ISSUE #983: April 14 - May 18, 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: a 3 mo. availability of unit #105

Los Jardines: Unit #104
Paradisus: Nothing available

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #116: $ 169,000 / See Unit

Unit #104: $ 1,000 mo. / Single story, 2 bdrm, 2 bathroom, vaulted ceiling, loft, detached house, covered terrace, semi-private yard. UNFURNISHED, except for a 4 burner gas cooktop. Newly refurbished -paint, cabinets, kitchen counter, lighting, mosquito screening, etc. No pets, preferrably non-smokers, adults. Available immediately $1,000 water included and one parking space. Extras are gas for cooking / hot water, Internet, and electricity. / 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

Weather: We are now into the rainy season... regular rains... garden is happy.


1. Scheduled Power Outages (not yet happened) 10 days ago, the state electricity company advised that effective last Monday, there would be rotating power outages due to lack of water in resevoirs to generate enough electricity. Am elaborate plan was published and revised seveal times... We were scheduled for outages from 6-8PM each of 7 days... Well, the rains came and filled the resevoirs sufficiently that there has not been any outages... so far, and personally I think it unlikely since rains are fairly regular now. Now the finger pointing starts... I think the critics are correct in this case and the company (ICE) and the government have demonstrated total mismanagement / incompetence... all of this could be foreseen by anyone listening and looking... duh!!!!!!!!!

2. In my previous letter, I wrote: "Over the past few months, I have actually become "retired"... By the time the newsletter was published, I had already been "forced" out of "retirement" and back in the saddle. I did experience what I described...just that it didn't last long...

3. Water System: Since November of last year, we have had increasinly frequent problems with this system. We replaced the three pressure tanks and based on our previous experience, keep one in reserve. We kept experience pump failures... After multiple failures and frustrations, a tech may have diagnosed the cause... why this had not necessarily created problems before and why no one else thought of this, I don't know... he said we needed a check valve (back flow preventer) between the pressure tanks and the pump... Actually that made a lot of sense... we did it. In addition, he suggested wiring the pressure control switch differently and adding a second... which we did... It has only been about two weeks, but we haven't had any problems... we'll see what this afternoon and beyond happens.

4. Internet: We have had multiple failures on this system... two were from our own equipment and two were caused by the service provider... our clients don't care who is at fault... we get the blame... Case one where it was our equipment was confusing because the outages were random, router specific, and dynamic (the outages came and went) and another router would fail... All the logical problem solving / theories didn't work... we changed one connector in one port and all thke problems disappeared... we do not understand the cause-effect but... Case 2 is th east side signal failed... we traced it back to a wire he had replaced two years previously... we suspect it had become water logged and had degraded... We traced down a different cable and routed it differently and just an hour ago, were able, after multiple failures, to get the connector (RJ45) connected properly. In the two cases that were service provider caused, --their router failed or they failed to re-set it... regardless of what the lights on the router were saying, the router was not performing...

5. Tenants: After four years, a tenant moved without notice on a Sunday afternoon. The place was a disaster... 12 manweeks later and $6,000 it is back in shape... all mosquito screening replaced, cabinetry touched up, kitchen counter replaced, lighting/sink/faucet replaced, repainted, cleaned including cat urine throughout... I am thoroughly disgusted but the end product is really nice. We are specifing no pets, non-smokers, and preferrably no children... it limits our market but maybe it will help us receive the unit in better condition than the last tenant left it in.

6. Condo Fee Increase: We had proposed a very barebones budget and warned that it may not be sufficient. We were hoping for no surprises and for the exchange rate to rationalize... instead, it has continued to go down... We now receive 25% fewer colones for each dollar of condo fees... In addition, we have experienced multiple unexpected events... theft of electeical breakers in January, exit of a tenant and the re-furbishing of the unit (this unit is managed by the parent company so we do benefit from the rent and do incur the expenses to maintain it), internet, water system and septic issues... we have been hemorraging cash for the past 4 mo. We finally decided to increase the monthly fees by 10% --we are still operating with a negative cash flow but continue to hope that the exchange rate reverses... it has stopped going down and many, many businesses are hurting and there is becoming more organized and stronger pressure on the government... We'll see...

News Items of the Week


Mostly political propaganda... saying nothing substantive



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