Buying Real Estate Using Self Directed IRA

Bill Hitchcock

Investments2Using an IRA to purchase real estate? You Betcha! It can be possible with a “Self Directed” IRA. Technically speaking, a self directed IRA is no different than any other IRA or 401K. But as the name implies a self directed IRA gives you power and control to investment in such things as real estate.

Why haven’t I heard of a self directed IRA before?
While the concept of investing in real estate and other assets in retirement plans has been around for more than 30 years, it hasn’t received a great deal of attention. Why? Most custodians that offer IRAs (banks and brokerage firms) focus on mutual funds and CDs— because they have vested financial interests in having you select those investments from them.

Because the majority custodians focus on stocks and CDs there is a misperception that these are your only investment options for retirement plans. But this is not the case.

How can I be sure that my investment is allowable in an IRA?
IRS Publication 590 states what investments are prohibited in IRAs; these investments include artwork, stamps, rugs, antiques and gems.
All other investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, promissory notes, foreclosures, and tax liens are acceptable as long as IRS rules governing retirement plans are followed. To learn more see IRA Rules

My CPA/attorney/financial advisor hasn’t heard of a self directed IRA. What Should I Do?
It’s not uncommon for trusted advisors to never have heard of self directed IRAs, given the relatively unknown nature of these accounts.

Are there special rules for self directed IRA investments?
Yes. To ensure compliance, you should be familiar with specific rules for IRAs, and in particular, self directed IRAs.

There are certain types of transactions that you cannot perform through an IRA. Most importantly, the IRS prohibits “self-dealing,” investments in which you or family members of lineal descent have prior ownership. For more information, please see IRA Rules.

Are my self directed IRA investments guaranteed?
No investment (aside from FDIC-insured deposits) is guaranteed. However, most successful investors feel that the risk of investing in assets they know and understand is much less than the risk associated with making only conventional IRA investments.

Are self directed IRAs for everyone?
Self directed IRAs are not for everyone. They’re for those who want to create wealth by using their knowledge of investing in assets other than stocks, bonds, and CDs.

Source: Equity Trust Company

Inner Banks Living is NOT a real estate agency or investment firm. We are a solutions company. We solve the problem of over-priced real estate and lack of prime locations. We give choice to the traditional investment of stocks, bonds and mutual funds and show how real estate can become part of your portfolio.


Author’s Yougler Profile is at  Bill Hitchcock.

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