Lot's of Happenings

ISSUE #705: April 8-14, 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 #109, #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 #109: $ 215,000 / 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 #109
$ 215,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1506
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This single story home (1506 sf. + parking for one car) is detached, fully furnished, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, home office, living room wall / entertainment center along with a built in office and a semi-private terrace. In addition, it has a vaulted ceiling in the “great” room and two skylights. The covered entrance way is suitable for two chairs located next to a covered garden area. Once through the impressive front door, you enter the “great room” which houses the kitchen, dining room, office and living room. Upon entering, there is a built in wooden hutch surfaced with granite—it matches all the built-in furniture in the great room. There is a clothes washer and dryer off the 2nd bedroom.

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...

Lots of Happenings:

1. An additional house was listed for sale this week at Los Jardines... #109 -that now makes 7. The owners pf109 have been here for about 5 years, fixed the place up and now want to sell. Why? Don't really know...

2. District 4 Offer: It seems dead... typical experience with Ticas... lots of activity, promises and then silence... my experience for the past 10 years... somethings don't change.

3. Two friends have received offers on their personal residences after having them on the market for several years... we'll see if there is follow through. One may be displaced into renting at Los Jardines for an interim phase.

4. Los Jardines houses are now cleaned, repaired and mostly appointed fully. I still have a few things to get..eg oven knobs. I buy them by the gross since in almost all cases, they get broken... operators insist on turning them clockwise when the only way the valve works is counter clockwise... the result is a broken plastic knob. Getting them is a pain... now I have to go down town San Jose -since the previous supplier is out of business. Terrible traffic, and no place to park. This is a full day's effort... and a frustrating one... My attempt yesterday resulted in failure after 2 1/2 hours. I have it all to do over again...

5. Heredia house... After the normal amount of frustratable events this past week, I am looking forward to finishing what I plan to do this next week. Then I can begin marketing... as with everything else for sale, I expect it to be a slow process. The new kitchen should be installed today and tomorrow. The exterior paining is now finished and the interior is nearly finished. Curtains will be installed this next week. Staircase tiling will be finished this weekend. Landscaping will also be finished this weekend. Cleaning will be done next week and then pictures and marketing.

6. Santa Fe: I dropped the price... no response... I will wait it out since it is now the best priced of the three offered on Encuentra24.

7. Crete: it is booked. Now on to phase two... where do we go after Crete? and phase 3... how do we get there and back?

8. Implants: ugh!!!!!!! progress but not linear... now a haiatus for a couple weeks.

9. Renters: We have actually had 5 lookers... no takers.... two people who had mishmash parts of furniture and who didn't read or the agents didn't clarify that our units are FULLY furnished... and people who really haven't thought... or thought about what they want, don't want... just gather data on someone else's time.

10. Paradisus: I never completely finished appointing or furnishing this unit. The tenant wanted it that way... After two years, he has moved with this work to Nicaragua. I now have to finish it off. In addition to a sofa / love seat which will be delivered Monday, I need some glass shelves. I went to the local place... price was o.k. but the delivery would be 15 days. Wow!!!! for 10 pieces of cut glass 24 X 5... Guess business is really good for them... I decided to go elsewhere. Getting a cleaning person in was again a problem... the Nicaraguan guard wouldn't let in the Tica cleaning person despite her having a key, cleaning supplies and their knowledge that the unit was vacant... It was a power trip by the guard. This isn't the first time... again I have tried to solve this so it doesn't happen again... I fear it will but for now it has stabilized... and then the tica had to thumb her nose at the Nica... which set him off again... wow!!

11. Dominical mortgage... paid off as scheduled.

12. Everything else is now one more week behind and continues to build. This "retirement" is not working right...

News Items of the Week


1.Judiciary Criminals... are going to have their pensions cut... and are now going to have to work an additional 3 years before they can retire at age 65.

2. Economy: is projected to grow in CR by 3.3%.

3. VAT tax... the growth won't happen if the VAT is passed... this will be a disaster... even if it is enforced. And it will be so complex that it will be a chaos... implementing a simple tax is always screwed up in this country...

(1) Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber Gives Go Ahead to Cut Down Pensions of Judiciary Power Employees

The judges of the Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber (Sala Constitucional or Sala Cuarta) didn’t find anything unconstitutional in the project presented to reduce the pensions of the Judiciary Power.

The consultation was made by the Legislative Assembly since November 1, 2017, after the project was approved in first debate in congress. Now, with sentence number 2018-5758, the Constitutional Chamber declared “By majority, the consultation is evacuated with regards to the law project denominated “Ley de Reforma Integral a los Diversos Regímenes de Pensiones y Normativa Conexa”, legislative file number 19,922, the same has no substantial unconstitutional problems”; this allows Congress to vote this law in second debate and with this try to save a pension regimen that is estimated to generate a deficit of over US$9 million.

The conditions offered for retirement through the Judiciary Power are considerably better the conditions offered by the Social Security System (CCSS) which covers the majority of the working population.

This project proposes several changes, such as changing the retirement age from 60 years of age to 65 (same age as those retired through the Social Security Service -CCSS), having 35 years of service, instead of 30, to be able to retire; establishing a limit (currently there is none) of 4 million colones (approx. $7,000.00) for the maximum pension, among others.

“Now we have to continue with the voting of the project, we are very satisfied, this concludes a goal we had established since the very beginning: to affect everything that has to do with luxury pensions, and with this is seems we are finishing this task. This will allow us to give sustainability to the Judiciary Power’s Pension Regimen”, commented deputy Sandra Piszk.

(2) Economic activity recorded a slight year-on-year slowdown in February

The production of goods and services of the country, as measured by the cycle trend series of the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Imae), registered an year-on-year variation of 3% in February 2018, which implies a deceleration of 0.1 percentage point compared to what was observed in the previous month. On the other hand, the average rate for the first two months was 3.1%

In February 2018, nine of the fifteen groups of activities that make up the indicator showed a slowdown in the annual growth rate.

Manufacturing, education and health services were the activities that contributed most to the evolution of the indicator in February 2018. The manufacturing industry grew 3.0%, based on the production of companies located both in the special and definitive regime. In the first case, the manufacture of food products (canned fish, palm oil, and concentrates for the preparation of soft drinks), as well as medical devices (catheters, transfusion equipment, other medical instruments, breast implants, eye prostheses and syringes) and cotton yarns were the most important productions; while in the second, pharmaceutical products, coffee and meat stood out.

The construction industry saw a decrease of -2.8%. This behavior was focused on construction with a private destination with a variation of -4.6%, mainly explained in the construction of residential buildings, while the construction of non-residential buildings and infrastructure works increased, which partially compensated the contraction indicated above.

On the other hand, construction with public destiny grew 9.5%, particularly due to the development of educational infrastructure of the Ministry of Public Education, as well as to the works related to the Moín container terminal.

(3) Value-Added Tax Could Soon be a Reality in Costa Rica, How Will This Affect You?

In Costa Rica the Law to Strengthen the Public Finances will be discussed and analyzed by the Legislative Assembly as of next Monday, this project proposes going from the current 13% sales tax to a 13% value added tax (VAT) in most services.

With this change services that currently don’t pay taxes will now have to pay it, that is the case for instance of gyms and services offered by independent professionals.

The project also makes exceptions, as is the case of private health and education that would be taxed a 4% and the purchase of articles for packaging and raw materials, as well as services used for the production of agricultural products, aquaculture and fishing, among others which would be charged only a 2%.

The current income tax charged over high salaries would also be modified and would now be as follows: salaries between ¢1,199,000 and up to ¢2,103,000 (approx. $2110.00 to $3,701.00) would pay 15% income tax; salaries between ¢2,103,000 and up to ¢4,205,00 would have to pay 20%; and amounts over ¢4,205, 000 a month would be charged a 25%.

Online services such as Netflix and purchases made outside of the country will also be taxed.

Modifications also include the establishment of a limit of 1.94% of the base salary for the additional payment received by public employees per year worked (known as anualidades), this percentage used to be higher than 5% in some institutions and constitutes the most expensive incentive for the public administration.

The pension amounts received by ex-presidents would be reduced considerably.

Parts of the project are still being checked by the Treasury Department and the Legislative Commission as it leaves certain things open for interpretation and confusion which at the end could affect the contributors.

This project expects to reduce the fiscal deficit in close to 2 points of the GNP which is currently of over 6%.

The bill still has a long way ahead before a final version is approved, it is unlikely that this will happen before the new government takes over.


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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