A Successful Week -Finally

ISSUE #717: July 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
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

Best price in the Multiplaza area for
Fully Furnished Condo


2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1000 sq ft, full furnished condo, with 2 parking spaces. On quiet street off the main road, 24/7 armed gated security. Close to Multiplaza, District4, Cima hospital, Mas x Menos, World gym, Paco.

Brian referral 8827-1314 / 8330-1035

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #114 and #124


Paradisus: Nothing available

Los Jardines:
Unit #106D Available immediately, $1,150 mo. (Until Dec. 1)

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 135,000 / See Unit

Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo. / Until Dec. 1 / See Unit

For sale

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.
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.

Our Lives

Weather: Normal rainy season weather again... wonderful...

What Happened This Week:

Scotia bank Mark this week down -no problems and I was actually able to transfer money as per their previous promise.


Santa Fe: No calls

Distritcuatro: Not much interest.

Rentals: Three units are now rented and occupied. Only one shorter term unit -106D- is available.

Heredia House: One viewing scheduled for next week.

Residencias Los Jardines: Internal tranquility eludes us. Regardless, Deferred maintenance and repairs is on-going despite the headwinds. In addition to numerous pumps, plumbing, drainage, gate repairs, gutter repairs, pool repairs, and misc. specific problems areas, the building exterior and roofs of 103, 104, 105, and 106 are now virtually done.

News Items of the Week


1. Labor Productivity: This explains much of my frustration living here. It is very, very difficult to get anything done. I think one reason is missing from this analysis below... that is the bureaucratic system in place. Certainly lack of training of staff I will also suggest a culture of not really caring about accomplishing anything. So much time is spent of form and not on substance. In addition, one has to realize that most business systems here are designed around the premise that everyone is a thief... this coupled with the low education level of many service industry employees in a Latino culture, you get low productivity... and I see it and lie it every day -very frustrating.

2. Warning by OECD: Another warning to the new government. Actually, I think they are listening and trying to take steps to address it.

3. Reduction of Departments: This is an example of government action to address #2. If you read this, you are told that many of these departments are not controlled by the government, have no separate accountability, and their budgets are mandated.

Note: The red taxi drivers protested for several days and the government caved... at least caved to initiate a number of studies and promise of future actions... The taxi drivers really want to solidify their monopoly and eliminate UBER whcih beats them hands down on quality, service, and price...

1. Costa Rica has the lowest labor productivity in 40 countries

Labor productivity in Costa Rica, understood as the contribution to production (GDP) for each hour worked in the country, is the lowest of 40 countries, according to the latest OECD report, published this week.

However, poor growth in labor productivity continues to distinguish the most advanced economies in the world and risks compromising improvements in living standards, according to the report.

Economist Melvin Garita explained that productivity is largely determined by the use of time and the skills and abilities of Costa Rican human capital, so more hours worked do not equal greater productivity.

The fourth industrial revolution is characterized by the need to generate constant innovation in all production processes, since that is the capacity that differentiates us from machines, which keeps us employable in the era of digitalization and virtualization. To generate that innovation, in addition to knowledge, and skills, it is necessary to have a clear and fresh mind, where the balance between personal and professional life comes into play,” explained this economist.

Garita believes that to improve productivity in Costa Rica, we must work on these microeconomic aspects, in addition to other macro aspects, such as fiscal stability, investment in transport infrastructure, labor market flexibility, the opportunity and quality of education and public health, among many other aspects.

The OECD stated that the manufacturing sector was particularly affected by the deceleration in the growth of labor productivity, and although economic growth in many countries has generated an increase in employment, especially in Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, most of the new jobs are in activities with relatively lower productivity.

The higher number of low-productivity jobs has also depressed average wages throughout the economy as a whole.

Real wages (adjusted for inflation) decreased between 2010 and 2016 in Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Although in some countries, such as Germany and the United States, real wages have begun to rise – albeit at a slow pace – in line with the growth in labor productivity in recent years, wages have continued to fall behind in many sectors.

The percentage of income from economic activity that goes to work through wages has decreased in most countries in recent years, but very visibly in Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Poland and Portugal.

Additionally, in 2016, investment -an important factor in productivity growth- began to rebound. However, investment rates – especially in machinery and equipment and other tangible assets – were still lower than pre-crisis levels in many OECD countries.

2. OECD Warns Costa Rica “A Crisis Will Bring Terrible Consequences”

Alvaro Pereira, chief of the Economic Division of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), visited Costa Rica to meet with members of the Executive Branch regarding the progress made by the country towards reaching fiscal sustainability.

Pereira highlighted once again on the importance of getting the fiscal reform approved to avoid a crisis that could have “terrible consequences”.

“The young people should be reminded of what happened in the country in the 80’s when the fiscal situation was serious. There were terrible consequences and the younger people are the most affected in a fiscal crisis of the same proportion”, emphasized Pereira, making reference to the financial crisis faced by Costa Rica between 1978-1982 as a result of the fiscal deficit.

“One year ago I visited Costa Rica, and said you were playing with fire. The fire is here it is time to act”.

In one of their latest reports entitled, “Costa Rica: Restoring fiscal sustainability and setting the basis for a more growth-friendly and inclusive fiscal policy”, the OECD explains:

Consecutive years of primary deficits have led to mounting public debt of almost 50% of GDP, one of the fastest increases in Latin America over the last decade. Government attempts to restore fiscal health have been undermined by a gridlocked Congress. While only minor reforms have been enacted to contain spending, efforts to curb tax evasion and increase the efficiency of the tax administration are commendable. However, increases in tax revenue have been unable to match mandated increases in spending. As a consequence, sovereign debt ratings have declined to below investment level, and the negative outlook on Costa Rica’s debt signals increasing financing costs.

Against this backdrop, the risk of a fiscal crisis is increasing, particularly as global financial conditions become less favorable and debt structure has shifted towards increased reliance on floating rates and dollar-denominated bonds. Enacting a three year fiscal consolidation program of one percentage point of GDP each year, will enable debt to stabilize at current levels by 2032.

The current draft bill to strengthen public finances – Ley de Fortalecimiento de las Finanzas Públicas – proposes a comprehensive fiscal reform package, with measures on both the revenue and the spending side, as well as a fiscal rule. It needs to be complemented with additional measures to contain revenue earmarking. In addition, reducing excessive fragmentation of the public sector would allow the Ministry of Finance to regain control of the budget.

There is also room to reduce expenditure on remuneration of public sector workers, one of the fastest growing expenditure items and a source of income inequality. The proposed fiscal rule should be strengthened, including introducing a multi-year expenditure framework and a fiscal council. Debt management should be modernized by stepping up communication with markets and reducing the number of benchmark securities.

Over time, improving social spending efficiency and quality as well as modifying the tax structure away from social security contributions and enlarging the tax base would allow for a much stronger contribution of fiscal policy to growth and equity”.

3. Costa Rica: Minister of Treasury Works on Proposal to Reduce Number of Government Institutions

Rocio Aguilar, Minister of Treasury, is analyzing the 330 Government institutions that are currently attached to the different Ministries, to evaluate the possibility of eliminating some of them and with this bring down the expenses.

The proposal is expected to be ready by 2020 and involves the analysis of each institution and the impact they have on terms of budget.

According to Aguilar, many of these institutions have expense plans that are not subject to revision by the Legislative Assembly, and therefore the control of the expenses is limited. Also, the fact that many of these entities also have their own legal regimens creates duplicity and lack of coordination and connection, resulting in inefficiency.

The idea is to come up with a proposal to unify or merge some of these entities to help reduce costs.

Aguilar stated that 30% of the 330 institutions concentrate 80% of the expenses.

“The country has not wanted to make a change and it seems impossible to propose projects, not to close but even to merge institutions”, commented the Minister.

Albert Barreix, expert in fiscal topics for the Inter-American Development Bank who visited the country this week, commented that he first considered that his country (Urugay) had an “abnormally high number of public institutions (150), but then he learned of Costa Rica’s case”.

Closing or merging some of the institutions would not only help reduce costs but would also help to decrease bureaucracy and increase efficiency through the unification of functions.


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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