We OPEN but Going to Prison Soon

ISSUE #822: July 26 - Aug. 1, 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. Freedom... but return to Prison soon: The country has virtually and completely opened up... until Aug. 10 at which time everything -EVERYTHING- shuts down for 10 days and then opens up on a more limited basis... it is getting really complicated... and the rules vary according to the zone you are in -orange or yellow- and these categories are subject to change based on detected cases. Internaional travel from certain designated countries -mostly Europe and Canada- are now open but the qualifications make it unlikely that anyone will really want to come here as a tourist... the reqirements -purchase of insurance here by the state insurance company (they one which has been screwing me around for 6 years), a negative test 48 hrs before departing, some declarations, for 65 yr olds, it adds an additional $1,500 to your trip here... I don't think this is going to attract many tourists...

Rightly or wrongly, the government here is acting in a coordinated, area/need specific way tailoring their response to the state of the virus contamination in that area. We can argue with it, we can question the effectiveness, and bitch are the inconveniences caused, but we cannot say that there is no active, coordinated government response. Most people seem to be respecting the rules... social distancing, masking, limited driving, closures, etc... these are also being enforced...

2. Slippery walkway tile: The anti slip tape I ordered via Amazon arrived finally... the shipment was wrong and incomplete... what a mess. I have invested $770 in this and now have to try and resell it. I ordered 25 roles of 1" Black / I got 19 roles of 2" yellow & black... another box with 6 roles is awaiting delivery... Forget it... I bought the stuff I wanted here and only slightly higher price... the simplest and easiet solution has been in front of me all along... I just was to ??????? to read it... getting old... anyway, we have acid washed and pressure washed the surface in prepartion for the installation... clean the tiles first, then clean again, then apply the tape.

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

4. Wire Transfer: Not yet resolved... will try again this week.

5. Inconsistent Info: I hear stories about beach hotels and BnBs being full on the weekends... about the road to the Pacific beach beng filled Friday night / Sunday-Monday. I hear payments for government contracts which have been completed being deferred... I see stores shuttered and many vacant commercial spaces, I see construction continuing.

I hear about loans being paid off on time and in full, and foreign money available for investment. so what is really going on...

News Items of the Week


1. Economic collapse: 20% unemployment is probably an incorrect number....if one includes all the government employees who are doing nothing and collecting salary.

2. Insurance Policy: Only issued by INS...

3. Current Status: Several weeks ago there was a significant spike in cases and hospitalizations...thus the changed policies.

1. BCCR now predicts 5% fall in Costa Rica GDP for 2020

Costa Rica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to shrink by 5% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to updated predictions from the Central Bank (BCCR).

The figure would represent the country’s largest fall since Costa Rica’s economic crisis of the 1980s. It’s a steeper decline than previously forecast and takes into account the ongoing effects of the crisis.

“This year, the national economy is going to suffer its strongest contraction since 1982,” said Rodrigo Cubero, president of the BCCR.

The financial institution anticipates a partial recovery of 2.3% of GDP in 2021.

Pandemic halts slow recovery

According to the BCCR, the Costa Rican economy was experiencing a slow reactivation through February

But that changed in March, when Costa Rica declared a state of emergency and began applying restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

While “all the world’s regions are in recession” due to the pandemic, factors such as a reliance on tourism have had magnified impacts on some countries. Costa Rica, which has banned foreign tourists for more than four months, has seen its hotel and restaurant sector suffer the biggest affectation, Cubero said, followed by the transportation sector.

“The sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of the first quarter turned into a contraction over the following three months, with a direct negative impact on the labor market, which already had a high unemployment rate,” the BCCR analysis reads.

The latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) show unemployment reached 20.1% from March to May 2020, the highest-recorded level of that economic indicator. Meanwhile, an estimated 17.6% of laborers are underemployed.

BCCR said its downgraded forecast for 2020 is based on the International Monetary Fund’s global economic predictions coupled with the likelihood of ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Internal and external risks

Cubero acknowledged that the BCCR’s economic forecasts are subject to significant changes due to uncertainty in the context of the global crisis.

BCCR identified the following risks that could affect Costa Rica’s anticipated partial economic recovery in 2021.

The largest external risks include:

  1. A larger contraction of the world economy in 2020 and a slower recovery in 2021, as a consequence of an unfavorable progression of the pandemic and reimposed restrictions in other nations.
  2. A smaller-than-expected reduction in international prices of raw materials, particularly oil.

The largest internal risks include:

    1. Difficulties in controlling COVID-19, which would cause authorities to apply more restrictive measures. This would have negative economic consequences while increasing the risk of social tension.
    2. The lack of consensus around fiscal measures while the deficit increases.
    3. Difficulties accessing external financing.

  1. A prolonged drop in consumer and business confidence, in addition to unanticipated internal supply shocks — especially due to adverse weather.

“There are risks from the international and internal context that, if materialized, could generate deviations in relation to the projections,” BCCR said.

2. Costa Rica to ‘review’ insurance policy requirements for tourists

President Carlos Alvarado has instructed the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Tourism to “review” the insurance requirements for international tourists to Costa Rica.

Via social-media platforms, Alvarado suggested that foreign policies may be sufficient for travelers who plan to visit Costa Rica during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have instructed the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Tourism to review the offer of the travel insurance necessary to enter Costa Rica from tomorrow,” he wrote.

“It will be reviewed that the international insurances that cover COVID-19 can be considered to comply with this requirement.”

Having insurance that covers COVID-19-related medical care and an extended stay in Costa Rica is one of the country’s requirements for international tourists, as the Tourism Board (ICT) announced on July 23.

However, more recent communications from the Costa Rican Consulate indicated that — at least initially — only a policy purchased through the National Insurance Institute (INS) would qualify.

According to the Consulate, the premium for a 30-year-old’s two-week Costa Rica vacation would cost about $280 — a significant additional cost that only increases for older adults, lengthier stays, or multi-person trips.

Travel insurance must cover COVID-19-associated medical expenses of $20,000 and lodging costs of at least $4,000, the Consulate says.

When Costa Rica opens its airports to foreigners starting at 11:59 p.m. on August 1, it will only allow visitors from select authorized countries. All tourists must present proof of a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test from a sample taken within 48 hours of their flight and submit an epidemiological form.

The first commercial route welcomed under these new rules will be Monday evening’s Iberia flight from Madrid, Spain, according to La Nación.

With about 72 hours remaining for that flight’s scheduled arrival, it appears Costa Rica still has unresolved details regarding how it will handle the return of international tourism.

An official decree should be published in La Gaceta on August 1. We will have a summary of that legislation when it’s released.

3. Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, July 31

From: Tico Times

Costa Rica announced 10 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past day for a total of 150, according to official data released Friday afternoon by the Health Ministry.

Three-hundred and forty-five people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 75 in intensive care, a decrease from Thursday.

The Health Ministry has confirmed 17,820 cumulative known coronavirus cases. This represents 530 new cases compared to Thursday.

One-hundred and twenty-four more people have been classified by health authorities as recovered.

Costa Rica has 13,266 known active cases and 4,404 recoveries.

From: Tico Times

The data indicate Costa Rica has 2.93 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.

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

Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica

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.

From: Tico Times

Starting July 25, Costa Rica considers some patients as confirmed cases without requiring a positive test. This only applies if a person living with someone who has tested positive begins exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry’s definitions also qualify certain patients as recovered based on time rather than a negative test.

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. Click here for details regarding business and driving restrictions for August.

Costa Rica has processed 86,803 tests as of Thursday.

The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases detailed information on the number of tests processed and the location of new cases later this afternoon. [See it: Tico Times]


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