Well What Happened This Week?

ISSUE #710: May 13 - 19, 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
Price reduced: $ 125,000 to $ 110,000

about Distrito Cuatro

Rendering proposed
Distrito Cuatro - click to Download full PDF

Real de Santa María / Borreal de Heredia
$ 185,000
Private financing available

See location on Google Maps

Real de Santa María / Borreal de Heredia

Download more pictures (8.35 Mb)

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: Available immediately, $1,400 mo.

Los Jardines:
Unit #106C Available immediately, $1,050 mo.
Unit #106D Available immediately, $1,150 mo. (Until Dec. 1)
Unit #112 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 #106C: $ 1,050 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo. / Until Dec. 1 / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 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 #106C
$ 1,050 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 4-plex
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 #106D
$ 1,150 mo.
Until 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.

Our Lives

Weather: We have had the normal rainy season weather and all is great. Plants are happy, dust is gone, etc.

What Happened This Week: Yes, Scotiabank again... Tried to pay a PayPal account $210. Nope, card would not work. Off to the bank to understand why? Yes, it was to expire this month but should be operational until the end of the month but needed to confirm receipt of the new card. They are perplexed as well. Finally they see that a $75 charge had not been paid. Wait a minute. I asked that the account be paid in full... aaaahhhh, yes, but in April the bank institute a new policy... charges made in dollars would remain in dollars... it seem they had not properly trained their staff re. this change... anyway, my card was frozen because I hadn't paid the $75. Wait a minute, on closer examination, it wasn't my charge... oh... cancel the card again, wait for a new card... meanwhile, I receive two calls from the newly created CC department at Scotiabank asking me when I will pay my delinquency. Here is a bank that is really, really, really screwed up...

Meanwhile, my person in Argentina will be a bit short on rice and beans.

Internet: We have Tigo as a supplier. They are "upgrading" their system. Our service has been virtually non-existent for the past two days I am not sure I will be able to get this off. Like the government... "...we are here to help..." just run... as fast as you can in the opposite direction.

Los Jardines: Repairs continue and the rainy season showed up some additional deferred mtnc. Fortunately, the Pres. is cracking her whip and repairs are getting done... Progress is being made but we have lots of ground to catch up on.

Marketing: Rentals: A few, low ball inquiries for both Los Jardines and Paradisus. They begin by asking for a discount before ever seeing the unit. My response is I'll consider it if you can meet my standards as a tenant. I haven't yet had a showing. Mmmmm... tells me something.

Heredia House: We have had one low ball offer. He is a first time home buyer and not experienced at financing​. I told the agent to work with him and gave her some instructions. Meanwhile, we have shown it to two others... one likes it but has to sell a house... mmmm... not much there at this point in time... The second person likes it and is currently looking to make an offer. I am hopeful on this person. The great thing is that all viewers have liked the house... I am encouraged that it will sell... The third guy (Tico) works for a finance company which operates throughout Central America. I thought he might get a mortgage loan thru them... no, he said they are too expensive... so this means more than the 12% normal going rate... wow!!

Coopenae Credit Union: This is the teachers credit unit, cum bank. It is the 5th largest financial institution in the country, flies under the radar, does not have checking services, has multiple outlets around the country, it's members are mostly government employees, it provides small, high interest (19%) personal loans to their members... It is government regulated and FITCH rated... It offers high interest rates for CDs in colones... approx 11% depending on the amount and time commitment. I arranged for a presentation to about 8 interested people this past week. I know the rep got business from one attendee and will perhaps get more from others over time.

Windshield wipers -Volvo: There does not appear to be an after market product... the connection is unique to Volvo... we all know what that means... yes, $140 later and 90 min. of waiting... and no one else was there... at the Volvo dealership... this is robbery, yes, pure and clear... For the Santa Fe -approx. $20 and 5 min.

District 4: No calls. Will have to lower the price...

Santa Fe: One call, now viewers... will have to lower the price.

News Items of the Week


1. Fiscal Restraint: Slowing the increase is practicing fiscal restraint in a budget which is unsustainable and full of ridiculous pensions and privileges which are simply ludicrous.

2. Pigs at the Trough! Here is why the government is broke and why the built in self aggrandizement will continue. Annuities mentioned are just part of the increase over and above the base salary, there are additional moths pay... not just the “13th” month... / other bonus, and all this is added to their fat pensions... it is really sick for this country to support... it is unsustainable... and no reason why people have no inclination to pay taxes... (my opinion)

1. National Restoration wants the Government to freeze vacancies in the public sector

The legislative bloc of the National Restoration Party (PRN) demanded that the government freeze positions in the public sector.

According to an agreement of the fraction, it is not enough to just modify the guideline that makes the hiring flexible by up to 50%, which was fixed by the previous administration, but it should be revoked.

The government is rushing to press for more money, but does not make the effort to cut costs,” said legislator Carlos Avendaño, head of the bloc.

In the agreement, there is also concern over the statements made by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, in the sense that, for the time being, there is no thought of cutting spending, but instead of slowing down.

The legislators also lamented the negative signals that the Government sends in terms of spending and, therefore, will not allow the voting of any new taxes while maintaining that position.

According to the agreement, a correct first message would be revoking the guideline that, in Article 9, allows institutions to use 50% of existing vacancies and those generated in the future. The fraction demanded a policy of zero growth in the state payroll and not fill vacancies, except in cases of need, such as police forces, education and health institutions.

2. Officials of 7 institutions receive ¢ 103,000 million in luxury annuities at the whim of leaders

Some 25,000 employees each year add between 3% and 7% of the base salary to their salary, thanks to concessions granted by executive presidents, directors, deputies and rectors.

Seven public institutions distribute ¢ 103,500 million annually to their officials in luxury annuities, because the hierarchs decided at various times, that is, not because the law requires it.

Some 25,000 employees each year add between 3% and 7% of the base salary to their salary, thanks to concessions granted by executive presidents, directors, deputies and rectors.

These percentages are higher than those paid by the central government: 1.94% for professionals and 2.56% for non-professionals.

The seven institutions that granted luxury annuities are the Legislative Assembly, the Ombudsman's Office, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), the National Institute for Cooperative Development (Infocoop), the University State University (UNED) and the National Technical University (UTN).

Its officials receive between ¢ 2.6 million and ¢ 9.8 million annually for this concept. Each month, they receive ¢ 200,000 to ¢ 760,000, apart from salary and other bonuses.

Almost all of these entities receive transfers from the battered finances of the central government, which are fed with taxes collected from taxpayers. The Infocoop, for its part, receives part of the profits of the state bank.

The tax reform would limit these annuities, since this project establishes that this incentive will vary between 1.94% and 2.54% and that it will be subject to the fulfillment of goals in the institutions.

Another 11 institutions distribute ¢ 120,000 million, also in luxury annuities, but sheltered by collective agreements, that is, labor agreements signed with the unions. That condition would prevent the fiscal plan from touching these benefits, because the conventions have the status of law while they are in force.

These ceilings proposed by the Government in the reform are almost similar to those existing in the Civil Service regime.

The proposal will apply to the three powers of the Republic, as well as autonomous and semi-autonomous institutions, public enterprises of the State and municipalities, according to the bill of Strengthening of Public Finances.

Among the institutions that pay high annuities by concession of the hierarchs, stands out the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).

In the ICT, employees receive a 5% annuity but, in addition, they are paid in advance an additional 10% per five-year period. That means that, every year, another 2% of annuity is added to reach 10% of the five years.

As a result, this entity allocates almost ¢ 3,000 million to cover the annuities of its 300 employees, who receive an average of ¢ 9.8 million per year each.

The Legislative Assembly also allocates ¢ 5.8 billion for the benefits of its 983 employees, which on average means almost ¢ 6 million for each year.

There, the annuity was set between 3.5% and 4.36% in 2012, by agreement of the Board of Directors headed by the then Deputy, Víctor Emilio Granados, of the PASE, with the argument that they needed to be compared with the Ombudsman's Office. the habitants.

The Ombudsman, in turn, fixed that annuity in 1997 by agreement of the deputy ex-deputy of 1997, Rolando Vega, alleging that it should match its conditions with those of the Comptroller General.

In the case of the UTN and the UNED, the annuities were authorized by the respective university councils, with percentages of 5% and 3%, respectively.

In 2009, the University of Costa Rica (UCR) had also granted its 9,500 employees an annuity of 5.5%, although the stipulated collective agreement was 3%. This year, the UCR set the annuity at 3.75%, but calculating it on salary plus components, when the majority receives recognition only on the base salary.

In the CCSS, three annuities are set by law, the professionals in medicine and nursing, but two others, which reach up to 3%, were granted by the Board of Directors and benefit some 19,000 employees. And, in the Infocoop, the agreement to grant a 3% was granted by the Board of Directors in 2008.

This is the detail of the annuities in these seven institutions:

Legislative Assembly
The 983 employees, without considering deputies, receive annuities ranging from 3.5% to 4.75%, which costs ¢ 5.850 million this year.

The highest annuity was set in 2012, after an agreement of the legislative directory, led by Deputy Víctor Emilio Granados of PASE, who endorsed a report requested by his predecessor, the current Minister of Communication, Juan Carlos Mendoza, to match the annuities of the employees of the Congress with those of the Ombudsman's Office, which is an attached institution.

Prior to that agreement, the annuity ranged from 3.5% to 4.36%. Although the percentage change is not so abrupt, this increase meant an additional cost of ¢ 271 million per year without considering social charges.

Ombudsman's Office
The annuity was fixed by agreement of the deputy defender of 1997, Rolando Vega, and ranges between 3.5% and 4.35%.

This is the percentage that its 185 employees receive; the cost of this benefit is ¢ 1,047 million in 2018.

In the agreement, the official justified that the annuity would be compared with those of the Comptroller General of the Republic at that time.

The annuity of 5% was defined by an agreement of the Board of Directors. In addition, it was agreed to pay an additional 10% every five years, which is paid in advance and means that an additional 2% is added for each year in recognition of the quinquennium.

The 2018 budget for the annuity payment is ¢ 2,950 million, for 300 employees.

The former minister of Tourism, Mauricio Ventura, indicated that during his administration he tried to reduce that annuity, however, the workers opposed him and, rather, asked him to set the incentive in a collective agreement.

That proposal must be analyzed by the current administration.

The institution grants five types of annuities, of which three are set by law for medical and nursing staff.

The other two are annuities fixed by agreement of the board of directors for administrative and non-professional staff, with percentages ranging from 2% to 3%. The average age of all CCSS staff is 13 years.

The workers who receive annuity by agreement are 19,000, with a cost of ¢ 78,400 million this year.

This center of studies, which employs more than 2,500 people, pays some ¢ 10 billion in annuities. The legal basis for this payment is based on an agreement of the University Council on the Personnel Statute that set the incentive at 5% for each year worked.

Like the UNED, the 3% annuity was approved by the University Council. This institution invests ¢ 4.834 million in paying the benefit to 1,866 employees.

Since 2008, a board of directors agreement has set the annuity at 3% on the base salary of the 117 employees that will spend on this concept ¢ 488 million this year.


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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