Use Your Self-Directed IRA for Real Estate Investing to Make and Save Loads of Money

Self-Directed IRA for Real Estate

You don't have to use you IRA for just stock market investing any more. Did you know you can use your IRA to invest in real estate? You can with a self-directed IRA.

Using a Self-directed IRA can be very beneficial for your future retirement. Think of it like having a bank account for your rental property and the IRA is just where the money is held. Then, you continue to hold the real estate in the IRA until you are at the age to pull out the money.

Having a self-directed IRA, you are able to do many great things in real estate:

  • Pay for a property in all cash (the best way to buy real estate because you can then do a BRRRR Strategy to get your money back out)
  • You save for future retirement
  • All of your money is not locked into the stock market
  • You are diversifying your portfolio into real estate

Most people choose to make real estate investments to save up for retirement and build wealth over time. If this is the case, wouldn’t it be better if you could save for your retirement in a way that was tax beneficial like other conventional types of investment?

Now more than ever, investors are turning to what is known as self-directed IRA for real estate investments and purchases.

But what is self-directed IRA for real estate? How does it let you go about real estate investment? What are the rules involved?

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Having enough knowledge and a good understanding of what self-directed IRA for real estate is, how to use it, and its rules are all essential to ensure that you will be putting your hard-earned money into something worthwhile. 

How to Use a Self-Directed IRA

To put it simply, self-directed IRA is a type of individual retirement account that allows investors to hold non-traditional investments using their retirement fund. Specifically, a self-directed IRA for real estate is used for holding real estate assets.

This type of IRA has several notable benefits compared to other traditional options. 

Diversification from a Self-Directed IRA

One of these advantages is diversification. Most investors don’t feel at ease when all their assets are invested in bonds and stocks alone. 

This is also a great way to keep your non-traditional investments sheltered from taxation.

For instance, if there are cryptocurrencies under your ownership through an IRA, you will not owe anything in terms of capital gains tax once you decide to sell.

Your money will stay in your self-directed IRA and will remain tax-free or tax-deferred until you decide to withdraw it. 

Types of Self-Directed IRA Investments 

You can choose to hold bonds and stocks in a self-directed IRA just like with a standard IRA. The primary reason why many investors opt to open a self-directed IRA is for the purpose of investing in assets that are not available to IRA investors otherwise. 

Some of the possible investments that could be made in a self-directed IRA can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Real estate, Raw Land, Etc.
  • Silver, gold, and other types of precious metals 
  • Investments in a private business like passive interest in partnerships 
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending

On the other hand, there are several things that could not be bought in a self-directed IRA.

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For instance, you cannot own jewelry or collectibles through your self-directed IRA account. You are also not allowed to own real estate assets where you or your relatives are planning to reside in. 

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Rules for a Self-Directed IRA for Real Estate Investing

As you become more familiar with how to use a self-directed IRA for real estate, you must also know and understand all of the rules involved.

Here are some of the things you should know when it comes to investing in self-directed IRAs for real estate.

  1. You are not allowed to enjoy indirect benefits from a property under the ownership of your self-directed IRA. 

    This means that you cannot use your self-directed IRA to buy a vacation house that you will use occasionally. You also cannot rent an office space for your own use in a building owned by your self-directed IRA.
  2. The primary purpose of your IRA is to provide for your own retirement in the future.

    This is not meant to benefit you or other disqualified persons in the present. If your self-directed IRA is involved in transactions that will benefit you or other disqualified persons in one way or another, this will be regarded as an indirect benefit. 
  3. Your self-directed IRA cannot buy property that you or another disqualified person owns. 

    Among the most common questions when it comes to self-directed IRA for real estate is if it can be used to buy a property that you currently own. Again, it gets no for an answer.

    The IRS’s regulations don’t allow self-dealing transactions. They also don’t allow a self-directed IRA to sell property to or purchase property from disqualified persons, and that includes yourself. 
  4. Your IRA investments will have a unique title. 

    You and your self-directed IRA are two different entities. For this reason, the investments must be titled in your IRA’s name, not personally to you. All investment-related documents should be titled properly to prevent delays. 
  5. Real estate could be bought without 100% funding from the IRA.

    You could buy property in several ways aside from an outright full purchase from your own account. The rest of the options include the use of undivided interest and partnering with other people. You can also use your IRA to finance an investment, but this should be structured correctly. 
  6. All of the expenses that are related to a self-directed IRA for real estate should be paid from the IRA.

    These will include improvements, maintenance, general bills, condo association fees, property taxes, and more.
  7. A self-directed IRA can buy real estate with the use of financing provided that it is a non-recourse loan. 

    Unrelated business income tax (UBIT) is applicable if you are using financing. 
  8. All income generated by a self-directed IRA for real estate should be paid to your IRA.

What Is a Custodian for a Self-Directed IRA?

Yes, you can invest a self-directed IRA in real estate, private placement securities, or bitcoins, but you need to look for a custodian.

A custodian for a self-directed IRA allows for alternative investments and is usually a trust company with the approval from the IRS. There are not a lot of custodians right now, but they are starting to see a growth in number. 

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A custodian should hold assets in an IRA, whether it is a self-directed IRA, Roth IRA, or traditional IRA. This is partly to help the IRS make sure that owners follow the age requirements, contribution limits, and other rules for IRAs.

One of the duties of a custodian is to report to the IRS early withdrawals. It is also important to make sure that people don’t contribute more than the allowable amount in one year. 

Usually, trust companies, mutual fund companies, brokerages, and banks act as custodians for Roth and traditional IRAs. They limit assets in the IRAs to investments that have relatively lesser risks, such as exchange-traded funds and publicly traded stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 

Trust companies can also serve as a custodian for a self-directed IRA, though they have the tendency to have low profiles and are comparatively small.

Although they allow for alternative investments like private placement securities and cryptocurrencies, they offer no oversight and fewer protections.

Can a Self-Directed IRA be Checkbook Controlled?

Yes, a self-directed IRA can be checkbook controlled. A self-directed IRA with checkbook control is a tax court and IRS approved structure.

This lets you use your funds in the IRA to make almost all types of investments. These include real estate, precious metals, tax liens, and so much more, all of which are tax-free.

There is no need for custodian consent for the investments with a checkbook IRA. 

With a check control self-directed IRA, you will be able to invest in almost all types of investments, including the following:

  • Private business entities
  • Real estate
  • Foreign currency
  • Tax liens 
  • Commercial paper 

It is different from traditional IRA custodians that only allow IRA investments for mutual funds or stock. A self-directed IRA with checkbook control lets you use your IRA funds for making some non-traditional investments.

The opportunities for investments are endless, and it lets you create diversification in your retirement portfolio. 

Are There Specific Self-Directed IRA Real Estate Rules?

The first rule for a self-directed IRA for real estate is to follow the rules. When you improperly buy real estate using an IRA, the IRA will be disqualified, and that will make all funds taxable.

The primary rules include the following:

  • No hands-on improvement through sweat equity 
  • No self-dealing or buying or selling from or to a related party
  • No personal benefits like renting the property to family members or living there yourself 

For instance, say you invested $200,000 from the IRA, purchased a rental property, and allowed your daughter and her family to move in.

Whether she pays rent or not, the investment will be deemed disapproved, and once the IRS discovers it, the investment can be considered full distribution with taxable penalties. 

The real estate should only be exclusively for investment purposes, and typically, the dividends and the invested money will flow to and through a custodian.

Once the property is sold, the proceeds will go back to the IRA account or to the custodian and can be invested again when a new opportunity comes. 

How to Set Up a Self-Directed IRA at Rocket Dollar

It is easy and simple to set up a self-directed IRA at Rocket Dollar, and this is something you can do in the comforts of your home.

All you have to do is create an account and provide several documents, and you will be good to go.

Below are the steps involved in setting up a self-directed IRA at Rocket Dollar:

  1. The first step is to sign up with Rocket Dollar. 

    It will only take you about five minutes. The team at Rocket Dollar will handle the set up of your IRA account. 
  2. You will receive an email several days after signing up with Rocket Dollar. 

    This will contain documents that need to be signed to open your IRA account. All you have to do is electronically sign these documents, and Rocket Dollar will be the one to open the IRA. 
  3. After the set up of your account, you can begin transferring the funds. 

    You will be requested to give some other important documents like the account statements and details regarding the account that releases the funds. Once everything is put in order, there will be a request for a transfer. 
  4. Rocket Dollar, through a bank partner, will give you an LLC checking account. 

    You don’t have to worry because they will also guide you through this process. 
  5. You will then receive all the documents you should sign to provide funding for your IRA LLC bank account
  6. You are ready to invest once your LLC bank account receives the funds. 

    You have to leave the transaction records with an investment tracker, but you are good to go at this point. 

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of benefits associated with getting a self-directed IRA for real estate.

If you are a veteran real estate investor who knows the ins and outs of the market, setting up a self-directed IRA for real estate can be a great way for you to continue all of your investments with the benefit of tax gains. 

Just like with any other type of investment, it is recommended that you take time to research. You have to understand the advantages of a self-directed IRA for real estate and how it can affect you and your retirement plans. 


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