—Vida y tiempo—
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.
rentals & sales
Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
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...
sales & rentals
Sales: Los Jardines: Units #114, #116 and #124
Paradisus: Nothing available
Los Jardines: Unit #106C
Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales
Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
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
Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.
Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
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.
Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
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.
What Happened This Week
Weather: Normal rainy season weather... several hours of rain most every afternoon... In our area, Sept. and October are usually the rainiest months and that seems to be the case this year as well.
Europe: Final Comments / Observations:
Energy: Portugal derives 60% of its electricity from "alternate sources"... and of this the largest portion comes from windmills... We certainly saw lots of them so I wasn't surprised when I learned this.
Driving: I forgot to include this observation: drivers actually move to the right lanes (slower lanes)... unlike in CR where 75% of the drivers do not.
Internet: Most places know that it is now required. We had only two small locations where it was problematic... (weak signal / spotty coverage / slow).
Bridges: We so some fantastic new bridges... mostly of the same design... suspension bridges... quite beautiful actually... it seems to me, that the EU membership has benefited both Portugal and Spain who probably would no have the resources to build such roadways as we experienced.
Clever Account of the Douro River Cruise. I did not go on this but I thought the writing from one of the group warranted its inclusion:
We took a ride down the Duoro River to Porto. Wow, that was beautiful as well. The well cared for vineyards, 300+ years old, were fantastic. Our Portugoose guide brought our attention to the individual vineyards. And yes we picked it out pretty fast. The English owned vineyards were well organized, orderly, symmetrical, had nice terracing and walls. The local ones were 'less' so! In the shale mountains of the valley, the vines have roots 30 to 40 meters deep! They live for about 120 to 140 years and it takes 30 or 40 years for them to mature to wine status from lowly table grape! Each vine is numbered and registered with the Duoro region register. (Just imagine the chaos Bezos would cause here if he took a fancy to produce wine and port!)
We went through 2 of the 5 locks. One was about 30 meters! Guillotine up/down gate upriver, and a visor gate down river with a very limited air draft. Really cool!
As we entered the higher one, the large 10 foot screen at the control tower kept flashing in huge red letters SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN, JERK!!! NOW! NOW!!! And it was very exciting indeed, that approach, standing above the bridge measuring the speed and estimating the fall over the dam wall vs the length of the barge! At the last minute before crashing into the wall and flying off into the abyss, the Capt applied a little reverse on his 2 diesels (smallish, economical, sized for the up river legs), hit the bow thruster, and we glided smartly into position portside to, and down we went. 30 meters in about 10 minutes. About 8 of the lock staff came out to watch, so this appears to be a game the bored, but well experienced, young Captain plays on the lock staff... We were watching the Captain steering on the river, and as a blue water guy, I kept wondering about where the stern was going with helm maneuvers of the long barge on the very sharp and narrow river bends where the barge was longer than the width of the river. Of course, he was not using the helm but the bow thruster joy stick... silly me! A little flick here, and then again, and right through the center of the turn we went. We passed several of the larger French and local multi day cabin river cruisers, with much bigger twin diesels, churning up river. Happily all these passes were on straight aways and not in the sharp curves!
The river view of Porto historic and preserved river front and Gaia side with the wine and port warehouses and caves were breathtaking in the clear early fall dusk. Beautiful lighting as the sun went down over the river in front of us. And to boot, I have acquired a taste for port!
We were not there long enough, only a week, to follow the campaigns of Gen Arthur Wellesley to chase ole Nappy out of town, but we did pay homage to his bust on a pedestal.
And to my absolute horror, we did not make it to any of the maritime museums. So all the Voyages of Discovery and the bacalau fishing history still remain fuzzy. We did visit a rebuild frigate in Lisbon built in 1834-1845 in India and used in the Portugal/India route for 50+ years. On a sunset cruise in Lisbon, on the Tejo, we went to the south bank cliffs and saw miles of abandoned bacalau processing plants and docks. And we passed a 1930s 4 masted bacalau schooner now pressed hard into the tourist trades.
Did you know that Bom Bahia, Good Bay, was given to Charles II in dowry for marrying Catarina de Braganza after years of English pirates raiding the city with its friaries and bodegas? Chas could not be bothered with this far colony so he leased it to the East India Company. Me tinks that y'all English mis pronounced the name as Bombay!
Picking Up The Pieces: This week was spent running, running, running, pick up issues, bills, reports, etc, that had accumulated during my absence and to falling back into the property management role. I have decided to shut down my little property management business... it is simply too difficult to file all the reports and too costly to keep it open for what I make and it represents a target for the various government entities. I will go "tico" and operate out of a shoe box. I have advised my clients. In fact, I do not have a lot of clients left... I have been working them down over the past number of years by not acquiring more, and those whose houses sold and the vacancies (I have never charged the owner when a unit is not leased) has resulted in very little revenue while the government reporting requirements, taxes, banking requirements / disclosures have simply made it BS to continue... by going to a "shoe box" I hope to avoid a lot of those requirements. (This will be part of my "life simplification" plan... another part I hope to put in place in Jan / Feb.) The April -August financial reports are still not in order but are getting closer to being so. Meantime the office systems seem to be working adequately -and will get even better with more experience- and the garden / infrastructure continues to move along as expected.
Los Jardines: We have finished rehabing the front of the property, and house 103. We will begin working on #109 next week. That will probably take a month.
Lindora Blvd. Changes: Two staple businesses that have existed for many, many years: Matra (heavy equipment -CAT, International, JD, ??)... packed up, gone, /// a paperboard / box board plant ... closed, equipment removed, buildings being demolished... Certainly, both were sitting on now expensive land and urbanization has rendered them wrongly located.
News Items of the Week
1. Edwards Lifesciences: Businesses in the "free trade zones" continue to thrive... perhaps they are not as affected by the tax chaos that local business in non-protected categories are. Many of those business -especially the marginal businesses- those earning enough for a basic salary for the owners, of which there seem to be many, are officially closing and I suspect many more are closing unofficially. The number of vacant storefronts is increasing.
2. Bizarre Accident: Normally I do not include article like this, but this accident was too bizarre not to... just goes to show, one never knows when their number is up...
3. Consumer Confidence and Spending: Both are down and this is just the beginning (in my opinion) of the reporting.
FOR RENTAL OR SALES INFORMATION
Brian C. Timmons