Vacancies Pop Up Like Weeds In the Rain

ISSUE #797: Feb. 3-8 , 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

12-2 at Paradisus $1,400 mo.
this one has white living room furniture

Market activity
sales & rentals

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


Paradisus: 12-2 at Paradisus $1,400 mo. (white living room furniture)

Los Jardines: Units #104 $900 mo. / #106C $900 mo. / #125 $875 mo. / Available immediately

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 #104: $900 mo. / UNFURNISHED / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #106C: $900 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #125: $875 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 #104
$ 900 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1140
Total area (Sq M): 106
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Single Floor
Type: Detached
Furnished: No

Single story, detached, two bedroom / two bathroom, 100 M2 / 1,064 SF, with a back yard, covered terrace, UNFURNISHED, one parking, vaulted ceilings, lots of built ins... bright in all rooms, with lots of windows and flow through ventilation. Parking for one car.

UNIT #106C
$ 975 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Floor
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.

UNIT #125
$ 875 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 60
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, (62M2)+ parking for one car and 33sf locker is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple—or investment property.

New Rental The owner of this unit realized he is not using it enough to justify it sitting vacant. He asked me to market it and manage it. This is not the direction I want to go in... would like to get completely out of the business... but took it on. It is a very nice unit... check out the pics.

Our Lives

What Happened This Week

Weather: Normal... partially windy but generally light for this time of year. We also had another good, soaking rain Friday afternoon.


Security Cameras: Still on my list of "to dos".

Doneste Administration: Everything sent. No response from anyone. I have been sending a ZIP file of fotos to all shareholders but to benefit mainly those absentee owners.

Foreclosure: I wait.

Investment Business: One of the contracts we were waiting on has been awarded. We will have it reviewed and our role will be defined. Signing should happen this week. We hope it goes well and we also expect that the effort we have made to get this deal structured correctly, can be repeated for what we expect to be additional, similar deals. But my experience here in CR is that virtually nothing goes as expected so the future could be a roller coaster ride in a country with a poor safety record. We'll see.

Wife Wonders: Lita wondered what I did all day. I invited her to tag along -she agreed. We left at 8:45 foregoing our normal exercise... and returned at 3:30.. she was exhausted and had decided she would rather stay home, clean, play with Alexa and her birds, and now wants a hair appointment... I think she got her fix...

Vacancies: Paradisus -one tenant decided not to return from Mexico... I have to clean it up and market it. Doneste's tenant of 104 advised she is moving to a house she was having constructed (this was known and not unexpected). A recent tenant decided they couldn't live comfortably with a fellow countryman and it was too much money for them so they left. In all cases, the units have been kept in good condition and cleaned up upon cancellation.

Garden Pictures: Attached are some garden pictures as of Feb. 1. Additional pictures will be added over the next newsletters:

News Items of the Week


1. Unemployment: This is the official rate. Not surprising, it is increasing probably as a result from the various changes in laws. CR is a difficult country in which to do business... the large, international guys in trade free zones seem to be doing fine... a job far looking to fill 3,000 is being advertised.

2. Tourists: I am not very close to this. We are not in the tourist business or path.

1. Unemployment increases by more than 300,000 people

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Statistics Institute announced Thursday that the national unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2019 increased to 12.4%. This represents an increase of 1% over the previous quarter from July to September.

This represents 309,000 unemployed people in the country, of whom 9.6% is the rate of unemployed men, and 16.7% is the rate of unemployed women.

There was a significant increase of 21,000 more unemployed women in the last quarter of 2019.

The employment rate was calculated at 62.9%, meaning approximately 2.49 million people had work. Of that, men working represented 74.9% of the male population, and 50.8% of women worked, said the institute.

According to the institute, there is 24.7% of the population that was not register in the unemployment category because they belong to what is called the informal employment category.

Informal employment includes any activity of those who work and generate some income outside the formal work as defined by the Labor Code. Informal employment includes street vendors, gardeners, and domestic service workers, among others.

During 2019, the unemployment rate changed from 11.3% to 12.4% at the end of the year.

The annual averages in 2017 was 9.1%. The rate rose to 10.3% in 2018. It is evident that there is a tendency toward increased unemployment in the country, said the institute in its statement.

Women are the ones who have been more affected by the lack of job. The average annual rates of the last three years were 11.6% in 2017, 13.2% in 2018 and 15.3% in 2019.

The next unemployment report would be published by the institute in April with data collected from January to March.

The government is expected to publish its plan for job creation today.

In September the government presented the National Employment Strategy to generate more jobs.

According to the government, the strategy goal is to restore confidence and optimism to citizens and the business sector.

While presenting the strategy, President Carlos Alvarado said that his "government has absolute clarity that the most important national challenge is for Costa Rica to generate more jobs."

The plan consists of a diagnosis of the current socio-economic situation and the production of a series of actions to create more jobs.

According to the government, the strategy establishes an investment of $9.5 billion during 2019-2022 for infrastructure, education, airports, hospitals, and security, among others.

Among the main goals included in this strategy are:

- Sixty-eight percent of the total budget will be invested in infrastructure (i.e. roads, or bridges).

- 29 percent will be invested in public services like health care, energy, water, education and housing projects.

- The government will present Congress with a bill authorizing the Ministry of Education to build schools on land not titled in the ministry's name.

- The government will also create a decree to accelerate the process of public investment.

- The strategy also includes the recently passed Law on Strengthening Competition Authorities, which seeks to create better conditions for competition among companies.

- A credit line was to be created for small businesses.

- Also included as part of the strategy, is the Only Essential tourism campaign designed to attract more tourists from the United States and Canada.

In June 2019, Alvarado announced more than 3,000 jobs would be created while the government simplifies procedures for companies.

The president signed a decree that creates the National Employment System as a public organization that will coordinate employment services to generate new jobs for people who are in a more vulnerable condition.

The system will be headed by a council made up of government representatives, workers, and private companies to support people looking for a job by creating a database of candidates, providing training, and by being the intermediary before and after hiring.

"Today I commit myself to do everything in my capability to generate employment opportunities for Costa Ricans. I know that we can do this," said Alvarado at the time.

2. More than 3 million tourists in 2019

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Tourism Institute reported Wednesday that 3,139,008 tourists arrived in the country during 2019, representing an increase of 122,341 tourists compared to 2018.

According to the institute, this 4.1% increase exceeds the Global Tourism Growth rate of 4% and doubles the average of the American Continent tourism rate by 2%.

The government also announced the signing of the decree for the creation of the National Tourism Competitiveness Council.

The goal of the Council is to further strengthen the tourism sector which is "one of the most competitive industries in the country, strengthening inter-institutional alliances and agreements with the private and public sector, national and international," said the government in its statement.

The increase in tourism, "shows that Costa Rica is a world leader in the field of tourism, which is a fundamental support for equitable development, economic activation and jobs creation," said President Carlos Alvarado.

According to the government, the growth in tourism is due to the strategy that has been developed over the past three decades in the public and private sectors.

Also, the government announced that the Mabrian Technologies SL. platform rated the perception of quality of the country as a tourist destination at 80.7 points of 100.

Balearic Islands-based Mabrian develops statistics related to the tourism industry.

"2019 was a complex year with variables for world tourism due to factors such as Brexit and Thomas Cook's bankruptcy in the United Kingdom, as well as geopolitical tensions and the slowdown of the global economy," said María Amalia Revelo, minister of Tourism and president of the Tourism Institute.

According to statistics provided by the institute, during the past year, 2,418,300 tourists entered the country via air. Of these, 75.20% entered through the international airport Juan Santamaría in Alajuela and 24.80% entered through the international airport Daniel Oduber Quiros in Guanacaste.

The top tourist were from the U.S., some 1,283,112 by air during 2019. The second most important visitors came from Europe which provided 500,602 tourists.

According to the institute, the average stay of tourists entering the country by air is 12.6 nights.

According to data from the marketing area of the institute, Costa Rica participated in 2019 in 24 international tourism fairs, mainly in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America. Through the fairs, the institute estimates it reached 700,000 people during 2019, the institute said.


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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