How to Buy Investment Properties with an IRA – Step by Step (Part 4 of 4)
Using a self-directed IRA to buy real estate is a sound investment strategy for many people. The ability to buy assets that can provide strong returns is appealing to a wide range of people. Listed below are the basic steps necessary to buy a property in compliance with the IRS rules governing the use of an IRA account.
1. Contact a financial firm that has experience with self-directed IRA’s. Working with a firm that is familiar with these accounts and the real estate transactions is the most important step.
2. Understand the IRS rules. A property bought via the IRA must be an investment home. Second homes, vacation homes and primary residences are strictly prohibited. Furthermore, distributions from the account are not allowed until the owner of the IRA is at least 59 ½
3. Deposit funds into the account. One of the important rules about buying property with an IRA is that all funds for the purchase as well as any other expenses has to come directly from the IRA. The owner cannot chip in extra money to help cover property tax or replacing the roof, in example.
4. All revenue received on the property must be deposited to the IRA account. The revenue cannot be given to the IRA owner or relatives.
5. Take time to preview multiple properties. It is wise to enlist the assistance of a real estate agent who has knowledge with these types of transactions. An agent can recommend properties in areas that have strong rental history. Furthermore, the agent can help calculate the return on investment based on average rent payments for the area.
6. Once you have picked out an investment property it is time to put down an offer. Contact the custodian for your IRA account and tell them you want to buy a property. The custodian will then fill out the necessary forms and sign all real estate documents on the behalf of your IRA account.
7. It is a wise idea to get a contract with a property manager to handle the finances of the property. This will prevent you from collecting the rent payments and making any necessary repairs yourself. A property manager can keep all the transactions clean and legal and free you from the headache of property management.
It is important to understand the rules concerning using an IRA to buy and manage real estate investments. Failing to follow the rules can lead to penalties and possibly loss of the tax advantages associated with an IRA account. When in doubt consult a tax professional before making any decision or transaction with the IRA funds.
This is Part 4 of a 4 Part Series.