Moving Ahead on Districtcuatro / Vacancies

ISSUE #734: Nov. 4-10, 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
Permits are being applied for new electrical and water service, along with renovation of existing building. Renovations to include new plumbing, electrical systems, septic system, rain water drainage, fencing, new roof and kitchen, roof extension/covered terrace and landscaping. When completed the house will go on the market around $135,000 - $140,000.

DOWNLOAD new PDF floor plan

Rendering proposed

Real de Santa María / Borreal de Heredia
$ 185,000 $175,000 (reduced)
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: Units #106C, #112 and #126

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
Unit #112: $ 1,250 mo. / Available December 1st / See Unit
Unit #126: $ 725 mo. / Available December 1st / 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.

UNIT #112
$ 1,250 mo.
Available December 1st

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 1 Story
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

UNIT #126
$ 725 mo.
Available December 1st

Total Area (Sq Ft): 530
Total area (Sq M): 50
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 1
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

A small one bedroom with outside covered terrace with top of the line finishes (granite, stainless steel appliances, fine crafted wood cabinetry, +, +, +), with lots of well thought out storage...

Our Lives

Weather: Transitioning to dry season: Normally, November is a transitional month... rains back off and gradually more sunny days. The last few years, November has been pretty wet but we are beginning to see this transitioning happening... so maybe we will dry up.

What Happened This Week:

Heredia House: Looking good / looking lonely -two calls... me. One person is working the the bank for an appraisal / financing.

Gardening: The new gardening company is working out as well as the garden waste removal person. It looks like we are on the right track. This week we found a source of garden lighting for the right price. We will again be lighted at night when we get these installed... and some for inventory.

DistrictCuatro: I continue to show it / I continue to get no where. I have decided to move ahead. Permit applications have been made / drawings are mostly completed. We wait. Realistically, we are looking at around Jan 15 if everything goes well.

INS suite: More legal expenses / more legal wrangling / more written arguments / counter arguments and counter-counter arguments... it is never ending...

Vacancies: One planned (126) and one unexpected (112). And we continue to have 106C.

Driving: Only saw two accidents this past week: one involving 3 cars and a truck..on a straight away // the second was the missing front end of an Audi Quatro... again on straight section of highway. But this is the time of year drivers really get aggressive...

Fiscal Situation: Exchange rate currently around 614... down a bit. The following appeared in one of the Expat / English language chat sites. I think it summarizes pretty well the feelings of those I know... I do not know this person nor do I recognize any previous postings of his. According to him, he is a consultant to a government diputado...

The fiscal crisis in the country raises concerns in most people, but perhaps even more among expats living here. We have seen the dollar go from 560 to 632 colones in a matters of weeks, and the strikes continue to affect people, specially school-age children and patients waiting for surgery, and there is uncertainty as to whether Congreso will be able to pass the tax legislation aimed at easing the pressure on public finances. Despite this, I see foreign investors buying property and continuing their retirrment plans. We have yet to see how this fiscal crisis will affect our economy and crime rates in the coming months, as the Government struggles to find money to pay aguinaldos (end-of-the-year bonuses for employees) and keep the price of the dollar under control. Unemploymenr continues to be a big challenge for the new Government and we have seen several assaults talking place where two robbers enter a business or community meeting place to take everyone's belongings. One happened a couple of weeks ago in Heredia, in a community where there is usually calmness and safety. We should all take precautions in light of the difficult económic moment that Costa Rica is going through. It is a good idea to have a savings account in US dollars and avoid waling alone at night. Also, read daily news to be informed of political decisions which might affect the cost of living and stay away from dangerous locations. I work as an aide to a congreesman and I am close to political les fees, besides my work as an independent attorney, and I can tell you that unless the different political parties represented in Congress come to an agreement soon, the económic situation in the country is going to get to a point where many companies will have to shut down their doors and things will be delicate in our society with large unemployment, poverry and crime. The Government is trying to remain firm with some necessary cuts in benefits for public employees but the unions are not letting down and some schools have been closed for two months now, and on top of that some strikes have been declared as legal by the courts, including Recope's (fuel supplier for the entire country) and that of workers of the courts. I pray that this messy situation may be resolved soon.

News Items of the Week


1. Teachers: Read it and try no to be sick!!!!! these are buggers who have been on strike for three months now and continue so... (not all mind you, about 50% have returned)...

2. Judge rules that his buddies didn't violate the law: This is akin to asking a wolf in a hen house if his buddies ate the chickens...


1. Education Ministry will delay payment of extra salaries to employees

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Education Ministry confirmed that, due to the delay in the delivery of the reports of overtime or surcharge of functions of employees, there will be delays in the payments of those amounts.

According to Ministry, the system of surcharge of functions and overtime is a way to attend to fundamental tasks in schools. "On average, around 30,000 of these employee bonuses are recognized each year," said Ministry statements.

The report of these extra wages had a deadline of November 2. The directors of each institution are responsible for the delivery of these reports. Apparently, only 3,000 reports were received, equivalent to 18 percent of the estimated total of 16,000 reports expected.

For Yaxinia Diaz, director of Human Resources, "the biggest problem that is generated from this situation is that, sooner or later, the avalanche of late requests will arrive."

According to Diaz, the Ministry has many other tasks to fulfill, in addition to reviewing those reports, such as appointments of new professors, requests for transfers of professors, and employee disability procedures, among others. For those reasons, the payments will not be ready when employees expect.

According to the Ministry, thanks to the extra payment employees could receive up to an additional 50 percent of salary.

Apparently, the principals of the schools did not deliver the extra payment reports on time, because they were on strike.

The strike of teachers and other ministry employees was declared illegal by the Labor Court of San Jose. However, "the education sector represents 98.55 percent of the people who continue on strike since September 10," confirmed the ministry.

2. Judicial

Judge of Labor declares legal strike in Judicial Power to believe that it did not affect essential services.

Víctor Manuel Orozco Zárate ruled that the State could not prove affectation to services; In addition, he argued that "political strikes" are allowed in Costa Rica.

With music and masquerades, the unions called not to strike. Photo: José Cordero.

The Labor Court of the Second Judicial Circuit of San Jose declared legal the strike of the employees of the Judicial Power against the processing of the fiscal reform, as it was known the night of this Friday.

The decision of Judge Víctor Manuel Orozco Zárate rejected the request of the State, represented by the Attorney General, Julio Jurado, to declare the movement illegal.

Although the Attorney General's Office, as a lawyer for the State, requested that the movement be declared illegal because "the administration of justice is an essential public service" and for that reason its officials "do not have the right to strike", the judge considered that the Impact of essential services.

"The managing party (Procuraduría) did not show that the suspension of the work of the judicial officials was a result of the essential public service provided by the different labor offices, nor that their public officials exercise authority functions on behalf of the State. This is because there is no evidence in the file that proves the State's allegation is reliable".

JAlso, he indicated that the movement was peaceful.

"The strike promoted by the unions is declared legal: Trade Union of Professionals and Technicians in Accounting, Finance and Allied of the Judicial Branch (Asprotecofi); National Association of Judicial Employees (Anejud); National Association of Investigators in Criminalistics (ANIC); Syndicate of the Judicature (Sindijud); Union of Workers of the Judiciary (Sitrajud)", says the resolution issued at 3:06 pm this November 9.

3. Court asks the Attorney General to rate a strike in the Judiciary

The Plenary Court requested the Attorney General of the Republic to initiate the strike qualification process in the Judicial Power.

The agreement was taken this Monday in the afternoon session by a majority of 13 votes and one against.

The magistrates and magistrates who are members of the Constitutional Chamber, abstained from voting because there are pending lawsuits in this matter.

In the Supreme Court of Justice, most of the offices are working normally, but at least two are on strike, according to reports published last week. These are the labor courts of Limón and Pococí.

The agreement of the Full Court was announced by the Press and Communication Department of the Judiciary.

The Attorney General's Office is the State's attorney and now must initiate the corresponding legal procedures to qualify the strike in the Judicial Power.

Another 30 institutions raised requests for declaration of illegality directly or through the Attorney General's Office. Of these, until Friday, 16 petitions had been accepted for study.

4. Central Bank has used $ 231 million of reserves in November

Only in the first nine days of November, the Central Bank of Costa Rica had to resort to $231 million in reserves to try and stop stronger movements in the exchange rate.

Of that amount, $125 million have been sold in the Foreign Currency Market (Monex) and the rest has been provided to entities of the Non-Banking Public Sector (SPNB) for their operations.

In this group we find the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery and the National Company of Power and Light, among others. Also the Ministry of Finance, which has had to face maturities of securities in foreign currency.

Additionally, the Central Bank issued an increase in the monetary policy rate (MPR) and an increase in the interest rates payable on time deposits. All these actions aimed at curbing abrupt increases in the exchange rate.

After two hectic sessions, in which the price of the dollar exceeded ¢638 in the banks, the exchange rate fell during Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, to reach the values of a week before, around ¢627.

The same behavior was registered in the wholesale market, where it closed just above the ¢620.

Since the beginning of the second semester, the Central Bank has increased dollar sales to try and stabilize the foreign exchange market.


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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