A Quiet Life with A Little Progress and Frustration

ISSUE #821: July19-25, 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

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

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: Available immediately: #106C $900 mo. / #121 $1,300 mo. / #125 $825 mo.

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 $ 115,000 / See Unit

Unit #106C: $900 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #121: $1,300 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #125: $875 $825 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
$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
$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 #121
$1,300 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1432
Total area (Sq M): 131
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This is a detached, two story, two bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom house. It is nicely furnished as the prictues indicate. Ground floor consists of den/TV room, dining room, living room, kitchen, and 1/2 bathroom. Second floor: master bedroom with full bathroom including a jacuzzi, 2nd bedroom with ensuite bathroom, terrace.

UNIT #125
$ 875 $825 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: This week seems to have brought the "mini-summer" -a normal period varrying in time and duration but the characteristic is that virtually no rain falls for several weeks (+/-). We will have to irrigate during this time.


1. Pool Work: We continue to finish off minor things...

2. Slippery walkway tile: Still awaiting the hopeful arrival of the anti-slip tape.

3. Foreclosure: The additional paperwork was filed. We wait... now since Jan. 21.

4. Frustraton: An owner who's unit I manage, asked that I wire them some $$. Due to often time errors, I use a copy of the previous successful form and have the bank do the work on their forms, I sign and the $ is wired. I did the same this time. However, this is the result to date:

a The client had closed the account I used previously and did not tell me.

b. The bank took the money from the wrong account. The transaction was returned.

c. I contacted the client asking for current information, and was sent a copy of their new address (that was new information) along with a new account at the same bank.

d. The bank wanted their IBAN number and SWIFT number. Which I subsequently got from the client.

e. The bank (branch is closed and I cannot go there to actually speak with anyone, completed the form and sent it to me... no actually they sent it to an incomplete address... so after several days of not answering their phone and then admitting they used an incorrect address... told me they would forward the completed form to an open branch near me... o.k. (I knew this was not going to work but... I was instructed to be there at 9am the next day, ask for the manager and she would have the completed form for me to sign... I went, could not see the manager, no one knew anything about it, so I was left to start all over again...

f. Filling out the form, the bank plugged in the SWIFT number I had been given... it gave the address as New Orleans when I knew they lived in Virgina... I decided to verify this info...

g. I asked the client for verification after identifying my experience... they later confirmed that the SWIFT number I had been given was wrong...

Now: I have spent over a week and multiple hours and still have to do the whole GD thing... after multiple errors by both parties, I am really, really frustrated by what should be a simple transaction...

5. A New Deal: This finally closed but not without the usual last minute drama and BS... let's hope it goes well...

The lawyer I used and have used for a number of things said he had cancelled his rented space,  as now working out of his house, and his business had dropped by about 50%. When asked the status of a mutual friend / broker I have used, he said he was doing only about 10% of the loans he was previously doing. These are middle class Ticos / business owners with overheads and laborers with little savings or assets to drawn on are in far worse situations I am sure.

6. Scotiabank: The bank has not asked me for the documents they had specified before and the July 14 date has long passed. I have asked when I can deliver these and to add a new document I know they will want... I received not response. After a decent wait, I notified them that I had not received an answer and that in the future I do not want to be harrassed, threantened, nor given any ridiculous short term deadlines. No response.

7. Los Jardines: I saw an advertisment for a small, automatic generator, new, installed for what would be about $1,800. This was the best price I had ever seen and appeared to be what we needed to run the gates and the potable water system when the state ICE power was off (which is frequently)... I contacted the ad, had a site inspection and received a quote... the quote was over 3Xs the price ($6,500)... which is consistent with what I expected but way more than the advertised price... Just a stupid guy wasting his time and mine... we will live without it until I find a deal...

Los Jardines continues to be a very nice place to be locked down in... everything continues to work, the gardens are very nice, pools and water features remain on-going pleasures... I can think of worse places under the circumstances...

It is becoming increasingly hard to understand how this is going to end well for virtually anyone. While some may not personally feel the economic impact, I am sure we will all feel the social and socio-economic impact, and conveniences we have come to enjoy... personally, I do not see how many, many small businesses will reopen and distribution systems will be disrupted, availability of ???? which used to, will become history... the government institutions which worked at a slow pace to begin with, have virtually ceased functioning but still drawing salaries... I have a friend, a director or a multinational corporation which is now fighting off tax grabs from three governments -Columbia, Panama, and CR... I am sure there are going to be big tax grabes in CR as well, and beyond that, who knows... not a pretty picture shaping up...

News Items of the Week


1. Protests re. Cuts: Yep, the inevitable has started and I am sure will continue... they simply cannot accept the fact that the government is broke and cannot continue to maintain the level of expenses as before. Soon, they cuts will get near the bone -the fat salaries, benefits, and pensions for government, quasi government, uninonized and the judiciary...

2. Nicaraguans Wanting to Return to Nicaragua: They are being kept out under the guize of health (perhaps some basis for concern but into a country which has various reports of absolutely out of control contractions...

3. Current Status: The number of cases has dramatically increased. Up until a couple weeks ago, CR was patting itself on the back at having done such a good job having so few cases and deaths... That has now changed and that was / is the basis for the current lock downs... let's hope it works.

1. Unions and municipalities protest in Costa Rica against pandemic spending cuts

Hundreds of unionists and municipal leaders marched Thursday through the capital and other cities in Costa Rica in protest of the austerity policies promoted by the government to contain public spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unionists used vehicles to drive through part of the centrally located Avenida 2, the capital’s main artery, with flags and messages against policies seeking to curb public spending, before heading to Casa Presidencial in southeast San José.Meanwhile, some 30 mayors mobilized with municipal workers to ask the Legislative Assembly to avoid drastic cuts in the state budget, which would affect transfers to the municipalities.“We have come to say that the resources of the national road network should not be cut, as these resources are crucial for the economic recovery,” Nixon Ureña, mayor of San Ramón, 65 km west of San José, told reporters.The capital’s mayor, Johnny Araya, warned that the municipalities are on the verge of bankruptcy, and that their situation would be aggravated by the proposed cuts.

2. Nicaraguan migrants prevented from entering their country due to health measures

Nicaraguan authorities prevented the entry of more than 500 of their own citizens, leaving them stranded on the border with Costa Rica, human rights organizations reported Thursday.

“The conditions of these people are of a humanitarian crisis. The first impression is of agglomeration of people under sun and rain; there is one bathroom for more than 500 people,” denounced Yader Valdivia, from the human rights organization Nicaragua Nunca Más (Never Again), which is based in Costa Rica.

The migrants are mostly people who had fled to Costa Rica for fear of punishment after participating in the 2018 protests against the government of Daniel Ortega, according to several of those people who are stuck at the border.

Stranded on the border since Monday, Nicaraguan migrants tried to force their entry into the country but were repelled by anti-riot forces that remain in the area, according to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH).

The agency described as “reprehensible” that the government is denying entry to its own citizens. Nicaraguan officials at the border say the migrants must present evidence of a negative coronavirus test in order to be admitted.

“It is their obligation as a government to test them for COVID-19, and according to the results, guarantee their health and not leave them at the border,” CENIDH argued on its social networks.

3. Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, July 24

Costa Rica coronavirus data on July 24, 2020. Click for full size. (Tico Times graph.)

Costa Rica confirmed 540 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 13,669 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Friday afternoon.

Two-hundred and ninety-eight people are hospitalized with COVID-19, a new high, with 49 in intensive care.

Fifty-seven more people have been classified as recovered under Costa Rica’s definitions that qualify certain patients based on time rather than a negative test.

Costa Rica has 10,077 known active cases and 3,505 recoveries.

The Health Ministry has announced 87 coronavirus-related deaths, including seven since Thursday afternoon. (After initially reporting 81 total deaths as of Thursday afternoon, the Health Ministry later adjusted yesterday’s figure to 80.)

The data indicate Costa Rica has 1.7 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.

Costa Rica coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths on July 24, 2020 Tico Times graph.

Most hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.

As of Thursday, the most hospitalized coronavirus patients are at San Juan de Dios Hospital (76), the CEACO coronavirus-specific hospital (70) and Hospital México (66). Twenty people with COVID-19 are at the Trauma Hospital, which was recently retrofitted with 48 beds for these patients.

Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica

Starting Friday, the Health Ministry says that family members living with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus will be automatically registered as a confirmed case if they begin to present symptoms of COVID-19.

“I insist that there must be symptoms,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “It is not automatic for everyone in the nucleus […] but the moment one of those people has symptoms it is considered a case.”

The recent spike in cases corresponds with both an increase in testing and with a higher test-positivity rate, as shown in the below graph:

Costa Rica coronavirus test-positivity through Sunday, July 19. Tico Times graph.

The Greater Metropolitan Area is the country’s current epicenter. Much of Costa Rica is under an Orange Alert; click here for details regarding current business and driving restrictions.

Costa Rica has processed 74,375 tests as of Thursday.

During its Friday press conference, the Health Ministry did not provide full detailed information on the locations of the new positive cases or the amount of tests processed. The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases that information later this afternoon.


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

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