The BS Continues

ISSUE #783: Oct. 20-26


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

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #114, #116 and #124


Paradisus: Nothing available

Los Jardines: Nothing available

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

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.

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.


Vacancies: I have finally filled all the units I manage... which is not many these days... I have whittled down mostly by selling the units or thru owner occupation and some I gave up for various reasons... Los Jardines does, however, continue to have three very desirable vacancies... the owners are not marketing them properly in my opinion but that is up to them to figure out. Certainly, prices have come down, choice of tenant is more limited... interesting, three of the last four tenants are Russian. My last contract (106C) was done in English / Russian via Google Translate.

Internet: We have had multiple problems this past week. It seems we are not the only ones... news reports say that the problems are wide spread and involved at least virtually all major carriers -unreliable, outages, slow... slow... slow... power blips which wreck havoc with some of our internal switches / equipment... we now have several households dependent for their work on internet... they are not happy when outages occur... it makes little difference if the outages / performance is beyond our control... I am the guy that gets the blast and who is called upon to reset / problem solve... day or night... I have a meeting in a few hours with another techie... he suggested something no one else has... I am going to listen...

Shareholder Registration: The government now requires all corporations to list all shareholders. The system they have designed to register these is not user friendly and is very slow from what I have been told. Depending on the last digit of the corporate ID number, as to when this has to be done. If not, there is a substantial fine... they have deferred the fine once... but not the schedule... Lawyers are trying to make a fortune on this... ...we have 29 houses each with shares... we were quoted $3,000+ to do the registrations... we continue to look for a better option... below is a friend's experience: (he is a long term resident and speaks Spanish...)

Bureaucracy run totally amuck. Again. Again. Again. Fire extinguishers and asprin in all cars. Change 100% of telephone numbers. Change 100% of License Plates. Law to register tax contributors including inactive corporations with no tax liability D140. Drivers license chaos using US license to obtain local license. VAT 13%. Electronic receipts. Buy or register something with a US passport and then get a new passport with a new number (total freaking idiots at US State Dept: only country to change number every 10 yeas. MORONS!) - have to change all old documents, drivers license, bills of sale, bank accounts, local credit cards, insurance policies etc... Get you DIMEX Residency, then change all the documents again! And don't even start me on the residency process, eh. Lawyers, bills, paperwork everywhere...

There are worse countries obviously, but this place is pretty bad for this SHIT.

When we bought our apartment, cash, it was in a corporation, and we just left it there per local custom, What a mistake. The idiot gobment is making owning a corporation a major liability and pain the the ass. Luckily, we bought the car in my name.

The latest great idea that the som moron bureaucrats had is law 9416 where Hacienda has ruled that all corporations including inactive corporations (holding houses and cars) have to register their shareholders. With annual updates even if no changes. WHAT a big steaming PILE! What happened to the concept of SA??? Too many ministers and bureaucrats are hiding their loot, what what. But watch, they will just put their maids and gardeners as the owners and keep on skipping tra lala lala,

Anyway, I tink I just completed the process at the risk of huge fines and jail if I got anything wrong, eh! (Please bring Oreos when you visit for all my best new boyfriend roomies, eh!)

What a crock.

First you have to get a digital eSignature card at a bank. 1 hour on the phone to make the appointment. Wait 2 weeks then 2 hours in the bank to get the reader, card, and pin. $60.00. Only the President of the company is authorized to doodoo this crap. Or a notary with a POA from the president. But this process is now annual, even if there were no changes, so it is worth it to get the eSignature card and learn the process. Or pay...

Back home, 2 hours to figure out how to download the program, hook everything up, and register the eSignature card. A process. Wow, I plan on a new computer next year... all over again?

Then finally into the Central Bank system to start the registration process. 3 hours yesterday with 3 calls to Ayuda. Then I had to stop. Headache and dinner. I was playing Leonard Cohen and French ballad greats on YouTube, but even that could not help the headache.

After tinking about the process during my rem deep sleep, 2 hours today trying to figure out how to fill out the forms and following the Ayuda page by page guide. 2 calls to Ayuda until a very nice and clearly blessed man told me to buzz off that the Central Bank is only the system for this and that Hacienda has the Ayuda... Great... (Capri c'est finis...)

But I tink that I finally got it filed correctly. I panicked and spend 45 minutes trying to correct numbers on the final edit check sheet until i realized the very efficient and precise (and very blessed) programmers had indicated the value per share as c1,000.000 and our capital as c100,000.000 as opposed to the local method of c1.000,00 and c100.000,00. I just could not see the very small commas and periods with my computer glasses. I gather that there were some clearly very blessed gringo programmers involved here, what what. Either that, or please remember the blessed Oreos...

Alternatively a lawyer will charge about c78,000+ for a simple entry according to the news. Every year. Plus a POA at what cost??? (Voulez vous coucher avec moi...)

I have heard that the banks are way behind on issuing the eSignature readers and cards and that appointments are taking a month or more.

So if you have a corporation, active or inactive, you better get cracking if you are not with the program. Or I will bring Oreos to you on visit days. ( t'aime, je t'aime. je t'aime...)

Now i have to go get a permit for our water treatment plant. The saintly, blessed Ministry of Salud has decided that our builder did not get it in 2001 when the building was built with all permits correct. I am sure that he did, and that the blessed dears lost it in their clearly blessed filing room next to the mops and buckets. But they, the very blessed, say that we have to apply again... (Si si bon...)

Life in the tropics, eh.
Why do the Ticos just take this and much more daily abuse from the gobment? Astounding what what.


ps/ Oreos not Fig Newtons or Marias...

I am in the process of closing now useless corporations, active and inactive, transferring assets because the cost and hassle of maintaining a corporation far out ways the usefulness of it. The BS just continues every day... along with internet outages, domestic disputes (as per last night with police in attendance), misc repairs, continual fights with Scotiabank and endless reporting to the buggers... life is busy with a lot of BS... the simple life in CR is a myth... but when we think of options... Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, are all off the list...

Composting: (My Rant) When I built RLJ 19 years ago, I created a composting facility consisting of three bins... one bin for dirt / and two bins for different stages of decomposition... such that we could have continuous compost... this helps our renew our garden and reduces our garden waste... It has never worked smoothly and when it did, only spottily. I have, at times, become more than frustrated. At times, I have admitted defeat... and then, sometime later, I gain enough energy to try again... it continues to be a struggle... a real struggle. I have never been able to get a gardener to embrace the concept, learn the process, and commit to it -I do not ask that they understand the chemistry. My assessment has gone from: (1) they do not value the process; (2) they cannot learn the process; (3) they really don't give a s...t -passive resistance, simply more work... For the past 6 mo.--s-i-x--m-o-n-t-h-s--I have again been trying. I explain the process, I give directions... nothing happens... I make directive intervention... my directions are not followed, something is done, but not what I directed... I still have energy... I am again determined... I have given very specific directions for stage 1... bring me 4 wheel barrow loads of garden waste (no palm products). Notify me... when this happens, Stage 2 -I will stand there, while the ??? shovels in some dirt from one of the three bins / then a shovel full of lime -Mix... Stage 3- Repeat stages 1 & 2... now is this really difficult??????? I will reserve the rest of the lesson until 2 mo. from the last addition... the comprehension level is absolutely incredible... end of rant... time for the hammock.

News Items of the Week


1. Movement to Guatemala: (glass factory) note the differences in cost structures. CR is the most expensive country in Central America...and is also becoming the most complex / difficult in which to operate. Yes, other companies are moving / expanding here..mostly in the "free tax zones".

2. Wages... In the private sector will increase.

3. Chile: The government raised the subway fares the quivalent of 4 cents. Riots followed almost immediately, $300 mil damage done to the subway system, Walmart store invaded and ransacked, people killed, a million marchers yesterday in Santiago... and we thought Chile was the most stable and economically prosperous of Latin Am. Europe...Spain (Barcelona) is becoming unstable with separatist aspirations...

1. Company moves operation to Guatemala and dismisses 254 workers

Grupo Vidriero Centroamericano (Vical), better known in the country as Vicesa, dismissed 254 workers. This was reported by the company itself on Monday through a statement.

The measure is due to the transfer of one of its furnaces that operated in Cartago to its plant in Guatemala, in search of lower operating costs.

Vical’s traditional markets have been characterized in the last two years by a marked economic instability, which has resulted in a fall in demand in the region, among other factors due to an economic slowdown in Costa Rica as of September 201 ; political and social problems in Nicaragua and social instability in Haiti. All these events led to the company being forced to temporarily stop one of its four ovens on October 21st. Inevitably, with the stoppage of the furnace, 254 employees of Vicesa were fired, despite multiple efforts made to contain this tough decision,”said the company.

The entity listed several aspects that have directly affected it, including the cost of medium-voltage electricity, which, he said, is 46.6% more expensive in Costa Rica than in Guatemala. Additionally, the cost of the bunker which is 17.1% more expensive in Costa Rica than in Guatemala.

Thirdly, they mentioned the tax burden on profits, which is 15 basis points higher in Costa Rica compared to Guatemala. They added that in Guatemala they have a local supply of raw materials such as silica and feldspar, while in Costa Rica this has not been possible.

Finally, the company referred to high port costs to export from Costa Rica.

2. Businessmen propose a salary increase of 2.53% for next year

The country’s private entrepreneurs proposed that next year all workers in the sector receive an average increase in wages of 2.53%. This was stated on Monday by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Enterprise (Uccaep) before the National Wages Council.

The amount would apply to all those workers who receive the minimum wage. For domestic servants the increase would be just 2.33%.

The calculation is due to the percentage of annual inflation for September of this year, which is 2.53%.

It is clear that the current economy is not in a period of thriving production and that the business sector does not present a favorable environment to say that it has it, mainly in those sectors where salaries close to the minimum wages are mostly paid: the agricultural sector, construction and the commercial sector, which have shown decreases in their production levels, practically throughout this year. For this reason, the business sector believes that there are no necessary conditions to grant increases to minimum wages for productivity,” said Uccaep president Gonzalo Delgado.

The country’s economic growth is modest, at just 1.6% according to the most recent indicator released by the Central Bank. There are sectors such as construction and commerce that are in frank recession.

3. APTOPIX Chile Protests

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — It's not about a 4-cent hike in subway prices.

The decision to add 30 pesos to the cost of a ticket on Latin America's most modern public transportation system this month drew little attention inside or outside Chile, at first. People quietly fumed. A week later, high-school students launched four days of turnstile-jumping protests. Crowds of angry youths built up inside metro stations.

With no warning, on the afternoon of Oct. 18, they set fire to stations, then trains. Then grocery, department stores and pharmacies went up in flames. Hundreds of thousands of people were left stranded at home or on the streets without public transport. But instead of blaming the young protesters, Chileans from almost all walks of life used social media to call for protests against years of government mismanagement.

Santiago exploded into a week of massive street protests that culminated Friday with more than a million people in the heart of the capital and other major cities — the largest demonstrations ever in the country, according to multiple historians.

With the world wondering how modern, prosperous Chile had erupted into chaos, a protest concert drew 15,000 on Sunday to green and shady O'Higgins Park in central Santiago. There, Chileans said the rise in the cost of a metro ticket had been merely the spark that set off years of frustration with the dark underbelly of their country's long drive to be the most market-driven economy in Latin America.

"What we Chileans want is equal treatment for all, that the cake be divided up fairly," said Mario Gonzalez, 34, who runs a t-shirt printing business. "We don't want anything for free; we just want to pay a fair price."

Young, old, poor and middle-class, protesters said they were united by frustration with the so-called neoliberal model that has left Chile with region-topping prosperity along with a widely criticized private pension system, and two-tiered health and education systems that blend the public and private, with better results for the minority who can afford to pay, protesters said.

Many Chileans talk of waiting a year for an appointment with a specialist, or families receiving calls to finally set up appointments for loved ones who died months earlier. Hundreds of thousands are hobbled by educational loans that can follow them into their 40s and even 50s.

"Countries with high levels of inequality such as Chile are like recovering alcoholics. They can be well for many years, but they shouldn't forget they have a problem," said Patricio Navia, an adjunct assistant professor at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. "Inequality is a threat to Chile's stability."

Alexis Moreira Arenas, 37, and his wife Stephanie Carrasco, 36, are comfortably in the middle class but he pays some 10 percent of his salary to a privately run pension system that generates steady profits for fund managers but an average pension around $300 a month, roughly a third of what a retired person needs to live. She is still paying off $110 a month in college loans, about 10 percent of their income. Another 30 percent goes to private preschool for their 2-year-old son.

"It's a series of problems that all come together; public transport, education, health, because the health system here works really badly," Moreria said. "Above all, it's a question of inequality."

Protesters in O'Higgins Park said President Sebastián Piñera's firing of his Cabinet Saturday would do nothing to calm the streets. Almost uniformly, they said they would continue protesting until they saw fundamental changes in Chile, starting with the replacement of the 1980 constitution, written under military dictator Augusto Pinochet, that creates the legal basis of Chile's market-driven system. Already, there were calls Sunday evening on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp for protests every day of the coming week.

"The whole constitution makes me angry," said Alan Vicencio, a 25-year-old call-center worker. "The constitution allowed the privatization of every aspect of our lives and it's being doing it for more than 30 years."

From afar, Chile has been a regional success story — under democratically elected presidents on the left and right, a free-market consensus has driven growth up, poverty down and won Chile the region's highest score on the United Nations Human Development Index, a blend of life expectancy, education and national income per capita.

In 2010, Chile became the second Latin member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, after Mexico. Next month, Piñera will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, followed by the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference in December.

Meanwhile, a 2017 UN report found that the richest 1% of the population earns 33 percent of the nation's wealth. That helps make Chile the most unequal country in the OECD, slightly worse than Mexico. Piñera himself is a billionaire, one of the country's richest men.

Roxana Pisarro, a 52-year-old kindergarten teacher, stood in O'Higgins Park holding a hand-letter sign reading, "I'm marching for my 76-year-old mother who works seven days a week because her miserable pension isn't enough."

Pisarro said her mother, a retired clothing-factory worker, bakes at home and sells empanadas and fried bread in their neighborhood on the outskirts of Santiago, often until 11 p.m., in order to support herself, her granddaughter and her great-grandson on a pension of $165 a month.

"Average people see this prosperous country, the star of Latin America, they see skyscrapers and four Maseratis sold every month, a luxury shopping district where they sell purses worth $4,000, and where are they compared to five years ago? They're stuck," said Marta Lagos, director of the Santiago-based polling firm Latinobarometro. "This 30 peso rise in metro fares was the straw that broke the camel's back. They said 'Not a step further. We're tired of waiting.'"

Michael Weissenstein on Twitter:

Associated Press correspondents Marcos Sepulveda in Santiago and Luis Andres Henao in Buenos Aires contributed to this report.


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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