Theft and a Trip to the Carib!

ISSUE #979: Jan. 28 - Feb. 10 2024


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


Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Nothing available

Los Jardines: Nothing available
Paradisus: Nothing available

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #116: $ 169,000 / See Unit

Unit #126: $ 625 mo. / Jr. One Bdrm. with cover terrace / See Unit

For sale

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.

For rent
Our Lives

What Happened This Past Two Weeks

Weather: Our summer weather contiues as normal...


1. Theft: At 6:30 Monday morning, I awoke to pounding on my door... I knew the power was out but thought it was the service provider (CNFL)... nope, not this time. It appeared that theives had removed the cover plate on the electrical panel facing the street and had removed 19 electrical breakers on the house side of the meter... gone... wow!!!!! who? no one sees anything... why? resale...small, easy to carry, easy to fence I guess... we have never had this problem before... nothing to do but find 19... 100 am breakers of the same make... after two stops, 16 at one location and 3 at another location, we started putting them back in place... We also found the discarded cover plates... from there, we proceded to make a steel frame to prevent this from happening again... all total... about $3,500...there goes the budget for the year in February.

2. Trip to the Carib: We have a guest who wanted to go to the beach and a friend who has recently finshed his hotel... We were barely out of San Jose when we were stopped for two hours due to a landslide and fallen tree. The 4 hr trip became six hours. We did not have any problems on the way back but it is stll a 4-5 hr drive. The highway to Limon is still a long way from being finished... and it really looks to me like the Chinese have packed up and gone... there are multiple stretches where no road bed or bridges have been started, multiple bridges / roadbed acces is not yet completed, semi-finished roadway that needs finishing issues... It is chaotic and dangerous if one is not really fully alert... and I saw only three backhoes working in two locations, and a few people working on two equipment... my assessment is that this is a mess that will not be fixed for years... The divided highway that has been done is wonderful... we'll have to see how it holds up but what is not done is not likely to be finished in my lifetime. We'll see...

3. Puerto Viejo: To me, It was busy but our host said it was actually quiet... lots of cars, bikes, people, motorcycles, quadracycles... Restaurants had people in them... Monday was the only sunny day... the other three days it was overcast and rainy... which is typical... I had forgotten that the only dry months are Sept. and October... Overall, the character of the Carib has not changed... some like it, some prefer the west coast... there are significant differences and each has their appeal...

4. Paradisus: The Property Administration is still chaotic and to me, non-responsive... Six times I have asked simple questons... I have not received one answer or acknowledgement --they are working at losing my vote...

News Items of the Week


1. Effect of colon appreciation on households and business.

2. Negative Inflation: I really have difficulty in reconciling these two articles...

1. Prices of basic consumer products put pressure on Costa Rican households

The price of fruits and vegetables doubled two years after the beginning of the inflationary shock.

QCOSTARICA — The College of Economic Sciences of Costa Rica carried out an analysis of the evolution of the Costa Rican economy after the inflationary shock that began in February 2022.

This analysis seeks to contribute to Costa Rican society by giving a better understanding of the evolution of economic variables and how inflation, interest rates, and exchange rates are affecting their well-being.

Luis Vargas, economist at the College of Economic Sciences, explains that when developing this analysis, the first finding that stands out is how, two years after the beginning of the inflationary shock, the perception of Costa Rican households is that the cost of living continues to pressure them.

“It is explained by the significantly higher prices of basic consumer products, particularly food,” said Vargas.

This analysis highlights some fruits and vegetables such as tomato, peppers, cucumber, and chayote, whose prices have doubled by up to (+96.7%). Other daily consumption products, which also continue to have significantly higher prices than those observed before the inflationary shock, are eggs (+20.1%), baby formula (+17.9%), milk (+16.4%), and coffee (+16.2%).

For its part, the “casado”, which is considered basic consumption as it incorporates various food products for ordinary consumption, also continues to have a 9.1% higher price.

In other words, almost two years after the beginning of the inflationary shock, Costa Rican households continue to face a significant loss of purchasing power for foods present on their tables daily.

Cost of housing

Another result that generates concern is the increase in the cost of housing. As the results of the analysis show, the price of housing rentals has increased by 8.1% in the last twenty-four months. Additionally, interest rates on housing loans have increased by 2.8 pp (+45%), which, added to the gradual increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the construction sector, is associated with a decrease of 10 % in the intention to build a home during 2023.

Exchange rate

A third topic analyzed by the College is the implications of the evolution of the exchange rate on income from exports of goods and services. The last two years have been marked by high volatility in the price of the colon against the United States dollar.

In terms of exports, the country has presented an outstanding performance with growth above double digits. However, this has occurred in a period of pronounced inflation in the prices of production inputs and, in recent months, with an appreciation of the colon.

This appreciation means that each dollar exported translates into fewer colones, which is associated with lower profit margins on exports of goods and services. The net effect after considering the evolution of producer prices and the appreciation of the colon results in a potential net loss in the exported value in colones of -6.7%.

Additionally, as an example, if the value of the exchange rate at the end of 2022 had been maintained (¢592 per dollar), the exported value of goods and services in colones would be 9.6% and 6.4% higher, respectively.

“The College of Economic Sciences of Costa Rica continues to express its concern for the quality of life of Costa Rican society. Therefore, it carries out this analysis that helps to understand why even though the CPI has shown a decrease in recent months, Costa Rican households continue to face pressures from inflation in daily consumption products such as food and housing. Additionally, trying to contribute to understanding the implications of the increase in interest rates and volatility in the exchange rate,” said Vargas.

Once again, the College calls and emphasizes the need to design and execute a national strategy for the creation of more and better jobs. We call on the competent authorities to implement policies aimed at closing the gender gap, more opportunities for young people and that directly benefit all workers, inside and outside the GAM.

2. Costa Rica is the only OECD country that reported negative inflation last year

QCOSTARICA — The variation in the prices of goods and services in Costa Rica reached -1.8% in 2023, being the only country among the OECD countries with negative inflation.

“This is good news and evidence that we are on the right path,” said Francisco Gamboa, Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC).

Turkey is the country with the highest inflation, followed by Colombia, Iceland, the Czech Republic and Poland.

And with lower inflations, Italy, Latvia, Denmark, Lithuania and the Netherlands stand out.

For this year, inflation is expected to return to the target tolerance range, which would be more or less 3% in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to Central Bank projections.

In January, a monthly variation of 0.06% was reported and there was an increase in the prices of many imported products, potatoes, onions, and electricity. Those that are falling in price are gasoline, airline tickets, tomatoes, eggs and cilantro, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses.

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