ISSUE #731: Oct. 14-20, 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... October is proving itself again to be a very wet month...

What Happened This Week:

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

In the Nature of Scorpions: ..."post script" // it appears that some readers felt the acting property manager could and should have been on top of the situation... well, I am here to say I tried for a number of years to catch what I felt / knew but could not prove / were scams. It was always like nailing jello to a wall... I could never get the absolute proof I needed to call a spade a spade. In the most recent case, the red flags were too blatant and we could follow with some degree of valid / bona fide concern. We pushed for answers and verification and he knew his game was likely to be detected. Rather than being a negative, it can also be viewed as a positive... for whatever reason and however it happened, the catch happened on the acting PMs watch.

Innovation: This week we put together two options: (1) hire one company to do all the gardening work; (2) higher a full time gardener and another person to haul away the garden debris. We opted to hire one company and see if we can make things work. We have interviewed and clarified with one company and will commit to a couple months and re-evaluate how everything is going. It will mean some changes for us. Perhaps it will be better. We are now in a position to experiment. Even if it doesn't work, we will have eliminated it as an option. We'll see and hope...

DistrictCuatro: I continue to show this 5-6 times a week. I had a person who made an acceptable offer but needed to borrow $20,000. He approached a bank. They wanted to charge him $8,000 in fees. He said forget it... to both of us. In the meantime, I have authorized an engineer to apply for permits. If I have to, I will build it out and put it back on the market as a finished, low cost, very decent house in a great location...

INS suite: After three years it still plugs along... it is back to the same place it started. INS's various tactics have all been dismissed (at least that is my assessment). Now the Chamber of Commerce Dispute Resolution group is getting close to hearing the various cases... mine is one of 20 or so... The total is $20+ mil with some big players. I am fly dung but it still cost me another $2,600 to sit at the table and play the game. This happens Oct. 31... we'll see...

News Items of the Week


Strike: The teachers remain on strike... 5+ weeks now. They continue to receive their full salary. The school year is virtually un-fixable. The government is considering simply declaring an official end as per normal. No one is held accountable; teacher get full pay for having done nothing (not much different than if he had not gone on strike) -students suffer (but they wouldn't have learned much had the teachers actually attended).

Fiscal Reform: The revised set of proposals have been submitted to several government review agencies before being debated in the full legislature the 2nd time. One of the internal agencies was the judiciary... the government wanted their o.k. that what was being proposed was going to be declared "legal". The judiciaries response, in short, was, yes, everything was basically o.k. EXCEPT that the judiciary should be EXCLUDED from the salary constraints... Therefore, what was being proposed was "illegal". Fancy that!!!!!! These are some of the greatest abusers of preferential privileges and gross wages / benefits / pensions, etc.

1. Note: CR ranked 55 out of all countries and was lowest in innovation and capability... yep... says it all.

2. Moodys: Is getting ready to downgrade CR again. We are already junk status... and now with a negative outlook.

3. Poverty: It is increasing... wealth is not being well distributed... not any different than elsewhere in the world but no better either.

4. Medical Divices: CR seems to be doing well in this industry. The article says there are now 72 international medical device makers in CR... and exports are increasing.

1. Costa Rica’s Economy Ranks as the 4th Most Competitive Country in the Region

The Global Competitiveness Report 2018 of the World Economic Forum is a study of the global economy. This year the Report was done with new methodology intended to offer insights into economies’ readiness for the future, social capital, endowment of disruptive businesses and debt concern, among other indicators to fully capture the dynamics of the global economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“The changing nature of economic competitiveness in a world that is becoming increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies is creating a new set of challenges for governments and businesses, which collectively run the risk of having a negative impact on future growth and productivity”, reads the report.

The report evaluated 140 economies through 98 indicators organized into 12 pillars.

With a score of 85.6 out of 100, the United States is the country closest to the frontier of competitiveness. It notably leads the Business dynamism pillar, and stands out in the Labor market pillar.

In addition to the United States, other G20 economies in the top 10 include Germany (3rd, 82.8), Japan (5th, 82.4) and the United Kingdom (8th, 82.0). G20 results are highly diverse. Almost 30 points, and 80 ranks separate the United States from Argentina (81st, 57.5), the worst performing G20 economy. Singapore ranks second in the overall rankings (score of 83.5). Costa Rica ranks fourth in the region, and is in position 55 of the global ranking, it stands out in the health pillar where it scored 97, while the lowest score came in Innovation capability pillar.

Chile leads the Latin America and Caribbean region ranked in the 33rd position.

“One of the report’s most concerning findings is the relative weakness across the board when it comes to mastering the innovation process, from idea generation to product commercialization”.

“At a time of escalating trade tensions and a backlash against globalization, the report also reveals the importance of openness for competitiveness”.

“Competitiveness is neither a competition nor a zero-sum game—all countries can become more prosperous. With opportunities for economic leapfrogging, diffusion of innovative ideas across borders and new forms of value creation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution can level the playing field for all economies. But technology is not a silver bullet on its own. Countries must invest in people and institutions to deliver on the promise of technology.” said Saadia Zahidi, Member of the Managing Board and Head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society.

2. Costa Rica’s Financial Ratings Downgraded by Moody’s

American credit rating agency Moody’s announced it has “placed the Government of Costa Rica’s BA2 long-term issuer ratings and the Ba2 senior unsecured bond ratings on review for downgrade.

Back in 2017, Moody’s had already downgraded Costa Rica’s government bond rating from BA1 to BA2, maintaining the negative outlook of the rating and pointing as the key driver behind the downgrade “the continued weakening of Costa Rica’s fiscal profile, reflected in its rising government debt burden and persistently high fiscal deficit”.

The review for a new downgrade occurs just a few weeks after Moody’s had published its analysis in relation to the negotiations of the Costa Rican Government with the labor unions regarding the fiscal plan and stated that “even though dialogue is positive, the current social unrest is negative for Costa Rica since it complicates fiscal consolidation efforts”, Moody’s highlighted the importance of the approval of the fiscal plan “to achieve the stability that is fundamental to improve the credit quality of Costa Rica”.

In this occasion, the two key drivers listed for the downgrade review include:

“Prospects of continuing worsening of fiscal and government debt indicators, coupled with evidence of increasing funding pressures“, and “Reservations about the government’s ability to implement an effective fiscal consolidation plan and revert negative fiscal trends”.

Now, during this review period the Moody’s will analyze the financial situation of the country, the likelihood of the fiscal reform getting approved as well as other factors that will help them “determine the credit risks associated to restricted market access”.

Related article:

3. Poverty in Costa Rica Goes Up 1.1%

According to the National Household Survey carried out by the National Institute of Census and Statistics (INEC), poverty in Costa Rica has gone up by 1.1% in comparison to 2017.

“We are now seeing the consequences of not making decisions, poverty grows, unemployment grows, there’s deceleration of the economy and a raise in the interest rates. This is why the approval of the fiscal plan is crucial to fight poverty and to generate trust in the market to have economic growth”, commented Noggi Acosta, Vice-Minister of Treasury, “If we don’t make decisions soon the consequences will be inflation, devaluation and the loss of trust in the market, conditions that could worsen our situation”.

According to the report by INEC part of the reason for the increase in poverty has to do with the decrease in the income of independent workers in the past twelve months.

The poverty index went from 20% in 2017 to 21.1% in 2018, this means that 1,142,069 people in the country live in conditions of poverty, while 360,783 live in extreme poverty.

The province of Guanacaste is the most affected, in this region, 26% of the households can’t cover their basic needs, while in 2017 this number was of 22.4%.

“The situation of the country is serious and we have been warning for months of the importance of accepting the fiscal plan, not just because it generates additional income but because it also generates trust, if we don’t manage to generate trust it will be very difficult to generate employment and investment and its employment that will allow this group of families to pull through“,stated Rocío Aguilar, Minister of Treasury in an interview with Channel 7.

4. Precision Concepts Medical Technologies Will Expand its Presence in Costa Rica

The multinational company Precision Concepts Medical Technologies announced during the Life Sciences Forum this week in Costa Rica that it will invest US$5 million to expand its presence in the country and build a more robust molding and engineering infrastructure.

“In 1984, the company was given the opportunity to manufacture the first medical device which was the beginning of a successful path in the medical devices arena. A few years later, in 1991, it was decided to establish a manufacturing plant in Costa Rica, becoming one of the pioneer companies of one of the most dynamic sectors in the country“, details the press release by the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE).

“Precision Concepts Medical Technologies’ journey in Costa Rica has evolved significantly over the years from being a tool shop to becoming a premier contract manufacturer, providing engineering solutions to Fortune 500 Medical Device Companies seeking a strategic partner.”

By the end of 2017, Costa Rica registered 72 multinational companies that turned the medical devices into the main product of goods exports in the country and employed more than 22,000 Costa Ricans.

The Minister of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez, said: “The life sciences sector continues to show great dynamism and has positioned Costa Rica as a regional leader in quality, efficiency and innovation. Therefore, the country has been able to attract leading companies, such as Precision Concepts. Today we celebrate that this company has chosen Costa Rica to grow and we are extremely proud to be a key partner in its strategy. From the Central Government, we receive this news with great pride which challenges us to continue strengthening our investment climate.”

“Since the inception of Precision Concepts, our philosophy has been built on the foundation of meeting or exceeding customer’s expectations. Following this path to excellence has afforded many opportunities to add additional manufacturing capabilities. We are always on the lookout for how we can advance to the next level without putting our customers in any kind of jeopardy. I am very pleased and excited to be opening this new molding facility of excellence to attain for not only ourselves but our customers that next level”, said Vince Marino, founder of Precision Concepts.

Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director at CINDE, said: “Precision Concepts is one of the leading companies within the medical devices industry, that also allowed other corporations within the sector to find a high-quality services supplier for manufacturing processes that require precision and quality. This announcement reaffirms that Precision Concepts grows constantly and adapts to the clients’ necessities, which goes hand-in-hand with its global development. These types of companies promote the country as the second main medical devices exporter in Latin America.”

The company will announce its hiring plans in the upcoming months, which seeks to expand in different areas in the country’s operation.

To date, Precision Concepts employs Costa Ricans specialized in engineering, technicians and operators, some of which have been trained by the company, turning them into highly qualified talent for the country’s Life Sciences industry. PRESS RELEASE: CINDE


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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