Election Polling & Results

ISSUE #704: April 1-7, 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

Distrito Cuatro / Guachipelín / Escazú

about Distrito Cuatro

Rendering proposed Distrito Cuatro - click to Download full PDF

Hyundai Santa Fe 2008
$13,500 $12,000

Hyundai Santa Fe 2008, Turbo Diesel, automatic, excellent family vehicle, safe, comfortable, interior with leather seats. Good tires, engine, turbo, suspension, and AC. Marchamo 2018 and Retive. It now has been road tested for 5 weeks and performed flawlessly. I can now sell with confidence...

  • 5-door / 5 passenger
  • Power steering, windows, mirrors, brakes and locks
  • A/C front and rear
  • Cruise control
  • audio/radio control
  • Air bags - driver / pass
  • Security system
  • Fog lamps
  • Tinted windows
  • Roof rack
  • CD player / radio USB/AUX
  • Hydraulic lift
  • Leather seats
Market activity
sales & rentals

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


Paradisus: April 7, Available, $1,400 mo.

Los Jardines:
Unit #106D Available immediately, $1,150 mo. (April 1-Dec. 1)
Unit #112 Available immediately, $1,250 mo.
Unit #113 Available immediately, $1,250 mo.
Unit #116 Available immediately, $1,250 mo.

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. / Apr 1 - Dec 1 / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,250 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #113: $ 1,250 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 1,250 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 Apr 1 - Dec 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227 sf . + parking
Total area (Sq M): 113 + parking
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.

UNIT #112
$ 1,250 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

UNIT #113
$ 1,250 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer. The three other sides allow light, ventilation and garden views.

UNIT #116
$ 1,250 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

Our Lives

Weather: Beautiful as always... and... even though it is a month early, the beginnings of sprinkles has happened the last few afternoons...

Election Results: As happened 4 years ago, happened again this election... the polls were wildly WRONG... Polling in this country is not right up their with even close to being accurate... All along the pools said that both candidates were "neck and neck" and that any difference was within the realm of statistical error... The result was a 20 point difference... 60% vs. 40%... if that is within the realm of statistical error... wow!!!!!! The experienced, left of center candidate won. What can we expect now... don't really know but probably more of the same... What about the proposed tax changes? Don't know. We'll have to wait a bit more to see.

Future Concerns: I am developing real concerns about the economic health of this country based on what I see, hear and experience... The company and counsel I keep and my personal experiences are keeping me awake at night... The country will not deal with its extravagant spending and ridiculous government pensions. It has proposed some truly devastating tax changes which if passed, will have significant consequences and will not achieve what is needed -there are simpler ways to achieve the goal. Previously active RE agents, are non-existent. No phone calls for 4-5 months. Terrible tenants. Mortgage defaults. Left of center president. But yet, the wild construction spree continues... cars, cars, and more cars... the stats say construction is less than last year... it may be but it is still significant in our area. Commercial and residential space sits vacant for l-o-n-g periods of time...

Tenants: We have spent all week cleaning and repairing the vacated units. I am really, really disgusted. Fortunately, the cleaning team I have is fantastic... really, really fantastic... I just have to replace some items in one of the units and I am done... waiting for clients.

Heredia house: Painting is on going. I think I will have to replace the kitchen; I am waiting for a quote. Hopefully all work and cleaning will be done by this time next week.

District 4: The agreement did not get signed this week. We'll see.

Vacancies: I now have three at Los Jardines and one at Paradisus. I am not receiving any phone calls.

Europe: Crete -- we seem to have commitments from 5 couples for two weeks. After that, we do our own thing. The booking should be made this week and then I'll have to work on getting there and back.

Restaurant: finally, near by we have a second great place. It just opened up... it bills itself as a pizza place but in reality it has a wide variety of offerings... but they do have a wood fired pizza oven and do make great, great pizzas... as well as pastas +++ It has done, to date, a terrible job at marketing... we gave the guy some ideas and will try to help him because I would like to seem him survive... for purely selfish reasons...

News Items of the Week


A framework for the future... political agenda:

Political will will not be enough for 'immediate' actions that Alvarado asked in a speech

Lack of resources, resistance and doubts about projects, could delay the pretensions of the president-elect.

(Video) These are the 6 immediate actions that Carlos Alvarado asked in his trump speech.
President elect Carlos Alvarado asked to advance in six immediate actions in his speech of triumph, the previous Sunday.

However, it will require more than political will, in some of those cases.

Time, money, doubts and resistance could complicate the path to the future president, who intends to govern through a government of national unity.

This is the situation of the projects he presented in his speech:

I want to ask, in a respectful but categorical way, the current deputies of the Legislative Assembly to move forward with the necessary reforms of the Legislative Regulation to be fluent in Congress.

Agile discussion of bills

The changes that Carlos Alvarado seeks are not on track, although the legislative reforms have a good political climate for the next legislative period, according to leaders of Citizen Action, National Liberation, National Restoration and Christian Social Unity.

The Government Plan of Carlos Alvarado contains changes such as eliminating the obligation to publish the projects in La Gaceta, rationalizing the use of review motions (when they are rejected) and controlling the processing times of projects in the legislative committees.

The deputy Ottón Solís, one of the promoters of these amendments, said in the program Malas Teletica Radio companies , on Monday, that in terms of these reforms there is much "hypocrisy" of some legislators who say they support them, but then do not support your word.

According to Solis, a necessary modification, which is raised in a bill, aims to limit the number of discussion sessions of the law initiatives, both in committee and in plenary.

The ruling party also proposes giving power to the president of the Legislative Assembly to remove the word, without right to protest, to the parliamentarians who deviate from the discussion of a project, to make political control.

Solis clarified that the political control is not eliminated, but is regulated in the specific discussion of the projects that are on the agenda.

As a constitutional reform, Solís intends to eliminate the requirement to hold 38 deputies in plenary session so that it can be held.

Also, in a vehement but respectful way, I want to ask the current deputies of the Republic to advance with the knowledge of the bill on tax matters.

Tax increase

The current deputies are discussing, by fast track, the bill for the Strengthening of Public Finances, which includes reforms in government revenues and expenditures.

However, it is not yet necessary to know if the proposal will be approved in this period, for the remaining time (until April 30). It is possible that the deputies can advance in a first debate, but if they take it to consult to the Room IV, the second debate would be for the new Congress.

The initiative has the support of several legislative fractions and has the support of political groups such as Liberation, National Restoration and Christian Social Unity for the next period.

Of course, the union groups have already announced strong opposition to new taxes and spending cuts.

The project is still under discussion in the Hague Affairs Commission and will be decided next week.

The most important change is the transformation of the sales tax into one over the value added (VAT), maintaining the rate of 13%. With this tax, goods and services that currently do not pay sales tax would be taxed, including education and medical services with a rate of 4%.

In rent, it is proposed to charge a tax on capital gains and the sale of properties (not domicile).

Initially, Carlos Alvarado sought to raise the VAT rate to 15%, but his agreement with Rodolfo Piza prevents him from pursuing that claim.

The president-elect assures that it is also necessary to charge a tax of 20% to 25% on salaries exceeding ¢ 2 million. That motion was approved on Tuesday, April 3.

The proposal also introduces changes in public employment for future employees of the Central Government. For example, the percentages paid for annuities are reduced and the incentive for discretion eliminated.

In addition, it would tax supplementary pensions at a rate of 15%, although lawmakers rejected a motion to charge the same for "luxury" severance payments that exceed eight years.

Therefore, in a respectful way, I request, from now on, that the National Council of Concessions provide us with the critical route to extend the route 27.

More lanes, more expensive tolls

The current administration has already begun talks with the concessionaire Globalvia to expand highway 27, which connects San José with Caldera, but it is still not possible to define a critical route, according to the interim concessions technical secretary, Mauricio Fernández.

With the extension, the entire route would be in four lanes and some stretches of the Prospero Fernández highway in six lanes.

The official said that it is not possible to define the price of the work because they are refining the last proposal that Globalvia sent, but acknowledged that it would imply an increase in the tolls and the term of the concession would extend to 50 years (currently it is 25 years).

Consider that it is necessary to analyze that the State assumes the additional cost at the price that users could accept.

There is no proposal of where the money would come to pay that subsidy to the road.

In February 2014, the concessionaire had submitted to Concessions a proposal that estimated the work at $ 400 million, but now it could be more.

Fernandez said that in February of this 2018, the company sent a proposal that was seen in the Board of Directors and it was determined that details such as bridge maintenance, shoulder sizes, slope stabilization and road safety are still needed.

Without those details, you do not start negotiating the enlargement.

I want to ask, in a respectful and vehement way, the authorities of the Incofer, to update and work together with our teams on the critical route so that we have the Interurban Electric Train.

$ 1,600 million train

This train, as proposed by Carlos Alvarado, would cost $ 1,600 million and would be built with public-private partnerships, but requires a state contribution, whose origin is not defined.

There is a conceptual blueprint that was designed in this administration, but the tender has not been published. It is estimated that between the tender and construction, the train would be ready in about four years.

Alvarado details in his Government Plan that the proposal that was designed in the current administration, which has that cost, would be taken as a basis.

However, it does not specify where the resources will come from to finance, which can not be paid with the user's rate.

In the past it has been discussed the possibility of financing the work through specific taxes, including through the payment of the stamp.

This train will connect Alajuela (including the Juan Santamaría airport), Heredia, San José and Cartago. The first stage would unite San Jose with Carthage.

The project includes overpasses at some intersections that present problems with vehicular traffic. It would have railway lines in both directions.

I ask, also, in a vehement and respectful, but categorical way, for that wonderful future that we have ahead, to the Omar Dengo Foundation to draw a critical route so that we can work from now on, so that in the year 2022, the 6,000 educational centers in Costa Rica, each and every one of those centers throughout the country, have technological equipment, access to the Internet and access to knowledge to face the fourth industrial revolution.

Internet in schools and colleges

According to the Ministry of Public Education (MEP), more than 90% of schools have Internet access, but a low percentage has a high-speed connection. In some cases, they do not have the necessary equipment either.

The best connections are in the metropolitan area, according to the map of connections of the MEP. Most centers have less than 20 mbps of speed.

The vice president-elect, Marvin Rodríguez, explained that schools, especially those in rural areas, are in inequality in terms of access to new technologies.

The goal is precisely to close that gap at the end of his government, according to Rodriguez.

The Ministry of Education has had access to better technologies through agreements with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and with the application of the resources of the National Telecommunications Fund (Fonatel), which Alvarado intends to execute during its administration.

In the same way, I respectfully request those authorities of the Ministry of Education, that we work together in this period, so that we can quickly give a signal and we can reduce this teaching overload. Our teachers have more than 50% in bureaucracy and not working with children, we need that improvement in the quality of public education and I ask that we start working on that improvement of the quality of public education.

"Return the children to the teacher": that is the goal, as explained by Vice President-elect Marvin Rodríguez, who was union leader of the union.

Part of that "overload" could be eliminated with guidelines, he said.

In 2012, during the administration of Leonardo Garnier, the program "More education, less paperwork" was started; However, Rodríguez says that many of the problems persist.

According to their experience, teachers are burdened with cumbersome administrative procedures, participate in many committees in which they have no relationship with students and use a lot of their time in class planning.

"Yes, there are a number of things that can be resolved, there is a series of committees that the teacher spends in meetings, a teacher can be in up to five different committees and, therefore, they stop teaching," Rodríguez said.

In this overload, Garnier, former Minister of Education, agrees, explaining that sometimes the teacher is required to perform tasks in the slowest way, with the same results.

According to him, during his administration progress was made in eliminating some of those demands, with that program.

"In the MEP, what happens is that teachers are recharged many administrative tasks, what they complained most was the excess of paperwork," said the exjerarca of the MEP.

As an example, he mentioned that during his tenure, the minutes that teachers had to do with their own handwriting were eliminated.

Also, he said that when he was a minister they detected requirements that were not established by guideline or norm, such as using the pen of a certain color for the forms that teachers or directors had to fill out, but still they were required. On occasion, they returned their papers for this requirement.

"There are many control tasks," Garnier said.


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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