Awaiting my Next Scotiabank Fight

ISSUE #786: Nov. 10-16, 2019


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: We are definitely transitioning into the dry season. Rains are less frequent, winds have started signaling a change of seasons, Now we have to switch the garden routine. I managed to clear out years of accumulated debris from a dumping ground... now we have room to accumulate more... and adding a few fill-in plants... all of this is a result of normal maintenance which has not been done for years... these are the "tweaks" that put finishing touches on areas... we have a few more to go.

Garden: This week I readied the 20 automatic sprinklers we purchased off and on last year... installed batteries in them, and added some water proofing and numbered each... I made a water schedule and have given one device along with instruction to the employee who is responsible for watering. I want him to program the unit(s) and then we will install them... Hoping this method adds "ownership" of the systems.../ strategy... we'll see. This will be programmed to operate at night when our watering capacity has not been used. Some critics say we should not water at night but we really have no choice and the surface areas will dry within hours of sun rise. We are focusing on tweaking the installed irrigation systems -we did some last year but never finished all.


Vacancies: We still have three vacancies in houses of owners who have not done what is necessary to lease... suggestions aside... none even acknowledged help I offered... I tried, their problem... I continue to have inquiries but those with vacancies are not listening...

Internet: I have authorized the purchase and installation of equipment which will allow us to run / mix parallel service providers. TIGO continues to be unreliable. So we will find another unreliable supplier and so how that goes... if one is out, MAYBE the other will run. And even though we currently pay for 100 megs of download, we NEVER get it... happy when we get 85 megs but often times only 30-35 mgs. Maybe with the purchase of a 2dn. provider we can maintain more consistent bandwidth. This will take 10 - 14 days to get together.

Shareholder Registration: very slow getting info... still over half the shareholders have not responded.

Scotiabank: I can anticipate it... I am 90% sure it is coming... I hope to take preventative action before... so I can give them a one finger salute on one account... the absolute B.......ers...

Travel: a friend lives much of the time in Puerto Viejo... East coast, south of Limon... normally a 3 1/2 - 4 hr drive. His return trip this past week included: delay due to a car crashing into a median on a bridge (1 hr); normal road construction (45 min); fallen tree (45 min.)... you should always expect the unexpected which should be the expected here when traveling... rarely will your trip be uneventful...

News Items of the Week


1. Government Mandated Salary Increases (to base salary categories) -4.3%: I fully expect to see inflation in the country because of the additional taxes and now higher salaries...

2. Job Creation: While very small in this case, it is an example of the types of new age companies coming here...

3. Olive Garden Restaurants: I never thought I would be interested in returning to one but based on the competition, I might try. However, I expect that it will be similar to other N. Am chains -Appleby's, P.F. Chang, etc... which come here... expensive and mediocre...

4. Violent Deaths: Most of the increase seems to be attributed to drug related issues... None of my friends have been killed lately... old farts are not recognized as dangerous or a threat to anyone other than themselves.

1. Costa Rican salaries increased 4.3% this year

Costa Rican salaries increased 4.3% from September of last year to September this year, according to the Survey of the Salary Information Business System (SEIS), referring to the second semester of the year, prepared by PwC Costa Rica.

With the study it was determined that the growth in wages for the year 2019 (4.3%) maintains the behavior shown during 2018 (4.0%), 2017 (3.6%), 2016 (3.4% ), which constitute the lowest percentages observed in 30 years of this survey. This is explained by the current economic conditions, with policies aimed at obtaining a target inflation of 3% + 1% and real inflation of 2.03% in 2018, 2.6% in 2017 and 0.8% in 2016.

This survey had the participation of 445 companies from different industries. It was carried out between August 2018 and October 2019, using an established methodology, which integrates visits to companies by the specialized consultants in Compensation and Benefits and collection of the respective information.

The latest editions of show that other types of companies have provided the greatest increases, including shared service centers and companies under the Free Zone regime.

Between September 2018 and September 2019, the remuneration of executive positions increased by an average of 4.0%, similar to the trend observed in the previous period 2017 and 2018 (3.6%).

The best salaries are in the industry sector.

2. Modus Create Consolidates in Costa Rica and Looks to Fill New Positions

Modus Create, a multinational company within the digital technologies’ industry, has officially established in Costa Rica and plans to triplicate its current workforce by 2020.

The digital transformation company combines Consulting, Design, and Software Engineering to streamline projects and products of global clients, helping them face the new digital economy.

The company currently seeks to fill positions with bilingual profiles related to application development, agile project management, systems engineering, UX / CX design and cloud migration capabilities.

Located in Santa Ana, its operations are also carried out virtually outside the Great Metro Area. One of its employees is Braulio Barrera, a software developer for client projects in the United States, who is from Playas del Coco, Guanacaste. From there, he can work from home or go to the office, when needed. Another staff member is Randall González, a database administrator who works from home in Playa Bejuco, and from time to time, attends the central offices site too.

Patrick Sheridan, co-founder and Managing Partner of Modus Create, said: “Costa Rica is recognized as a cradle of technology talent. Consistently, the country has been ranked as one of the most promising destinations for service centers and is also known as the Silicon Valley of Latin America. Starting 2019, we opened our operation in Costa Rica and quickly added strategic personnel to serve our clients, as well as a regional management team contributing to the business community, even developing an interactive event in our offices a few weeks ago. We believe that there is great potential for our expansion in Costa Rica, our clients are increasingly looking for software and engineering that facilitate their digital transformation.”

Jorge Sequeira Picado, CINDE’s Managing Director, said: “Virtualizing jobs allows services companies to hire quality human talent outside the Central Valley, as Modus Create already does. In 2018, CINDE reported that 850 jobs were created outside the Great Metro Area, 600 of them in virtualized mode. During this and next year, Modus Create will create new job positions for talented Costa Ricans who want to apply their knowledge in the digital technology sector.”

Currently, the company has 15 employees in Costa Rica, and plans to close 2019 with approximately 25. Next year, it plans to reach 70 employees, as part of its expansion.

Those interested in applying should visit:

3. Olive Garden to Open Three Restaurants in Costa Rica

$3.9 million is the approximate amount that will be invested in the opening of three Olive Garden restaurants in Costa Rica in the upcoming three years.

The investment group AR Holdings, member of Promerica Group will bring to Costa Rica the Italian food chain restaurant, the biggest in the United States with 850 locations.

The first restaurant is scheduled to open in Escazú in 2020, with an investment of $1.3 million and generating 50 direct jobs, the second location will open to the east of San Jose and will likely open in 2021 and the third restaurant is expected to open in 2022 and will be located in Heredia.

“We are excited to continue extending our operations in Central America, ad together with AR Holding opening the first restaurant in Costa Rica”, commented Bradley Smith, Senior Vice-President of Franchises for Darden Restaurants, owner of the restaurant chain.

“The arrival of Olive Garden to Costa Rica translates into more job opportunities for Costa Ricans and bigger economic growth for the country”, commented Miguel Ramírez, vice-presidents of operations for AR Holdings.


Between October 7 and November 7, 2019, Costa Rica has recorded 63 violent deaths – a murder every 12 hours – according to the OIJ (Organismo de Investigacion Judicial). They report a total of 476 homicides to date, an increase from the 413 homicides reported last year, despite an expanded police force and repeated pledges by the Minister of Security that homicide rates were going to drop.

What has caused this sudden increase in violent deaths at the close of 2019? Authorities believe the new crime statistics can be attributed to skirmishes between drug gangs defending their territories against rival gangs. This trend is especially visible in San Jose, Puntarenas, Liberia and Limon, areas the OIJ consider “vulnerable zones”.

Said Walter Espinoza, director of the OIJ, “The majority of the cases are against a single person. We have not detected connections between homicide victims. Seventy-five percent involved firearms and are apparently revenge driven, settling scores. The majority of the victims are men, aged 24-27 years, living in vulnerable zones.”

Authorities believe these homicides are directly related to the new upsurge in the flow of drugs through Costa Rica, following a recognized drug route from South/Central America, on the way to fulfill the insatiable appetite of the USA for illicit drugs. Said Espinoza, “Drugs are on the rise in our country. Increase in demand and consumption. With more demand comes more profits by drug gangs, and more need to protect their turfs against the threat of rival gangs. The consequence of this is often homicide.” The most recent homicides believed to be related to drug gangs settling scores, occurred in Parrita, where two victims were found dead, apparently burned to death.

The increase in femicides in Costa Rica, murder of a woman by her lover/sentimental partner, is also of great concern to the OIJ. The 19-year old Eva Morera was murdered this month, shot in the back by her ex-lover and father of her child. Morera was herself an advocate for the protection of women against murder by ex-lovers. In December of 2018, Morera reflected upon the dangerous year it had been for women saying, “Today, I have taken the time to think about the wave of femicides that have happened this year; 2018 is about to end and 24 women have died at the hands of men, how many more are left to die in these last remaining 26 days of the year?”

According to the United States Embassy, “Crime is increasing in Costa Rica and U.S. citizens are frequent victims. While petty theft is the main problem, armed robberies have been known to occur even in broad daylight. American tourists and residents can also take steps to protect themselves.”


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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