Eric and Ian Sachs took a vacation in Costa Rica not too long ago and ever since then they’ve been mesmerized by the place. Prompted by a client who told them that Costa Rica was not only a great vacation spot but also the next real estate Mecca, the Sachs brothers decided to check it out. After their vacation, they realized their friend was onto something and they bought a $150,000 condo near the beach. Eric and Ian had two things in mind for their Costa Rican condo. First, they wanted the perfect spot to enjoy the good life, or “pura vida,” as they say down there. And secondly, the condo serves as home to the Sachs’ Costa Rican real estate operation. Ian and Eric still sell real estate in Fort Collins, but now they also take clients to Costa Rica in search of a dream vacation home.

Buying real estate in Costa Rica is not as risky as you may think. One of the most stable Central American countries since 1984, Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. It’s a shorter five-hour flight to Costa Rica than the eight hours to Hawaii, and Frontier flies direct for as little as $417 round trip.

Folks from the United States who decide to buy a home in Costa Rica have the same rights as a Costa Rican citizen. The country is friendly to foreign investment, and all property purchased is fee simple and deeded. The legal infrastructure is solid, with real estate contracts negotiated by Costa Rican attorneys, titles guaranteed by the government and no capital gains tax.

Sound appealing? Then check into the northwest part of the country called the Guanacaste coast. Areas like Playa Hermosa, Flamingo and Panama are the luxury living development hot spots. According to the Sachs brothers, real estate appreciates 30 percent per year in Costa Rica so it’s not too late to cash in on a great investment as well as a fantastic vacation getaway.