCOFER) began an investigation to determine the causes of the accident, since these wagons, which transported 32 tons of material, detached from the train that held them, the brakes failed and traveled 800 meters at a very high speed.

The wagons were under the responsibility of the company Manfer, which is hired by the INCOFER to carry out work on the road.

4. Construction industry decreased in 2017
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The construction industry had a negative performance during 2017, with a decrease of 10.4% compared to 2016.

According to data from the Central Bank, the main decrease occurred in the second half of the year.

In the first six months of 2017, construction grew 2.7%. In the second half of the year, construction dropped by 21.6%, as consequence of weather conditions generated by Storm Nate, lower bank financing and what the construction industry calls excessive construction procedures.

The decrease observed is consistent with the decline in construction intentions, which according to Central Bank records, showed a contraction of 6.5% for 2017.

In the last quarter of 2017, there was less non-residential construction (commercial and industrial property down 5.1%) and residential buildings (middle and upper class housing down 15.1%). Construction of infrastructure works presented a growth of 3.4%.

The middle-class homes represent the greatest amount of the total of residential buildings. Next in importance are upper class housing, social interest housing, and finally residential buildings, according to the report Construction with Private Destination prepared by the Central Bank,

Business construction also fell.

The construction of non-residential buildings showed growth in the area of commercial premises (12.8%), industrial buildings (10%) and warehouses (18.1%).

In contrast, the construction of commercial spaces grew 54.3%, mainly due to the construction of a cinema hall in Curridabat, San José.

Commercial places increased their participation by 7.3% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, placing them as the third type of non-residential construction in importance, surpassed by office and industrial buildings.

The construction of industrial warehouses, commercial premises and warehouses lost its share within the group of non-residential buildings when compared to the same quarter of 2016.

5. 18 suppliers authorized to provide digital invoice services
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A total of 18 suppliers are authorized by the Ministry of Finance to offer the leasing of systems for the digital invoicing, which is in the process of implementation for all business activities.

An expert of the Association of Public Accountants of Costa Rica, Dunia Zamora, said that the suppliers offer platforms that provide the service for free and others that charge depending on the support they give to customers.

Zamora said that liberal professionals or legal entities must first define whether they will lease the system or have one of their own before registering through Form D-140.

According to Dunia, if you decide on the first option, you should find the provider that best suits the needs of the business. For instance, if the service is provided 24 hours or on weekends, the company selected should have technicians who take care of any emergency that should arise during that time.

She also reminded users that the platforms that offer the private service only keep the information for a month, but tax policies require taxpayers to keep digital documents for at least five years.

This new model, implemented by the Ministry of Finance since 2017, seeks to connect financial records directly with the Ministry.

The process is being implemented gradually, first with big corporate taxpayers (many of whom already implemented this system). Subsequently, the different sectors of economy must join the system according to a specific deadline.

On January 15, health related services should provide the digital invoice service, February 1 is the deadline for the financial accounting sector, followed by March 1 for the legal sector, while engineering, architecture and information technologies should apply the system by April 2. May 1 is the deadline for the rest of the businesses.


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


Previous reports