Another Disaster of a Week & Price Reductions

ISSUE #711: May 20-26, 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 $ 99,000

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 $11,000

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, $950 mo.
Unit #106D Available immediately, $1,150 mo. (Until Dec. 1)
Unit #112 Available immediately, $1,150 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: $ 950 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo. / Until Dec. 1 / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,150 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
$ 950 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
$ 1,150 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... and again!! I have now had a total of 7 -seven- conversations over the same issue, each conversation is as if they have no knowledge of or recollection of the previous ??## They have to solve it and they do not talk amongst themselves. This is a simple issue and a simple fix... but they simply cannot deal with it. Wow!!! The CC department cannot call the branch/person... the branch/person does not know how to reach the CC department... the CC department does not answer their phones... Meanwhile I am still waiting for a replacement CC and by now, really feel that I am being harassed...

Internet: TIGO went down last weekend. When it came back, it came back faster and stronger... It used to dip to 2-3 MBS during the evenings... now this past week, it has not dipped below 72 MBS... we are happy...

Los Jardines: Pumps are getting a work out and are failing/clogged drains are revealing themselves/water damage is mounting and the "to do" list isn't getting shorter...

Maintenance Issues: When showing Paradisus during a rainstorm, I had to turn on the lights. I immediately noticed​ that a light fixture under one fan was completely missing... why hadn't I noticed this before? Regardless, I checked the others and found two other glass fixtures were cracked and ready to fall... Wow!!! why??? I knew finding replacements was going to be difficult. A friend volunteered to help me... 8 hours of searching, through rainstorms, non-existent addresses, we found something similar but it would require modification... we bought it... returned -figured out the pieces we needed for modifications -failed- exhausted we decided to tackled it the next day -we did solve the problems and it is now repaired! There is a reason why ticos are not strong on the maintenance side of things... it is really, really difficult... Why did the glass break? Not a result of installation... Not a result of cleaning or abuse. It seems that it was probably a glass mfg. issue. I have never had this problem ever and neither had my tradesman friend.
...and out awful day continued... upon arriving home to fix dinner, the microwave decided to die and the skylight was leaking buckets... so it went that day and this past week... life in the Tropics? Life in "Pura Vida" Life of the retiree... yeah...

Now, if I could just find oven replacement knobs... that is a search that has been on-going for a month. No such resolution yet... the mfg... Atlas... has closed their plant and did not leave behind info. re. a continuing parts supplier.

Skylight repairs: We are now working on attempt #3 to stop it from leaking. We'll see.

Others: We had friends from Jaco overnight. We hadn't spoken much for several months. The 4 hour of catch up conversation was simple each of us relating out sorry tales of woe. He has two month of non-stop issues; I have 4 1/2 months...

Conclusion: It isn't easy living here...

Heredia House: It sits there looking good... but no one knocking down our door.

Coopenae Credit Union: Personally I am still working on this.

News Items of the Week


General: I continue to see the effects of difficult times and hear stories from others re. their observations and experiences. While I don't read anything about the nitty gritty day-to-day problems of middle class CR, I and others are convinced that at the grass roots there is pain and much concern here re. the economy. I see it in the number of people not looking for accommodations, in those who are, simply not having the budget previous lookers had, the quality of the lookers is not as good as it used to be...

1. Construction Permitting: There may be 17 steps required but in our case at El Dorado, we required something in the magnitude of 125 to start... we gave up at 53... since I am quite sure the really haven't streamlined the process much, I have to believe that 17 steps have multiple requirements... adding up to 153 for the total number of permits... and while they say 135 days average... we had worked for 3 + years and were a long ways from the finish line...

1. 17 Steps are Required to Start a Construction Project in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for many different reasons, most of them positive, but when it comes to having to deal with government institutions anyone will tell you bureaucracy is crazy and they will make you jump through 100 hoops, 90% of them unnecessary.

Costa Rica is the country with the worse average in Latin America when It comes to the number of processes that are required to start a construction project.

On average Costa Rica requires 17 permits from different institutions, while in the rest of Latin America’s average is 15.7 and 12 in the countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

35% of business owners consider that municipalities are a big part of the problem, followed by the environmental requirements with 27%.

It takes approximately 135 days to get through all the process of obtaining the permits, and currently this represents 5% of the cost of the project.

The above situation affects the development of the country.

Among the solutions that have been suggested by the Construction Chamber to make improvements in this area are the implementation of digital platforms and the revision of systems that are now very obsolete.

“It is fundamental that the country understands the cost the process to obtain construction permits has for foreign investment the economy and society. Because of the great number of institutions involved in the process we want to take actions to redirect and eliminate as many of the flaws and processes, many times very senseless”, commented Olman Vargas, executive director of the Federate College of Engineers and Architects.

“At this time there are more than 24 institutions involved in the process of getting the permits to develop different types of projects and those institutions generate more than 63 types of processes. However, we have to add the 82 municipalities, which means there are more than 100 institutions involved”, explained Vargas.


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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