Wrap Ups and New Beginings

ISSUE #789: Dec. 1-7, 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

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: 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: Less and less rain / winds have not yet really started but normally appear over the next couple weeks. We had several good rains this week which gives us breathing room to finish our summer transitional work.


Internet: The new equipment was installed. Neither of the previous people we have relied on, knew anything about this equipment and when described to them, remained skeptical... On Monday, the guy arrived with the equipment, an hour later it was installed and operating... WOW!!! when speed was measured at the last house, it was 187mgps... our computers are jumping off our desks, phones are lightening fast, videos and streaming movies do not kick out... and we have not had one down moment since the installation. Let's hope it continues.

Shareholder Registration: Progress but slow but I now have what I hope to be all the information.

Misc. Legal Work: This continues and so do the costs... I am having to re-think and work differently and am still trying to figure it all out. What a mess as far as I am concerned... but I have to adapt...

Investment Business: The nature of my investment business is changing. As mortgages are paid out, a friend and I are moving into contract financing... this is happening thru a broker guy I met about a year ago... I / we initially turned down the idea but have since warmed up to it... the returns are substantially higher, the loans shorter term than mortgages -4-9 months usually... are more complicated, and more varied in their nature... paving roads, building civil works, pipe lines, aerial mapping, etc..but all are the same in that a contract is awarded, and the successful bidder needs working capital to complete the project... our job is to figure out the terms and security... we have developed a format, but each contract has nuances... of course, lawyers are involved... and some of these contracts have pressing due dates so require a lot of focused attention... with lots of moving parts, it takes lots of time / cooperation / and performance by all parties... we'll see if it is worth it... but if one of the remedies to avoid Alzheimer's is to keep an active mind, I should be just fine... fortunately, I have a younger partner who is smarter than I am, so I do not have to pull the sled all myself.

BAC: Hasn't yet come thru but maybe next week.

Driving: I hadn't received a response from a tenant re. payment of rent... I arrived at the appointed time, no one home, I entered to see if he had done a midnight exit..I have had this happen a number of times... it appeared he had..the place was nice and clean, organized, very few personal effects... so I figured he had returned to Mexico..or ??? I notified agents that I now had a vacancy... a day later the guy contacts me, saying he was out of the country, a friend would meet me and pay two months... wow... o.k. great... the meeting was set for 4:30 Thursday--only time I had that worked... bad decision... it took me 3 1/2 hrs to go and return on what should have taken 45 min... traffic, accident, crazies driving...

Accident: One of our owner/residents drives a very nice car. Between the time I got into my car and backed up, he had pulled in behind me, waiting for the gate to open... I backed into him and clipped his fender... there are two models of cars you do not want to hit... BMWs and Mercedes... I got the BMW... there go my wages for a while.

Celebration: As mentioned, I impetuously invited the buyer/ debtor to dinner and added another young couple from Los Jardines... I purposefully did not invite any others... because I was curious and wanted just new, young couples from different backgrounds but having some commnalities... Lita decided she was too old to attend so opted out... It was interesting to follow the conversation with only a few comments / interjections from me...

News Items of the Week


1. Neighbors Selling Drugs to School Kids... right in our neighborhood... and look at how many prior arrests they had... this is probably just another one on their rap sheet and will be back in business Monday...

2 / 3. $$ Confiscated: Guess who paid the judge more... and the cops probably don't care as they confiscated the $$...

4. Job Losses... while the article did not make the association, but at least some of these (perhaps many of these) resulted from the closure of marginal business who finally just closed down because doing business here is now much more complicated and expensive -I can attest to both..and this was one of the topics of comment by the CR couple at the dinner table...

1. Police destroys drug gang with extensive records

Three men were arrested by the Drug Control Police (PCD) on Tuesday as drug sales suspects near a school located in Pozos de Santa Ana, reported the press department of the Ministry of Security Public (MSP).

The police determined that the suspects sold drugs in front of a school and in its surroundings practically at the main entrance and so close to an educational center that it is presumed that when the students were in the gym or in the classrooms they could witness the illegal business, which was also committed outside and inside the homes of members of a criminal organization,” explained the MSP.

After the alert on line 1176, the PCD officers entered the homes of the suspects in Barrio Corazón de Jesús in Pozos de Santa Ana. The narc structure sold crack and marijuana in that community. The police also showed that this situation put the student community and the residents of that community at risk.

The apprehended are identified with the surnames Durán Vargas, 18, with a file for possession and consumption of drugs 10 times, physical aggression two times, and violation of the Domestic Violence Law; and Castro Vílchez, 19, who has been arrested six times for possession and use of drugs, and a 17-year- old minor.


2. Judge releases Americans who carried $644 thousand dollars in briefcases

The Criminal Court of Alajuela released the two Americans suspected of the crime of capitalization and also investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for being part of a powerful international drug trafficking network.

As confirmed yesterday morning by the press office of the Public Ministry, the court rejected the request made by the Deputy Prosecutor of Alajuela to prosecute foreigners and give them three months of preventive arrest.

A confidential source from CRHoy.com confirmed that Collin Andrew Skees and Benjamin Edward Howze are no longer in Costa Rica because they left on a direct flight to the United States through the Juan Santamaría International Airport, just hours after being released by the judge.

The suspects were captured last Thursday at the same airport while they were preparing to transport more than $644 thousand in cash, distributed in several packages. They were traveling to Atlanta in the United States.

The Public Ministry also confirmed that the Canine Unit that collaborated with the banknote inspection operation tested positive with drug traces in the wrappings of the money.


3. DEA: Americans arrested in Costa Rica are linked to narc network

The two Americans arrested last Thursday with nearly $650,000 attempting to leave Costa Rica would belong to a powerful criminal network of international drug trafficking. This was confirmed to CRHoy.com by a source in the Administration for Drug Control (DEA).

According to DEA research reports, Collin Andrew Skees and Benjamin Edward Howze, 25 and 40, respectively, are part of an organization that receives drugs from Mexico and other countries, for the respective marketing process in the United States.

The subjects entered Costa Rican soil on November 27th on a direct flight from Los Angeles, and intended to leave 24 hours later through the Juan Santamaría airport with unjustified money. The bundles of money were wrapped as if they were packages of drugs, and were distributed in two handbags.

Drug Control Police (PCD) officers arrested the subjects while doing the migration review, and immediately requested functional direction from the Public Ministry, who ordered the transfer to a room at the airport for money inspection.

The authorities presume that the money’s final destination was Atlanta, United States.

Both individuals now face accusations for the crime of legitimization of capital.

Article 35 of Law 8204 , establishes that upon entering or leaving the country, every person, national or foreign, is required to declare cash or securities, in cases where the sum is greater or equal to $10 thousand.


4. 48 thousand merchants lost their jobs this year and increased informal employment

The absence of concrete measures in the area of economic revival takes its toll on employment figures in the country.

This Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce announced that in the last year, 47,494 workers in the formal commercial sector lost their jobs. In the same period, 21,510 people joinedthe informal commerce sector.

2019 has been a year of economic and commercial contraction, mainly due to the loss of consumer confidence and the reduction in sales; which in turn reduced the capacity forinvestment and employment generation by companies. The economic contraction facing the country is reflected in most indicators. The unemployment rate stands at 11.4% for thethird quarter of 2019 (11.9% in the second half of 2019). Informal employment reaches 46% of total employment (1,000,418 people), implying a cost to social security (for noncollection) of at least 216 billion colones,” the Chamber of Commerce said in a statement.

Additionally, the Consumer Confidence Index reached the lowest levels of the year (28.5%), while business dynamism places the country in the 92nd position of 140 countries(Global Competitiveness Index 2019).

As for the closing of business, the Chamber indicated that 1,746 companies close annually, which is equivalent to 2% of the business park (according to data from the State of theNation 2019), while the commercial premises have an unemployment rate of at least 15%.


5. Government will seek financing to fight evasion

The Government of the Republic, through the Ministry of Finance, will seek $50 million in financing from international organizations, for a period of between three and four years, in order to fight against Tax evasion. This was reported by Rodrigo Chaves, Minister of Finance.

With this debt, which would first have to be approved by the legislators, the Government would acquire technology that allows it to keep track of the money movements made in the country, so that no one escapes the payment of taxes.

The problem we have in Costa Rica with tax evasion is that we don’t have the systems, the technology that has worked in the rest of the world and that is working to collect better,” said Chaves on Wednesday.

For example, it is intended to trace the information related to income, property, credit and balances of the same person or company to later ask if there is consistency between the assets declared with the expenses and the assets that are they have.

Chaves said that the program called “Digital Treasury” would be financed by international entities such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). The minister said they hope to have this financing approved by March 2020.

The hierarch described this investment as “indispensable”, because the Costa Rican State has a system designed 17 years ago.



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

Previous reports