Investing in Domestic and Foreign Real Estate with Your IRA Business Trust

Most people know that an individual retirement account (IRA) allow plan owners to invest in mutual funds, stocks and bonds. An IRA can certainly grow your contributions and create a nice nest egg for your golden years. However, what many do not know, is that there is a way to invest in much more! A self-directed IRA, also known as a SDIRA or solo IRA, gives you total control over your plan. It also allows for investments in alternative assets, like real estate, precious metals, private placements and renewable energy sources. While you can invest in almost everything with a SDIRA, real estate tends to be one of the biggest draws.

Full Checkbook Control

Many SDIRA plan owners establish a limited liability company (LLC) or business trust in their account’s name. This gives them full checkbook control. (When you establish a LLC of IRA business trust, you can open a banking account to help you better access your SDIRA finances.) With many properties being listed as foreclosures, short sales and estate sales – the atmosphere is ripe for low cost investments with the potential for significant returns.

Generate Income, Avoid Taxes

When you open a traditional SDIRA, you make pre-tax contributions. These dollars, and any profits generated by them, are taxed later, when you begin to take distributions. However, if you open a Roth SDIRA, you use post-tax dollars to make contributions. This means your gains and later distributions are made tax-free. For both traditional and Roth accounts, profits generated by a SDIRA-owned property flow right back into the account. When compared to a regular fixed-income, using your SDIRA to invest in real estate can generate profits that are two to eight times higher. Whether you rent or sell your SDIRA property, you can substantially increase your retirement account funds through real estate investments.

Real Estate at Home or Abroad

Not only can you use your SDIRA to invest in real estate in the United States, but you can also invest in foreign properties as well. This is true of both residential and commercial properties. There are plenty of reasons to invest in property, aside from the potential profits.

  • Do you want to have a vacation home on the Australian coast? If you buy a residence now, rent it out until you turn 59 ½, you can take residence of the property tax-free when your SDIRA becomes available for distribution.
  • Were you born in a different country? Did you come to the US for opportunities unavailable in your country but have a desire to eventually return? You could buy a property in that country now, develop it over the years, rent out the home, and at the age of 59 ½, return to your custom residence in your homeland.
  • Do you see the potential in establishing a string of rental homes throughout several countries for vacationers to rent throughout the year? You can enjoy the profits generated by high-end vacation home rentals in hot spots like Venice, Amsterdam, Cancun and the Bahamas.

The truth is, property in general goes up in cost every year. In addition to that, your property taxes will as well. If you invest in property today, you can avoid having to pay a higher cost later. Depending on when you use your SDIRA to purchase the property, you may even have the home completely paid off before you reach 59 ½. If you rent out the property before then, you can also generate a profit that may: a) pay for the mortgage, allowing you to continue to grow your funds elsewhere without having to spend them on the residence or b) pay for the mortgage and generate additional income.

Why Choose a Roth SDIRA?

As previously stated, you can use a traditional or Roth SDIRA to invest in real estate. However, you should note some differences. Traditional SDIRAs are tax-deferred. This means you will have to pay taxes on your distributions. If you plan to take residence in a SDIRA-purchased property once you turn 59 ½, you will owe taxes. While this is still a smarter home-investment than buying a new home outright when you turn 59 ½, a Roth account will let you avoid this. True, property taxes are owed every year regardless of how you came to own the real estate. However, the asset’s value is not subjected to income taxes with a Roth SDIRA.

Finding the Right Firm

SDIRA accounts are not available through most mainstream investment firms. An Royal Legal Solutions, however, is available to anyone. Our professionals are able to support plan owners all over the world. We understand that you worked hard for the money you contribute to your retirement account.


As experts, we strive to provide you with quality support and professional custodial services. We have years of experience helping our clients understand tax laws, preparing documents, and providing trustee services. If you would like to learn more about retirement accounts, investment options, or checkbook control, please contact us today.

Last Updated: 
June 15, 2018

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.

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