Light Ahead

ISSUE #706: April 15-21, 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

Distrito Cuatro / Guachipelín / Escazú
Price reduced: $ 125,000 to $ 110,000

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...

Light Ahead: the past months of repairing houses is coming to an end. This week will be lighter with only a few difficult / time consuming "hunting-for-???" tasks​. Heredia house occupied most of my efforts... Painting is now finished, little trim and caulking jobs to do. The kitchen, while simple, was the right decision... it has made the house much more saleable (I hope). I had the original curtains cleaned, repaired and now installed. I was able to have a color match (more or less) with the exterior so have touched up spots there. A few stubborn issues will be fixed Monday morning and cleaning will begin. Will begin working on a marketing package this week.

Marketing: A couple casual calls re. the Santa Fe... a couple lookers for rentals... another one today... we'll see. I have lowered the price on the District 4 property... we'll see if that sparks any interest... this property is not something there is a "renovator's" market here... like in urban N.Am.

News Items of the Week


1. Nicaragua: the natives are restless and the government is scared. Probably not the beginnings of a "hot" revolt but a reminder than stability is shallow sometimes. Ortega created the problem when he tried to increase social security taxes. The locals rebelled...violent protests... harsh repression by the military... Ortega has since renounced the SS changes but we'll have to see if the protests die down... this will hurt their tourism business and what was becoming a compelling story for expats...

2. OECD view: nice words belie the issues not fixed. We'll see what happens but some of their assessment I really see as BS... eg. protection of the environment... I am not a tree huger but I have a very different assessment of CR actual efforts to protect the environment; universal public education... another government sham to quell the critics...

3. Taxes: yes, the IRS is watching... this is not new news... just a reminder of an on-going arrangement.

1) Costa Rica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Recommends Not Traveling to Nicaragua as Violence Escalates

Protests in Nicaragua began three days ago when citizens took to the streets to protest changes in the country’s pension system and social security reforms. The government of Nicaragua finally accepted a call for dialogue by the private sector.

The protests have led to widespread violence in the country that have killed at least 10 people (the official number reported by the government) and injured around 100. Humanitarian organizations, however, have reported 24 deaths. The government was also criticized for blocking 4 independent television channels from transmitting the protests, but the blocks have now been removed.

While the situation calms down in Nicaragua, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Costa Rica has recommended to avoid traveling to the neighboring country.

“As a result of the social violence that is affecting the neighboring country of Nicaragua, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends not to travel to this country for the time being”, stated the Ministry through a press release.

In the case of those who cannot postpone their trip, the Ministry recommends they provide information on their traveling plans to family members and friends, stay in constant communication, stay away from areas of conflict, and carry ID documents at all times.

This Saturday Transnica buses which offer transportation services between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, announced the cancelation of their services from Managua to San Jose and San Jose to Managua; the company stated that the decision was to guarantee the security of all users. The service will remain suspended until violence ceases and the security is guaranteed once again.

Nicaraguans in Costa Rica gathered in front of the embassy this Saturday claiming peace in their country.

2) OECD Economic Survey of Costa Rica Breaks Down the Country’s Achievements and Challenges

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), an intergovernmental economic organization, presented its Economic Survey of Costa Rica in San Jose detailing “the factors behind the strong socio-economic achievements of the past decades as well as the challenges remaining to ensure growth”.

“Costa Rica has made impressive economic and social progress in recent years, with robust economic growth facilitating near-universal access to education, health care and pensions. Restoring the sustainability of public finances and implementing policies to fight poverty and reduce inequality will be crucial for continuing convergence toward OECD living standards and ensuring that all Costa Ricans share the benefits of growth”, states the report.

“Costa Rica is a development success story, demonstrating how countries can achieve high levels of well-being and robust growth that benefit citizens while protecting the environment,” said OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria. “Since the OECD accession process kick-started in 2015, Costa Rica has accelerated efforts to enact policy reforms that will help it converge toward OECD best practices, and this process will continue. The momentum needs to be sustained and bold actions taken in order to continue to pave the way to a better and brighter future.”

The sustained economic progress will hinge on restoring the sustainability of public finances, which remain a major threat to economic stability, growth and living standards. With deficits rising, debt payments soaring and the ratio of public debt to GDP doubling over the past nine years, the Survey recommends that Costa Rica implement a comprehensive fiscal package, with measures to curb expenditures and raise tax revenues.

Proposed legislation to strengthen public finances recently fast-tracked by the Legislative Assembly should be swiftly approved. A revamped fiscal rule in the bill is expected to be more effective in containing spending increases, but more needs to be done to control public spending, including substantial reductions to mandatory earmarking in the budgetary process, the Survey said. In the medium term, more action will also be needed to bring the debt-to-GDP ratio to more prudent levels and create more fiscal space to address contingencies.

Poverty, income inequality and gender gaps in Costa Rica are low by Latin American standards, but high when compared to OECD levels, driven by stubbornly high informality, low labor participation rates and high unemployment, particularly among women and youth.

Reforms to reduce labour market informality, encourage women’s labour market participation, improve educational outcomes, strengthen competition, lower regulatory burdens and boost infrastructure are priority areas to stimulate productivity and make growth more inclusive, the Survey said.

3) Costa Rica and the United States Sign New Tax Information Exchange Agreement

Costa Rica and the United States signed an agreement to exchange tax information and for mutual assistance between both countries, this with the purpose of attending to the transparency standard established by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solis and Sharon Day, US Ambassador to Costa Rica, signed the agreement that now must be ratified by the Legislative Assembly.

Both countries commit to assisting each other in the exchange of information with the purpose of determining, liquidating and collecting taxes, as well as charging and executing tax claims. All these information will be treated confidentially between both countries.

The renegotiation of this agreement, which was initially signed in 1989 and enforced since 1991, initiated in September of 2014 and finally concluded the first trimester of 2018.

“The signing of this new Agreement of Exchange of Tax Information with the United States represents another step in the search for more fiscal transparency, one of the most important objectives of the country for some years. This new agreement shows the commitment of the country in having an effective exchange of information according to the standards of the Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information of the OECD for tax purposes. I want to thank all collaborators that participated in the process of negotiation and signing, whose efforts are reflected in the satisfactory conclusion of this agreement”, commented Leonardo Salas, Minister of Treasury ad interim.

Costa Rica currently maintains agreements of exchange of tax information with many countries, among them Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Mexico, Norway, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Denmark, Australia, among others.


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


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