Picking Up The Pieces

ISSUE #781: Oct. 6-12


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

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com

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

Market activity
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

Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 195,000 $ 189,995 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 125,000 / 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 #116
$ 195,000 $ 189,995

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

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.

UNIT #124
$135,000 $ 125,000

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

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.

1. Edwards Lifesciences Invests $100 million to Expand its Operations in Costa Rica

Lifesciences Corporation, a world leader in innovations for structural heart disease and critical care monitoring aimed at patients, expanded its presence in Costa Rica with a $100 million investment and the addition of 500 new jobs by the end of 2020.

The brand new facility is located in La Lima Industrial Park in Cartago and has an extension of 274,000 square feet.

This new building joins the existing one within the same industrial park to collectively expand the capability to produce finished products, in addition to the processes that has been on operation since 2017.

“We work to strengthen the country’s competitiveness, our human capital, and the conditions for companies that decide to grow in Costa Rica. More and more Costa Ricans are seen as highly skilled people in the life sciences sector, one of the most important for the country today, and I am proud that Edwards sees that potential,” said President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado.

The company will continue to focus in Cardiac Implantable products, used for patient treatment at medical facilities around the world. The company established operations in Costa Rica in 2016, as an additional facility in its network that includes locations in the United States and Singapore.

“The completion of this state-of-the-art plant in Costa Rica is an important milestone for Edwards as we expand our global heart valve network to serve patients around the world. Working in partnership with colleagues worldwide, our talented team in Costa Rica is building the capabilities to support our long-term growth aspirations and to meet the high-quality standards for Edwards’ sophisticated heart valve technologies. The success in scaling our current operations in the country gave us confidence to expand further. We are proud of our employees and the passion they have shown for our patient-centered work at Edwards, and we are also happy to be partnering with the local community through a number of special charitable projects. ” said Mike Mussallem, Edwards’ chairman and CEO.

Edwards Lifesciences in Costa Rica expects to grow to approximately 1100 employees at the end of 2020.

Josué Campos, Plant General Manager of Edwards Lifesciences in Costa Rica, said they plan significant growth in the upcoming months. “We came to Costa Rica to grow hand in hand with the community. Not only have we already opened employment opportunities for more than 600 people, but we also expect to continue growing to achieve 1,100 jobs by the end of 2020. We are providing quality jobs to the people of Cartago and its surroundings, excellent development programs to our employees, the opportunity to support the health and treatment of patients worldwide, while continuing to contribute to the community through numerous social projects,” he added.

There are job positions in operational, technical, and administrative roles. Available positions include business units such as facility management, engineering, human resources, finance, technical training, supply chain and logistics, quality, purchasing, microbiology, and chemistry. For operational positions, the requirements are having finished ninth grade, good motor and manual skills and ease of following and complying with instructions. Interested candidates should send an email to reclutamientocr@edwards.com with their resume or visit edwards.com/careers.

The new facility was designed to be a high-standard workplace. It offers modern spaces to its collaborators, cafeteria, wellness center, and medical services. “Its modern infrastructure and cutting-edge technology in critical systems are combined with green initiatives that allow water reuse, natural lighting and high-efficiency equipment that save energy and take care of the environment,” said Josué Campos.

2. Two Killed in Bizarre Road Accident in Garabito, Puntarenas

A very unusual road accident caused the death of two people the evening of Thursday October 10th in Garabito, Puntarenas.

The Fire department reported the accident took place at approximately 7:53 p.m. in front of Nativa Resort on route 34 when a bus that was traveling from Jacó towards Orotina suddenly received the impact through the front windshield of two tractor trailer wheels which went straight through the centre of the bus injuring several people and causing the death of two passengers.

According to information released the victims were a 22 year-old woman and a 30 year-old man; the woman was sitting close to the driver seat while the man was in the back seats. In total the bus had 34 passengers aboard.

The driver of the trailer truck which was traveling in the opposite direction, going towards Jacó, apparently did not realize what had happened until he was stopped by Public Force Officers near Playa Hermosa.

12 ambulances had to attend the scene to care for the passengers, several injured and others in shock, two more people had to be transfered to the hospital due to more serious wounds.

3. Strikes and fiscal plan discussion triggered uncertainty in Costa Ricans

The discussion, approval and implementation of the Law on Strengthening Public Finances, as well as strikes and demonstrations, accentuated the uncertainty among consumers, causing an even more accelerated contraction of consumption.

This is one of the main conclusions reached by the Economic and Social Observatory of the National University (UNA) in a recent report on private consumption in Costa Rica.

These situations generated since the previous election campaign and which have lasted until now have caused fewer people to feel motivated to consume in the country, since there is a greater tendency to be cautious with expenses.

The big problem is that at the moment there are no clear signs that private consumption is recovering, since a good part of the indicators associated with this variable (vehicle sales, appliance trade, consumer goods imports, consumer confidence) consumer, etc.) continue to record negative results.

According to the report, the real private consumption of households has been decelerating since the third quarter of 2015.

The best moment was in the third quarter of 2015 when the growth was 5.42%. Since then it has been reducing the growth rate.

The immediate effect of this lower level of expenses is produced in what this weighs within the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

By 2008, consumption within the GDP had a relative weight of 70% and by this year it had already fallen to 63%.

This means that consumer spending has lost importance and weight within the economy, in other words, it is an engine that no longer revolutionizes at the same speed as before.


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

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com

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