Churning, Churning, Churning

ISSUE #720: July 23-28, 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 #114 and #124


Paradisus: Nothing available

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

A Missed Week: I don't really know what happened here because I had to make a quite trip to Canada to deal with some government paperwork which could easily have been done by mail. Instead I had to travel 3,000 mi and spend $2,000​ for a 15 show-my-face event. I am back, and with a cold... I never return from Canada without a cold...and am trying to catch up on work here.


Santa Fe: One call to check out the engine... who would not want a diesel... incredibly economical and very responsive... and if taken care off, run for 500,000 klm... but...

Distritcuatro: One stupid low ball offer but I currently have two parties who could be interested and could know what to do with it. Trouble is, neither has much money...

Rentals: Only the short term rental and one of the recently leased units will be coming back on the market. It seems the client is "unsteady"...

Heredia House: Looking good / looking lonely. The one viewing liked the house and the price and the financing but decided they wanted to live on the south side of the valley... Escazu... I am in the process of urging a different RE agency to promote it...

Residencias Los Jardines: I have submitted my name to stand for the office of Secretary; this is really not what I want to do... really not... but there really isn't anyone else AND I am very discouraged about the direction the development has taken over the past 5 years... this is no secrete and since I have a double vested interest here, I guess I have to again step up to the plate. It appears I also made a factual error in my last week's blog... the Secretary who resigned, is not, in fact moving off the property, at least, until his house is sold. Given the pace of sales, this make take some time.

Wine Club: Tomorrow we will have 35 people attending at a local Peruvian restaurant. I am hoping the food is as good as we sampled. After this event, my contribution is done...

Churning, Churning, Churning: Fortunately lots of inquiries re. Distritcuatro and several on the Santa Fe. Unfortunately, little follow through and to eat up 4 meetings + various emails / information and have a half-hearted offer of $50,000 on a $99,000 listed property, is BS -why bother wasting everyone's time... And of course, there is always the tica who sets up an appointment and then doesn't show up.

Earthquakes: We had several yesterday mid day... noticeable... nothing damaged... just keeps us reminded of mother nature... it is always there and always unpredictable.

News Items of the Week


1. Tax Reform: The proposals keep working their way through the government reviews... The new reporting requirements for property management companies like mine are not understood -I fully expect to have problems complying / understanding when I am forced to focus on it... which is October... and I am sure this will have implications for the owners of the houses I look after...

1. Government lowers taxes on private education, medicines, electricity and rentals in a new version of the tax plan

Hacienda estimates that the changes will imply some ¢ 16,400 million less in the additional revenue that is intended to be obtained with the reform.

07/23/2017. Treasury. On Monday, Carlos Avendaño and Eduardo Cruickshank met with the finance minister, Rocio Aguilar, and the PAC faction chief, Víctor Morales Mora, to negotiate some doubts from the restorationists about the fiscal plan. With them, the deputy minister, Nogui Acosta, and the director of Taxation, Carlos Vargas. Photo: Courtesy of National Restoration.

After two meetings of the dialogue table on tax reform, the Government released this Friday morning a new version of the Law of Strengthening Public Finance where it introduces some of the changes requested by the legislative fractions.

Among the modifications made by the Ministry of Finance in the draft put to consultation, is the reduction of value added tax (VAT) to private education, medicines, electricity and rents for micro, small and medium enterprises.

As part of the requests of the legislators, the VAT rate for several agricultural inputs, which originally stood at 13%, was also reduced.

Then, 2% of the same tax would be applied to the import or local purchase of wheat, soybeans, sorghum, corn, fruit and oil palm kernel. Also, personal insurance premiums and the purchase of packaging and packaging are included in this rate.

As for the reductions, the new version lowers from 4% to 2% the VAT rate for private education services, as in the case of medicines.

As for rentals, it establishes a benefit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) registered with the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC). These companies will be exempt from VAT provided that their rents cost less than 1.5 base salaries, that is, ¢ 648,000.

In the case of churches of any creed, the new text would leave them exempt from paying tax for the rental of premises, as it happens today. In the previous version of the project, those paying more than ¢ 864,000 per month were taxed with 13%.

With the different tax reductions introduced by the Executive Power in the draft tax reform, the Treasury would stop collecting 0.05% of gross domestic product (GDP), assured the Deputy Minister of Revenue, Nogui Acosta, which is equivalent to more of ¢ 16,400 million.

The project, originally intended to raise more than ¢ 650,000 additional million per year.

The finance minister explained that the draft does not introduce a compensation mechanism for the impact on the performance of the tax proposal and that they put it to the deputies' consultation to define that.

"It is still unclear how we would compensate. We are setting the stage that you have asked us. Liberación asked us for 2% of medicines and education. We are doing a little analysis of how much we lost and now the discussion is how to increase it," said Acosta.

He explained that the deputies raised the tax on the lottery prize and it was included in the draft tax reform.

Although three fractions asked to consider the exemption of the products of the basic basket or at least a reduction of the rate, from 2% to 1%, the Treasury kept 2%.

Also, the Government increased from 250 to 280 kilowatt hours the monthly family consumption that will be exempt from paying 13% VAT.

Yes, the idea remains that the consumption of electricity that exceeds the ceiling of 280 kilowatts and 30 cubic meters of water is taxed on the total consumption and not on the surplus.

In the new version of the substitute text, which would be presented on the second day of motions in the background of legislative file 20,580, the changes that were approved during the first day of motions were also introduced, among them the clarification that the Costa Rican Insurance Fund Social Security (CCSS) and municipalities are not subject to VAT.

It also establishes that the premiums for occupational, agricultural and social interest insurance are exempt, as well as the self-consumption of energy from renewable sources, such as wind, sun and biomass.

Although the limit of 20% is maintained on the deductions that the companies can make of the interest as operating expenses, it is established that the initial maximum ceiling will be 30% and that, at the rate of two percentage points per year, it will be lowered until it is at 20%. This was a request of the National Liberation Party.

Restoration: 'It's a mockery'

Once they were aware of the proposal for a new tax reform, the members of the Tax Reform Commission reacted to the initiative of the Ministry of Finance.

With a small paragraph that Carlos Avendaño, head of the fraction of the National Restoration Party (PRN), sent through his journalist, he defined the proposal as a "mockery". "It seems a mockery and a disrespect to the fractions as we are in the stage of conversation about the proposals made by the various groups," claimed the restorationist chief.

The liberationist Yorleny León also broadcast a message through her press assistant, where she argued that her party is concerned that "fiscal measures guarantee the minimum impact on the middle class" and the agricultural sector.

"An effort was made so that the tax on education, rents and medicines will not affect the most unprotected classes. In terms of income, we wanted to protect the most indebted companies, demanding changes in the subcapitalization of interest rule," he explained.

León considers that there are several aspects in which the Government did not comply with the demands of its political group and that, therefore, they will try to propose those changes with their own motions, when the second and final period for the presentation of these modifications to the fiscal plan.

"On Monday we will be seeing this issue to make a final decision on the points to move that would go in line to clarify and generate legal security for the sectors and the tax system," he said. Aside, it did not define if its parliamentary fraction would give its endorsement so that this new substitute text of welcome like the base of the discussion.

Editorial changes

In addition to the changes in fee reduction, the new draft made several adjustments in the drafting of articles that, in the opinion of deputies and the Treasury, should be clearer.

In this package, modifications were made to the paragraph that speaks of "hybrid asymmetries", which refers to the divergences that exist in the fiscal treatment of an entity or financial instrument between the Costa Rican legal system and other jurisdictions.

One of those modifications is to better explain the concept, which is a reform to subsection m proposed for article 9 of the Income Tax Law. There it is established that the expenses for hybrid asymmetries are not deductible from the gross income.

"The expenses associated with hybrid asymmetries that the taxpayer makes to related parties abroad when such expenses do not generate a taxable income or generate an exempt income for said related party, or when these expenses are also deductible for the related party domiciled abroad." Says the proposed article.

There was also a change in the wording of the article on the incentive for performance, which states the beginning of a sentence, which before said: "The results of the annual evaluation will be the only parameter for granting the annuity incentive to each officer"

In the new version of the tax reform, it says: "The annual evaluation will be the only parameter for granting the incentive per annuity to each official".


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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