COVID -Close to Home

ISSUE #827: Aug. 30 - Sept. 5, 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 #116 and #124

Rentals: Los Jardines: Available immediately: #106C $900 mo. / #121 $1,300 mo. / #126 $650 mo.

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

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 #126: $650 mo. $625 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

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 #126
$650 mo. $625 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 530
Total area (Sq M): 50
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 1st Floor
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

A small one bedroom with outside covered terrace with top of the line finishes (granite, stainless steel appliances, fine crafted wood cabinetry, +, +, +), with lots of well thought out storage...

Our Lives

What Happened This Week

Weather: Normal rains for this time of year.


1. Opening Up: This continues...

2. COVID Close to Home: He contracted a very mild case, and is virtually recovered... provided there are no relapses, he is now near normal and no one seems to have been infected, included his wife... so all is good.

3. Scotiabank: My password expired and without notice, they required me to create a new password... normally not an issue, just an inconvenience. I tried for several days and could not. I went to the closest branch... waited and waited and waited, only to find out that the number system for service had been replaced with a announcement system which I wasn't listening to and which I really could not hear because of where I was sitting and the directon of teh speaker (behind the wall facing the other direction). After I got that sorted out, I got help... well, not really, the process was started only to be told that I needed a document I did not have and was never told about... I said just give me the balance in the account less $10 and walked out... and, all week long, not a day went by that I did not received a PR notice about how they were trying so hard, offering all types of incentives to use their services, etc... they simply do not get it...

4. Foreclosure/Repossession: We wait...

5. Market Activity: The flurry of activity died out without any rentals. One client wanted one of the units and assured me he would have the money by Tuesday... didn't happen. Another client wanted me to remove a bed because he had a special one... I agreed, never heard back... just flakes floating around...

6. Harassment: It continues and is too stupid for words...

7. A Passing...: This is a story I knew I would write one day. This past week, I received the expected news that my long time (25 yr +) friend and partner has lost the battle with cancer. It started as kidney cancer, later moved to spleen cancer, and then metastasized into ?? and attached itself to everything. Five different treatments over 3 years couldn't solve it and the patient's life consisted of doctors, various treatments, injections, MRIs CATs and... you name it... he had it... and of course, his quality of life deteriorated with each passing day, month, year... Finally the non-effective treatments ended and he was told to prepare... for 8 mo. or so he held on but the end came this past week.

I met him around 1996 when I was doing a building in Toronto which involved a number of things outside my experience package... The solutions were well known to him... he did them and we remained friends to the next building which again involved a different set of knowledge / experience which I did not have, and he solved them. We remained friends, I moved to CR, started Los Jardines, ran out of money as I knew I would and looked for a partner... he stepped up to the plate and with him buy in, we built out Los Jardines. That was a success so we decided to build a similar but larger development, bought the land, did the planning and started the permitting and marketing. The financial melt-down of 2008-9 put caused our deposited purchasers fear, we went on hold, the 50 permits were only 1/3 of what we needed, and some were expiring, purchasers decided not to go through with their commitments ...we wound it down and sold (at a substantial loss). Throughout all this, we remained friends. After unwinding everything and separating our financial arrangements, we continued friends, continuing our story swapping over scotch... his favorite drink (not mine but I kept pace with him... building experience stories, life stories, current stories, restaurants, trips, common friends / associates, etc. The only thing we did not talk about was politics and that was a relief... we were both from Canada and living in CR at the time...

He was a "larger-than-life" guy whose biography would be as colorful as his language... he is the only person I know who could (and did) put more swear words in one sentence than there were words in the whole sentence... he out did my potty mouth but he had earned the right having done more building than me. Gibran said of a friend: "A friend in need, is a friend indeed" and he was more...

May he rest in peace...

News Items of the Week


News is all about COVID and the country opening up... it is complex and will probably change in details... the rules on entering are ornerous and are not likely to attract many... I do not see it working.

The value added tax -13%- will be extended to services provided elsewhere but consumed here...

1. CR Borrowing: They are at it again... digging themselves deeper and deeper into debt with no hope or realistic plan to dig themsevles out... as they increase the taxes they drive more and more businesses out and more goes offline/underground... and this was not the only loan approved... schools remain closed for the balance of the year, judicial system has ground to a virtual halt...

1. Costa Rica Economic Reality Check as They Request a 1.75 Billion Dollar Loan From IMF

Costa Rica’s Central Bank announced on Wednesday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved $508 Million in emergency financing for Costa Rica to help alleviate the impact of the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. The five-year loan was granted through the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument, and carries a spread of 150 basis points over the IMF’s special drawing rights (SDRs), equal to an interest rate of 1.55% per year. Costa Rica requested the loan on April 16-17, when an IMF delegation visited the country.

The President of the Central Bank, Rodrigo Cubero, and the Minister of Finance, Elian Villegas, sent a letter to the Managing Director of the IMF to request the start of negotiations towards a financial agreement for the loan. They wrote, “The agreement would provide a policy anchor for our fiscal consolidation plans for a period necessary to achieve a primary surplus and place debt on a clear downward trajectory. This, in turn, is necessary to ensure vigorous economic recovery from the pandemic and a greater trajectory of economic growth in the medium term.”

It is predicted that Costa Rica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will decrease by 5% this year as a result of the pandemic, but in all likelihood the crisis will lead to a fiscal deficit of more than 9% of GDP, with the Central Bank’s debt reaching a staggering 70% of GDP. The original request by Costa Rica to the IMF was for $1.750 Billion , for a three-year period. The funding is needed to support essential COVID-19 related spending and relief measures targeted to the most affected sectors and vulnerable populations.

Minister Villegas explained, “This medium-term agreement with the IMF will provide important resources to the Central Government under favorable conditions and allow access to additional financial resources from other international financial organizations.” With Costa Rica’s economic situation worsening monthly, while the virus gains strength, it is very likely that Costa Rica will indeed need to look for other sources of outside financial help. There are not many financial resources available in the world right now. According to the IMF’s Managing Director, Kristina Georgieva, the Rapid Financing Instrument has received over 100 requests from their members, with developing countries (like Costa Rica) needing at least $2.5 Trillion dollars to manage the COVID-19 impact.

According to Moody’s Investors, Costa Rica’s fiscal deficit for 2020 will be at 8.1%, while the level of public debt will stand at 66% of the country’s GDP. Before the pandemic hit in March, Costa Rica had launched a plan to reduce the national debt, but the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on these plans for the economy. Businesses throughout the country are wondering how they will stay open, and many have already closed with Costa Rica at a staggering 24%+ unemployment rate.

Another challenge to Costa Rica’s economic recovery may very well be how they position themselves in line for a COVID vaccine, when and if one becomes available. Costa Rica is a tiny country shouldering giant challenges. We can only hope they will manage to survive, their Pura Vida spirit still intact, and their citizens healthy and back at work.

The new slogan of the Ministry of Health is “Costa Rica Works and Takes Care of Itself”, Costa Rica Trabaja y se Cuida. They will also need great reserves of strength and good administration.


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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