Electionearing CR Style...

ISSUE #695: Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 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

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

Weather: We continue to experience "cold fronts"... high winds, cool higher temperatures than in previous years.

Lot-Districto Cuatro: The pig is about ready for it's red carpet debut!! House interior, exterior, and roof have been painted -of course it looks much, much better. Exterior debris has been removed. Some clean up yet to be done. Have asked my architect of years gone buy if he can draw a nice picture dressing up the house and lot. I know he can... just have to determine the cost effectiveness... this would only be to give someone without imagination an idea of what could be.

Cuban Restaurant: a group is looking for a new location for the next wine club. We tried a Cuban restaurant in the west side of San Jose. It was an absolute bust... out of eight people, no one would return... We are still looking.

Tenants: We had a young professional living in Lita's little unit for the past 18 months. He always paid by transfer on the first of the month, never complained, gave a month's notice that he was being transferred to Columbia, left the place spotless... Contrast this with two current tenants neither of whom paid January rent. Both are out of the country for ??? reasons. Despite numerous emails to each asking their intentions... one never replied, the other has been vague. I notified each that if they had not paid in full both Jan / Feb. rent, I would enter, remove their belongings, clean and re-market the place. One person showed up at 2 am and couldn't get in his unit... I had changed the lock. He had to wait until morning after I had finished my coffee... He paid both months... I have one more recalcitrant to deal with... he has until Feb. 7... and he can't get in either until he sees me... Legally I can't lock them out... I am quite sure neither of these guys wants to get a court involved... and they know they are in the wrong. I really don't like to have to do this and normally, I don't but sometimes... I consider myself fair and reasonable... when someone proves to be difficult and persists in being difficult, I respond in kind...

Elections in CR: National elections are held each four years. Traditionally there have been two strong parties. That broke down last time around and this time it has fractured even more. The poles last time were very inaccurate and the poles this time are bouncing all around. The only thing which is consistent is that none of the multiple leading parties have near enough support to win on the first ballot. The first balloting which is held tomorrow, will result en eliminating all but the two or three strongest candidates. The article below really says that none of the candidates has really focused on the issues which are most important to the electorate and none of the candidates has presented a clear, comprehensive proposed agenda... (so what is new..???) The current status is that there is a large percentage (36% ?? or so) of undecided voters. The current "strongest" parties are pooling around 17-20% or so support... The second round of voting occurs in a month / 6 weeks... In the interim, maybe the remaining candidates will be able to articulate a reasonable agenda...

Sending and Receiving Mail: Here is my experience over the past three shipments: FedEx: sent from Canada to CR... the address typed on the computer screen was complete and verified by the sender... what got printed and attached to the actual package was incomplete... I could not change the address as the received... the sender had to make the change in Canada. Aerocacillias: personal mail was sent to Miami and from there to be forwarded to my account in CR -it was stopped in Miami saying that I had to provide an invoice... I couldn't this is personal mail or no commercial value... I went to the local office here and was told that now ALL packages coming into CR had to have an invoice (so CR could tax them...) and that if there was no commercial invoice, I had to go on line and make one (how was I to know?). I asked the company rep to do this and to declare $1 as being the value. DHL -I had to return some documents to Canada- the link between the computer and the printer broke down so I had to wait a half hour for it to be fixed before I could pay my $75 for 5 pieces of mail... And this thing about "next day delivery" is now BS... because it usually has to go through Customs or some government agency which slows everything down so that "next day delivery" becomes 4 days...

Los Jardines: Repairs and deferred maintenance continue -there is a lot to do and it will take time but everything is going in the right direction and it is being recognized. Our property taxes increased as a result of a 5 yr re-evaluation.

Future Possibilities: some talk in a group about an extended trip to Europe this fall... we'll see... We are looking at villas to rent for a month or so... there has been talk like this before but nothing came of it for whatever reasons...

News Items of the Week


2. McKinsey & Company: There is lots of work here to fix things and it is a nice place to be stationed.

3. Issue Solved: CR gets to keep it's swamp... Nicaragua should leave their "military outpost" which was probably manned by the least desirable of the military since it may have been a punishment assignment... to be in the middle of a swamp in a tent surrounded by mosquitoes.

1. Who Will Win the 2018 Costa Rica Presidential Elections

The months prior to a presidential election in any country provide opportunities for candidates to explain their government plans, their ideas and proposals. This Sunday, February 4th, Costa Ricans will be choosing their president for the next four years, and in the last poll more than 36% of the voters had not decided who to vote for.

Part of the reason for this phenomenon has to do with factors that have affected the country and distracted the attention from this very important process. The “Cementazo” case for instance, a huge corruption scandal in which many political figures were involved or mentioned to different degrees (Including the President), and more recently the same sex marriage ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights which has brought religion positions into the political game.

The candidates have been interviewed, and they have participated in several debates, however, and unfortunately, the topics that have been discussed more deeply in the majority of these opportunities have been regarding same-sex marriage, religion, the candidates’ past or their integrity. The main topics such as infrastructure and fiscal deficit have been mentioned briefly and not with enough depth or detail.

36% of the voters need to make up their mind in the next two days, and it is unlikely they will have the time or the commitment to go over the government plan for the main candidates, especially since these documents tend to be long, boring and complicated for the average citizen. Unfortunately Costa Rican’s votes will be based on other factors… perhaps who they don’t like or who they like best, their family traditions, their religion or position regarding same-sex marriage, or the very little information they got from the debates and interviews.

So, what would happen, if we take the four main candidates’ positions and proposals on five key issues, summarized and simplified (as much as possible) without telling readers, at least at first, which plan corresponds to which candidate? Would leaving aside faces, history, and political colors make a difference in the voters’ decision… let’s see:

Candidate A:

Fiscal Deficit: Supports the implementation of IVA tax instead of sales tax (value added tax) but maintaining the current 13%, with the purpose of collecting taxes where they aren’t been collected yet. The containing of public expenditure(not allowing them to grow). Control tax evasion and contraband.
Infrastructure: Construction of a “metro”, the elimination of 25 bottlenecks per year and conclude seven important roads for the country.
Environment: Water treatment plants and sewers. Support for companies that implement sustainable practices and regulations and create consequences for those that contaminate the environment. This candidate is against trawling practices.
Security: Increasing the police presence, offering more and better training and providing them with better infrastructure, technology and tools to execute their work. When it comes to drug trafficking and crime, being stricter with arrest warrants and better the actions in terms of migratory administration action, there is also a proposal to create a Ministry to battle organized crime and this entity will be in charge of the Intelligence Police and the Drug Control Police.
Inequity: The creation of 200,000 new jobs in four years bringing down unemployment by 6%.; investment in technology and infrastructure.

Candidate B:

Fiscal Deficit: Modernization of the tax structure, consolidation of the expenses, transparency and accountability through the use of new technologies; bringing down the fiscal deficit to 3% of the GNP by 2022. Transformation of public expenses and renegotiation of the debt with Government institutions; be more efficient in the collection of taxes. Implementation of the value added tax going from 13% to 15%.
Infrastructure: Creation of an Electrical Train in the Great Metropolitan Area. The extension of the Florencio del Castillo road (which connects to Cartago); neighborhood roads for national production to have the easiness of transportation from rural areas; prioritizing public transportation and efficient distribution of traffic.
Environment: Creation of green corridors in the cities. Against trawling. Transforming the Costa Rica Fishing Institute into a Ministry. Promotion of the use of clean energies and efficient public transportation. Protection of water resources and ensuring the quality of water.
Security: Promotion of sports, arts and social prevention through the establishment of scholarships. Rehabilitation options through the investment in jails and the use of alternative measures.
Inequity: Creation of 150,000 jobs, focusing in the population that doesn’t work or study (ninis) and adults over 40 years of age. Promote tourism. Economic growth of 5% yearly as of 2020. Offer tools to strengthen the small and medium size companies.

Candidate C:

Fiscal Deficit: Implementation of value added tax (IVA) going from 13% to 15%. Modernization of income tax to ensure that each person pays according to their economic capacity. Containing public expenses.
Infrastructure: Electric Passenger Train. Dividing the metropolitan areas into sectors for public transportation with the idea of eliminating all the public traffic from going through the city of San Jose. Transformation of urban spaces to include areas for cyclists and pedestrians.
Environment: Creation of an Environmental tax for manufacturers and importers of non-reusable plastic containers, except those non-reusable plastics used for articles that are part of the market basket. Implementation of the National Policy of Sanitation of Residual Waters. Against trawling.
Security: Professionalization of the Police Bodies consolidating the SART mechanism, (Early Alert and Response System) and providing them with the necessary tools to efficiently carry out their work. Battling money laundering and terrorism by strengthening controls of regulatory entities; strict control over the use and ownership of fire weapons, improvement of aerial and maritime surveillance through the use of radars. Use of scanners in the frontiers to battle contraband and proper control to avoid corruption acts.<> Inequity: Generation of employment with a regional focus. Establishment of economic clusters that promote national and foreign investment in different regions. Private and public alliances. Promote the advantages of each region. Promote the participation of women and the population with disabilities in the labor market.

Candidate D:

Fiscal Deficit: Implementation of added value tax (IVA) but maintaining it in 13%. Eliminating superfluous expenses like traveling and consultancies. Containing public expense. Efficient collection of taxes. Establishing new conditions for new public employees.
Infrastructure: Redefining investments. Provide ICE (Costa Rica Electricity Institute) with the authority to build public work. Develop a first world train through a concession and in strategic alliance with INCOFER. Promote the working from home modality. Transformation of the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation.
Environment: Prepare the country for electric transportation. Request the assistance and involvement of the communities in the cleaning and care of rivers.
Security: Create stronger punishments. Bring together the different police bodies so they can coordinate their work towards common objectives. Strengthen the migratory police. Restructuring jails to make them into productive spaces.
Inequity: Support the development of small tourism companies. Promote entrepreneurship. Creation of free trade zones in areas of low development. Continue with the attraction of foreign companies and strengthen the “Latin American Valley” policy.

There are thirteen candidates in total aspiring to be the next President of Costa Rica. The information above corresponds to the four candidates ahead on the last poll, these is just a small portion of the proposals listed in their government plans and have been summarized to give us a quick idea of their position on some important topics.

The summarized plans stated above correspond to: Candidate A: Rodolfo Piza (PUSC) / Candidate B: Antonio Alvarez Desanti (PLN)/ Candidate C: Carlos Alvarado (PAC) / Candidate D: Fabricio Alvarado (RN).

You can now add to the information above, the experience, the team, the capacity, and other aspects you consider important before making your choice. Each of the candidates has their complete government plan in their respective websites should you want to dig deeper or learn about their position in a particular topic.

2. McKinsey & Company Inaugurates New Facility in Costa Rica

The global consulting firm McKinsey & Company inaugurated a new state-of-the-art facility located in Lagunilla, Heredia, Costa Rica. The inauguration featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Firm’s Global Managing Partner Mr. Dominic Barton, the President of CINDE, Mr. Luis Gamboa and Mr. Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign trade, along with local McKinsey colleagues.

McKinsey started operations in Costa Rica in 2010 with a small team and has grown to more than 900 colleagues. Currently there are multiple global teams in the McKinsey Costa Rica center, such as Executive Assistants, Visual Graphics & Media, Technology & Digital, Research Analytics and New Ventures.

Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade, highlighted the importance of this milestone, “McKinsey & Company is one of the most renowned consulting companies due to its global coverage of theme areas of work, the quality of its expert teams, , and for their impressive ability to create knowledge and deliver value to its clients in the private and public sectors, said Mora. “McKinsey’s business model includes the creation of very complex and sophisticated analytic tools; many of them designed, elaborated, and supported from Costa Rica. The inauguration of this new site will allow McKinsey to grow their headcount in almost 30% over a few years, consolidating their Costa Rica site as one of their biggest offices in the world. The Costa Rican government continues to support McKinsey & Company and all the support-service industry companies operating from the country.”

Dominic Barton, McKinsey’s Global Managing Partner, remarked, “This is a very exciting time for the Firm as we inaugurate the new building for our Costa Rica office – one of our major offices globally. This is a result of the importance this office has for our global Firm, and for our local and global clients as well as a symbol of our belief in its future potential. We look forward to continuing to invest in the talent and capabilities of our Costa Rican colleagues.”

Luis Gamboa, President of CINDE, added “The investment McKinsey&Company is making in Costa Rica reflects the dynamic environment service sector companies are able to achieve thanks to the quality of the human talent available here. At the closure of 2017, CINDE confirmed 22 investment projects and the generation of almost 5.900 net jobs in the service sector”

The new office reflects McKinsey’s continued investment in its Costa Rica facility. The firm is actively hiring, and is looking for bilingual (English-Spanish) personnel. Experienced professionals and newly graduates in areas such as information technologies, research, business administration, leadership and coaching. Those interested in exploring job opportunities at McKinsey & Company can visit www.mckinsey.co.cr SOURCE: CINDE

3. International Court of Justice Awards Costa Rica Disputed Territory

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) dictated today a historical sentence regarding the cases of “Maritime Delimitation Claim in the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)” and “Terrestrial Frontier in the North Area of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)”, in which it established the delimitation of the maritime frontier between both countries and ordered Nicaragua to move out the military camp they installed in the beach of Isla Portillos, Costa Rican territory.

The first appeal was presented by Costa Rica on February 25, 2014 and the second case was presented in January 16, 2017. Costa Rica asked the ICJ to establish its maritime boundaries in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea with Nicaragua once and for all to end repeated border disputes with its Central American neighbor, and to declare Nicaragua’s establishment of a military post on the beach on Isla Calero illegal.

The sentence of the International Court of Justice determined:

  • The only territory that belongs to Nicaragua in this area is the Portillos Lake and the coastline that separates it from the ocean.
  • According to the judges, Nicaragua established the military camp in Costa Rican territory, violating the country’s sovereignty.
  • Nicaragua is ordered, immediately, to move their military camp out of the beach of Isla Portillos.

“Costa Rica has come out victorious once again. The Court has agreed with Costa Rica’s position with regards to the intentions of Nicaragua of appropriating of Costa Rican maritime space for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas. But more importantly, Costa Rica has been able to reclaim 10,000 square kilometers in the Caribbean Sea and guaranteeing the access to the thermal dome (a marine biodiversity hotspot) and the extensive fishing areas in the North Pacific zone. The Government of Costa Rica also celebrates that the Court has ordered Nicaragua to move out the military camp that they established in the beach of Isla Portillos. These decisions reaffirm the relevance of International Law for Costa Rica as an effective mechanism of resolution of international disputes in a peaceful manner”, stated Manuel Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

This Friday, the International Justice Court also ruled that Nicaragua has to pay $378,890 to Costa Rica for the damages caused in Calero Island, also known as Portillos Island. Even thought this was a much lower amount than the compensation requested by Costa Rica, it is double what Nicaragua expected to pay.


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

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