A Little Progress

ISSUE #813: May 24-30, 202

2020-05-31

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
ResidenciasPropertyManagement@gmail.com

Featured
rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
FOR SALE / RENT
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...

PRICE REDUCTION
Semi furnished unit: For sale: $235,000
Fully furnished unit: For sale: $245,000
Floor 12 -west view

FOR RENT
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

Rentals:

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

Los Jardines:
Available immediately: Units #106C $900 mo./ #112 $1,150 mo./ #125 $875 mo.

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

FOR SALE
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 195,000 $ 189,995 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 125,000 $ 115,000 / See Unit

FOR RENT
Unit #106C: $900 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #112: $1,150 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #125: $875 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #114
FOR SALE
$ 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
FOR SALE
$ 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
FOR SALE
$125,000 $ 115,000

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 #106C
FOR RENT
$ 900 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 #112
FOR RENT
$ 1,150 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

UNIT #125
FOR RENT
$ 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.

Our Lives

What Happened This Week

Weather: Enough rain to keep all happy... garden is looking great.

Stories

A Little Progress:

a. Mortgage extension: This should have been accomplished with one email and one visit to sign an extension. Yet, multiple conversations and various different role players over a month, finally resulted in completing what should have been a simple, straight forward, easy process. And it took a trip to Cartago but we did a couple other things as well... good thing we allowed all day... little is easy in this country...

b. Paradisus lease: The unit I have had vacant for several months finally got leased. The would be tenant will be, I believe, a good tenant. He seems responsible, careful and works for an international agency. He could well be a multi year tenant.

c. Pool Work: We have found a person to paint the faux rocks on the main pool. This has been a year long effort... we finally placed an ad in two websites, had two responses, one of which was not really appropriate, and this person. I appears we will also incorporate re-tiling the area around the large pool... it is showing age, wear and tear, and is looking far from great. We have settled on a tile. If we do it now, we can coordinate the rock painting with the tiling to get what we hope will be a better effect... I expect to have all the quotes this weekend so we can let the contracts early next week. This will get a lingering project on its way to completion.

d. Shareholder Agreement Revision: I put it out for proof reading a week ago. I have received various promises and all have been broken. I had said I wanted to issue June 1 so... we'll see what, if anything, I get back.

e. Health: Iinvestigative work completed. All "normal"; solution, eat more--(may wish they had my problem) -better result than the alternative...

f. #1 -BS!!!!: A friend of mine has all his construction permits... all of them. He has been harassed by various authorities... no charges filed and even though he has shown all the paper work, answered all their supposed issues over the past three weeks, and he continues to received j veiled threats with no official charge... He has had to let several employees go because he cannot progress. His construction has been stopped in the middle and some of the work is not being protected from the rain and his materials are also in jeopardy. Such is life here of the foreigner... I do not think all people are treated equally...

#2 -BS!!!!: I am still being harassed by Scotiabank. The most recent is from the "Premier Banking Representative" who supposedly manages my account. The harassment moved from the branch manager (her branch was closed down), via some bank representative who phoned me because I gave their "How are we Doing? questionnaire, a failing grade, and now a new person. She now wants more paperwork. When I asked her two months ago, she said I was good until Feb. 2021... she now seems to have changed her little mind... I asked her to write a list of the paper work she wants... I am waiting... we'll see. This may be my final straw...

Conclusion: It takes a lot of effort and time to make a little progress... the life of "Pura Vida" and "laid back" approach to life is BS... more government propaganda and social mis-characterization of which there is lots... that comes more from the outsider seeing things through rose colored classes and perhaps the haze of ?? but the weather is always perfect...

News Items of the Week

Comments:

1. Chaos at the Border: The border crossing is usually bad... I can only imagine what it is like now... I would expect shortages and additional business failures resulting from this...

2. Covid Update: By most measures, CR is managing this epidemic well. Some hopefuls, are feeling that the CR's management may be a big drawing point for visitors / expats in the future. We'll see.

3. Opening Borders: This seems to be a moving target but this is the most recent time table.

1. Costa Rica’s Sanitary Measures Cause Chaos at Nicaraguan Border

Back on May 16 the Costa Rican Government announced its decision to limit the entry of foreign cargo drivers to the country with the purpose of preventing borders from eventually becoming an area of transmission of Covid-19.

Before this Presidential decree Costa Rica was testing all cargo drivers for Covid-19 before entering the country, situation that was causing delays with cargo (getting the results could take up to 48 hours)and also causing problems for drivers that tested positive and had to be denied entry to the country. According to the Ministry of Health in the few days they carried out tests 50 truck drivers tested positive.

The new measures in place state that only Costa Rican or foreigners with legal migratory status will be allowed to move merchandise internally in the country, foreign drivers are asked to bring their unit to the primary area at the border facility, unhook their truck for cleaning and disinfection, and another driver (Costa Rican or foreigners with legal migratory status) either take the truck or hook another truck to move the cargo internally.

The only foreign drivers that are allowed in the country are those that move merchandise from border to border and these are escorted by Costa Rican authorities and allowed only one stop.

The measures have had a negative response from foreign drivers and in particular cargo drivers from Nicaragua who have been blocking the border demanding that the measures are lifted, and things go back to how they used to be.

“We are going to block the transit with the purpose of pressuring governments to find a solution”, commented Marvin Altamirano, President of the Nicaraguan Association of Cargo Drivers. The situation is causing chaos in the border since the blockage is also affecting the transit of buses and vehicles.

The President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, has reported that there are over 1,000 cargo trucks from different Central American countries stuck at the border due to “unilateral measures” taken by the Costa Rican government.

Drivers are facing a very difficult situation, stuck at the border with limited sanitary conditions.

The current situation is affecting the commerce in the region and causing millions in losses.

Guatemala is urging Costa Rica to find a solution to the situation. Honduras and Panama are now also taking similar measures concerning foreign cargo drivers which is expected to worsen the situation for the transportation of goods in the Central American region.

Panama on the other hand, has been willing to work with Costa Rica on viable solutions; however, the drivers have also opposed to some of the measures.

2. Costa Rica Covid19 Update May 27: 984 Cases

This Tuesday, May 27 Costa Rica registered 28 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 for a total of 984 patients, 461 women and 523 men out of which 804 are Costa Rica and 180 are foreigners.

Out of the 28 new cases reported today, 18 were already in preventive isolation due to a sanitary order. 21 are national citizens and 7 are foreigners.

639 people have successfully recovered and currently 12 people are hospitalized, 2 in the intensive care unit.

On Monday the number of new positives was 21 while Tuesday there were only 5, numbers that remain within the expected considering that economic activities have partially reactivated in the past couple of days.

“Our main sanitary risk right now is the high circulation of the virus in Nicaragua. This is the main risk we have and we must be very diligent”, commented the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) confirmed that Nicaragua is already in the phase of community transmission of Covid-19 pandemic. Community transmission is when the transmission has reached a point where it is no longer possible to identify the source of origin of the infection.

“Nicaragua already has community transmission. We have not yet reached that status, we have to remain focused on our status”, continued Salas, who explained Costa Rica is still in phase 3 as established by the World Health Organization, which means there are sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people, these have been identified and isolated and therefore has not resulted in human-to-human transmission sufficient to sustain community-level outbreaks.

The Minister insisted on maintaining all the recommended sanitary measures, specially social distancing and social bubbles.

3. When Will Costa Rica Reopen its Borders for Tourism and Residency

Costa Rica had the very first confirmed COVID-19 case in Central America on March 6. Yet this tiny country has since managed to out distance other countries internationally in the fight to protect its population against this pandemic. Costa Rica has the lowest mortality rate from COVID in all Latin America. Just think how amazing that is. They have received praise for their success against the virus from the World Health Organization, World Economic Forum, the BBC, United Nations, New York Times and many others. The worry now is: what about the aftermath?

Tourism is Costa Rica’s meat and potatoes. It’s their brand. The World Economic Forum says tourism contributes $1.7 billion to the economy annually. It represents a minimum of 5% of Costa Rica’s GDP. Costa Rica receives 2.6 million tourist visitors per year. 400,000 people in Costa Rica depend on tourism dollars, either directly or indirectly to survive. Most of those people are now unemployed – 290,000 of them and growing, or 13% of the nation’s workforce. The COVID lockdown is forecast to reduce the country’s GDP by almost 4% this year. And even before the pandemic, Costa Rica had been struggling for a couple years with a 6.96% deficit. How will Costa Rica bring the country back after the worst is over?

The ingredients that make Costa Rica so appealing to foreign tourists are all still present, unharmed by the virus and the havoc it has caused globally. The beaches are still fantastic, as are the waterfalls, and national parks, resorts, small pueblos and the bustling capital San Jose. The country boasts 5% of the world’s biodiversity – Costa Rica is still the jewel of Central America. But depending on how long this virus is in residence, and how long we have to wait for a possible vaccine, Costa Rica will have a lot of work ahead of it to rebuild. Many small enterprises, including tourist-based companies, will have been forced to close and lay off staff. Many lack the resources to wait out the storm.

What will happen? COVID-19 has brought the world 1,000 new problems, and Costa Rica must be part of the 1,000 new solutions. Already we have seen the Tico ingenuity in inventing their own ventilators (UCR), developing their own vaccine trial (UCR), their own personal protective gear, their own highly successful treatment protocols, their own library of procedures and protocols for COVID patients (with WHO), and the remarkable cooperation by the Tico population in flattening the curve. There seems to be a genuine feeling of “Junto Podemos” (Together We Can).

It’s anyone’s best guess when the country will again reopen to foreigners. Airlines are keeping us informed of their inbound and outbound flights (Latest flights here). They are making preparations to help passengers maintain their social distance from each other, and are equipped to test travelers’ temperatures before they board. Medical staff are greeting arrivals at the airport to administer COVID tests, and help travelers fill our extensive forms. Efforts are being made to document where the passengers will go upon arrival to help with contact tracing, and everyone must quarantine for two weeks. Non-compliance penalty is jail time. Embassies are updating their travel websites daily to educate people what to expect, but still, how many people will want to travel somewhere new for vacation and self-isolate for two weeks?

According to the National Tourist Development Plan of Costa Rica, “The importance of tourist activity lies not only in the direct employment it generates, but also in a whole series of productive chains and services throughout the country.” The two prominent tourist organizations, ICT and CANATUR, have said they estimate this economic downturn in tourism will last 15 months: 3 months of zero income, and 12 of recovery. April has seen a loss of 366 million US dollars, with 1,000 workers laid off in Guanacaste alone.

Costa Rica has weathered a similar tourist catastrophe in 2008/09 after the global financial crisis. They managed to claw their way back with a clever Vamos a Turistear advertising blitz, dedicated to facilitating tourism. The ICT has already proven their talent in promoting Costa Rica with its clever promotion that went viral featuring singing sloths. Costa Rica is up to the task, and tourist agencies report they have begun to receive inquiries about travel to Costa Rica as soon as the borders reopen. Residency specialists such as Laura Gutierrez from Immigration Help Costa Rica are reporting a massive uptick in clients wanting to file for residency. (For any Residency/Immigration related questions Laura can be reached by clicking here)

Why can’t the government announce now when the country will reopen for tourists? Costa Rica has recently repelled the largest influx of possibly infected people from Nicaragua. The border between the countries is firmly closed at last. Truckers have been prevented from entering the country, and two thirds of the drivers tested positive for coronavirus. The COVID-19 cases have all been imported, from the original two American tourists, to the doctor who returned from Panama and became the country’s first super-spreader, to the woman from Perez Zeledon who caught the virus from a truck driver before trucks were banned. 30% of Costa Rica’s COVID cases are travel related, and the country is bound and determined to prevent any more imported cases.

What is required is patience. Costa Rica has demonstrated remarkable leadership in containing this virus, and educating the population in how to protect itself. The health care system has stepped up with proactive treatment and prevention efforts; only ten people have died of COVID thus far. Authorities have increased police protection, anticipating an increase in crime due to the high unemployment rate. The narco-traffickers have continued their turf wars, but even they have shown ingenuity, smuggling cocaine in anti-virus face masks, and other protective gear. It is important to have faith that this pandemic and economic hardship will pass, and the country will return to its previous “Pura Vida” status.

The Government of Costa Rica has already begun the plan to gradually re-engage economic activities and begin the road back to “normalcy”.

“We need to retake economic activities, but we need to do so with very strict sanitary measures”, explained the Ministry of Health Daniel Salas, “…we need to continue showing the world that we have discipline and committment to continue beating this pandemic”, continued Salas.

“We will reopen economic activities subject to a strict surveillance of sanitary protocols. We will extend the vehicular restriction first. We will open for national tourism, hotels, national parks, commerce, restaurants, theaters and movie theaters. A second phase will involve reopening to international tourism and massive events”, explained the Minister of Planning, Pilar Garrido.

President Carlos Alvarado has stated, “The scientific projections are that if today we removed all the health measures, we could jump from 957 (current cases), to more than 50,000 by mid-July. Our economy and our society would be very affected. We know there is a need to reactivate the country.” We must have confidence in Costa Rica’s leadership that they will learn from missteps of other countries, and not reopen too quickly. We must also have faith that the tourist trade will awaken like a black bear from hibernation, and roar to new heights for the economy.

FOR RENTAL OR SALES INFORMATION
ON ANY OF THE ABOVE, CONTACT:

Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+506) 8-455-59-35
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

Canada:
VOIP: (+416) 461-2203

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com
ResidenciasPropertyManagement@gmail.com

 
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