How to Use Your IRA or 401k to Own Real Estate

Wild Stock Market Preventing You From Building Wealth in Your Retirement Account?

If so, you may want to join the growing number of people who are investing their retirement funds in real estate. There’s real long-term investment growth potential in using tax-deferred funds to purchase property.

The Problem With Most IRA’s

Most IRA Custodians-like brokerage companies and banks-limit your investment options to instruments that benefit them!

They offer you a menu of choices that include cash, CD’s, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETF’s, etc…
But Wait…You Have Other Options!

In reality, the IRS code does allow retirement plans to invest in a much broader selection of investments like:

* Real Estate (land, condos, commercial property, etc…)

* Leases

* Trust Deeds

* Tax Lien Certificates

* Commodities

* Limited Partnerships

* Mortgage Notes

* Secured & Unsecured Loans

* And More…

To successfully navigate the IRS Code, you must find a professional firm who is experienced with this process.

Real Estate IRA Step #1: Find a Competent “Custodian”

The first step is to find an IRA Custodian that is experienced at handling the details of this process.

This has become a popular niche in recent years, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find a competent custodian. Ask your CPA or tax attorney if they handle “Self-Directed Retirement Plans” or who they would recommend. We just did a quick search on Google, and you’ll find lots of specialists promoting their services online.

You can’t serve as “Custodian” of your own account, and the “Custodian” is the firm who actually holds title to the real estate. Do your homework, and understand the process.

Real Estate IRA Step #2: Find a Suitable Property

You’ll probably want to enlist the help of a competent local real estate broker to find a suitable property. They’ll also help you manage all the little transaction details.

This is your retirement fund we’re talking about, so let the experts help you navigate the process and avoid surprises!

In addition to domestic homes, condos, land, and commercial properties, some custodians may permit you to purchase foreign property.

Real Estate IRA Step #3: Assembling Your Funds & Closing

Sometimes purchasing a property may require more funds than you currently have available in your IRA account.

Don’t despair! You can purchase an interest in the property in conjunction with other individuals.

What about your spouse, a business associate, or a friend-are their retirement plans declining in value from over-exposure to the stock market too?

Borrowing funds is possible, but the loan must be a non-recourse loan.

A non-recourse loan is secured by a pledge of collateral-typically real property-but for which the borrower is not personally liable. If the borrower defaults, the lender/issuer can seize the collateral, but the lender’s recovery is limited to that collateral.

Non-recourse loans are still available, even in today’s risk-averse lending environment.

Expect lower loan-to-value ratios than with conventional financing, and you’ll often need to have 30-40% of the purchase price as a down payment.

A title/escrow company will prepare the closing documents, along with your custodian. At closing, the title to your newly-acquired property will reflect the name of your IRA Custodian for your benefit

Real Estate IRA Step #4: Operating Your Property

All expenses, including taxes, insurance, and repairs, must be paid from funds in your IRA.

You’ll need extra liquid funds available to pay these expenses. These funds can come from the deposit of rental income from the property into your IRA acct, or making annual contributions as the law allows.

Real Estate IRA Step #5: Selling Properties Held By Your IRA

It is possible to sell properties while they are held by your IRA, provided that the purchaser is not a family member.

After your sale closes, your IRA account now holds the cash proceeds, and you’re free shop for new investments!

Intrigued? Here’s Your Next Step…

PS: The process may sound a bit intimidating…but with the right experts helping you every step of the way, you’ll be surprised how quickly and easily you’ll be on your way to making your retirement dollars really work effectively for you.

*A Few Important Notes:

The IRS will not let you occupy your IRA-Owned property as a primary residence.

Furthermore, you cannot place real estate that you already own into your own IRA.

* This article is a highly simplified overview of a technical and specialized process. You should consult with an attorney, your CPA, and a qualified Custodian to complete an IRA real estate investment.

Real Estate Fraud

This is an activity that is purposely done to misrepresent information on real estate documents. It also involves the money transfers. It is also called mortgage fraud. The reason that it is referred to as this is that the fraud generally takes place with the mortgage application. Real estate fraud, in the United States, can have heavy penalties like imprisonment and large fines.

Such a crime can be committed in many different ways. It appears to happen more often when property prices are on the rise. Because of the simplicity of the fraud, some types are seen more than other frauds. Some are not as common because they are more complicated. One of the common forms of such fraud, according to the IRS is preparing two settlement statement sets that are different from each other. In one of the statements, the accurate property-selling price is written, which the buyer receives. The other one will depict a higher selling price that is exaggerated. When the mortgage lender approves the loan for the exaggerated price, the seller is given the amount that is stated in their copy of the settlement statement. The one who committed the fraudulent settlement statements will keep the money that is left over. If there are other conspirators, the money will be divided among them. It could be the entire excess money or a percentage of it.

Using qualification that are fraudulent is another type of real estate fraud. These fraudulent qualifications are used when applying for a mortgage or home loan to help them get the mortgage. In this form of real estate fraud, the real estate agent will usually assist the buyer. The fraudulent qualifications can include fabricating credit reports or history of employment. These two involve the obvious misrepresentation of data but not all real estate fraud is easy to see as these two examples. If buyers who do not intend to commit real estate fraud because they do not know the laws can accidentally commit mortgage fraud.

If a buyer has a down payment by using money that was given as a gift it is legal. If this gift is re-paid to the who gave the gift, this is considered a case of real estate fraud. The gift used to make a down payment cannot be repaid for it to be legal. Another type of property fraud is when the buyer accidentally fails to disclose any financial liabilities on their mortgage application. It becomes fraud when it is not taken care of before the loan is approved. Property flipping can become real estate fraud if you make false representations about the value and condition of the property when you sell it for a much higher price than you paid for the property.