Is 'Maybe' Coming?

ISSUE #723: Aug. 12-18, 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: Nothing available

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

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

Our Lives

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

What Happened This Week:

Is "Maybe" Coming?: Last week I said I had accepted an offer on D4 and the buyer was in the process of cashing out a CD. The deal was suppose to close Thursday... It is now Saturday and I keep hearing that yes, it will close, just a little glich at the bank????? yeah right... We'll see. In the meantime, I continue showing... who knows...

Friends visited who have been trying to sell their small hotel. After several years, and numerous price reductions, they got an offer they accepted... At closing, the N. Am. purchaser couldn't come up with the financing... they had to scramble and put together a very different deal than the one they had accepted. They are hoping all will work out...

Conclusion: Perhaps it is not just Ticos who cannot figure out financing and not only ticos who go shopping with no money in their pockets...

Motor Cycles -Pathway to a fast death: On the way Tuesday to show D4, the traffic on the highway was very heavy / slow. It took 55 min. to travel what normally takes 10... I found the problem... A truck loaded with a dumpster which was full of metal and ?? debris had had a steel door fall out the back and onto a motor cycle. The bike was pretty well crushed... the driver and been removed... what looked to be a passenger was sitting off to the side of the road...

An hour later I saw a bike crushed under an SUV. The driver of the bike was fine... but his bike needed substantial work.

Heredia House: Looking good / looking lonely -no calls.

Scotiabank: It seems they have a special capital drive underway... it also seems to be not well known amongst their employees / branches. A friend was notified and he passed along to me info on some special high interest rates with no locked in CDs. This is only for "new" money and short term... depending on the amount of "new" money deposited, rates of 14.25% on US dollars and 42% on colones. These rates are only committed until the end of December... so what is happening? don't know beyond speculation... the bank is now able to liquidate employees acquired via the purchase of Citi Bank... perhaps the liquidations and coming aginaldos for all employees has put the bank in a short term liquidity bind and this is the quick / easy fix out of it. Don't know... still exploring it... but when and if D4 sells, maybe I will play...even though I hate the bank...

News Items of the Week


CR is in worse financial shape than previously admitted. In addition, before any tax reform can / will occur, there are over 1,000 amendment / revisions to work through in the legislature before anything can be implemented...

Government of Luis Guillermo Solís disguised the real size of the debt that the country had to pay in 2018

He knew the situation, so much so that he moved money from one side to another to try to cover one of the leaks. However, he did not inform the Legislative Assembly of the situation and left the current administration a gigantic gap in the Budget.

The government of Luis Guillermo Solís disguised the real size of the public debt that the country had to pay this year to its creditors. He knew the situation, so much so that he moved money from one side to another to try to cover one of the leaks. However, he did not inform the Legislative Assembly of the situation and left the current administration a gigantic gap in the Budget.

The shortfall is almost ¢ 800,000 million because of two major problems.

Debt swaps

Last year, the Ministry of Finance budgeted ¢ 1.6 billion to pay amortization of public debt in 2018, that is, to return to investors the capital they lent to the Government through the purchase of bonds that are about to expire.

However, the amount was underestimated. Actually, the game should have been ¢ 1.9 trillion. The Solis administration assumed that the payment of the remaining ¢ 300,000 million could be negotiated through debt swaps.

The debt swap consists of exchanging securities that are about to expire with new long-term ones, which delays the immediate return of the capital, with the understanding that the government will pay interest for a longer time. This is an assumption that is not usually included in the National Budget, since it is an expectation.

The spending plan approved by the Assembly says: "The estimate of this item involves the service to be executed for the placement of securities in force at the end of 2017, whose maturity occurs during the 2018 period, amount that presents a reduction of ¢ 300,000 million considering the effect of possible swaps to be made in the 2018 period".

With that assumption, the first big problem occurred, because those debt swaps did not materialize.

A report from the Comptroller General of the Republic confirms that, during the first semester of 2018, "the goal of debt swaps was not achieved".

Short-term bonds

The second problem was the following.

The ¢ 1.6 billion approved by Congress to repay debt were distributed as follows:

-Little more than ¢ 1 billion for long-term debt

- ¢ 447,000 million for short-term debt

- ¢ 62,000 million for external debt.

This was authorized in the 2018 National Budget.

However, the estimated amount for short-term debt was far below reality. To calculate the figure, the government had to add the short-term bonds placed in the first semester of 2017, due in 2018, plus those that it expected to place in the second semester.

The Treasury estimated placing ¢ 292,000 million in the second part of last year, but the reality was this: in the second half of last year, the Executive placed ¢ 772,000 million in short-term bonds because investors fled to the bonds of long-term government.

The figure exceeded ¢ 480,000 million, as a result of loans made in the last quarter of 2017, which matured in the first months of 2018.

This means that, by the beginning of this year, the previous government already had two things clear: an imbalance of at least ¢ 480,000 million in the budget to pay short-term amortizations and the ¢ 300,000 million gap due to the failure of the debt swap.

The movement of money

The situation merited the presentation of an extraordinary budget at the beginning of 2018, with the objective of obtaining authorization from Congress to cover the shortfall.

However, instead of doing so, the Ministry of Finance issued decree 40995 on March 14, 2018, which lowered the long-term amortization item by ¢ 413,000 million, in order to allocate them to the payment of short-term debts.

By making that change, the government of Solis left uncovered the item to pay the long-term amortizations that were due to cancel in the second half of this year.

That explains why the current administration had to cancel some ¢ 134,000 million in long-term bonds without budgetary content, a figure reviewed by the Comptroller General.

At the same time, the previous government continued assuming that the debt swaps would be carried out, but these only reached ¢ 88,000 million.

For this report, this media tried to obtain a version of the former Treasury Minister, Helio Fallas. He was even asked to consult through the former Minister of Communication, Mauricio Herrera, but it was not possible.

Just in January 2018, the Treasury had already consumed 77% of the item to amortize short-term debt, added comptroller general, Marta Acosta, in a report to the deputies. That figure rose to 90% in June.

On July 31, the Ministry of Finance requested the Assembly authorization to increase the payment of debt in ¢ 600,000 million.

The Office of the Comptroller stated: "It is even foreseen the presentation of a second extraordinary budget in order to meet the lower expected collection of current revenues in 2018 compared to the amount currently budgeted, less collection than this Comptroller estimated in the order of ¢ 335,000 million, as a result of lower expected economic activity and a lower internal tax yield of the main economic sectors. As you can see, the country is immersed in a perverse circle in tax matters, "the institution added.


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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