In The Nature of Scorpions

ISSUE #730: Oct. 7-13, 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: $ 99,000 to $ 90,000

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)

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #114 and #124


Paradisus: Nothing available

Los Jardines: Unit #106C

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

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

Unit #106C: $ 950 mo. / Available immediately / 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 #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.

Our Lives

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

What Happened This Week:

Heredia House: Looking good / looking lonely -no calls. I have had two inquiries, neither of which went anywhere.

In the Nature of Scorpions: Background: for 10+ years we have relied on one gardener. We had given him more and more responsibility and was our "go to" guy for materials sourcing, transportation, and garden refuse hauling. He was our first to call when emergencies arose. In addition, tenants and owners used him (sometimes misused him) to do personal work. When the new property manager assumed responsibility, she set some very specific standards for material receipts. This was to comply with CR laws and for our own internal control... we had become suspicious of "leakage" and did not want to follow the previous administrations practises. About 4-5 months ago, we had let one person go for games / scams... we thought that incident would shape him up because we knew he may have had some involvement.. it did for a while and the PM's vigilance did as well. But she has been away for several months on family issues and an acting manager is filling in... he was not quite as vigilant and started receiving inappropriate receipts which he accepted. The Treasurer raised questions and decided to investigate... the investigation lead to less than clear responses and more questions. We concluded that something was not right... we smelled a skunk... we pushed certain issues, and when push turned to shove, he volunteered to resign. We accepted his resignation and paid him what was owed. He was allowed to resign with dignity an for us, we solved a problem and eliminated an unfunded liability re. severance... which is not owed if the employee resigns. This was, I am sure, the best job he has ever had and will likely every have. Doneste, the treasurer and I went to bat numerous times and gave him personal loans and gifts. In the end, he was the scorpion which road the frogs back across the stream... He leaves a big hole in our operation but better to cut our losses and move on and to continue to hemorrhage... but he takes with him, lots of resident knowledge. We have to start the training process all over again. Finding a replacement will not be difficult... I walk around a large development which has lots of gardeners. I have developed a written job description; I will pass this out and stand back for lots of applicants.

DistrictCuatro: (1) I showed it to a Nicaraguan economic/political refugee who has lived here several years. He told the story of having 100 acres of beach front property he was developing for 1,000 houses and a golf course. He had rough graded the golf course and had done preliminary work for the housing development. Ortega and government mob came in and transferred title of the land and suggest his health would be better outside the country. Wow... that is the way it works there. He wants to get involved in a smaller project here. We'll see if he follows through.

(2) I showed it to a "prof" at UCR. She has qualified for low cost housing. She has been approved for a loan at 8% for $95,000. The house has to be livable but not great... This can be made livable... I said I am reluctant to do what is necessary -install water meter and connect to house system, install electrical meter and connect to house, add free standing sink, and a couple other minor things... unless she can put some actual $$ down... I suggested $3,000. She doesn't know if she can find that much. Wow!!

(3) I met with an engineer / architect. I am developing a scope of work document and getting a price to develop the property myself. People that I am attracting do not have the experience, ambition, or spare cash to develop the property. I am coming to the conclusion that I will have to develop it and put it back on the market as a finished product. Certainly there are a lot of people wanting to live in that location. I just need to solve the problems and make it livable and attractive -not what I want to do but maybe the only way out or at least the least costly way out.

Restaurant "GUSTO": Newly opened in Pozos... a very unlikely location for a very nicely decorated, converted house. It is way over priced by Crete and expensive for here... I had heard good reports about the food... we invited friends we hadn't seen for some time... service was not professional... never offered us drinks, just the menu and not given time to review it and they were ready to take our order... we did order drinks... mojitos... they were not great / we were half way through the meal when we finally got a bottle of chilled red wine... my pasta dish was good ($21) and Lita's was o.k. When it came time to pay, I realized I had left my wallet in my other pants... how embarrassing... our friends paid... (4 people / $166). I have committed to take one other person there but it will probably be the last time before it closes.

News Items of the Week


The general strike has all but collapsed. Only the teachers remain on strike. Fifty percent of the schools have been shuttered for the past 5 weeks AND the teachers have continued to be paid!!!!!!!! Virtually all the identifiable groups had their strike action declared illegal. The usual reason was that they did not follow procedure to call a strike... that involved holding a referendum amongst the members. The teachers have now effectively screwed up the year... there is no way the time can be made up even if they really wanted to and were dedicated to teaching. They are not. I don't know when they will return to work nor how the lost time will be addressed.

Exchange rate: is now at 585 - 599. The government has thrown lots and lots of money at stabilizing this and they would like us to think that they have succeeded. We'll see. Personally I would not be surprised to see it go to 625 which would represent about a 10% devaluation... beyond that I think there would be real civil unrest. We'll see.


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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