Holiday Hammock Harmony

ISSUE #792: Dec. 22-Jan. 4, 2020


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: No rain / winds have not yet really started but normally will appear over the next couple weeks. The automatic irrigation systems seem to be working; need more.


Irrigation Systems: We now have 23 automatic watering devices (battery, programmable, one, two, and 4 zone) operating covering a total of 37 different areas. These are programmed to run every other night night for 45 min. each with no more than 3 operating at any one time. So far, so good... we have not run ourselves out of water and we have relieved the work of the dedicated gardener to focus on spot watering, cleaning, and misc. gardening chores. We have a few additional devices on order and will install / program them when they arrive. This took longer to get going than I had expected and I am not convinced it is working flawlessly... I am sure some additional tinkering will be required -but I think the back is broken on this project.

Internet: It has now been 5 weeks since we installed the new equipment and we have not had one down moment and I have not had one call (except when ICE gave us a power outage)...

Camera Security: This is my next project. We had a surveillance system installed -I was and continue to be against it because I do not believe it will ever solve any questions- but I was over ruled. It doesn't work. The cameras are good, the installation points are o.k. but the cameras keep going off line. Since we already have the cameras and the installation as fixed costs, I am going to try to solve the unreliability issue... The person who installed them, doesn't know how to solve the problem. So I will search for a solution... we'll see.

Shareholder Registration: Still on going. I have a meeting on Tuesday with the lawyer's person designated for this job. I think she is missing lots of info....I need to see what she has, what she needs, boot her in the bum if necessary... and help her along.

Misc. Legal Work: It has taken a breather over the holidays.

Foreclosure: This property is suppose to be sold next week... I don't like the deal but it was the only one I had at the time. Since then, I have another offer which is marginally better... I will take it if the original deal falls through. Barring either sale, the property goes to first auction Jan. 21.

Investment Business: This effort has not gone smoothly. We have walked away from one deal which smelled... we are still considering if we will participate in others. Credibility, transparency, security, management capability of the borrower, are the main issues... these are kind of critical!!!!!!!!... hopefully, the messages we are sending will produce results but there is a saying that leopards do not change their spots... nor do zebras and perhaps, nor do ticos... we'll see.

BAC: Got two accounts set up... only took a month... but when I tried to establish on-line banking, it failed and required attendance at my house -two times... their system is screwy... I have 4 more to set up...

Mortgage: An Am. woman in Playa Grande... Guanacaste... needed a mortgage. The broker set up the meeting between 11-12 the next day. Lita, he and I drove 4 hrs... she didn't show; the return was 4 1/2 hrs. What a waste... I hadn't been in that area -Playa Grande, Tamarindo- for a long, long time... it certainly has changed... much more developed... I still do not like it personally but lots of people do... I will take Playa Carrillo any day...

Job Advertisement: I am still receiving a few applications to the job posting but none of the applicants are qualified... usually missing two of the three skills... accounting, building/infrastructure construction/ maintenance experience / garden experience... and willing to live on site for a job requiring a couple hours' work each day and being on call all the time... (lately that hasn't been an issue as virtually everyhing has been working well)... and the salary is low so whoever takes it will need a primary source of income (no one will work for my wages).

INS Suit: I received a request for banking information...I got mildly excited.. and asked if there was anything to indicate that INS was ready to concede and pay......the answer was "no" the lawyers were just using the time and logging billable time in an otherwise dead zone.

Christmas /New Year: We spent both on our own by choice... New Year's Eve I was asleep by 8:30 and did not hear any fireworks. I have used the holidays to set up new files, do filing, clean up my messy desk and filing systems... and, yes, a bit of hammock time...

News Items of the Week


1. Vehicle accidents: Mostly caused by people not knowing how to drive, or by speeding... the article didn't break out the number of motorcycle accidents are part of this story... but a lot... for sure.

2. Guns: Mostly hand guns... there are lots of illegal weapons.

1. More than 400 deaths in vehicle crashes during 2019

The Red Cross reported attending 496,780 emergency calls for traffic accidents, water accidents, crimes, and family violence, among others, in 2019.

Also, 1,341 people died in these emergency, said the Red Cross.

According to the report, most of the deaths were related to vehicle accidents, 454 people. This is nine more deaths compared to 2018, according to the last report of the Ministry of Transports.

The second cause of death during 2019 was water accidents. In 2019, 121 people died due to water accidents, 28 less than in 2018 where the number was 149 killed by this cause.

According to the Red Cross, the decrease in deaths due to water accidents is due in part to the increase in "operational prevention and rescue actions in the main visitation beaches, including Caldera, Doña Ana Beach, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Ventanas, Tamarindo, Cocles, among others."

During 2019, the Red Cross installed more lifeguard posts on the beaches, as well as 32 new lifeguards. Last year 141 people who had some type of water accident were rescued.

Related to vehicle crash deaths, the Ministry of Public Transport reported that the leading cause of death on the roads remains the unsafe maneuvering by the driver. The second cause of death is the invasion of the opposite lane. The third cause of death is high speed.

In a recent accident, two U.S. citizens died in December. The Red Cross in Liberia received an emergency call about a vehicle crash on the road near Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Guanacaste. That was at approximately 4:30 a.m.

One of the two cars in the accident was a tourist minibus in which a family from Texas and others were traveling from a hotel at the airport to take a flight to the U.S. after having been on vacation in Guanacaste.

When paramedics arrived at the accident scene, three people had died. One was a female, a 38-year-old U.S. citizen surnamed Roberson, as well as her 6-year-old son.

Also dead was the tourist minibus driver, a Costa Rican surnamed Pereira-Leiva. He was 39.

The paramedics treated another tourist who was traveling in the minibus, a 54-year-old male U.S. citizen, also surnamed Roberson. He is the husband of the deceased woman and father of the deceased child, the Red Cross said.

The paramedics took Roberson to the Enrique Baltodano Briseño Hospital in Liberia. The hospital's patient information department reported later that Roberson left the hospital.

The investigation suggested that one of the two vehicles invaded the opposite line causing the accident.

The prosecutor's thesis is that a trucks vehicle invaded the lane and caused the head-on crash.

The victims were traveling from La Cruz to the airport and the truck was going in the opposite direction.

2. Almost 2,500 weapons seized in 2019

The different police forces assigned to the Ministry of Public Security reported having confiscated a total of 2,492 firearms during 2019.

According to the ministry's report, the confiscation occurred during roadblocks, patrols, raids and other operations.

"Our authorities took these weapons from the streets, and thus prevented assaults or deaths from being committed anywhere in the country," the ministry said in its statement.

According to data from the Analysis and Statistics Section of the Police Intelligence Department, most of the seizures were carried out in the province of San José, with 860 weapons confiscated, followed by Limón with 501 and Alajuela with 340.

Also, 271 weapons were confiscated in Puntarenas. In Cartago the number was 221. In Guanacaste police agencies took 183, and in Heredia Province 116 weapons were confiscated.

Of the types of weapons that were seized there were 1,154 pistols, 924 revolvers and 125 carbines considered as rifles.

Also, the police confiscated a total of 111 shotguns, 22 military-type automatic weapons and 119 homemade products.

Another type of confiscated weapon was 37 devices firing pellets with compressed air.

Eduardo Solano, vice-minister of the ministry said that in 2019 "significant efforts were made to amend the legislation on the regulation and possession of weapons, which undoubtedly in 2020 will positively impact the country, the more guns we get out of the streets, the more we are going to be protecting people.”

According to statistics from the Ministry of Security, in 2018 2,153 were seized while in 2017 2,216 weapons were seized.

Last May President Carlos Alvarado and the Minister of Public Security, Michael Soto signed a reform to the Weapons and Explosives Law.

Alvarado congratulated the deputies for approving this reform to the current law, "Costa Rica is moving towards being a safer country."

The reform was approved by the deputies of the Legislative Assembly April 9. The main change is the increase in jail sentences for illegal weapons possession. The old jail sentences were four years. The new one is up to eight years for "owning, buying, selling, storing, export, import, or manufacture weapons that are prohibited by this law, including its parts or components."

Also, the prison period for someone owning a non-registered weapon has increased from three to five years.

The law establishes the obligation of the seller of a weapon to report any sales to the Department of Weapons and Explosives of the Ministry of Security.

The approved reform also applies sanctions for those who do not report the loss or theft of a weapon within five days after that loss.

Any company or person who receives weapons, ammunition, or explosives as a guarantee of a loan will be sanctioned, according to the law.

Private security companies have to give their weapons to the Ministry of Security when they close operations to prevent guns from ending up in the hands of criminals.

Soto said "one of the main goals has been to take illegal firearms from the streets, many of them used to commit crimes."

After the announcement of this new law, the president made a symbolic act, destroying weapons that were confiscated from people linked to crimes.

The new law only applies to new gun purchases. The people who bought or sold any gun before this law will not be affected by these changes.


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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