Tree Planting

ISSUE #735: Nov. 11-17, 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
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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

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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:

Tree Planting: Family and friends gathered to remember a Cdn. doctor who moved here approx. 15 years ago. He succumbed to cancer. A memorial was organized at his finca and a tree was planted in his memory. Looking around at those I knew, we will be planting more trees and thinking broader of those friends in Canada, even more trees in the near future.

Heredia House: An interested buyer arranged for an appraisal this week. We'll see.

Gardening: By the end of next week, I expect the new gardening company will have work itself completely through the property... at least on a "rough cut" basis. Then we will do some refinements, and then move more to maintenance mode.

Distritcuatro: more showings / more people without money. It is amazing to me that people with no money waste their time kicking tires... I am missing something in the culture for sure... All known applications have been made; we wait... probably a month... and that get's us to mid December and that means nothing will happen until mid least.

Vacancies: In December 5, one planned (126) and one unexpected (112). Now we have 106C. Only one inquiry...

Fiscal Situation: the exchange rate has continued to decline... currently around 610. While up from 560, it has backed off from 620+. It cost the government a lot of money to achieve this (see below) and US $ flowing into the country has helped... the question now is: What happens post January????? Looking at the RE section of electronic billboards, there continues to be a lot of price reductions and re-cycling of old listings.

News Items of the Week


1. Exchange Rate Intervention: It was an expensive week... it has had at least a short term effect but the question becomes: for how long? and what happens in January when US $ flowing into the country stop?

2. Construction Funding: Any wonder drug money financing has so much attraction in CR? -it's cheaper...

3. Fitch Credit Rating: Yep... where we go again... At this point in time, it seems increasingly unlikely that the tax reform package will be passed... and if it is, it will not accomplish much... Read what Fitch has to say... The key to fiscal responsibility is to cut government spending, facilitate private enterprise, and to claw back / stop outrageous pensions. Unfortunately, none of that is likely to happen.

1. 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.

2. Banca para el Desarrollo charged interest rates of up to 43%

Although one of the reasons for its existence is to offer better credit conditions for producers, the Development Banking System exceeds the interest percentages of the market.

This was revealed by an audit conducted by the Economic Services Supervision Department of the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR), which found that in 1,200 credit operations, equivalent to 340 million, the interest rate was 43%.

Roberto Jaikel, Manager of the area of supervision of Economic Services, also explained that 92% (153) of the procedures did not have enough information and that did not guarantee the feasibility of the projects.

The sample for the audit was 166 credit operations, with a main balance of â‚¡10.58 billion. They found the following irregularities:

– In 13% of the cases, the debtor’s capacity to pay was not sufficiently documented.

– 43% of the cases analyzed do not have enough information to conclude on the viability of the financed project.

– In 28% of cases, the information in the file turned out to be insufficient to demonstrate the debtor’s status as a beneficiary of the SBD.

– 11% of the loans breached at least one of the financial conditions related to interest rate, maximum financing limit, investment plan, and maximum financing term.

– 45% did not prove that the analysis and identification of the possible economic interest groups of the debtor was carried out.

– 80% did not demonstrate the follow-up that the financial operator must perform on the financing and the respective project.

The study was conducted on the placement of resources of the National Development Trust (FINADE), through the loan portfolio in effect as of December 31st, 2017, which was composed of 14,689 operations.

3. Credit Agency Fitch Places Costa Rica’s Issuer Default Ratings on Rating Watch Negative

Credit rating agency Fitch placed Costa Rica’s Issuer Default Ratings (IDR’s), which is basically an opinion on an issuer’s general capacity to fulfill its financial obligations, on rating watch negative (RWN), this gives the country anywhere from one to three months to resolve its public finances before lowering its already low rating.

Costa Rica is currently rated as BB (elevated vulnerability to default risk, more susceptible to adverse shifts in business or economic conditions; still financially flexible).

“The RWN on Costa Rica’s IDRs reflects acute financing constraints facing the sovereign, which pose risks to its ability to meet budgetary obligations and debt maturities in the remainder of 2018, including a loan from the central bank (BCCR). This comes against the backdrop of persisting uncertainty around lawmakers’ ability to pass effective legislation to contain the country’s high and widening fiscal deficits. Fitch will review the rating in the next one to three months in light of the outcome of the pending fiscal reform legislation, its impact on the budget deficit and the government’s financing situation. This review to resolve the RWN could result in a downgrade of one or more notches”, explains the press release.

The rating agency emphasizes that the government’s financing needs have become increasingly burdensome which has led the government to borrow from the local capital market.

“Fitch expects the passage of the fiscal reform before year end. The reform, nevertheless, is likely to contribute a relatively small share of the fiscal adjustment that would be needed to stabilize rising government debt, according to Fitch’s estimates. The government’s plan to comply with the spending cap is not yet clear, and it could be challenged by pressure from public sector unions and other legal requirements affecting budgetary allocations. Moreover, Fitch sees a risk of reform fatigue following the difficult political negotiations and social backlash that faced the pending reform. These risks pose challenges to implementing additional measures designed to further narrow the deficit and stabilize the debt metrics.”

Fitch concludes by affirming that economic growth is relatively resilient “but signs of negative spill-overs are emerging” and also that the continued uncertainty around the fiscal reform and the government’s financial needs have generated pressures on the exchange rate.


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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